The Right Way to Exfoliate Your Face

There are two types of exfoliants – physical and chemical. You would know the physical exfoliants as the exfoliating beads and facial scrubs. Then there are the exfoliants that work on the layer below the external skin one. These are chemical exfoliants. Glycolic acid or salicylic acid, usually found in cleansers and face masks.

Both clear away dead skin cells and encourage cell renewal. But the chemical exfoliants work on a deeper level and are gentler to our skin. As we age (from about the age of 35), we need to take a gentle approach to our skin and avoid pulling, tugging and scrubbing our skin.

Gentle chemical exfoliation a few times a week is beneficial but we need to also make sure we aren’t overdoing it. Otherwise we can cause trauma to our skin and make the skin thin and worn out. We don’t want that either.

If you really like the feeling of a facial scrub, then please make sure the product you use is has perfectly round, not irregularly shaped and course granules, super small in size and that you massage it super gently on the face.

Under 35
If you’re under 35 then 2-3 gentle exfoliations per week is ideal. This will gently get rid of the top layer of dead skin cells and allow your skincare products to penetrate effectively.

Over 35
If you’re over 35, then 3-4 exfoliations per week is good, plus once a month in-clinic microdermabrasion treatment or chemical peel. This is fine because once you hit 35, the collagen production decreases slowly and the rate at which the skin cells reproduce significantly slows down so they need a booster. 

Go super light on your cheeks or don’t exfoliate your cheeks at all

Unless you have wrinkles on your cheeks (which most people don’t), your cheeks are one the area of your face that doesn’t need to be exfoliated. Most of us really only need our T-zones exfoliated – forehead, nose and chin. So the next time you apply the exfoliant to your face, start with the nose or forehead rather than the cheeks, and do a light sweep of the cheeks to finish.

Examples of exfoliants that fit the criteria:

  • Skinceuticals Glycolic 10 Renew Overnight
  • Dermatologica Daily Resurfacer
  • Societe AHA Exfoliating Cleanser
  • Olay Regenerist Night Resurfacing Elixir Resurfacer
  • Murad AHA/BHA Exfoliating Cleanser
  • Alpha-H Liquid Gold

Our favourite: Skinceuticals Glycolic 10 Renew Overnight

For more information, get in touch with Melbourne’s experts in skin treatment and cosmetic dentistry.

Would you like some assistance with your next skin care purchase? We are here to help. Simply call us on 9088 1118 to ask your skin question or email us with a photo of your face at

Alternatively we invite to book for a consultation with our medical clinician 🙂

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