How do I Choose the Best Exfoliation System?

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  • Written By: Erin J. Hill
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 29 October 2019
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Choosing the best exfoliation system depends on your individual needs. For instance, someone with very sensitive skin may need a gentler system than someone with skin that can handle a more abrasive exfoliation system. Most commonly, exfoliation is needed on the face and on rough areas of he skin like the elbows, knees, and bottoms of the feet. Some people prefer to exfoliate the entire body to slough away dead skin cells and make skin feel softer to the touch.

The first thing to remember when choosing an exfoliation system is that different parts of the body require different treatment. You will need a gentle and less abrasive exfoliating wash or scrubber for the face than for the rest of the body. Washes often come with small fine-grained beads to rid the face of dead skin and dry patches. The body can handle rougher loofahs and larger grained scrubbing washes. Common exfoliates used in body wash include cane sugar and sea salt.


In most cases, you should not exfoliate the skin on a daily basis. Doing so may remove more oils than necessary and result in skin irritation or even breakouts. If you have extremely oily skin, daily or almost daily exfoliation may be recommended, but if irritation results, take a day or so off. Facial exfoliation can be done with a small scrubbing pad or with specialized facial washes. The best exfoliation system for you will depend on your skin type because you will need to choose a wash that is formulated for your needs.

When using an exfoliation system for the feet or other rough areas, you should consider how much dead or rough skin is present. Pumice stones may be used on all areas, but the elbows and knees will require much gentler materials than the bottoms of the feet. Sometimes an exfoliating wash will do for all areas other than the soles of the feet, followed by moisturizing lotions.

If you have very dry skin with noticeable dead skin cells on the surface, you may have an underlying issue. Dehydration can lead to dry skin, among other problems, and will not be corrected by using an exfoliation system. Other health problems, such as hypothyroidism, can also lead to excessively dry skin. In other cases, you may have a skin condition that can be treated by a dermatologist. Discuss any excessive skin irritation or dryness with your doctor before using an exfoliation system.


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Post 3

I just bought a skin exfoliation system for home. It's a gadget with different types of brushes that can be attached to it to exfoliate different areas of the body. I used it twice last week and I think it got rid of a lot of dead skin.

The problem is that my skin became red, sensitive and dry afterward. Is this normal? Are skin exfoliation gadgets meant to be used less often than other types of exfoliation products and systems?

Post 2

@burcinc-- If the product doesn't say "for face and body" on the label, I would avoid that. Exfoliating products for the body are too abrasive for facial skin. You can damage your skin that way.

I use separate exfoliation products for my face and body in the shower. I use a sea salt scrub for my body several times a week. It's very abrasive but I need it because I have a condition called keratosis pilaris (a.k.a. chicken skin) on my arms that requires regular exfoliation. For my face, I use a gentle oatmeal scrub several times a week.

You can't use the same things all over your body because skin in different parts have different levels of thickness. You need more abrasive exfoliators for thicker skin such as the arms, legs and soles of the feet. For the rest of the body, you need something more gentle. The most gentle exfoliators have to be used for the face.

Post 1

Can I use an exfoliating body cream on my face?

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