How often should I exfoliate?


First you need to understand why exfoliating your face matters.  There are 2 layers to the skin. The top layer, is made up of dead skin cells and the layer under that actually has 2 layers to it- one has hair roots in it and that last layer has brand new skin cells along with sensory nerves. 

That top layer of dead skin cells is what you're exfoliating off allowing that last layer with brand new skin cells to come to the surface and make you look great! I should also mention that all those products you use on your face penetrate a freshly exfoliated face way better than on someone who isn't exfoliating very much at all. 

Exfoliate too often and you're exposing those brand new cells too soon which will result in pigment spots, dry skin, and possibly some redness from irritation.  Take too long to exfoliate, or worse, never exfoliate and you'll end up with milia (hard oil deposits that look like hard white bumps), acne and/or what I refer to as "leathery skin". 

How often you should exfoliate depends on your age and skin type.  Babies have a very fast cell turnover, which makes sense because they are growing. Teenagers, still have a quick turnover rate  so they don't need to exfoliate too often, but they do need to keep their skin clean. 

  1. Age 18-30 Exfoliate 1 a week or once every other week
  2. Age 30-40 Exfoliate 1 a week
  3. Age 40-50 Exfoliate 2 x a week and (possibly) add a retinol cream if you have pigmentation 
  4. Age 50+ Exfoliate 2 x week and (possibly) add a retinol cream

Of course this is just a guide and isn't set in stone, you'll have to try it and see what works best for you.  My many years of being an esthetician has taught me that most people fall on one end of the spectrum, either over exfoliating or under exfoliating.  Skincare isn't just about sanding off old skin, what you're doing after counts just as much.  I'll definitely talk more about that on this blog.  

If you liked this post, share it with a friend or with someone who really needs to exfoliate lol.  If you have any questions or comments, leave it below.