Have you ever noticed how soft your feet feel after a day at the beach? You can thank the ocean minerals and the sand itself for polishing away those calluses and rough spots. What happens so effortlessly just by walking on an abrasive surface is an important process known as exfoliation. The dead, dry skin is buffed away, leaving softer skin in its place.
Now, if you want to keep your face feeling healthy and, yes, looking younger longer, you need to exfoliate it, too. Learning the ins and outs of the different types of exfoliators and how to exfoliate your face properly can be confusing, so let’s answer some key questions.
Why Should I Exfoliate?
Take a look at a newborn’s skin, and you’ll instantly notice how rosy the cheeks are and how soft, smooth, and perfect it is. That’s because the skin hasn’t been weathered by all the things we endure day in and day out, like pollution, dirt, hard water, and UV exposure. To keep your skin looking its healthiest, you need to get rid of the dead skin and sebum that is clogging your pores. One thing you’ll notice by routinely exfoliating is that your pores will be less visible and your skin’s texture will look and feel more even. And if you’re struggling with acne, learning how to use gentle exfoliator for your face will keep your pores clearer and your sebum levels balanced.
What Is Exfoliating Scrub?
Despite the word “scrub” conjuring up images of gritty mixtures that are harsh and rough, exfoliating products come in many forms – and they’re all designed to remove dead skin, which makes your face feel softer and look smoother.
- Physical Exfoliants – The most common version is called a physical exfoliant because it uses everything from ground apricot pits or walnut shells to gentler alternatives like Ecobeads® to get the job done. We prefer the latter, which are comprised of jojoba and candelilla wax, making them biodegradable and gentler on the skin.
- Manual or Mechanical Exfoliants – Wash cloths and facial brushes whisk away dead skin as well.
- Chemicals Exfoliants – Also known as acids, alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) and beta hydroxy acid (BHA) break up the sebum and debris bonds holding dead cells together, so they can be swept away and replaced by luminous new cells.
Which exfoliant you choose really depends on your skin type, so feel free to mix and match physical, mechanical, and chemical exfoliants – in moderation, as we’ll explain.
How To Exfoliate Face for Men?
Exfoliating isn’t complicated, but there are some definite dos and don’ts involved. Below is a basis step by step breakdown of how to properly exfoliate you face.
- You wouldn’t apply moisturizer without washing your face, so start your routine by cleansing thoroughly with a gentle cleanser, like our Daily Facial Cleanser, and lukewarm water.
- Next, apply your exfoliant by gently rubbing it into your wet skin in circular motions with your fingertips. Let the product do the work. There’s no need to manhandle your face.
- Lastly, rinse the product off with lukewarm water and follow up by applying moisturizer (and sunscreen if you’ll be outdoors).
Note: Some people like to exfoliate before cleansing, which is also fine as long as you wet your face first and cleanse afterward. This can be especially helpful if your skin feels exceptionally grimy after a hard day’s work because exfoliating first helps your cleanser work better.
How Often Should I Exfoliate My Face?
Luckily, this isn’t a test question because there truly is no correct answer. Your skin will dictate how often you can safely exfoliate. However, as a rule of thumb, try exfoliating once or twice a week initially to see how your skin responds. Depending on how your skin responds, you should have a better idea of just how often to exfoliate you face. But remember, exfoliating too frequently can damage your skin’s natural barrier, leading to inflammation, increased breakouts, and sensitivity, so take things slow when adding an exfoliating product to your routine.
Important Note: If you have damaged skin due to a sunburn or acne outbreak, or if you use retinol or topical prescription acne products like tretinoin, avoid exfoliating. Give your face a break and resume your exfoliating routine once your skin has healed.
What to Look for in a Good Exfoliator?
When considering different brands of Exfoliator, be sure to review the ingredients and make there are no harsh chemicals or anything you may be allergic to. At SKN, we’re partial to ingredients that gently remove dead skin while also contributing to its overall health and comfort. Our Exfoliating Scrub uses soft, skin-loving Ecobeads® as well as coffee arabica seed powder to gently refine your skin. We’ve included vitamin C because it helps brighten the skin and caffeine, argan oil, jojoba oil, and mango butter to protect the skin from free radical damage while keeping it hydrated. Our scrub is gentle enough made for all skin types, yet strong enough to get the job done.
Need a complete three-step men’s skincare routine? Our Exfoliating Scrub pairs perfectly with our Facial Cleanser and Daily Face Moisturizer. Just add sunscreen when planning to be outdoors, and you’re good to go!