How Often Should You Exfoliate?

Posted by Rocky Mountain Barber on

All creatures shed their skin, but not all of them do so handsomely. Butterflies slip off their layer in one smooth step, crocodiles ditch their scales randomly, and we sadly, get a much lousier deal than the crocs. We shed or itch our skin in crusty patches and flakes— a process formally called “cellular turnover”. An essential part of everyone's skin routine, scrubbing away your dead skin helps uncover the new, healthy skin underneath. The only question is: how often do you need to exfoliate?

face scrub

The answer depends on on two main factors: your skin type and the climate. Although most skin care blogs will recommend exfoliating two-three times a week, the key depends on a lot more variables. By creating a skin-scrubbing routine based on your individual skin condition and the weather, you’ll see better results. Because really, there’s no one-size-fits-all approach to skin care-- unless you’re a sheep.

Let’s learn how to tailor-plan your skin regimen properly. Here we go.

Skin type

We divide a person’s skin type into four main categories: dry, oily, normal/combination and acne-prone. If these terms are gibberish to you, then here’s an idiot-proof way to determine your skin type.

When you come home from work and your face is a shiny greaseball, you have oily skin. On the other hand, if your skin is often rough or itchy, you’ve got dry skin. Yet, if your face shows signs of both conditions, then you’ve got combination skin; if neither, then you’re normal. Finally and most obviously, if you’re pimply, you’re acne-prone. Now moving on.

Dry skin

With dry skin, you must exfoliate more often. Yet, the frequency depends on the slowness of your skin’s cellular turnover. For a dry face, the turnover rate is slower, meaning that your skin cells act like lazy procrastinators that let dead flakes chill on your face longer. This condition makes your skin look dull and pasty, so you require more exfoliation--up to four times a week.

Make sure to exfoliate gently. Men who scrub the shambles out of their face will only end up with red, irritated skin.

Oily skin

Whether you’re just slightly oily or you struggle with grease puddles, you shouldn’t exfoliate more than once a week. Since your skin is already moist, you don’t have a problem with cell turnover. Exfoliating too often can irritate your skin, causing it to dry out and then produce even more oil in your pores. In other words, don’t mess with nature.

Normal/combination skin

For skin with areas of both dryness and oiliness, or neither, you fall into the standard rule of exfoliating twice to three time per week. Anything more can disrupt your skin’s natural cell turnover. The whole point of exfoliating is to help the shedding process along—not to massacre your healthy skin cells by scrubbing them off before they’re ready.

Acne-prone skin

Here’s where it gets tricky. Men and women with acne-prone skin can be oily or dry. So, in order to know how often to exfoliate, you must properly identify your skin type and the true cause of your acne. Otherwise, the wrong scrubbing routine can worsen your acne.

If your acne is caused by dry skin, you need to regularly slaw off the dead skin cells that are clogging your pores. Lightly exfoliate three to four times per week, but not harshly, or you’ll damage your skin. However, if your face is dry from too much scrubbing, your skin is probably is sensitive and you’ll need to ease up. Switch to twice per week so your skin can regain its natural moisture balance.

For acne caused by oily skin, your safest bet is to exfoliate two-three times per week. As your skin produces more oil, your pores expand to hold the sebum, growing clogged with a mixture of dead skin cells, bacteria and grease. To control this recipe for pimple disaster, you need to remove the main ingredient (dead skin) on a regular basis.

Climate matters

facial scrub charcoal

Cold or dry

In cold or dry climates, the air holds less water, turning into a moisture vampire for our skin. Sucking the hydration from our face, the atmosphere leaves our skin tight and flakey— far from pretty-boy face material.

To beat this climate, add one to two extra days of exfoliation to your recommended scrubbing schedule, along with an intensive moisturizing routine. If you’re consistently applying moisture, day and night, but your skin is still flakey, keep upping your exfoliation days until you find a balanced routine.

Hot or humid

In summer or tropical weather, you sweat more to beat the heat.  As you perspire throughout the day, your sweat joins the party inside your pores, along with the bacteria creepers and dead-skin floozies, leaving your skin congested and bumpy.

For this weather, add an extra day of exfoliation to your recommended scrubbing schedule. If your skin is very oily, add two days. In the event that your exfoliating routine becomes daily, be extremely delicate with your buffing motions. Applying too much pressure everyday will leave your skin raw and rashy.

For anyone who's wondered, “how often should I exfoliate my face?”, stick to these personalized guidelines to achieve smooth-skin glory. A fresh face demands setting your standards high, plus a solid routine and facial scrub. Never settle.



With naturally derived pumice granules, our brand new Activated Charcoal Face Scrub helps to scrub away dead skin to help improve the look of your skin.  Nourishing ingredients like Jojoba Oil & Argan Oil help to soothe and moisturize your face ensuring that your face doesn't feel dry or tight after using.

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