How to add exfoliation to your routine

One of the things you will hear me preach about is EXFOLIATION!

So, is exfoliating good for your face?? Absolutely 100% YES!

As we age it takes longer for the dead skin cells to slough off naturally; by age 30-40 it takes about 30 days to say goodbye to dead skin cells if we leave it to nature compared to about 2 days for toddlers. 

I cannot express the importance of exfoliating your skin a few times weekly. And yes, even with sensitive skin. It’s true. You can exfoliate too much, but keep reading for some tips and tricks and know-how. Once you've mastered the 3-most important ingredients in your skincare routine you can add in exfoliation. 

Ultimately, how often you’ll exfoliate depends on which exfoliating product you use, your skin type, and the other ingredients/products you’re using. 

If you don’t know your skin type, take the FREE skincare matchmaker quiz to instantly receive a complete skicnare routine for your skin type! AKA the secret to healthy, radiant skin

Why should you exfoliate?

Exfoliation helps slough off dead skin cells and makes way for new, healthier layers of skin. It’s an active part of brightening the skin, evening the skin tone and texture, and making your skin feel like a perfectly prepared canvas!

Have dry skin and ever felt like there’s just not enough moisturizer? Many times the issue is the dead skin cells need to go so the moisturizer can do its thing.

The Different Types of Exfoliation

Are there different types of exfoliators?

The simple answer is yes.

Digging deeper into this, there are chemical exfoliators and physical exfoliators. 

Chemical exfoliators have active ingredients like AHAs and BHAs that are going to chemically remove dead skin cells. Some examples of AHAs are glycolic acid and lactic acid. Salicylic acid is a great example of a BHA.

Physical exfoliators are gritty in texture. Think of the consistency of the sand close to the water at the beach. 

Some skincare products are both types of exfoliators. Check out the back of the product to see if there are active ingredients, which will indicate if it’s a chemical exfoliator or not. 

Here are a few categories of exfoliating products:

  • Liquid toner with chemical exfoliants
  • Toning pad with chemical exfoliants + textured pad for physical exfoliation
  • Exfoliating cleansers - liquid cleanser that has a subtle texture and/or chemical exfoliants
  • Exfoliators- these are thick and gritty and may have chemical exfoliants in them as well

Prefer to watch? Here are different types of exfoliators and here’s how to choose an exfoliator.

How often should you exfoliate?

Always follow the directions on the exact product you’re using!

Generally introduce exfoliation into your routine 1-3+ times weekly based on your skin type and the other products you’re using. 

This should always be done after cleansing your skin either in the morning or at night and always follow up with your moisturizer to protect your skin barrier!

Oily skin can tolerate stronger exfoliation and more often. I’m talking multiple times a week. It’s often necessary, in my opinion, especially if you have oily skin like me. 

I usually recommend using an exfoliating cleanser or physical exfoliator if you’re in the shower. 

Exfoliating outside the shower? Try a toning pad or peel pad.

How it works

Start your day with a Daily Toning Pad (use once a day or every other day). If you’re wondering why? It does a little bit of everything to help prevent AND treat breakouts and discoloration, plus improve texture!
I also recommend using Brightening Peel Pads once a week in place of your retinoid in your PM routine… to add some oomph. Hello, brightening and reversing discoloration! These pads are wonderful for all skin types and even have ingredients to decrease redness.

Start slowly then increase use as tolerated. It’s never wrong to simply cleanse and moisturize and skip steps with active ingredients.

My Favorite Exfoliators

There’s an exfoliator out there for you! I have plenty of great recommendations for you.

Free Resource Guides
Free Resource Guides

Free Resource Guides

SBS Daily Toning Pads
SBS Daily Toning Pads
SBS Daily Toning Pads
SBS Daily Toning Pads
SBS Daily Toning Pads
SBS Daily Toning Pads

SBS Daily Toning Pads

SBS Weekly Brightening Peel Pads
SBS Weekly Brightening Peel Pads
SBS Weekly Brightening Peel Pads
SBS Weekly Brightening Peel Pads

SBS Weekly Brightening Peel Pads

Obagi 360 Exfoliating Cleanser
Obagi 360 Exfoliating Cleanser

Obagi 360 Exfoliating Cleanser


While some products can be easily replicated at the drugstore, exfoliators aren’t one of those. There is one option I do think is quality. For a physical exfoliator to add to your routine 1-3 times weekly try the: Neutrogena Bright Boost Resurfacing Facial Exfoliator.

For a more in depth understanding watch an overview on exfoliators

If you’ve made it this far you’ve found the answer to “Is exfoliating good for your skin?" Exfoliate consistently and you will start to see more radiant skin over time as you say bye to those dead skin cells! 

Pro Tip: You can also always schedule an appointment with your local esthetician to step up exfoliation in the form of dermaplaning, microdermabrasion, and chemical peels! The chemical exfoliators in at-home toners and in-office peels are the same but have different percentages of the active ingredients.

If you have other questions about with your skin I would LOVE to help you. Consider me your personal skincare consultant. You can schedule an appointment with me online to get started!

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