How to Use Exfoliants

Beauty & Style | Melanie Yvette | 11/03/2015 | 02:27 PM EST

Exfoliants are the Most Important Part of Your Skincare Routine

Exfoliants are a woman’s best friend, but a lot of us don’t know this. Probably deemed the most important step in skincare, using the best exfoliant for your face is imperative to having great skin.

But, how do you actually find that perfect product and how do you use it when you do?

Let us tell you how.

First, we want you to understand the purpose of exfoliants. Our skin is in a constant state of renewal, helping to replace skin cells that grow old. But, sometimes it’s hard for our skin to dispose of those dead skin cells, and they sit on top of our face. When this happens, the dead skin cells make our complexions look rough, dull and sometimes even older.

That’s where exfoliants come into play.

The role of an exfoliant is to help get rid of those dead skin cells sitting on top of our skin’s surface, and revealing our fresh, vibrant skin. 

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But, what are the different types of exfoliants?

Mechanical Exfoliants

These types of exfoliants come in the form of an actual tool, like the Clarisonic or face brush. We advise you to be very gentle when using these tools. If your skin is super dry, scale back to using these types of exfoliants to once a week to avoid over-drying your skin.

Chemical Exfoliants

Chemical skin exfoliants are products that gently use acids to dissolve anything preventing our dead skin cells from falling off of your face. There are two types of chemical skin exfoliants that you can try. First is an Alpha hydroxyl acid exfoliant (AHA). These are derived from fruits and are best for people with dry or thickened skin.

Beta hydroxyl acids exfoliants or BHAs are better at exfoliating oily and acne-prone skin. The best known BHA is salicylic acid (as you’ve probably heard of before).


Facial scrubs are probably the most inexpensive exfoliants you can purchase. However, it’s very easy to misuse them.

Some scrubs are extremely hard on the skin and can be too rough. To avoid over-doing it with facial scrubs, be sure to dampen your face a bit to create a slick surface before you apply the scrub. Remember to use gentle, circular motions when massaging the product into your skin. Also, think about using scrubs that are more gel based, like Origin’s Never a Dull Moment face polisher.

(Photo: Clarisonic)

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