Exfoliating and Skin Care

If you opt for exfoliating your skin at home, you should take care to do it safely. Dermatologists recommend a few rules for exfoliating and skin care.

Exfoliation is removing dead skin cells from the top layer of your skin. If you do not know how to exfoliate properly, you may cause more harm than good to your skin. Here are some tips that you may want to follow.

When exfoliating, you want to avoid causing redness and acne breakouts.

There are 5 different types of skin, and different ways each skin type should be treated.

Sensitive Skin: may sting or burn after using some products on it.

Normal Skin: is not sensitive. It is clear and blemish free.

Dry Skin: is flaky, itchy, or rough.

Oily Skin: is shiny and feels greasy.

Combination Skin: is dry on the cheeks and oily in the T-Zone (forehead, nose, and chin)

There Are Two Main Methods of At-Home Exfoliation:

Mechanical: Mechanical exfoliation uses a tool, such as a brush, or sponge. It physically scrubs away the dead skin cells.

Chemical: Chemical exfoliation uses chemicals, such as alpha and beta hydroxy acids to gently dissolve dead skin cells.

The method you use should be according to your skin type.

Skin care products such as prescription retinoid creams or products containing retinol or benzoyl peroxide may cause your skin to become more sensitive. It may even cause it to peel, worsen dry skin, or cause acne breakouts.

Skin Type

An Hour After Washing My Skin

Sensitive Skin

May be itchy or inflamed

Normal Skin

Is not sensitive, but clear and blemish free

Dry Skin

Is flaky, itchy, or rough

Oily Skin

Is shiny and greasy

Combination Skin

Dry around cheeks and jawline, but oily in the T-Zone

Use a Washcloth for Sensitive Skin

If you have dry, sensitive skin, or your skin is acne prone, you may prefer to use only a washcloth and a mild chemical exfoliator. A mechanical exfoliator may irritate your sensitive skin.

Oily, thicker skin may use mechanical exfoliation or a stronger chemical treatment.

If you have darker skin, you also may want to avoid strong chemical or mechanical exfoliation. If you notice dark spots on your skin after burns, acne breakouts, or bug bites, especially those with darker skin tones, you may also find dark spots on your skin if you are too aggressive exfoliating your skin.

Exfoliation and Skin Care

Avoid exfoliating your skin if you are sunburned or have open cuts or wounds.

When using a scrub or chemical exfoliator, use small circular motions to apply the product. After about 30 seconds, rinse off with lukewarm water. Make sure the water is warm and never too hot!

Use short, light strokes if you are using a brush or sponge.

After exfoliating, moisturize your skin. Exfoliation can be drying to your skin. Immediately after exfoliating, apply a moisturizer suitable for your skin type. This will keep your skin hydrated and healthy.

Plan how often you want to exfoliate your skin. Be careful not to over-exfoliate your skin, as this could lead to red, irritated skin. 

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Nourishes and moisturizes skin. Exfoliating and facial acne fighting mask. For acne prone and all skin types.

Always Check with Your Healthcare Provider

If you have any concerns with your skin, a board-certified dermatologist can evaluate your skin and help you choose the best plan of action for glowing skin.

Tips for Skin Care

Sensitive Skin

Tips to care for sensitive skin.

  • Contact your physician if you have a concern.
  • Do a patch test when using new products. Apply product to a small, inconspicuous area of your skin to see if there is a reaction.
  • Don’t over-exfoliate or over-cleanse sensitive skin to prevent irritation.
  • Fragrances may irritate sensitive skin.
  • Keep soft, breathable fabrics, like cotton, next to your skin. Layer other textures on top.
  • Sensitive skin varies from person to person and needs to be treated with extra care.
  • Stay hydrated, and eat a healthy, balanced diet.
  • Take a slower approach to trying new products. Use products specifically for your skin type.
  • Use sunscreen
  • Wash with warm, not hot water.
  • Weather extremes may cause skin irritations.

Normal Skin

Tips to care for normal skin.

  • Eat a balanced diet of fruit, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins.
  • Exercise, it increases oxygen levels to the body’s cells. The blood supply is increased, and the cells get more oxygen. Regular exercise keeps your skin looking fresh and young.
  • Get 6-8 hrs of sleep each night. Being sleep deprived results in dark circles and wrinkles under your eyes and facial region.
  • Laugh to make your skin glow and look radiant.
  • Moisturize regularly.
  • Reduce stress to reduce worry lines.
  • Stay hydrated.
  • Use sunscreen.
  • Wash your face daily to allow the cells to breathe freely.

Dry Skin

If you have dry skin, here are some tips to help relieve dry skin.

  • Apply moisturizer after bath, shower, and hand washing. Lotions tend to be less effective than ointments and creams.
  • Apply petroleum jelly before going to bed. Wear white gloves over the petroleum jelly to protect the bedding.
  • Products containing alcohol and fragrance can irritate dry skin.
  • Take short baths and showers. Use warm, not hot water, and a mild cleanser. Gently pat skin dry.
  • Use a humidifier to add moisture to dry air.
  • Use waterproof gloves if you frequently have your hands immersed in water. 
  • Wash hands often to remove harmful bacteria and viruses.
  • Wear soft clothes, like cotton, close to your skin. Layer rougher fabrics over top.

Oily Skin

Sebum helps protect and moisturize your skin. Excess sebum in your pores makes your skin look greasy. Diet, age, and climate can make the condition worse. Here are some tips for caring for oily skin.

  • Hydrate daily with an oil-free moisturizer.
  • Oily skin requires a more robust method of exfoliation than sensitive skin does.
  • Regularly exfoliate with a pore-refining scrub.
  • Remove oily makeup at the end of each day.
  • Try not to touch your face with your fingertips.
  • Use “oil-free” skin products that won’t clog your pores.
  • Use blotting papers when needed.
  • Wash your face in the morning, at night, and after exercise.

Combination Skin

A strange case of opposites, some parts of your skin are dry while other parts of your skin are oily. Typically, the T-Zone (forehead, nose and chin) are oily, and the cheeks are normal or dry. The oily zone may have acne and visible pores, while your cheeks may be flaky and dry.

  • Cleanse your face morning and evening. Pat dry do not rub. Use toner after cleansing, then moisturizer.
  • Layer the dry parts with moisturizing serums and creams.
  • Moisturize with sunscreen during the day.

Nighttime Care

  • Nighttime use a moisturizer with antioxidants and active ingredients to hydrate and nourish skin. They should contain anti-aging and skin texture-improving properties.
  • Products such as creams and moisturizers will work great on the dry parts of your face.
  • Avoid using creams and moisturizers on the oily parts of your face. Choose lightweight products for the oily parts of your face.
  • Exfoliate once a week with a gentle BHA exfoliator as a great option for combination skin. Combination skin takes a consistent care routine to keep your skin beautiful.

Types of Skin

The skin – the outer covering of the body – is the largest organ of your body. There are a variety of skin types. Which type of skin do you have?

In Conclusion

There are five types of skin: sensitive, normal, dry, oily, and combination skin types.

Normal skin can be exfoliated two to three times a week.

Oily skin needs a more aggressive skin care routine and will benefit most from mechanical exfoliation. It can be exfoliated more often than any of the others to prevent pimples, blackheads, and clogged pores. Some people exfoliate their oily skin every other day. Exfoliate for about 30 seconds, then rinse with lukewarm water.

Sensitive skin can become red, irritated, and dry when exfoliating. Using a product with lactic acid will be gentle on your skin as it hydrates it. A cleansing brush and scrubs are too harsh for sensitive skin. Use a lower concentration chemical exfoliating product to keep from damaging and drying out your skin.

Dry skin needs gentle treatment; avoid harsh scrubs or aggressive mechanical exfoliation.

Combination skin has dry skin on the cheeks, and oily skin in the T-zone, the forehead, nose, and chin are oily. The majority of exfoliation should be done to the T-zone area. Alternate chemical and mechanical exfoliation on combination skin. Do not use both types of exfoliations on the same day.

Apply moisturizer to your skin after exfoliation, however, go sparingly when applying moisturizer on oilier skin.

Don’t jump from one exfoliant to another. Go gently on your skin to see how it responds. As a word of caution, many chemical exfoliants increase your skin’s sensitivity to the sun. Don’t forget sunscreen!

Please Leave a Comment!

Of the 5 types of skin, which type are you? What type of exfoliant do you use on your skin. How does your skin respond to it?

Disclaimer: If you have any concerns or questions about your health, you should always consult with a physician or other healthcare professional. No content on this site should be substituted for direct medical advice from your doctor or another qualified healthcare practitioner. The information contained here is for informational purposes only. It is from my research and personal experience.

4 thoughts on “Exfoliating and Skin Care”

  1. Exfoliation at home is the new norm. During this pandemic I started doing it. And now that mostly everything is open, I decided to keep on doing it at home. It is very important to know our type of skin. But I admit that this can be a bit tricky because in my case I have a combination (so you must be careful).

    • Hi Ann, thanks for stopping by with a comment. I can imagine that combination skin would be the type to be the most careful with. In reality, you must know whatever your skin type is or you could do damage anyway. Covid has definitely made many new norms. We, of necessity, have had to become more independent in our self care. 

  2. Thank you very much for this informative content.

    I have oily skin and I realize that it should be exfoliated more often than any other skin type. I want to know if I can exfoliate my face with a sponge or a brush and the same products that are recommended?

    • Hi Dave thanks for stopping by with a comment. As mentioned in the post, sebum helps protect and moisturize your skin. It is when you have it in excess, and your skin becomes prone to acne, that it is helpful to exfoliate and clean your skin.


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