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  • August 29, 2022 5 min read

    How Long Does Exfoliation Take To Work?

    Do you have a skincare routine that includes exfoliating, but you are yet to see the results? Read below as the article explains how long it takes before you see results from your exfoliation product.

    Investing in a skincare routine is a great way to boost your self-esteem because looking good makes you feel good. Also, many people believe caring for their skin is unnecessary and ignore it. Our faces are exposed to various elements during the day, including the sun, filth, and bacteria. As a result, making time in the morning and evening to pamper your skin is a great way to keep it healthy. Taking care of your skin includes cleaning, using a good moisturizer, exfoliating, and applying a generous amount of sunscreen to protect your face from harmful UV rays.

    What Is Exfoliation?

    Exfoliation is an important part of any skincare routine because it helps to get rid of dead cells on the outer surface of your skin. An exfoliant is important if you want smooth, glowing skin. Often when your skin fills with dead cells, it gives it a dull appearance which hinders its natural glow. However, there is much to what meets the eye; exfoliation is not just about getting rid of dead cells on the skin's surface. Rullan et al. (2020) explained that, before exfoliating your skin, you should consider your skin type to purchase products that suit your skin type. Using the wrong products can result in acne and worse situations; they can dehydrate your face.

    How Long Does It Take For Exfoliation To Work?

    There are two main exfoliation methods, physical and chemical. Mohiuddin (2019) explained that physical exfoliation involves sponges, loofahs, and brushes. In essence, physical exfoliation involves any product with abrasive content. Chemical exfoliation involves using alpha hydroxy and beta hydroxy acids, also known as AHA's and BHA's.

    Normally, all products that target skin conditions like eczema, hyperpigmentation, and acne take 6-12 weeks before seeing noticeable results. The skin renews itself every 28 days, but the full skin cycle takes an average of 6 weeks. Thus, the full skin cycle means rejuvenating the skin from the baby to the mature cells. When purchasing skin care products, it is advisable to monitor your skin for a month before deciding if the products are pro for your skin or against it. Any skin care routine you subject your face to at three months should be paying off. However, it depends on the skin type, the type of products, and your consistency. It is also vital to note that different products have different time frames. It means a cleanser may not work as fast as an exfoliator and vice versa.

    Bhadra (2020) explained that exfoliators are quite the stress because they may cause purging, the skin's reaction to an active ingredient in your skincare product that boosts the skin's cell turnover process. Normally, products like BHA's and AHA's are famous for causing extreme purging, which dies out after about 3 months of regular use. If you do not want to encounter purging, you may opt for a physical exfoliator, especially if your skin is sensitive. Also, to ensure that your skin gets accustomed to any exfoliator, you should use it once or twice a week; bombarding your skin with products may stress out your skin which often leads to acne breakouts.

    To know whether an exfoliant is perfect for your skin, you should see visible results in just about 3 weeks of religious use. To ensure that your face stays on track – reduced ace breakout and healthy-looking skin – you should maintain a routine and stick to it. Arora et al. (2020) explained that if your skin reacts to your exfoliator, dermatologists advise cutting back on the product and seeking professional help from a certified skin care expert or dermatologist. Most people switch out skin care products if they feel they are not paving the way to clear skin. Unfortunately, this can do more harm than good to your skin because you are subjecting it to various products, all of which have different ingredients that target different skin care conditions. It is why skin care pundits advise giving your skin and the products an average of 6 weeks before ascertaining whether your exfoliator is working.

    If you are purchasing your product from an online store, you should go through the ingredients found in your preferred product. If you are purchasing a product from the United Kingdom, at least you are assured that the ingredients in the product are skin-friendly. Also, avoid purchasing that has parabens as an active ingredient. If your exfoliator has parabens, it may cause an acne breakout or, in worst-case scenarios, skin scarring.

    Benefits Of Exfoliation

    Gets Rid Of Dead Cells

    Dead skin cells result from the skin's cell turnover process, also known as epidermal turnover. When the skin does not fully shed, it leads to flaky skin and clogged pores. However, through exfoliation, your skin will shed off the dead cells, thus revealing the supple skin underneath.

    Helps To Unclog Skin Pores

    Our bodies regularly produce sebum which ensures that our skin stays moisturized. Jin, & Laopanupog (2021), our skins produce excess sebum stored in the pores, thus clogging the pores. When the pores get clogged, they cause acne to break out, which may only go away with regular exfoliation using a CBD face scrub.

    May Prevent Ingrown Hair

    People who suffer from ingrown hair have frustrating experiences because they are the main causative agent of pimple outbreaks. Therefore, to reduce the incidence of a pimple outbreak, use an exfoliator to ensure that a pimple does not ruin your facial appearance. However, if you use an exfoliator solely to target ingrown hair, it is best to choose one with antiseptic properties for a safer scrubbing experience.


    Exfoliation is using products to get rid of the dead cells that accumulate on the skin's surface. There are two types of exfoliation products; physical and chemical. Physical exfoliators include face scrubs, sponges, oatmeal, etc., while chemical exfoliators include salicylic, glycolic, and lactic acids. It is vital to note that chemical exfoliants have active ingredients; beta hydroxy acids and alpha hydroxy acids. When using an exfoliant, you should choose one that corresponds with your skin because using the wrong exfoliant can damage your skin barrier and cause acne to break out. Also, if you want to start exfoliating your skin but are unsure where to start, following the guide above will ensure that your skin absorbs all the benefits of an exfoliant.


    Arora, G., Arora, S., Talathi, A., Kandhari, R., Joshi, V., Langar, S., ... & Sondhi, P. (2020). The safer practice of aesthetic dermatology during the COVID-19 pandemic: Recommendations by SIG aesthetics (IADVL Academy). Indian Dermatology Online Journal11(4), 534.

    Bhadra, P. (2020). A Literature Review Online Due to Hormonal Changes and Lifestyle.

    Jin, C. Y., & Laopanupog, T. (2021). Protecting and Resolving Facial Skin from UV Rays and Air Pollution. Journal of Clinical and Laboratory Research2(1), 1-7.

    Mohiuddin, A. K. (2019). An extensive review of cosmetics in use. Am J Dermatol Res Rev2, 7.

    Rullan, P. P., Olson, R., & Lee, K. C. (2020). A combination approach to treating acne scars in all skin types: carbolic chemical reconstruction of skin scars, blunt Bi-level cannula subcision, and microneedling—a case series. The Journal of Clinical and Aesthetic Dermatology13(5), 19.