Exfoliation 101: How To Exfoliate Face For Different Skin Types

Scrub & Rub. If these two words are all you can recall when you think of exfoliation, you are in urgent need of a whole new lesson on exfoliation. We hear about exfoliation so many times and we know that it is an important skin care habit to keep in mind but are you really exfoliating properly, effectively and smartly?

First, let’s start by knowing what exfoliation is before learning about how to exfoliate. Exfoliation is the action of removing dead skin cells off from our skin. Then, how does dead skin cells form? Our skin’s epidermis has a structure of several layers of skin cells and these cells layer up to the surface of the skin and as it surfaces up, the cell layers change in its form. And the cell layer that was pushed up to the top is what we call it as the dead skin cells.

Well, thank god that our skin has natural ability to exfoliate so the skin cell layers repeat the process of surfacing up and the most outer layer of the cell falls off with our skin’s natural ability to exfoliate every 28 days. However, due to hormonal issues, stress, external factors such as food or environment, this natural exfoliating process is disturbed. When this occurs, dead skin cells builds up and if not exfoliated at the right timing, it blocks the pores causing skin irritation, patches on the skin, troubles, and of course can lead to the advent of acne. Since we are so prone to external factors, many lose its’ natural ability to exfoliate and that is why exfoliation is emphasized.

Key to Exfoliation
– Water, fruits, and a nice amount of sleep will help to enhance natural exfoliating ability
– Open up the pores using warm towel before exfoliating
– Regardless of your skin type, exfoliate without irritating your skin
– Concentrate on moisturization after exfoliating
– Never forget to apply sunscreen after exfoliation

Different Types of Exfoliation
Now that we know what exfoliation is, it’s time to find out about different ways to exfoliate. There are many different kinds of exfoliating products that you can have hands on but, make sure you get hands on the exfoliating products that will work best for your skin type. After all, we have to know that exfoliation is removing a layer of your skin so, no matter how much you go gentle, it will still give pressure or stimulation on your skin.

  • Scrub
    Recommended for: Normal & Oily Skin
    This would the most common type of exfoliation that we all know. Scrub products will have particles of different ingredients from sugar, salt, rice, nutshell, micro beads and etc and these particles blended in with other moisturizing ingredients will push away the dead skin cells off from your face. The ingredient of the scrub varies but make sure to choose a scrub product that has a rich hydrating factor and natural based ingredient with low irritation. Since it’s the actual physical particles that exfoliate your skin, we recommend it for normal skin types or oily skin types rather than sensitive skin types.
  • AHA / BHA
    Recommended for: Acne Prone Skin
    While Scrub products exfoliate our skin physically, AHA/BHA ingredient will be a chemical way to exfoliate your skin. The difference between AHA and BHA would be the solubility. AHA is a water soluble ingredient which is a great ingredient to exfoliate the outer surface of your skin and is rich in hydration. On the other hand, BHA is an oil-soluble ingredient that penetrates deep into your skin into the pores so that it exfoliates the impurities in the pores by melting away sebum and dead skin cells. And since it has a mild anti-bacterial effect, it is a great ingredient for acne prone skin types.
  • Peeling Gel
    Recommended for: Dry Skin
    As the name itself implies, it is a gel type exfoliating product that removes dead skin cells as it melts them away. If is more moisturizing compared to other exfoliating products so it will be great especially for dry skin types. How it works is simple: You would gently massage the gel all over your face and then as the gel warms up on your face, it pushes out dead skin cells and impurities. Since it does not usually include particles, it is also a great way to exfoliate for sensitive skin types as well.
  • Wash Off Type Mask
    Recommended for: All Skin
    Wash off type mask is one of the favorable ways to exfoliate among many beauty gurus because of its multi-effect. You can not only have the effect that the mask can give you but also enjoy exfoliating at the same time. There are different wash- off masks out there with different functions and effects. The mask can work as a means to soak dead skin cells to make it easier to remove them or it can absorb dead skin cells through the mask so that when you wash off with lukewarm water, they can be removed.
  • Exfoliating Foam Cleanser
    Recommended for: Sensitive Skin
    The last type of exfoliation would be to exfoliate with a foam cleanser. And yes, sensitive skin types love this way since it would minimize the possibility of irritating your skin as long as you find a mild and gentle foaming cleanser with exfoliating factors. Even if you don’t have sensitive skin, but on days when your skin feels sensitive but still have to exfoliate, this would be the perfect way to only cleanse off impurities and remove makeup but also exfoliate!

Product Recommendation according to Different Skin Types
Now that we have looked into different types of exfoliating products, here are some product recommendations and how to exfoliate tips that will totally change your thought on exfoliation and effectively remove dead skin cells off from your face.

Sensitive Skin


This low pH foaming cleanser contains citric acid that will not only mildly cleanse sensitive skin but also help with gentle exfoliation. The foam type makes it so much less irritating for sensitive skin types to roll and massage all over the face.


If you want to avoid any physical exfoliation, using a mild vitamin serum on your serum step would be a great way to exfoliate your skin without irritation. Add the vitamin serum at your night routine on the serum step and make sure to cleanse your face the next morning. This will naturally remove dead skin cells and impurities. Just make sure to avoid using a scrub product if you decided to use a vitamin serum.


Acne Prone Skin


As we have mentioned above, try using a chemical way to exfoliate your skin if you are suffering from acne. AHA and BHA will not only help target both the outer layer of the skin but also penetrate deep into the pore level to remove all the impurities without irritating your skin. Using an AHA/BHA toner with great oil-water balance would be the easy way to help you with exfoliation


Normal / Combination Skin


We can be a bit bolder now for normal or combination skin types. Using the gentle black sugar facial polish which used black sugar particles, removes dead skin cells without losing moisture. With gentle rolling motions, massage all over your face for 3 minutes and rinse off with water, you’ll feel your skin refreshed and hydrated.


Another vitamin serum product to exfoliate! Vitamin C is a great ingredient not only to brighten skin tone and remove acne marks but also a great ingredient to soak dead skin cells and remove them so don’t be afraid to use vitamin c serum to aid your exfoliation. 3-4 drops of the serum will do the magic!


Dry Skin


Gel sounds hydrating compared to any other exfoliating products right? With the natural ingredients extracted from plants, the [SKINMISO] Real Clean Peeling Gel will help with removing dead skin cells without irritation but also add the effect of improving skin tone by managing pores!


Oily Skin


For oily skin, you would want to avoid adding too many products into your skincare routine. Using a wash off type volcanic mask as a chance to exfoliate would be the great way to not only enjoy pore tightening and sebum control but also removing dead skin cells as you wash it off.


The ingredient Ginseng might sound a little odd for some of you. However, it is a great ingredient for not only anti-aging and improving skin elasticity but also has a significant warming factor that will help to soak and warm up the dead skin cells making it easier to remove them as you cleanse the mask off.