Exfoliation removes dead skin cells from the outer layers of the skin. It can be beneficial for removing dry or dull skin, increasing blood circulation, and brightening and improving your skin’s appearance. There are different methods for exfoliation. Your skin type should determine which method you use and how often you exfoliate.
For certain skin conditions, including rosacea, exfoliation isn’t usually recommended.
What to use to exfoliate
There are different methods and tools to exfoliate the skin. Facial scrubs and brushes are forms of mechanical, or physical, exfoliation. Acids and skin peels are forms of chemical exfoliation.
- This is usually a bristle brush used on the face or body to remove layers of dead skin cells. Some are designed for dry brushing. Others can be used with your facial cleanser or body wash.
- These are a gentler way to exfoliate the skin. You can lather an exfoliating sponge with warm water, soap or body wash in the shower.
- If you find brushes or sponges difficult to grip, you can use a glove. Lather it with soap or body wash in the shower. They can be effective for large areas such as legs or arms.
- This can be applied directly to the skin using a gentle, circular motion. You can wash your skin with warm water after applying the scrub.
Alpha-hydroxy acids (AHAs)
- Examples of AHAs include glycolic, lactic, tartaric, and citric acids. These work by breaking apart bonds holding dull and dead skin cells on your skin’s surface. This will cause your skin to naturally shed dead particles.
Beta-hydroxy acids (BHAs)
- Examples of BHAs include beta-hydroxy and salicylic acid. These may be better for acne-prone skin.