How to Properly Exfoliate Your Skin

Listen up, girl!! We’re here to educate you on how to SAFELY exfoliate to get rid of those annoying dry patches on your skin. Dry skin almost always pops up when the weather starts to change. It’s essential to know how to properly exfoliate to get rid of those dead skin cells from the outer layer of your skin. Exfoliation can make your skin brighter, cleaner, and allow your products to stay on your face even longer! PSA: if done incorrectly, it can harm the skin…

Before we start, it’s important to know your skin type in order to cater an exfoliation process that best suited for you. Which one are you? 

  • Sensitive skin: may sting or burn when using products
  • Normal skin: is clear and not sensitive
  • Dry skin: is flaky, itchy or rough
  • Oily skin: is shiny and greasy
  • Combination skin: is dry in some areas and oily in others

skin types

Dermatologists from the American Academy of Dermatology recommend the following tips:

1. List out the skincare ingredients you use on a daily basis

Some medications and even over-the-counter products may cause your skin to be more sensitive or peel, such as prescription retinoid creams or products containing retinol or benzoyl peroxide. Exfoliating while using these products may worsen dry skin or even cause acne breakouts.

2. Select an exfoliation method that suits your skin type

Those with dry, sensitive or acne-prone skin may prefer just a washcloth and a mild chemical exfoliator, as mechanical exfoliation (using tools, brushes, or sponges) may be too irritating for this skin type. 

Those with oily, thicker skin may want to use stronger chemical treatments or mechanical exfoliation. However, avoid strong chemical or mechanical exfoliation if you have a darker skin tone or notice dark spots on your skin after burns, bug bites or acne breakouts. For some people, especially those with darker skin tones, more aggressive forms of exfoliation may result in dark spots on the skin.

3. Go slow, and be gentle to your skin

If you use a scrub or chemical exfoliator, apply the product gently using small, circular motions. Do this for about 30 seconds, and then rinse off with lukewarm – not hot – water. If you use a brush or sponge, use short light strokes. Never exfoliate if you have open cuts or wounds or if your skin is sunburned.

4. Use a moisturizer after exfoliation

Repetitive exfoliating can be drying to the skin. Apply moisturizer immediately after exfoliating to keep your skin healthy, hydrated and plump!

5. Exfoliate 1-2 times per week

How often you exfoliate depends on your skin type and exfoliation method. Generally, the more aggressive the exfoliation, the less often it needs to be done. Be careful not to over-exfoliate, as this could lead to skin that is red and irritated. 



Dr. Ben Johnson, founder of Osmosis Pur Medical Skincare said "by over exfoliating, you're actually removing the only protective barrier that your skin has. If you remove the barrier, then your skin is exposed to environmental toxins. So the key is to use products that encourage a natural cell turnover and keep skin hydrated."

Honey and Sugar

Honey has humectant qualities, which help attract moisture. Sugar cane is a natural source of glycolic acid, another alpha hydroxy that can boost new skin cell production as well as smooth and soften the skin. Mix a half-cup of white or brown sugar with enough honey to make a paste and apply to face in a circular motion. Let sit for 10 minutes and wash away with warm water.

Lemon Juice and Sugar

Lemon juice is another natural alpha hydroxy acid that removes dead skin cells. Mix one-quarter-cup each of lemon juice, apple juice, grape juice, and cane sugar until sugar dissolves. Then apply the mixture to your face with a cotton pad, and leave it on for 10 minutes before rinsing off.


Papaya contains the enzyme papain, which dissolves dead skin cells. Papain may also heal skin and cause fine lines and age spots to lighten. Papain is most potent in young fruit, so select green papayas. Mash the fruit into a smooth paste and apply to face, leaving on for 15 minutes before rinsing with warm water.