August 29, 2022 5 min read

How To Exfoliate Properly Depending on Your Skin Type

Many people wonder how to make their rough and dull skins smooth and bright. This should not give you any problem if you have the same problem since this article will guide you.                                                                                                                                                                                      A study explained exfoliation as the process of dissolving or scrubbing off dead cells on the skin using either a chemical or physical method to make the skin smooth and shiny. Some people think that skin scrubbing, commonly done in many beauty centers, is for women. However, this is wrong since anyone can enjoy the benefits of skin scrubbing. Exfoliation should be done according to the skin type. This is because every skin type has its way of exfoliation. You should have a better understanding of your skin type before using exfoliants. This article explains how one should exfoliate properly, depending on the skin type, to avoid harming the skin.

How To Exfoliate Different Skins Types

According to dermatologists, different skin types require diverse approaches to exfoliating. While some skins can withstand vigorous cleansing and exfoliation, others only need gentle exfoliation or the use of friendly chemicals to remove dead skin cells. Therefore, to understand how to exfoliate your skin safely, here are different skin types to know about.

An Oily Skin

According to Ravisankar et al. (2015), sebaceous glands produce an excessive oily substance called sebum. The sebum makes the skin look oily and shiny. It is mostly present in big-bodied people since they have a lot of fat stored on the dermis. The skin also has larger pores than normal skin. To get rid of the oily substance from the skin, you should exfoliate daily or at least thrice a week.

Exfoliation can be either physical or chemical. Chemical exfoliation is the most preferred since it involves using chemicals to dissolve the dead cells on the skin surface. However, a dermatologist is needed since some chemicals may be complicated to use.

During exfoliation, clean your skin before applying the chemicals. Give it some time, and rinse it with clean water. Even though oily skin contains a lot of dead cells due to oily substances, the above process can help get clean and moisturized skin when done properly. You can also exfoliate at home, but you must follow the manufacturer's instructions carefully.

Dry Skin

According to Endly & Miller (2017), dry skin produces less sebum, making it look rough and dull. If left unattended, dry skin can have cracks, wrinkles, and premature aging. Therefore, people with dry skin are recommended to cleanse and exfoliate their skin frequently to moisturize, nourish, and make it look younger.

Dry skin has fewer dead cells. Hence, you only need to clean and scrub it using a cleansing brush or bristles. Give it some time before rinsing the skin with clean water.

Sensitive Skin

Sensitive skin is mostly caused by climate changes, allergens, and trauma from excess sun heat. It is mostly experienced on faces and the pubic area. Heckman et al. (2013) state that a person with sensitive skin can experience redness, sores, and itching.

How To Exfoliate a Sensitive Skin Effectively

Physical exfoliation is discouraged on sensitive skin since it can worsen the condition. Therefore, apply chemicals on the skin after washing it with clean and antibacterial soap. Next, give the skin some time to absorb the chemicals before cleaning it with clean water. However, you should avoid chemical exfoliation if you have open sores.

Normal Skin

Normal skin is a combination of oily and dry skin, with a balanced secretion of sebum and moisture. This skin is neither too oily nor dry. People with this type of skin are not likely to be affected by physical changes such as sun heat.

How To Exfoliate a Normal Skin Properly

Normal skin is exfoliated using physical or chemical exfoliation. When using the physical exfoliation, clean the skin and use a cleansing brush or a washcloth to scrub off the skin surface. Give it some time, and then rinse it with clean water. When using the chemical exfoliation, apply the chemicals after cleaning the skin with water. Give the skin a few minutes to absorb chemicals. Finally, rinse it with clean water.

Combination Skin

One has a combination skin if they have normal skin in some parts of the body and dry or oily skin in others. For example, one can have an oily face, dry hands, and normal skin on the body. Combination skin is caused by the secretion of sebum at varying levels in different parts of the body. Exfoliating this skin is also different.

How To Exfoliate a Combination Skin Properly

Exfoliating a combination skin will require combining the methods used to exfoliate normal, oily, and dry skins for better results. For example, if the body part has oily skin, chemical exfoliation is recommended. In this case, apply chemicals after washing the skin. Allow it to stay bare for some minutes, and then rinse using clean, warm water. If the part has dry skin, physical exfoliation is applied where a cleansing brush or bristles are used to scrub off the debris after washing the skin surface. Give the skin some time, then rinse using clean water. Lastly, if the body part has normal skin, exfoliate using oily and dry skin procedures described above.

Types Of Exfoliations

Chemical Exfoliation

This is the use of chemicals to dissolve dead cells which might build up on the skin surface. They include; Alpha hydroxyl acids [AHA's], Beta hydroxyl acids [BHA's], and Poly hydroxyl acids [PHA's]. The commonly used chemicals are the AHA's and the BHA's. The AHAs include; glycolic acid and lactic acid. Djurendić et al. (2011) state that the most used BHA is salicylic acid. One can also hire a dermatologist to aid with this exfoliation.

Physical Exfoliation

Physical exfoliation involves using cleansing brushes, bristles, or a washcloth to scrub off dead cells on the skin. An example of this exfoliation technique is facial scrubbing which is familiar to many people. Physical exfoliation is less efficient than chemical exfoliation.


As a rule of thumb, effective exfoliation is achieved once you know your skin type and apply a suitable technique. While chemical exfoliation is perfect for oily skin, other types like normal or dry skin may need physical exfoliation to remove the dead cells and leave them brighter and moisturized. Therefore, before using any method, always consult your dermatologist, who will recommend the right way.


Djurendić, E., Vujašković, S. D., Sakač, M., Ajduković, J., Gaković, A., Kojić, V., ... & Gaši, K. P. (2011). Synthesis and biological evaluation of some new 2-oxazoline and salicylic acid derivatives. ARKIVOC: Online Journal of Organic Chemistry.

Endly, D. C., & Miller, R. A. (2017). Oily skin: a review of treatment options. The Journal of clinical and aesthetic dermatology10(8), 49.

Ghadage, P. K., Mahamuni, S. S., & Kachare, D. S. (2021). Formulation and evaluation of herbal scrub using tamarind peel. Research Journal of Topical and Cosmetic Sciences12(1), 39-42.

Heckman, C. J., Chandler, R., Kloss, J. D., Benson, A., Rooney, D., Munshi, T., ... & Oslin, D. W. (2013). Minimal erythema dose (MED) testing. JoVE (Journal of Visualized Experiments), (75), e50175.

Ravisankar, P., Koushik, O. S., Himaja, V., Ramesh, J., & Pragna, P. (2015). Acne-causes and amazing remedial measures for acne. J Pharm Res5.