Exfoliating makes your skin smoother and brighter, which is something we all want, but over-exfoliating can cause a bunch of problems none of us want like irritated skin, dry skin, acne, and cuts. How do you know how much to exfoliate your skin? You can find out by reading this post!

Why We Exfoliate

You’ve probably been exfoliating for some time without realizing the science behind why you’re doing it. 

The newest skin cells start deep in the skin’s five layers and gradually work up to the surface. The surface is the toughest layer, the one that keeps in moisture and keeps out all of the unwanted stuff. Once skin cells make it to the surface, they are dead. They will be pushed off by newer skin cells naturally in about 30 days, but while you wait, your skin isn’t as smooth and bright as it could be. Exfoliating is intended to remove dead, dry cells and leave newer, fresher cells behind. It’s a perfectly healthy and even satisfying exercise if you do it properly. As you might imagine, if you exfoliate too often or too hard, you can damage your skin.

How to Exfoliate

There isn’t a general rule on this because it varies depending on your skin and what you’re using to exfoliate.

It is best to start exfoliating once a week. That’s a good general starting place. Notice how your skin reacts. If it feels and looks great, without any redness, damage, or irritation, continue that pace or increase.

You might not need to exfoliate less, but you might need to exfoliate with something different. If you’re using a manual exfoliator like a brush, beads, or salts, it can easily be too much for your skin. Motorized brushes are the most damaging, then manual brushes, then large beads, then salts. There are also chemical exfoliators like glycolic acid, lactic acid, or salicylic acid. These will be gentler on the skin because they separate the layers of skin rather than relying on abrasion.

Make sure you are gentle with your skin. It is easy to be too aggressive when exfoliating. You want to gently rub the area, not scrub it.


How often to exfoliate comes down to what your skin likes. If you get good results, you can exfoliate as often as every day. Twice a week is a good average amount. Some people don’t need to exfoliate. It is too damaging for their skin, even when done once a week, and with the least damaging exfoliators. If that’s you, your skin will be healthier without it. The good news is that you can save money on a beauty product.

Start your skincare journey with Rejuvenation Laser & Skin Center

If your skin is confusing you because it doesn’t seem to like anything, you may have sensitive skin or you may need to consult with one of our dermatologists. If you want more than exfoliation can provide, you might want to try skin resurfacing. Contact us to find out how we can help with your skin needs.