Exfoliating 101- Why You Should Exfoliate Regularly

Exfoliating 101: Why You Should Exfoliate Regularly

Wanna know a little secret? Until not that long ago, I had no idea what exfoliating was. I always knew it was a step in skincare, however, I didn’t know what it actually does. Now, since I’ve aged, (yup, I’m 30:|) well, I kind of hit the age that I need to exfoliate regularly! So, yes, now I know all too well what it is! What exactly is exfoliating and how often should one do it? Read on to find out if this is something you should include in your skincare routine.

Exfoliating 101- The Basics Of Exfoliating

Exfoliating removes dead skin cells that sit on the surface of your skin, by doing so, you are leaving room for new healthy cells. When you don’t exfoliate, all the dead cells build-up, leaving the skin looking dull and dry. It also causes a build-up in oil, which in turn results in more spots and clogged pores. Sometimes the solution to your skin’s breakouts is something as simple as exfoliating once a week!

Now that you know what exfoliating does you are probably wondering what it has to do with my age. Well, in fact, it has a lot to do with getting older. As we get older the body slows down the process of making new cells, so we need to help out our skin a little. That’s where exfoliating comes in! It gives the skin that little nudge to produce new and healthy skin cells.

What exfoliator is the right one for you?

Like most beauty products, there is no shortage of exfoliators. There are many different types from many different brands. This all leads to one thing- confusion! But no fear, I’m going to simplify it for you.

There are two different ways to exfoliate, manual or chemical. Most people have heard of manual exfoliators. They include all the different types of scrubbing exfoliators, whether in a cream format or an actual brush.

Chemical exfoliators are less known. They work with mild acid and enzymes. They break down the glue of the dead cells. The main difference between the two is that with manual, the results are instant whereas, with chemical exfoliators, you will see the results slowly over time. Chemical exfoliators also affect all the layers of the skin whereas manual ones only do anything to the top layers.

So which one is for you? If you have acne-prone skin, I highly recommend keeping away from any scrubs. They will only aggravate the skin which will make your skin redder and your acne worse. Chemical exfoliators are much gentler and longer-lasting.

Reasons to choose manual exfoliators: quick results, increase circulation.

Reasons to choose chemical exfoliators: gentle on the skin, long-lasting results.

Check out my reviews on the best exfoliators for dry skin and the best exfoliators for oily skin. Choosing the right one for your skin type will make all the difference in the results that you see.

What is the best time of day to exfoliate?

In the winter it doesn’t really make a difference, you can exfoliate in the morning and evening, or any time of day really. But in the summer, I recommend only exfoliating in the evening. That is because after you exfoliate, you have essentially removed a layer of skin, this makes your skin more sensitive. And more sensitive skin should not be exposed to the sun, so be sure to only exfoliate in your evening skincare routine.

The Dos and Don’t of Exfoliating

Because exfoliators are pretty strong products, there are certain rules and guidelines that you should be aware of. For exfoliators to have the best effect on your skin, I advise you do use them in the best possible way! Use them correctly and your skin will benefit hugely. Use them incorrectly, and unfortunately, your skin will suffer. That being said, I don’t mean to instil fear of exfoliating. It really is simple, all you gotta do is follow these guidelines and your skin will be eternally grateful!

  • Don’t over-exfoliate. If you think exfoliating is like cleansing your skin more often, it’s not. Cleanse every day- yes, but don’t exfoliate more than twice a week or you will be stripping more than just dead skin cells.
  • Do use a moisturiser straight after exfoliating. This will soothe any irritation and protect your open skin.
  • Don’t scrub your skin harshly. Exfoliators are made to exfoliate so you don’t actually have to apply pressure when using them, it’s not going to make the product work quicker. All it will do is aggravate your skin and cause breakouts.
  • Do exfoliate your whole body, remember it’s not only your face that gets older!

My Thoughts

Whichever exfoliator you chose to use, the main thing to remember is that you should exfoliate regularly. As you get older you need the help of these exfoliators more and more, to help keep your skin looking young and healthy by getting rid of all the old cells.

What are your favourite tips for exfoliating? Do you exfoliate regularly? What’s your favourite exfoliator? Let me know in the comments below:)

Hollie xx

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  1. Hi
    I have been trying to find a good way of trying to make my skin feel smooth and glowing and exfoliating might be the answer, my skin has always felt oily which is really not a nice feeling:(
    It is good that you have given advice on your favourite manual exfoliator as i may try this, as you say the older you get the more your body slows down.
    This is good info Thanks:)

    1. Ooh yes, you must try exfoliating and see what happens. It’s made huge differences in my skin:)

      Have a wonderful day x

  2. Hi Hollie, it sounds like I’ve had this wrong the whole time …. I have very sensitive skin, and as such have never used a chemical exfoliator because I thought it was going to wreak havoc with my skin. I’ve used a manual exfoliator before (not often) which has been fine as I thought this was less harsh than the chemical one. However it seems I have this the wrong way around?  I’d never really asked, I had just assumed this to be the case. It sounds like a chemical exfoliator is more gentle than a manual one. Are there any good gentle chemical exfoliators that you would recommend?

    Thanks in advance Hollie.

    1. Hi Melissa, Don’t worry its a common mistake for many people. 

      Chemical exfoliators work from the inside out. The results take longer to see but they are usually worth the wait! A great chemical exfoliator is the  ALPHA-H Instant Facial

  3. Hi Hollie,

    I used to suffer from eczema on my body so rarely exfoliate.  My skin is healed and I do exfoliate my legs rather than my face.  I tend to treat my skin from the inside out by bowel cleansing, liver flushing and drinking plenty of cucumber smoothies..

    Facial exercises like singing keep our faces looking young.  As my skin is still quite dry on my face I should exfoliate but I do not tend to touch it much except when cleansing.

    Your article is interesting and I have taken a mental note of your reasons to exfoliate.

    Thanks for sharing!

    1. Obviously everyone’s skin is different and its great that your in touch with yourself that you know what’s good for you. If you are looking to exfoliate perhaps try a chemical based one which will be much gentler on your skin!

  4. Hi,

    This is a very informative post, but do men enjoy the same benefits of exfoliating? If so, do you recommend a product or type of product that would be good for men to use? I usually just use a face wash, and moisturise afterwards, is this enough?

    Thanks for the information.

    1. Yes men should also exfoliate. Men also get dead skin cells and exfoliating removes them. I recommend using an exfoliator once to twice a week. A great one for men is this Energising Skin Scrub by Elemis

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