How Often Should You Exfoliate Your Face?

Find out how often you should exfoliate your face, according to your skin type. We also tell you which methods you can use.
How Often Should You Exfoliate Your Face?
Diego Pereira

Reviewed and approved by the doctor Diego Pereira.

Last update: 13 June, 2023

It’s always a good idea to exfoliate your face! However, this isn’t a practice that should be done every day; in fact, the frequency will largely depend on your skin type. The latter will determine how often it should be done and which products are the most suitable.

Now, what does this treatment consist of, how is it applied, and how often? There are several questions to be answered. In the following article, we’ll give you all the answers. Continue reading!

What is skin exfoliation?

Exfoliation is a beauty procedure that’s performed on the skin – not only on the face, but also on the whole body. It consists of using a series of products – either of natural or chemical origin – to remove dead cells and other impurities that are embedded in the skin.

Under normal conditions, the skin does this process naturally. However, some factors can hinder it. When they accumulate, the skin begins to show imperfections, loss of moisture, and dryness, among other problems. Hence the importance of using this type of treatment on a regular basis.

How often should you exfoliate your face according to your skin type?

It’s estimated that skin renews itself every 28 days, which means that exfoliation should be applied at least once a month. However, the frequency depends very much on your skin type. Let’s take a closer look!

Dry skin

Pharmacists explain that dry skin requires specific treatments and products due to its characteristics. It often produces fine wrinkles, roughness, and an itching sensation, among other symptoms.

Therefore, it’s recommended to apply moisturizing and emollient products that allow it to retain water and restore both its appearance and softness. In this case, exfoliation can be done with oil or honey-based products. It’s recommended to repeat the process every two weeks.

Combination skin

Combination skin is skin that tends to be oily in the T-zone – composed of the forehead, nose, and chin – and dry in the cheek areas. This combination requires a treatment to create a proper balance.

Before exfoliation, this type of skin should be cleansed very well with warm water, never cold, nor very hot. It also needs to be moisturized regularly. As for how often you should exfoliate, the answer is once a week.

Of course, with specific products for this type of skin, such as those containing hyaluronic acid, aloe vera, lactic acid, among other compounds.

Oily skin

A publication in Farmacia Profesional disproves one of the great myths about oily skin; it isn’t exclusive to adolescents, adults also have it. Depending on the oil production in the skin, it can lead to conditions such as acne.

In any case, it’s possible to regulate excess sebum through various topical treatments. Among these, exfoliation is one of the most important. It can be repeated up to twice a week, with products that are oil-free.

Types of facial exfoliation

As mentioned before, chemical or natural exfoliations can be performed. Each has a different impact, although they have the same goal. Choosing the method of exfoliation also relates directly to each person’s skin type. Below, we’ll go a little deeper into each of them.

Natural exfoliation

Natural exfoliants are those that come from animals, plants, and minerals. Let’s take a look at some examples.

  • Animals: Among the first are products that include pearl powder, diatomaceous earth, and even the famous mother-of-pearl shell.
  • Vegetables: Such as almond, walnut or peach seeds; oat flakes, sugars and essential oils.
  • Minerals: Including activated carbon, calcium carbonate, sea salt, silica, among others.

Chemical exfoliation

According to Mayo Clinic, in this type of exfoliation, chemical products are used to eliminate the most superficial layers of the skin. Depending on what is sought, a mild, medium, or deep procedure can be performed.

However, this method requires consideration of adverse effects ranging from redness, scarring, changes in skin tone, and other lesions. A publication in National Center for Biotechnology Information stresses the importance of having it applied by a professional in cosmetics or dermatology.

This is because substances are used that, if misused, are counterproductive. Some examples are alpha-hydroxy acids (AHA), beta-hydroxy acids (BHA), phenols, and trichloroacetic acid (TCA).

Ready to exfoliate your face, according to your skin type?

As you can see, no matter your skin type, it is possible to exfoliate your face. The only thing to consider is the frequency and the most recommended products in each case.

You can opt for a chemical or natural process, according to your needs and preferences. It’s best to consult a dermatologist to choose the most appropriate option.

If you choose something less abrasive, you can always buy exfoliating products from the brand you use for your skincare. Either way, be sure to do a little patch test first to make sure it doesn’t cause irritation or discomfort.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.