Is Exfoliating Good (or Bad) for Acne Prone Skin?

Exfoliating Your Face
Exfoliating Your Face

A regular skin exfoliation exercise is one of the best ways to address the issue of acne. Skin care for acne prone facial skin is never really complete without this process as it definitely plays an extremely important role in the health care of blemished skin.

Without a daily routine of face exfoliating, acne and even the debilitating effects of scarring that forms as a result of rosacea may occur. So for those desirous of healthy facial skin or those looking for an acne free face, exfoliation is one form of facial treatment that is highly recommended.

It is a well known fact that microscopic loose facial skin which in essence is old skin, if left unattended, will trap toxins, dirt and oils. These unhealthy 'deposits' will 'seep' back under the skin, clog up the pores and cause blackheads, white heads and acne, and this is the main reason why many people that don't use an exfoliating face wash as a part of their skin care routine will constantly have breakouts and recurring facial skin problems.

To avoid these recurring problems that may give you self esteem problems, the old top skin layer must be gently removed through exfoliation, to reveal fresh new healthy skin.

Many people with acne either don't believe, or fail to realise that exfoliation is one of the secrets of a clear and radiant skin. It is very essential, and this form of skin care must be done regularly and unfailingly. It is the answer to many questions you may have concerning acne spots, pimples and other skin blemishes.

An Essential Skincare Treatment

Starting an exfoliation routine treatment today is your key to having a beautiful smooth, soft and clear face. Blocked and clogged up pores result in terrible skin blemishes, but clean and clear unblocked pores cannot cause acne or pimples.

That’s why exfoliating religiously is one of the best ways to ensure you have an acne free face.

Healthy Skin Through Skin Exfoliation

Many of the top spa and salon owners in the top cities of the world that's involved with body treatments are always on top of the very latest developments in skin care therapies, remedies and treatments, and what they tell us ceaselessly is that there needs to be awareness about the benefits of having healthy skin through skin exfoliation.

Skin exfoliation generally involves a kind of soft 'scouring' of the skin using facial scrub sponges or exfoliating face wash products that have tiny but soft abrasive grains.

These also include grainy but creamy facial cleansers and home-made remedies such as salt, oatmeal and even coarse sugar granules.

Asides the home-made recipes for skin exfoliation, the aforementioned products are all designed to gently scour off and eliminate dead and decaying skin cells that cannot be seen with the naked eye.

How to Exfoliate Effectively

Exfoliating body scrub: If exfoliation is intended for the body, usually the chest, upper arms and back, a 'loofah', an environmentally friendly sponge that grows naturally, or exfoliating gloves, will do a great job of sloughing off dead skin. It must be used to scrub the body using regular circular motions. This form of exfoliation is highly beneficial in that it serves a dual purpose. It's great for exfoliation, and it's good as a blood circulation enhancer.

Body Exfoliation
Body Exfoliation

Face exfoliation: For facial skin, an exfoliating soap, face wash or cleanser that is appropriate for specific types of skin; oily, dry or combination, must be used. The face must be slightly dampened first before the use of any exfoliating product. Again, use gentle circular motions while scrubbing the face, and ensure you avoid the delicate areas around the eyes.

Using home-made recipes: There are exfoliation products around us all, at home. Home-made exfoliating agents, such as mashed papaya (paw paw), that contains enzymes that will exfoliate the skin effectively.

Note: The body must be wet before application or use, to avoid unnecessary dryness of the face or skin which can abrade the skin and cause soreness. Scrubbing must always be gentle on the damp or wet skin and ensure you use circular motions to remove the dead skin and vertical motions to wipe the body clean of the exfoliating particles if you'll be using a cream based exfoliation product. And with washes, just wash the product off using circular motions, and rinse thoroughly.

How Often Should You Exfoliate?

Opinions differ slightly on how often one should exfoliate the face and body. But the most important thing to note is that exfoliation is necessary for healthy looking faces any upper body parts.

Most of today's women fashion demands some exposure of the chest, upper arms and back, and there is not point in desiring to wear such outfits if those parts of your body are spotty and unsightly.

Our faces are constantly and permanently exposed, and faces must look clean, spotless and healthy. When our faces look good and clear with or without makeup, we feel good. It's as simple as that.

Exfoliate at least every other day. If you can do it daily, using a gentler exfoliating face wash, it's even better, especially for those who have acne. This is one of the best ways to treat acne inexpensively and effectively.

If you have acne, it's good to be consistent with this process. In the morning, rinse your face, and then exfoliate gently. It's easy to get carried away with the scrubbing motions, but try not to.

Ensure you do it evenly, with a bit more emphasis on areas that have pimples, blackheads, or other blemishes.

10 Benefits of Exfoliating

  1. Clogged pores that make facial skin look dull by trapping oil and dirt, is removed with consistent exfoliation.
  2. Exfoliating elements used for acne skin care are mostly chemical free.
  3. Re-energises dull and lifeless skin.
  4. Great as an anti-ageing facial treatment as it keeps the skin supple and healthy looking. It sloughs off flaky dead skin, and the motions massage the face at the same time, enabling good blood flow.
  5. Flakes off of the undesirable dead outer layer of skin, and easily promotes a new and clearer skin to grow out. This will speed up the process of obtaining clear and flawless skin.
  6. Exfoliating soaps works two ways. It allows you to cleanse and exfoliate your skin at the same time.
  7. It will help sun damaged and discoloured skin, and give it a more uniform and even tone resulting in a brighter, more youthful appearance.
  8. For those over forty and beyond, it should become a regimen, because it does effectively reduce the appearance of wrinkles.
  9. Exfoliation is very effective to stop the growth of ingrown hairs, especially for men.
  10. The effects of acne scars, if not completely removed, will definitely become less noticeable.

The face and upper body parts aren't the only area of the body that requires exfoliation. You can also exfoliate rough areas of the body, like the feet, knees, and elbows. And as we grow older, we must exfoliate more, because as we age, our body’s natural exfoliation process slows down considerably. So in order to give the skin a boost, and bring it 'back-to-life', exfoliate.

Make Exfoliation Your Regular Skin Care Treatment

Exfoliation should be an equally essential skin care routine for:


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  • Teenage skin care: It is great for teenage pimples, spots and general acne skin care. It also removes pore-clogging dirt and oil, and this will definitely prevent acne and give you healthier looking skin.
  • Men: For the process of shaving, exfoliation exposes the facial hair follicles, thus allowing a better and smoother shave.
  • Women: Because the process of cell turnover starts to slow down as we age it creates skin irregularities, and when these skin cells start to build up unevenly on the skin's surface, it gives a dry, rough and dull appearance. For this, exfoliation is beneficial because it removes built up dead cells, exposing fresher, smoother and younger skin cells hitherto hidden.

On a final note, it is possible and easy to over exfoliate. Over exfoliation will dry out and even irritate the skin. And as the face is the face is a sensitive part of the body, exfoliation must only be carried out when the skin is moist.

After you exfoliate, your skin must be moisturised immediately with some good natural moisturiser that contains some amount of alpha and/or beta hydroxyl fruit acids.

© 2010 viryabo

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Comments 10 comments

habee profile image

habee 6 years ago from Georgia

Great info! I don't have acne, but I do have a lot of dry skin, so I have to exfoliate.

viryabo profile image

viryabo 6 years ago Author

Thanks habee for visiting and your nice comments. With dry skin, just make sure its done gently with light circular motions.


GPAGE profile image

GPAGE 6 years ago from California

Viryabo! Thanks for this very informative hub! I do not have acne issues, but sometimes I get patches of dry skin....I should do this more often....I think people have sold me so many products over the years that I just thought it was a bunch of "you know." ha Well, I'm going to try to get back to this soon.......G

viryabo profile image

viryabo 6 years ago Author

Hey G, nice to always see you. You are one of the lucky ones with no acne issues.

I didn't know the importance of exfoliation until i was way into my 40's. I had blemishes when i was younger, but if i had known it was great for acne skin care, i would have started much earlier. My skin is now blemish free. (not much help now i'm older, and can't flaunt like before, but well...)

Its great for dry patchy skin as long as its done gently and with not so granular exfoliating products. I use pharmagel products and they work great for me. Plus they are inexpensive and lasts for some months.

Thanks for visiting G.


GPAGE profile image

GPAGE 6 years ago from California

viryabo! Thank you for the great advice! I was also going to mention that I have started to use organic coconut oil for my skin lately (face and body) and it has worked wonders! Not sure if this is something you may want to write about since you seem to be very savvy on skin care?

There has been a lot of mention of it lately but it does work!!!!! Anyway, just sharing the love!!!!! G

viryabo profile image

viryabo 6 years ago Author

Yes G. Coconut oil is absolutely fantastic for the skin and the hair.

I remember decades ago, my grandmother, who used it all over her skin including her hair, had wonderful skin and her hair was so lusterous. Back then, it wasn't refined, so it had a smell that was, well sooooo 'coconutty'. We young ones then thought the smell was disgusting because it was raw coconut oil.

Happily, over the years, it has become refined with a pleasant smell. Its still used extensively even today. Its a great natural for the body. And the hair.

I use avocado oil for my body and its seems good. I just started using it a couple of months ago, so i cant say much about it yet.

Thanks for giving me a tip for another hub. I'm deff going to work on that.

Godbless G.

Newsreporteer 3 years ago

I purchased Citrus Clear products for my teenage son who has very bad acne, and I wanted something natural and not harmful to his skin. We tried the over the counter lotions and potions and found them to be virtually useless, except for irritating his skin. The medication offered by our GP had some very serious side effects, so i looked for a more natural alternative. Citrus Clear has greatly improved my son's skin in just a very short period of time. With regular use, this product has cleared all irritation and redness from his skin in just over 2 weeks, the acne is most definitely less pronounced and the skin is clearer. I would certainly recommend this product to anybody who is looking for an organic, chemical free way to treat acne.

Dania Razzak profile image

Dania Razzak 3 years ago from Dhaka

To reduce the occurrence of acne, apply tea tree oil about the acne prone areas. Consider utilizing tea tree oil, that is all natural and definitely will not dry out the skin as various other acne remedies, but will be just as efficient at lowering the buildup of oils in your pores.

DebraHargrove profile image

DebraHargrove 8 months ago from North Carolina

I get acne in the summer time. I can only exfoliation when I don't have any breakouts. But exfoliation is really great for removing dead skin and making your skin look healthy and bright.

viryabo profile image

viryabo 8 months ago Author

Hi Debra

Its amazing how what works for one person is a no-no for another. When my skin breaks out, i first exfoliate then apply my remedial cream.

Within a couple of days, the spots have dried up.

You are right about exfoliation removing dead dull skin, leaving it softer and brighter. Nothing else works as much wonders.

Thanks for the visit.

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