How Often Should You Exfoliate?

We’ve all heard it before; the key to beautiful skin is great exfoliation. But how much of this is true and how much is hearsay? Your skin automatically sheds dead skin cells on a daily basis, so do you really need to exfoliate? Here’s everything you need to know.

The Structure Of Your Skin

Your skin has basic requirements that need to be satisfied in order to do its job. It needs blood supply to bring nutrients and oxygen to your cells and to remove waste. It also needs nerve fibers to convey sensory information and endothelial cells to protect against infection and to guard your immune system. Together, all of these cells and fibers make up your epidermis.

What makes your skin unique is that it’s continually renewed by the production of new cells in the basal layer. As the basal layer renews, the old cells flake off from the surface of the skin.  Every month, this renewal process is completed, meaning that the outer layers of your epidermis are replaced a thousand times over the course of your lifetime. What this means is that the top layers of your skin are constantly in the process of renewing and discarding all over your body.

In fact, you can expect between 30,000 and 40,000 skin cells to fall off every hour; that’s almost a million skin cells over a 24-hour period!

What Is Skin Exfoliation?

Skin exfoliation helps to slough away the dead skin cells more quickly, so you can reveal the brighter, radiant, and healthy-looking skin underneath. Exfoliation is a way to rejuvenate your skin and clear your pores of dirt and oils. By adding exfoliation to your regular beauty routine, you can help your skin feel smoother and look fresher all year long.

The process of exfoliation is especially important as you get older. When you’re younger, your skin renews about every 25 days. After 30 years of age, that process slows down, resulting in a duller complexion. Exfoliation can also be more important during the winter months when you get less sun and moisture is hard to hold onto.

There are two main types of exfoliation: mechanical and chemical.

  • Mechanical Exfoliation is the process of removing dead skin cells through motion. Examples include microdermabrasion, scrubs, and lasers. This is not the best choice for sensitive skin or individuals prone to redness or broken capillaries.
  • Chemical Exfoliation is the process of using chemicals to aid in cell turnover. Typically, chemicals include different types of acids from alpha hydroxyl acids (AHAs) to beta hydroxyl acids (BHAs) to penetrate deep into pores and break down bonds between cells to encourage dead cells to detach.

Exfoliation and Your Skin Type

It’s important to note that not everyone should exfoliate in the same way or as often. Some skin types can handle exfoliation on a daily basis while someone with sensitive skin should only exfoliate once a week or less. Before you start exfoliating, make sure you understand your skin and what it needs. It’s best to consult a professional who can guide you on your proper regimen.

  • Oily Skin: Exfoliation is extremely beneficial for individuals with oily skin. Not only does the process help to remove dead skin cells, but it can also remove excess oil and help restore the natural balance of your skin. Also, in general, individuals with oily skin tend to have a thicker Epidermis layer so that they can handle more exfoliation.
  • Dry Skin: Dry skin should be exfoliated with gentle chemicals that carefully eat away at dead skin. You’ll want to avoid vigorous rubbing or mechanical exfoliation, which can make dry skin worse.
  • Combination Skin: If you have an oily t-zone but a dry forehead, then you’ll want to consider dual-action exfoliation that treats both skin types. Consider using gentle acids such as glycolic and salicylic acids to eliminate unwanted dry skin.
  • Sensitive Skin: Sensitive skin can be difficult to exfoliate. You’ll want to look for chemicals that are less likely to irritate your skin and lead to prolonged redness, burning, and other problems. You should avoid mechanical exfoliation.
  • Acne-Plagued Skin: If you’re prone to acne, avoid harsh physical scrubs that can spread bacteria and cause more breakouts. Instead look for products that focus on gentle exfoliation. You’ll also want to exfoliate no more than once a week.

Benefits Of Professional Exfoliation

When it comes to exfoliation, many people think, “I’ll just do it at home.” While it is safe to exfoliate at home, it does come with some risk. If you’re not careful, you can damage your skin by scrubbing too hard or using too harsh of chemicals.

The other problem with at-home exfoliation is that we tend to go overboard. Exfoliation is only good in moderation. Over-exfoliating can lead to skin thinning, more visible signs of aging, and redness, itchiness, and irritated skin. You also can’t reach the same level of exfoliation at home as you can experience when you have professional help.

Types of Professional Exfoliation

There are many types of exfoliation services available when you choose a professional to help you out instead of at home. Below are the most popular and common treatment options available.


Microdermabrasion is one of the most well-known skin exfoliation treatments. It’s a non-invasive treatment that removes the top layer of your skin while also promoting the production of new cells at the deepest level. In addition, you’ll discover cleaner pores and more balanced oil production.


An Ultrasonic facial uses a flat, non-toxic metal blade to deliver high-speed vibrations that rejuvenate your skin. It works in place of chemicals to gently and safely exfoliate your skin deep down. The result is clean and hydrated skin that looks radiant. Ideal for all skin types.

Chemical Peels

A chemical peel can reduce wrinkles, prevent signs of aging, and stimulate new cell production. It works by applying a chemical solution directly to your skin that’s been specifically tailored for you. Chemical peels can remove dead skin cells while also helping improve the appearance of adult acne, skin lesions, and brown spots.


Dermaplaning is an exfoliation treatment that uses a surgical blade to gently remove the outer layer of dead skin cells. In addition, it will also remove the fine facial hair we all hate that’s commonly known as “peach fuzz.” This treatment provides immediate, noticeable results such as a smoother skin texture and more vibrant appearance. When combined with a chemical peel, dermaplaning is a great way to ensure that the peel penetrates deeply and more evenly.


A laser treatment can renew your skin by enhancing collagen and elastin production while also removing dead skin. The result is a reduction in fine lines and wrinkles and a smooth, more youthful appearance. Lasers are also great for removing pigmentation caused by sun damage and aging.


A hydrafacial treatment uses technology to remove dead skin cells while also extracting impurities and cleansing new skin. This is a non-invasive exfoliation treatment suitable for all skin types.

To learn more about how exfoliation can help transform your dull skin into the radiant and beautiful skin you’ve always deserved, contact Novo Sano Medspa today.



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