Mistakes Everyone Makes When Exfoliating Their Face

If you are looking to get healthier, glowing skin, exfoliating is a must. Exfoliating removes some of the 30,000 dead skin cells you shed every minute from the surface of your skin (via Beautyblender). However, you have options. Exfoliating can be done using a physical or chemical exfoliator. Physical exfoliators come in the form of manual scrubs or sponges, whereas chemical exfoliators are often applied like a face mask and then wiped away.

Exfoliating can not only remove dead skin cells for an instant complexion boost but also help your other skincare products work more effectively and boost cell turnover (via ImageĀ Skincare). Other benefits of exfoliating include a smoother surface for makeup application, prevention of acne, and increased circulation. If not careful, though, exfoliation can cause more harm than good, so we should all approach this step in our routine with care and caution. Ultimately, mistakes are common when exfoliating, so it is important to practice exfoliating correctly to ensure optimal results and no skin damage.

Being too harsh to the skin

While it can be tempting to roughly shed all of the dead skin off your face, it can be extremely damaging. Perhaps the most common mistake made when exfoliating is being too harsh to your skin, whether by using harsh products or by scrubbing too intensely. Exfoliating too roughly can cause more negative effects than positive ones. For example, it can cause irritation, burning, peeling, and breakouts (via Healthline). It can also cause long-term damage to the capillaries on your skin's surface. It's ultimately best to let your exfoliators do their job and not try to do it for them.

Not exfoliating enough or over-exfoliating

On the topic of being too harsh to the skin, similar negative effects can be seen when you exfoliate too often. Celebrity skincare expert Renee Rouleau explains to Byrdie that it is optimal to exfoliate no more than two to three times per week. On the contrary, it is also common to not exfoliate enough. As you grow older, it becomes more important to exfoliate, as cell turnover slows. Some common signs you are not exfoliating enough include the need to use more products, your skin looking more dull, and your skin appearing drier than usual.

Not using both physical and chemical exfoliators

Many people think it is against the beauty rulebook to use both physical and chemical exfoliators when, in fact, it is optimal (via Skin Spa New York). As long as the formulation is gentle, all skin types can benefit from this combination rotation. While both types of exfoliators ultimately serve the same purpose, there are some specific benefits to both. Physical exfoliators can provide immediate results and chemical exfoliators can increase collagen production. Of course, it can be easy to overdo it. It's best to choose a day or two each week, with breaks in between, to perform each type of exfoliation.

Skipping out on moisturizer

It is important to remember to nourish your skin with moisturizer after each exfoliation treatment. Exfoliating removes most of the oils on the skin, leaving the skin dry and vulnerable (via Cleanlogic). It is important to rehydrate the skin using a nourishing moisturizer to add back to the skin that which we've stripped away. This is because exfoliation removes dry skin cells. Hydrating the new skin underneath will keep it healthy and is essential for making the results of your exfoliation last as long as possible.

Not cleansing before exfoliating

Many exfoliators are not meant to be used as a face wash. Dermatologist Dr. Rebecca Marcus tells theĀ Sunday Edit that exfoliators work best with a clean slate. If your skin isn't clean, it makes it harder for exfoliators to do their job. Anything sitting on top of the skin can prevent your exfoliator from really penetrating the pores and cleaning them out. Ensure that any makeup, dirt, and grime are removed from your face by cleansing before exfoliating.