How to Exfoliate Your Skin the Right Way

You may have invested in skincare products and used the best cleansers to get good skin. But, if your skincare routine is missing exfoliation, your efforts might be wasted. 

Exfoliation has been the best way to improve your skin texture and tone and keep it healthy and glowing. However, as easy as it may sound, many end up using the wrong product for their skin or, worse, over-exfoliating.

This post is all about how to exfoliate skin from head to toe and using the right products for your skin type to see results. So if that’s what you’re looking for, keep scrolling. 

What Does Exfoliation Do

We all know exfoliation is important for your skin. But, what does exfoliation do?

Exfoliation is the process of removing dead skin cells from the surface of your skin using exfoliators such as exfoliating tools, scrubs, and chemicals. The idea of removing dead skin cells comes from the natural process of selling the way that your skin goes through.

A woman laying down on a rock.

The external process of exfoliation makes the shedding of the cells easier and gives your skin a chance to breathe. As a result, your skin appears smoother, brighter, and more youthful every day.

The exfoliating process depends on the type of exfoliator you use, your skin type, and your skin health.

Apart from making your skin glow, exfoliation can also help improve the health of your skin. This is because it removes the dead layer of skin and allows your skincare products to penetrate the skin and give visible results.

Types of Exfoliators

As you already know, exfoliating is the process of removing dead skin from the surface, and it can be done in several ways. There are two types of exfoliants: physical and chemical.

Physical exfoliation involves the use of a skincare tool, such as a brush, sponge, or mittens, to remove that layer on your skin. It may also involve a liquid or scrub with microbeads to smooth out the skin.

Chemical exfoliation makes use of acids such as AHAs and BHAs to loosen the substance that holds dead skin together for it to shed off easily. 

AHAs are better for dry or damaged skin to improve texture and moisture levels. BHAs are for oily skin or skin with hyperpigmentation and blackheads as they penetrate pores and prevent acne. 

While both methods of exfoliation can effectively get rid of dead skin and unclog pores to reveal brighter-looking skin, specific methods may be more suitable for particular skin types. 

How to Exfoliate Skin

As we discussed above, there are two ways to exfoliate your skin physically and chemically. Here is how to exfoliate the skin with both of these methods.

Physical Exfoliation

When using a physical exfoliant, you need to be gentle on your skin. You can increase or decrease the intensity of exfoliation by choosing the appropriate tool. 

If you are using fingers, take a walnut-sized amount of exfoliator on your fingertips. Then, massage the product into your skin using a circular motion, avoiding the eye area. 

Then, rinse off with lukewarm water and pat dry with a clean towel. You can follow with a moisturizer and SPF. 

Chemical Exfoliation 

When using a chemical exfoliator, apply it after your cleanser and toner. If it’s liquid, apply it using cotton pads, and if gel or cream, use your fingers. 

If you’re using a chemical peel, apply it like a mask and rinse it off after a few minutes. Follow with a hydrating moisturizer and SPF. 

You can also go for a leave-on overnight exfoliator that gently removes dead skin cells without clogging your pores. It can also help reduce signs of aging and hydrate dry skin. 

Exfoliating Specific Body Parts

Here’s a guide to exfoliating specific body parts the right way. Keep scrolling to learn how to exfoliate legs, arms, and face. 

How to Exfoliate Face

If you exfoliate your face the wrong way, things can quickly go downhill. So it’s essential to know how to exfoliate face the right way to get your desired results. 

There are many face exfoliator options that vary in intensity and results. You can use a classic brush, DIY scrub, or acids to remove the layer of dead cells from your face. 

When using a scrub, use your fingertips to exfoliate the face in a circular motion gently. Then rinse with lukewarm water and follow with your moisturizer. 

Chemical exfoliators can also work well for your face and leave your skin smooth and glowing. For a liquid chemical exfoliator, use cotton pads to apply evenly on the face and follow the directions on the label. 

How to Exfoliate Legs and Arms

The best way to exfoliate your legs and arms is with a physical exfoliator, like a classic brush, glove, or scrub. These exfoliators help scrub off dead skin while stimulating circulation in the area. 

Physical exfoliators keep your legs and arms smooth with a healthy and dewy look. It’s ideal to use these exfoliators after you have taken a shower and your pores are open.

How to Exfoliate Hands and Feet

The best way to exfoliate feet and hands is using scrubs with thicker grains and chemical peels. You can also use pumice stones for cracked and dry heels or tired feet.

How Often Should You Exfoliate

A woman's face.

How often should you exfoliate depends on your skin type and concerns. For example, people with oily and acne-prone skin types require more frequent exfoliation than dry or sensitive skin. 

Some chemical exfoliants are strong and should not be used more than twice a week. However, physical exfoliators with finer texture can be used more often, even every other day. 

However, over-exfoliation is not an option as it can strip your skin’s protective layer and cause micro-tears. So, start by exfoliating twice a week and move from there. 

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When to Stop Exfoliating 

Stop exfoliation if you notice redness, irritation, inflammation, or peeling your skin. It is also better to avoid exfoliators while using acne products such as retinol. If you do, your exfoliator may have adverse effects and cause breakouts.  


Whichever exfoliator you choose, make sure you know how to exfoliate skin the right way. It is better to start slow and see which products work better for your skin and how often it requires them. 

Always follow with a hydrating moisturizer to keep your skin healthy and avoid irritation.

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