The Scrub Down: Everything You Need to Know About Exfoliating

Get answers to your questions from a pioneer in exfoliation—dermatologist Dr. Howard Murad.
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Exfoliation. What is it, exactly, and how often should you exfoliate? We’re delving deep into the process of exfoliation with answers to all your top exfoliating questions from a pioneer in exfoliation—our Founder, Dr. Murad.

Exfoliation is the process of removing dead skin cells from the surface of your skin. You can do this in a variety of ways, from using a chemical exfoliant (think Alpha Hydroxy Acids and Beta Hydroxy Acids) to using a granular scrub. Exfoliating is an essential step in any skincare routine, regardless of your skin type, as it can lead to brighter ski, fewer clogged pores, and less visible lines and wrinkles. “Over time, cell renewal can be seven times slower,” says Dr. Murad, “resulting in dullness, deeper lines and uneven texture and tone. Exfoliation helps skin renew at a faster rate for smoother texture and increased radiance.”

If you’re wondering how often you should exfoliate, and whether it can ever cause irritation, Dr. Murad says, “Exfoliation without replenishing leads to irritated, over-processed skin and signs of premature aging. You can minimize exfoliation side effects by simultaneously exfoliating and replenishing with nourishing lipids in one step.” Ideally, you should exfoliate 2-3 times per week so you don’t irritate your skin. But, there are some products that have been specially designed for daily use even on the most sensitive skin types, while being powerful enough to delivery visibly radiant skin.”

Other things to keep in mind? Not all exfoliants are meant to be rinsed off. “Some exfoliants are so sophisticated they self-neutralize on the skin. These formulas work simultaneously to remove dulling skin cells and feed fresh cells with hydrating nourishing ingredients.”