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Get Rid of Dirt, Dead Skin Cells and Other Debris on Your Face! The Importance of Exfoliating Your Skin!

Updated on March 24, 2011

So you want to join the millions of people that exfoliate their skin…welcome to the club! You have made a wise decision! Though the words exfoliating, exfoliant and exfoliation do sound intimidating, don't worry…the entire process is, in fact, quick and easy (especially if you use the right skin care products). So why should exfoliating become an important part of your skin care regimen? I'm glad you asked! Allow me to explain…..

Get rid of those dead skin cells!
Get rid of those dead skin cells!

What Does it Mean to Exfoliate Your Skin?

So when you exfoliate what exactly are you doing and why is it so good for the health of your skin? Exfoliation is a quick and effective beauty technique. In a nutshell, over time (in fact, in a matter of days) your skin accumulates dead skin cells along with other debris. As the dead skin cells build up, your skin begins to appear dull and fatigued. This is a bad thing! When you exfoliate your skin you remove the waste which allows your skin to return to its fresh, natural state. After a good exfoliation, your skin will feel fresh and smooth to the touch (some people actually claim that their skin glows!).

How to Properly Exfoliate

Though it is tempting to "overdo it"…too much exfoliating can actually harm your skin. It is very important that when you exfoliate you are extremely gentle as a rough hand can leave your skin red and irritated (and this is NOT the look you are trying to achieve!).  GENTLE is key! If you do happen to over exfoliate simply dip a washcloth in some aloe vera gel and apply to the damaged areas. Doing this will soothe the area and reduce any inflammation and redness. If you do not have any aloe on hand…you can use chamomile tea. Chamomile tea will also soothe your aggravated skin (who knew!?).

The best time to exfoliate your skin is either in the morning or evening. Why? Well, most people wash their face (with a good facial cleanser) when they first wake up in the morning or before they go to bed at night. It is best to exfoliate after you cleanse your skin. It is important that you use skin care products that are specifically designed for the task at hand. There are COMBINED products on the market that will, in fact, cleanse and exfoliate at the same time; however, it is up to you to determine what works best for your skin type. 


Clay scrubs are gentle on skin!
Clay scrubs are gentle on skin!

Exfoliant Scrubs

There are MANY different types of exfoliant scrubs on the market today. Don't believe me? All you have to do is take a walk down the skin care aisle at your local drug store and see for yourself! With so many scrubs to choose from…how do you know which will work best for you? Honestly, you won't know until you try the product…however, I can tell you what is best and what to avoid when it comes to exfoliant scrubs! The good news is that when you do find the perfect exfoliant…your search will be over and you will be on your way to fresh, beautiful skin!

Most, if not all exfoliant scrubs feel grainy. This is because they contain ingredients designed to massage away all of the lovely dead skin cell matter and other debris that is on your face. Most exfoliating scrubs contain ingredients such as ground nutshells, clay, oatmeal, cornmeal, and even polyurethane or silicone beads. I must warn you that ground nutshells can be too rough on your skin and can actually cause tiny tears and scrapes on the surface of your skin. These tiny wounds can cause extreme redness and irritation so be VERY careful if you choose to use a product that contains ground shells. You might want to play it safe and avoid ground nutshells all together. Scrubs that contain polyurethane or silicone beads are wonderful as the beads roll smoothly onto your skin and are extremely gentle as they cleanse. Cornmeal, clay and oatmeal scrubs are also gentle and highly recommended.

Men remove SOME dead skin cells when they shave!
Men remove SOME dead skin cells when they shave!

The Process of Exfoliating

When you exfoliate the skin on your face you need only a small amount of scrub (a little goes a long way, people!). Using the tips of your fingers, apply the scrub to your face and neck. Using a circular motion, rub the scrub on all areas (including your lips…if you wish!). Be careful NOT to get any of the scrub in your eyes!  It is important to note that you do NOT need to apply a lot of pressure!!!! Simply let the scrub do its job…your fingers are only needed to apply the product! Leave the scrub on as long as the directions indicate and then rinse clean (be sure to remove all traces!). Once this is done…don't forget to apply a good toner and facial moisturizer!

As for the men out there who may be reading this HUB and are also interested in exfoliating (good for you!). Did you know that every time a man shaves he is actually exfoliating?! Though this is true…it is still important that an exfoliating scrub be used on the areas that are not shaved. Men…just like women have dead skin cells and other waste products on their faces as well. Kiehl's Milk, Honey and Almond Scrub is a wonderful product for both men and women!

So there you have it….the exfoliating basics! If you have not implemented a daily skin care routine into your life…it is never too late to start! After all, taking care of your skin is extremely important and the sooner you get started…the better!  Getting rid of dead skin cells and other debris is one way of keeping your skin healthy and fresh…which makes exfoliating an important part of skin care. Good luck and here's to plump, young, beautiful skin!

If you want to start exfoliating your skin you may wish to consider trying these great exfoliating products:

  • L'Oreal Plenitude Gentle Exfoliating Cream
  • Astara Daily Refining Scrub (great for sensitive skin)
  • Prescriptives Purifying Scrub
  • Clinique Face Buffing Cream

If you have a few moments to spare…please check out my other Skin Care Related HUB Pages! Thanks!

How to Lighten and Eliminate Age Spots

Cindy Crawford Recommends Meaningful Beauty Skin Care Products

Obagi – Skin Care Products that Work!

The Sun is BAD for Your Skin – Use a Self Tanner or Bronzer Instead!

What to Expect When You Get a Facial

Facial Skin Cleansers – An Important Part of Your Daily Skin Care Routine!




Take Care of Your Skin!
Take Care of Your Skin!


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    • Copperleaf profile image

      Amy 2 years ago from Lakewood Colorado

      Exfoliating will also stimulate your cell turn over rate in the basal layer of skin. A routine of exfoliation will help to remove UV damage in the skin as well as give it a younger appearance.

    • profile image

      Tori 5 years ago

      Wow you look wow I want skin like that seriously.

    • festersporling1 profile image

      Daniel Christian 8 years ago from Los Angeles, CA

      Sound advice. Got to keep those pores clean. :)