August 29, 2022 5 min read

Exfoliating Powders: What Are They And How To Use Them

Are you an exfoliating fanatic who is looking to switch things a little when it comes to the type of exfoliating products and tools that you use? Herein, we dig deep into exfoliating powders, what they are, and the best way to use them.

Exfoliation has earned its seat at the skin care table because of its many benefits. Skincare enthusiasts often will advise on the need to include exfoliation in any skin care regimen. The skin care market is one of the most sophisticated business ventures because nowadays, everyone is obsessed with the idea of clear, acne-free glowing skin. There are many exfoliating products, from scrubs and wipes to exfoliating powders. If one lacks proper knowledge of each exfoliating product, one may ruin their skin’s barrier.

Defining Exfoliating Powders

Exfoliating powders have grown to be a cult favorite for skin care enthusiasts because of their non-abrasive texture and many other benefits. Like oil-based makeup removal products, the invention of exfoliating powders shook things up in the skincare world. Ahmad & Khan (2020) noted that exfoliating powders, also known as cleansing powders, contain natural ingredients such as oats, rice, adzuki beans, and bran. These ingredients are ground into fine particles that have a non-abrasive effect when used on the skin. One thing about exfoliating powders is that they are customizable to fit your preferred texture, meaning that you can also make your exfoliating powder using your preferred ingredients.

Exfoliating powders are the go-to exfoliators for most people because they are naturally occurring; therefore, the chances of skin irritation are reduced to a minimum. They are also the most prevalent exfoliants because, besides lasting longer, they have been around the block since time immemorial. The only difference between traditional and current exfoliation powders is that traditional exfoliants contain abrasive ingredients that strip away their protective barrier. To reap the full benefits of your exfoliating powder, North (2012) recommended adding water or your preferred liquid-like rose water to your pea-sized amount of powder.

When you mix an exfoliating powder with water, it forms a smooth paste that leaves your skin feeling smooth and velvety after getting rid of all the impurities that may have accumulated on your skin throughout the day. An added benefit of exfoliating powders is that the ball is on your court. Add whatever amount of liquid to your powder, depending on your skin type and how your skin feels. The less water you use, the more texture you will feel; the more water you use, the less texture you will feel.

How To Use An Exfoliating Powder

Using an exfoliating powder is not rocket science because all you need is water or any other liquid of your choice to form a smooth paste. Below are steps on how to use your exfoliating powder.

Scoop Your Exfoliating Powder

To start, scoop your preferred amount of exfoliating powder from its packaging. If your exfoliating powder does not have a scooping tool, you should use a wooden spoon; bare hands are not recommended. Also, ensure your hands are dry before using your exfoliating powder. Wet hands may clog the powder and make its packaging sticky. You must seal your powder after use to prevent your powder from being blown away.

Add Water

After scooping your exfoliating powder, you can opt to put it on your hand or in a dish for easier application. Add tiny bits of water while stirring the mixture until you find the right consistency. Once the consistency is right, rub a tiny bit on your hand to check if it is too abrasive. If not, you are good to go.

Apply On The Face

If the paste is on your hands, gently rub your hands to allow the paste to lather. After that, smooth the paste all over your face and neck in gentle circular motions while avoiding delicate areas like the eyes. Leave the mixture on for less than five minutes, rinse with warm water and then pat dry with a clean towel.

Get creative With Your Exfoliating Powder

When it comes to skincare, you are advised to go with what works for you. If you feel too lazy to use your exfoliating powder thrice a week, you can add a pea-sized amount to your cleanser so that you reap the benefits of your exfoliator every time you wash your face. If not, you can choose to use your exfoliating powder as a face mask. An advantage of face masks is that you can add an ingredient of your choice as long as it corresponds with your skin. According to Wolfe (2009), skincare enthusiasts always recommend using honey after using your exfoliating powder because honey has a calming effect on the skin and prevents sunburns. You can also mix your exfoliating powder with plain yogurt, papaya, or avocado for added nourishment.

Exfoliants You Can Pair With Powder Exfoliants

If you are considering pairing your exfoliating powder with other exfoliants, say chemical exfoliants or a physical exfoliant, there are many options for you to choose from. Pairing two exfoliators can be equated to hitting two birds with one stone because aside from your skin benefitting from double exfoliation, you also get to combine two different products with different ingredients to improve your radiance skin. However, there is a catch when combining two exfoliants. You should check on your skin type. Jin & Laopanupong (2021) commented that if you suffer from severe to mild acne, you should not use abrasive exfoliants on the skin because they will worsen your acne. In essence, do not pair two physical exfoliants.

The Bottom Line

Exfoliating, a skincare routine that has been around since the Ayurveda skin care era, is using chemical or physical products to get rid of the dead cells on the skin's surface. Recently, skincare brands have flooded the skincare market with many exfoliating products, from exfoliating wipes and masks to facial peels. Skincare enthusiasts excite exfoliation because of its numerous benefits, boosting youthfulness and skin clarity. Exfoliating powders deserve the hype they have been getting from various skin care gurus because they are made organically. Therefore the chance of skin irritation is minimal. Using an exfoliating powder is simple; as outlined above, all you need is water, and you are good to go.


Ahmad, S., & Khan, I. (2020). Role Of Dietary Fibers And Their Preventive Measures Of Human Diet. In Functional Food Products And Sustainable Health (Pp. 109-130). Springer, Singapore.

Jin, C. Y., & Laopanupong, T. (2021). Protecting And Resolving Facial Skin From UV Rays And Air Pollution. Journal Of Clinical And Laboratory Research, 2(1).

North, B. C. (2012). Johannesburg, 2012 (Doctoral Dissertation, Faculty Of Engineering And The Built Environment, University Of The Witwatersrand, Johannesburg).

Wolfe, D. (2009). Superfoods: The Food And Medicine Of The Future. North Atlantic Books.