Are You Exfoliating Your Skin Too Much? Your Guide to Face Exfoliation

Are You Exfoliating Your Skin Too Much? Your Guide to Face Exfoliation

Ahhh...exfoliation! The means to obtaining that softer and smoother feeling skin you’ve been dreaming of. 

You’ve probably heard the word “exfoliation” used many times in your life. But do you understand what exfoliating actually is, or why it’s important to exfoliate your skin? 

If not, it’s time to peel back those layers of information (and skin). Let’s dive deep into the epidermis to discover all about exfoliation!


What Is Exfoliation, Exactly? 

To exfoliate simply means to remove dead skin cells that are on the outer layer of your skin. Imagine how smooth a newborn baby’s skin feels. It’s like that, only on yourself! Sounds amazing, right? 

It can be, so long as it's done properly and safely. When it comes to face exfoliation, being too rough could potentially cause more harm than good. So you’ll want to understand the ins and outs of skin exfoliation before attempting to do it yourself. No one wants skin redness or breakouts, right?


Why Exfoliating Is Important

Did you know that your skin goes through a process of shedding the outer layer of dead skin cells on its own? This process is called desquamation. 

But guess what? As you age, your skin cells become more dense, which causes a build-up in the cell layers. So if you’ve noticed that your skin has become more dull, thicker, or less toned, this is why. 

As if that isn’t enough, other factors aid in slowing down the process of desquamation as you age. Things like sunlight exposure, hormones, and even vitamin A and D deficiencies can slow down your skin’s natural shedding process. 

Exfoliating is important because it aids in removing those dead skin cells that your body has trouble shedding on its own as you age! 


Benefits of Exfoliation

If you need further persuasion as to why exfoliating is necessary, take a look at some of the benefits: 

  • Reduces Clogged Pores
  • Reduces Skin Breakouts
  • Produces Even Skin Tone
  • Makes Skin Brighter
  • Makes Skin Smoother
  • Enhances Absorbability (for Skincare Products)
  • Stimulates Collagen Production
  • Reduces Appearance of Fine Lines/Wrinkles Long-Term

Understanding Your Skin Type

Before you break out your exfoliation necessities, it’s important to understand your skin type. And guess what? Regardless of which skin type you have, you’re accumulating dead skin. 

What’s your skin type? Think about your facial skin and how it tends to appear regularly, then look at these options for a better understanding of which skin type you have: 

  • Normal Skin Type - You have normal skin if your skin is clear and not sensitive to skincare products, etc. 
  • Sensitive Skin Type - You have sensitive skin if your skin tends to sting/burn when using skincare products, etc. 
  • Dry Skin Type - You have dry skin if it always feels dehydrated or is itchy, flaky, or rough to the touch. 
  • Oily Skin Type - You have oily skin if your skin often appears to be shiny or feels greasy most of the time. 
  • Combination Skin Type - You have combination skin if it tends to be dry in some areas and oily/greasy in others. 

If you’re searching for skincare products that are great for all skin types, check out our Rebel Skincare products. We use only all-natural ingredients like cranberry seed oil, pomegranate oil, and sea buckthorn berry oil so you can achieve your best skin ever!


Types of Exfoliation

When you’re searching for an exfoliant, you should first understand the differences between the types of exfoliants available. Take a look… 


Chemical Exfoliants

  • Includes Acids, Enzymes
  • Does All the Exfoliating for You
  • Great Option for Thin Skin
  • Great Option for Sensitive Skin
  • More Effective at Deeper Skin Penetration

Physical/Mechanical Exfoliants

  • Includes Scrubs, Sponges, Brushes, and Muslin Cloths (or another skin exfoliation tool)
  • Includes Professional Exfoliating (like dermaplaning and microdermabrasion)
  • Great for Oily/Thicker Skin
  • Buff Dead Skin (from the outer layer)
  • Smooth Skin Texture
  • Deliver Instant Results
  • Designed for Gentle Scrubbing (in small, circular motions)
  • Stimulate Blood Circulation 
  • Decrease Puffiness
  • Less Irritating than Chemical Peels

Certain exfoliants could cause your skin to peel or become sensitive (such as prescription retinoid creams or any other products that contain retinol or benzoyl peroxide). So if you’re already using these products, you may want to stop before exfoliating as it could cause your skin to break out or become more dry. 

If you have dry or sensitive skin, it is best to use something softer (like a washcloth) and to use a mild chemical exfoliant. 

If you have oily skin or thicker skin, you’ll want to use a stronger chemical exfoliant or mechanical exfoliant. 

Regardless of which type of exfoliant you choose, you’ll always want to do a “spot test” first. This simply means to test the product/method on a small area of skin first to see how your skin responds before exfoliating a larger area.

If you’re looking for an all-natural physical/mechanical exfoliant, the Rebel Skincare Skin Polish - Enzyme Mask will be your skin’s best friend. It’s an exfoliant and enzyme peel in one. Wash away dead skin cells along with excess oil. Brighten skin and prevent those pores from getting clogged in the future. With gentle granules, you won’t have to worry about your skin getting roughed up after exfoliating!

DOs and DON’Ts of Exfoliating

Now it’s time to look at the DOs and DON’Ts of exfoliating! Take a look… 

  • DO use caution. 
  • DO spot test a small area of skin before applying exfoliant to a larger area.
  • DO apply moisturizer immediately after exfoliating. 
  • DO choose an exfoliant that works for your skin type. 
  • DO exfoliate regularly. 
  • DO wear sunscreen every day (especially after exfoliating).

  • DON’T over exfoliate. 
  • DON’T exfoliate after chemical exfoliating treatments. 
  • DON’T exfoliate roughly on your skin. 
  • DON’T use more than one exfoliant product at a time. 
  • DON’T apply exfoliant on cuts or sunburnt skin. 

Signs of Over Exfoliation

So just how often SHOULD you exfoliate? 

It’s typically recommended to exfoliate your skin 1-2 times per week. This will also depend on your skin type and which products you’re planning to use, though. 

How much is TOO much when it comes to exfoliating? 

The best way to tell if you’ve over exfoliated your skin is by looking for these signs: 

  • Skin Irritation/Visible Redness
  • Increased Oiliness/Shine
  • Dry/Flaky Skin
  • Skin Breakouts 
  • Increased Skin Sensitivity (to sunshine or skincare products)

If you’re experiencing any of these signs, then it may be time to cut back on the exfoliating or start using a gentler approach when exfoliating. 

The Last Layer

Now you no longer have to wonder, “What is exfoliation?” since you have a better understanding of skin exfoliation. 

You’ve learned about the different types of exfoliation methods available to you and how to recognize the signs of over exfoliation. 

Keep this information handy so you can ensure that you’re practicing face exfoliation properly so as to not harm your beautiful skin!

Back to blog