Is Exfoliating Really Good for Your Skin and How Often Should You Do It?

 Is Exfoliating Really Good for Your Skin and How Often Should You Do It?

There are many ways that a person can take care of their skin that require a gentle hand and following proper protocol. Exfoliating your skin can be proactive to your skin’s health, but it can also be detrimental to your skin if you’re doing it too often or incorrectly.

The Benefits of Exfoliation

Exfoliating refers to the process of removing dead skin cells, dirt, and other debris from the surface of your skin using slightly abrasive devices or chemicals. These methods are called mechanical or chemical exfoliation. Commonly, these devices are brushes, sponges, or a scrubber, and the chemicals are usually hydroxy acids. They accomplish the same goal of removing dead skin from the surface of the skin, either by loosening or dissolving it. Exfoliation is good for your skin, and that is a fact. There are considerations one needs to make when attempting at-home exfoliators, but for many, it can be a way to rejuvenate your skin on your own.

Exfoliation, when a part of your skincare routine, can be a great way to clean your skin and prevent a number of common facial skincare issues. Dead skin and oils are often responsible for clogging pores, which in many cases leads to acne. Removing dead skin cells can clear pores and prevent outbreaks of mild acne. Other issues that exfoliating can help with include redness from rosacea and also dry skin. Exfoliating can be integral in an anti-aging skincare routine, as it can help encourage healthier growth. Clean skin is healthier skin all around.

The Risks of Exfoliation

Improper exfoliation can be a bad thing, as can excessive exfoliation. Exfoliating can be done by your dermatologist during facials or chemical peels, and these are very safe ways to exfoliate. Your dermatologist knows best when it comes to exfoliation, from your skin type to which devices, chemicals, and methods will work best for you. The main risks associated with exfoliating are doing it incorrectly or too often. There are many ways to exfoliate wrong, but the frequency problem is easier to sort out. Three times per week is the figure that most experts agree on. Any more, and you can do more harm than good to your skin. So it shouldn’t be a part of your nightly skincare routine, but roughly every other day or two is probably best. Your skin may be more sensitive to exfoliation than others, and if that’s the case, even three times might be too much. Pay attention to your skin, and notice the warning signs that you’re over-exfoliating! Too much, and you can damage the skin, allowing moisture to escape and dirt and other debris to come on in. This can cause dryness and inflammation, two things you’re trying to avoid.

Chemical exfoliants, depending on your skin, are usually a bit less abrasive than mechanical exfoliants, so if you’re using physical options and notice issues, maybe it’s time to try the chemical method. Exfoliating, much like the other components of a good skin care routine, requires some experimentation. Don’t lose hope if things don’t work right away. Be prepared to move on to the next option. The biggest mistake people make while exfoliating is being too rough on their skin. Whether you’re using chemical products and a washcloth or an exfoliating brush or other device, go easy on your skin! Too much pressure and you can cause irritation, break down your skin’s natural defenses, and cause all kinds of problems like dryness and redness. When in doubt, talk to your dermatologist. We’re happy to review your routine and offer pointers.


Exfoliating is good for your skin, but it’s not the easiest skincare tool to master. If you’re looking for exfoliation tips or are looking for a facial or chemical peel, look no further than the skincare gurus at Northeast Dermatology Associates.

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