Skin Care

What Exfoliation Does For the Skin

What is exfoliation?
Exfoliation is the process of removing the top layer of dead skin cells from the epidermis. While the epidermis is the main area receiving the treatment, exfoliation can penetrate and benefit the dermis layer of skin as well. The skin can be exfoliated via chemicals, granular substances, or the use of an exfoliating tool. There are two types of exfoliation, chemical and physical.


Physical Exfoliation: The manual method of removing dead skin cells through the act of rubbing or scrubbing the skin. Manual exfoliants include but are not limited to:

  • cleansing scrubs
  • exfoliating mitts
  • dry brushes
  • loofahs
  • pumice stones
  • microneedling or micro derma rollers

Chemical Exfoliation: The Chemical Exfoliation Method uses an array of different compounds to improve the skin. The chemical compounds tend to penetrate deeper into the skin having more impactful results. There are three main chemicals used in exfoliation that have different impacts on the skin.

Alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) -water-soluble acids used to shed layers of dead skin while promoting the growth of healthier and even toned skin cells.

Beta hydroxy acids (BHAs) – oil soluble acids used to penetrate hair follicles and unclog pores of dead skin cells and excess oils.

Retinol (Vitamin A) – a medically derived form of vitamin A used to soothe and treat skin damaged from sun exposure and acne.

How does the skin benefit from exfoliation?

Both methods in the process of exfoliation helps the skin by providing the following benefits. This includes but is not limited to:

  • Acne prevention by unclogging pores.
  • Helps skincare penetration by removing layers of dead skin.
  • Improves skin texture by increasing cell turnover, allowing healthier cells to grow.
  • Healthier skin tone from boosted circulation and lymphatic drainage.
  • Promotes the production of Collagen

How should you exfoliate your skin?
The process of exfoliating the skin is beneficial but in excess could irritate and damage the skin. Healthline.com says “(exfoliation) can sometimes irritate your skin and may result in transepidermal water loss. Following up with a humectant oil or serum can help minimize irritation and lock in moisture“. A great start to understanding how exfoliation could benefit your skin is knowing your skin type. If you don’t already know, consulting a professional dermatologist and or cosmetologist can help you to determine what method is the best way to exfoliate your skin.

What do you use to exfoliate your skin? Leave a comment!



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