Does Exfoliation Benefit All Skin Types?


Whether you have oily, dry, combination, or even acne prone and sensitive skin, you are bound to derive outright and instant results from exfoliation. No matter if you have Caucasian, Asian or colored skin, exfoliation ought to be part of your regular skincare routine.

Benefits That Can Be Derived From Exfoliating

Dry skin commonly floats on your skin surface, and because you don’t want dead skin cells to end up infecting your skin or making your skin look dry, rough and old, you are gonna want to exfoliate. Exfoliation involves the elimination of dead and dry skin cells on the surface of your skin.

More specifically, regular exfoliation redounds to the following skin benefits:

  • Stimulates faster skin cell turnover
  • Helps prevent skin infections that cause acne, whiteheads, blackheads and other skin blemishes
  • Lightens dark spots and acne marks
  • Corrects hyperpigmentation
  • Brightens overall complexion
  • Lets you achieve softer skin
  • Permits deep stimulation of skin renewal and rejuvenation which helps reverse and inhibit wrinkles and fine lines

The Right Exfoliation For Your Skin Type

There are generally two types of exfoliation technique that you can choose from to effectively slough off your skin:

1. Physical / Mechanical Exfoliation. This type of exfoliation may either involve an exfoliating tool or a substrate. Some of the exfoliating tools include sponges microfiber cloths, facial brushes and loofahs. On the other hand, examples of substrate exfoliants include rice bran, oatmeal, and facial scrubs.

Mechanical Exfoliation

In this technique, rough surfaces are used to slough off the top layer of skin. The danger lies in applying too much pressure which may unnecessarily damage skin and cause it to become irritated.

Physical / Mechanical Exfoliation techniques suit the following skin types:

  • Oily Skin, and Combination Skin: Normal to dry. Best given a mechanical exfoliation but, it is recommended to be conducted with just the right amount of pressure and with the use of natural substrates that are not too coarse or with mild and gentle facial scrubs.
  • Combination Skin: Normal to dry. Since this type of skin is less sensitive to abrasion, this type of exfoliation may be used safely. In fact, to achieve better results, it is recommended that a tool or substrate of medium coarseness be used.

2. Chemical Exfoliation: This exfoliation technique involves the use of any of the following chemicals:

  • Hydroxy Acids: This group is of two sub-types: the alpha (AHA) and the beta (BHA) classes. AHAs which include glycolic, citric, lactic, malic and tartaric acids, work by loosening up the thick layer of debris made up of dead skin cells and hardened sebum on the surface of your skin. BHAs, salicylic acid included, work by deeply penetrating pores to unclog it by drawing out sebum. This said, AHAs work best for drier skin types. BHAs, on the other hand, work best for oilier skin types.
  • Retinols / Retinoids / Retinoic Acid: Retinoic acid eliminates the top layer of skin but is likely to cause extreme dryness and irritation. It works well for any type of skin though it is best introduced to skin in stages and under the supervision of a skin professional.
  • Enzymes: Particularly, biological enzymes from natural, living sources like papaya, pineapple, and, more recently, from certain types of good bacteria, help loosen up dead skin cells. It works well for all skin types.

Chemical exfoliation works best for the following skin types:

Exfoliation Works Best
  • Dry skin. Facial scrubs that are infused with moisturizers, humectant and emollients will benefit this skin type.
  • Combination Skin: Normal to Oily. While physical exfoliation works just fine for this skin type, it may also well benefit from gentler kinds of chemical exfoliation particularly from techniques that employ BHAs.
  • Combination Skin: Normal to Dry. Any type of chemical exfoliant shouldn’t cause unnecessary damage to this skin type.

You May Also Like To Read: All about Exfoliating the Skin

Exfoliation Options For Special Skin Types

The following skin types need specialized care when it comes to exfoliation:

  • Acne-Prone Skin: Alternating or combining AHA and BHA exfoliants for use on this skin type should be beneficial in treating the infection and preventing unnecessary irritation that may aggravate breakouts.
  • Sensitive Skin: To qualify, this category includes those with diagnosed skin disorders or medical conditions that impact skin sensitivity. These skin types should generally avoid physican and chemical exfoliation. In which case, naturally sourced exfoliators such as rice bran, oatmeal and papayas should be used to clear surface debris from this skin type.
  • Dark / Colored Skin: There is a higher risk for darker skin to experience post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation which results to blotching and unnecessary damages to your skin.
  • Aging Skin: Exfoliating with a combination of chemical exfoliants, particularly the ones that contain AHAs, enzymes and retinol, are more capable of deeply penetrating skin and aiding in repairing damage deep within the skin. Whichever exfoliation technique is used for aging skin, addressing dryness that can be expected to accompany treatment should be of utmost concern too.
  • Read Also: A Complete Guide on Exfoliation


    Exfoliation is undoubtedly good for your skin. Do it frequently but not daily. Only if you have a skin type that involves a medical condition then you should avoid exfoliation altogether, that is, without the recommendation of your physician.


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