Someone on Instagram once said, “Filters are great, but great skin is better!” We have always emphasised that when you take good care of your skin, it shows. And while we remain ardent advocates of the CTM (cleanse, tone and moisturise) routine, your skin needs a little more than that to stay glowy and healthy. Enter: Exfoliation.

While exfoliation is not a new concept, many of us still don’t seem to get it right or skip it altogether. To understand the benefits of exfoliation and how to do it right, we got in touch with Hinaa Khan, Head of Education, Dermalogica India, to help us put together a detailed expert guide on how to exfoliate the skin the right way. Check it out.


What is exfoliation, and how does it benefit you?

What is exfoliation, and how does it benefit you?

Every few days, your skin sheds dead skin to make way for new ones. This dead skin remains on your skin surface and leads to issues like clogged pores, dry patches, white flakes and breakouts.

To avoid all these, you must exfoliate your skin 2-3 times a week. It helps get rid of the dead skin cells, make your skin even and smooth, unclogs the pores, stimulates collagen production and reduces fine lines as well.


How to exfoliate face: Step-by-step guide

How to exfoliate face: Step-by-step guide

Before you begin, it’s best to exfoliate your skin at night to avoid sun exposure on a fresh layer of skin achieved after exfoliation. Now that we’ve got that out of the way, here’s a step-by-step guide to exfoliating the skin —

Step 1: Pick an exfoliator that doesn’t contain abrasive particles and is gentle on the skin. Our go-to is the Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant. This exfoliator is gentle on your skin and removes all the surface debris from your face to give you an even skin tone. The rice bran extracts, liquorice, grapefruit, papain enzymes, and salicylic acid works towards brightening your skin and dissolving excess skin cells.

Step 2: Apply the scrub with dry fingertips to a clean face, carefully avoiding the area near your eyes. Hinaa suggests cleaning your skin thoroughly before exfoliating to get the best results.

Step 3: Now, wet your fingertips and massage the scrub around your face in a circular motion for a few minutes. Hinaa advises against rubbing the exfoliant too vigorously on your skin as it can cause irritation and stinging feelings on your skin.

Step 4: Once done, it’s time to wash your face with lukewarm water.

Step 5: Follow this up by spritzing a toner to tighten the pores and slathering on a lightweight moisturiser to seal the moisture in.



Things to keep in mind while you are at it

Things to keep in mind while you are at it

One of the biggest mistakes we make while scrubbing is over-exfoliating our skin. This can lead to skin hypersensitivity and can cause serious damage to the skin. Hinaa has listed down a few things to keep in mind while you are exfoliating your skin.


  • The 72 hours rule: Make sure you don’t exfoliate after bleaching or after using face wax, facial treatment or threading for at least 72 hours as your skin is very sensitive at that time.


  • Night magic: It is best to exfoliate your skin at night. This helps avoid sun exposure on the fresh layer of skin that you achieve after exfoliation.


  • Never exfoliate irritated skin: Avoid exfoliating your skin if you have developed irritation, sensitivity, sunburn, pustular or active acne or broken skin. It is best to let the skin recover and then restart exfoliation.


  • Avoid after having a skin treatment done: Make sure you don’t exfoliate your skin after undergoing skin treatments like chemical peels, microdermabrasion, laser or any other resurfacing treatments until your skin has recovered and healed properly. Also, avoid scrubbing if you are using medically prescribed exfoliating creams, gels etc.


  • Sun sensitivity: Make sure you take a gap of seven days before and after a sunny beach holiday to exfoliate your skin as there might be sun damage on your skin that might get aggravated due to scrubbing. Also, make sure you use sunscreen daily to protect your skin from harmful sun rays.


  • Read the label: We often ignore it, but it is actually pretty helpful to follow directions of use written on the products that we use thoroughly to maximise your exfoliating experience.