August 29, 2022 5 min read

How to Remove Dead Skin Cells From The Face & Why It Is Important

Exfoliation, or the removal of a dead layer of skin cells from the face, repairs damage and protects your body from fungi, and bacteria, among other pathogens.


The skin, like other parts of the body such as hair and nails, constantly renews itself. Accumulating dead skin on soft facial tissues due to epidermal turnover could cause dull skin. Getting rid of this layer and boosting the production of new cells and glowing, smooth facial skin is important. The complex and fascinating skin cell renewal process is called epidermal turnover. While new skin cells get produced deep in the body tissue, they rise to the surface to replace the old ones over time. While this process keeps the skin healthy by maintaining a smooth, youthful appearance, it leaves behind dead skin cells that often lead to the formation of acne and premature aging. A person can eliminate unwanted byproducts by exfoliating to get rid them. This article explores proven and science-backed mechanisms of removing dead skin cells from the face and why it is important. People often buy exfoliating products, including physical and chemical exfoliants, to get rid of the dead skin cells and boost the production of new skin cells, revealing glowing and smooth skin.

How Are Dead Skin Cells Formed?

The epidermal turnover is useful in rejuvenating the skin for a smooth and youthful appearance. However, it comes with a downside in the form of a dead layer of skin cells. Below is a guide to the basics of how the process works and how often dead skin cells build up on a face and other body parts.

  • Dead skin cells are a byproduct of the body's natural renewal and repair process, referred to as epidermal turnover. Usually, this process slows down as people age.
  • According to Green (2013), accumulating dead skin and their mix-up with sebum (an oily secretion produced by the sebaceous glands) can lead to acne breakouts and the formation of black and whiteheads.
  • Exfoliation, whether chemical or physical, is often used to remove this outermost layer of dead skin to keep your skin youthful, smooth, and soft.
  • Numerous pharmaceuticals and over-the-counter products can exfoliate dead skins. Others opt for cosmetic procedures such as chemical peeling that removes extensive amounts of dead skin.

Removing Dead Facial Skin Cells

Skin is the largest and one of the most significant organs of the best cosmetic multinationals and continues to make billions of dollars. People's preoccupation drives this business entity to have glowing, flawless skin that determines how beautiful they look. People, particularly women, invest considerable money in chemical exfoliants and spas to look youthful and more radiant.

The riding isn't always smooth, either, because such spas are out of reach for many pockets. Kapoor & Lata Saraf (2011) noted that  Some chemical exfoliants contain harsh ingredients and additives that carry numerous unwanted side effects on the skin, including acne pigmentation and pimples. In the current cosmetic market, you can remove dead facial skin cells in several ways. These include;

Over-The-Counter Face Wash:

The counter exfoliating cleansers are the handiest because they contain mild chemicals that strip away dead skin cells from the face.

Manual Exfoliation

Manual exfoliant involves using an exfoliating device such as a washcloth or dry brush.

Cosmetic Exfoliation

The cosmetic exfoliant process is ideal for severe cases of acne or if your goal is anti-aging.

While every option highlighted above has pros and cons, the key to safely exfoliating a face is first to identify the skin type and goals for exfoliating and establishing the perfect exfoliant. However, regardless of whichever category you come in under, below are proven mechanisms (both chemical and natural) that you can use to remove dead skin cells from your face and restore glowing and radiant skin.

Sugar and Oats Scrub

According to Li et al. (2012), sugar and oats are ideal first choice ingredients if your goal is to remove dead skin cells from the face because they possess exfoliating properties. They are great at efficiently and naturally removing dead skin cells without side effects such as skin damage or irritation. Oats are scientifically proven to contain antioxidants that clean and hydrate skin pores. Here is a step-by-step guide.

  • Soak oats in water for 15 minutes and mix them with sugar in a bowl.
  • Add a teaspoonful of honey and mix these ingredients to form a homogenous paste.
  • Apply the paste to your facial skin and leave it for 20 minutes.
  • Rinse it off using warm water and dry your skin with a towel.

Oil-Honey Facial Mask

Othe il- the honey facial mask is ideal for dry skin. Ghode et al. (2019) noted that oil- a honey facial mask contains two major ingredients; sunflower oil and honey, which helps remove dead skin cells without any damage or irritation. They both contain moisturizing properties that give you radiant and glowing skin. Here is how to go about it.

  • Mix one teaspoonful of honey and a teaspoonful of sunflower oil with one egg white.
  • Stir the mixture in a bowl to create a thick paste.
  • Apply this paste to your face and leave it for about 20 minutes.
  • Wash it off using warm water and dry your face with a towel.

Olive Oil and Coffee Seeds Exfoliant

According to Zuaidi et al.(2019), combining organic olive oil and ground coffee seeds is an excellent facial exfoliant. A person must create a thick mixture and scrub it off in a circular motion for a satisfactory result.

Baking Soda and Aloe Vera Exfoliant

A combination of aloe vera and baking soda is an ideal natural exfoliant that can remove dead skin cells from your skin. Baking soda is an amazingly exfoliating reagent, while aloe vera has immense healing properties.

Importance Of Facial Exfoliation

  • Exfoliation creates a glowing, radiant complexion.
  • Exfoliation cleans the skin by unclogging the pores to help the moisturizer work effectively.
  • Exfoliation is anti-aging as it revitalizes the skin, which promotes beauty.
  • Exfoliation rejuvenates the facial skin.

The Bottom Line

Exfoliating facial skin possesses numerous benefits. From restoring radiant and glowing skin to keeping out acne breakouts, this process is used by many people, especially women, to enhance their beauty and overall appearance. People can exfoliate their facial skin at home using a washcloth or over-the-counter products such as facial cleansers. In severe cases of acne, and large amounts of dead skin, cosmetic procedures such as chemical peel can be used to realize noticeable improvement. Whichever way a person exfoliates the skin, the key is to identify your skin type and use the appropriate exfoliant to avoid side effects.


Ghode, D. S. P., Chatur, V. M., Ghode, D. P. D., Shaha, N., Prajapati, S., & Thorave, A. (2019). Formulation And Evaluation Of Facial Scrub Containing Sunflower Seeds And Other Natural Ingredients. World Journal Of Pharmaceutical Research, 8(9), 1772-1781.

Kapoor, S., & Lata Saraf, S. (2011). Topical Herbal Therapies Are An Alternative And Complementary Choice. Research Journal Of Medicinal Plants, 5(3), 650-669.

Li, S., Yang, X., Yang, S., Zhu, M., & Wang, X. (2012). Technology Prospecting On Enzymes: Application, Marketing, And Engineering. Computational And Structural Biotechnology Journal, 2(3), E201209017.

Zuhaidi, A. F., Boestami, R. M. Z., & Nasir, N. A. M. (2019). Stability And Shelf Life Studies Of Cinnamon Coffee Body Scrub. Politeknik & Kolej Komuniti Journal Of Engineering And Technology, 1-7.