How to Exfoliate Your Face

Three Methods:Using Various Home RemediesExfoliating at HomeUsing Dermatological Products or Services

Beneath that rough, flaky outer layer of facial skin lies a lustrous canvas of beautiful, silky skin. But it won't shine out on its own, you've got to give it a little help by exfoliating regularly to regenerate your skin and encourage new cell growth. There are several exfoliating scrubs on the market available at your local drugstore for modest prices, or you can try making a scrub from ingredients you probably already have around the house. If your skin is especially stubborn, you can also visit a dermatologist to discuss more dramatic options such as a chemical peel or a microdermabrasion treatment. Try some of the suggestions below to get smooth, radiant skin.

Method 1
Using Various Home Remedies

  1. Image titled Exfoliate Your Face Step 9
    Mix baking soda with water and apply it to your face. Let it sit for 10 minutes and then wash it off using warm water and a washcloth. Avoid using masks containing harsh acids and citrus products if you have sensitive skin.
  2. Image titled Exfoliate Your Face Step 10
    Make an avocado, honey, and sugar mask. Mash up an avocado and mix it with two tablespoons honey and one tablespoon sugar. The sugar will provide a soft exfoliation while the honey and avocado will nourish your skin.
    • If you have oily skin, add in about one to two teaspoons of fresh lemon juice. The lemon juice will help tighten skin and dry up pores.
    • Allow the mask to sit on your face for 15-20 minutes before washing it off thoroughly.
  3. Image titled Exfoliate Your Face Step 11
    Combine a healthy oil with sugar. There are several different options you can choose from when it comes to selecting an oil to mix into your exfoliant scrub. Choose nut-based oils that are rich in Omega-3 fatty acids to tighten and rejuvenate skin. Mix about two tablespoons of oil into one tablespoon of sugar and use a washcloth to apply to your face, scrubbing in small circles. Rinse with warm water. Some commonly recommended oils include:
    • Coconut oil
    • Almond oil
    • Olive oil
    • Tea tree oil
    • Grapeseed oil
    • Argan oil
    • Jojoba oil
    • Black currant oil
    • Chamomile oil
    • Rose hip oil[1]
  4. Image titled Exfoliate Your Face Step 12
    Try a cornmeal or nut meal-based scrub. Combine two to three tablespoons of either cornmeal or some sort of ground nut meal such as almond or walnut meal and a small amount of water. You want the scrub to be a pasty consistency. Apply a generous coating to your face and allow it to sit for about 15 minutes before washing off with warm water.[2]
  5. Image titled Exfoliate Your Face Step 13
    Revitalize your face with a coffee scrub. The rough texture of coffee combined with the caffeic acid it contains makes it a great candidate for natural exfoliation. Caffeic acid has anti-inflammatory properties and helps increase collagen production, leaving your skin smooth and healthy.
    • Mix one tablespoon of ground coffee with one tablespoon of water or olive oil and rub it all over your face. If you have particularly oily skin, it is best to use plain water instead of olive oil. Allow the mask to sit on your face for about 15 minutes and then wash it off with warm water.
    • Be sure to use freshly ground coffee beans, not instant coffee. Instant coffee will dissolve in water immediately.
    • An alternative is: Steam you face for 20 minutes to open up the pores. Then mix 1 tablespoon coffee powder with milk or honey to form a thick paste. Apply this paste on your face in a circular motion. Leave it on for 20 minutes and wash of with cold water to close the pores.
  6. Image titled Exfoliate Your Face Step 14
    Soothe and nourish with an oatmeal scrub. Particularly beneficial for people with dry skin, oatmeal scrubs can exfoliate while nourishing your skin.
    • Mix two tablespoons ground oatmeal (not instant) with one teaspoon salt or sugar and one tablespoon water or olive oil. Again, if you have oily skin, opt for salt and water as additives. If you have dry skin, opt for sugar and oil to help hydrate skin.
    • Apply the mixture to your skin and allow it to sit for about 15 minutes before rinsing off with warm water.[3]

Method 2
Exfoliating at Home

  1. Image titled Exfoliate Your Face Step 1
    Pull your hair back. If you have long hair, pull all of your hair away from your face and secure it with a hair tie. If you have bangs, you may need a headband to hold them back away from your face as well.
  2. Image titled Exfoliate Your Face Step 2
    Wet a clean washcloth or rag under hot water. Place it on your face for one to two minutes to open your pores.
  3. Image titled Exfoliate Your Face Step 3
    Use a face wash. After you've opened your pores, clean your face with any kind of face wash so that you will be exfoliating a clean face.
  4. Image titled Exfoliate Your Face Step 4
    Make your exfoliating scrub. Pour 3 tablespoons of regular white sugar into a small bowl. Add one tablespoon of water into the bowl with the sugar.
  5. Image titled Exfoliate Your Face Step 5
    Mix the water and sugar together. Use your finger or some other kind of utensil to mix it until it is a slightly thick paste.
  6. Image titled Exfoliate Your Face Step 6
    Apply the paste. Use your finger or put the paste onto a rag and begin gently rubbing it on your face. Gently rub the paste in circular motions over your entire face to get rid of all dead skin. Continue to do this until you feel you have exfoliated every inch of skin on your face.
  7. Image titled Exfoliate Your Face Step 7
    Rinse the scrub off of your face with lukewarm water. Splash your face with cold water to close pores. Make sure you get all of the scrub off, otherwise your face will be sticky from the sugar.
  8. Image titled Exfoliate Your Face Step 8
    Dry your face. After you've removed all of the exfoliating scrub from your face gently pat dry your face with a clean towel.

Method 3
Using Dermatological Products or Services

  1. Image titled Exfoliate Your Face Step 15
    Apply an exfoliating product. Determine whether you have oily skin, normal skin, or dry skin before purchasing a product. Doing so will help you choose a product that works best with your skin type.
    • If you have oily or normal skin, you should opt for a product that contains either benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid, which help to get rid of existing and prevent future breakouts. You can also apply an alpha-hydroxy-acid cleanser. This acid helps remove dead skin cells. Use a product with retinoic acid to balance out skin tone and texture and reduce wrinkles. Conversely, people with dry skin should avoid these chemicals as they may be irritating and can make skin even more dry.
    • If you have dry skin, avoid using strong exfoliants that contain glycolic acid. Glycolic acid is too penetrating for people with dry skin. In general, avoid any chemical products at all and opt for physical-based products that are less invasive.
    • Look for a product with exfoliating beads. If you have sensitive skin, choose a product with smooth, synthetic beads. If your skin is more oily, choose a product with coarse, rough beads that will exfoliate more strongly.
    • Always rub in these products using a washcloth moistened with warm water. Scrub gently and in small circles to achieve the best exfoliation that won't damage your skin.
  2. Image titled Exfoliate Your Face Step 16
    Purchase an electric exfoliating brush. Brands like Clarisonic have developed tools that can be used to remove the outer layer of dead or dry skin from your face. These brushes use sonic frequency to thoroughly remove dirt and debris from your face without irritating your skin. Though not as effective as a professional microdermabrasion treatment, these tools are much less expensive. They are not as effective because they lack the suction element that microdermabrasion systems have.
  3. Image titled Exfoliate Your Face Step 17
    Get a professional microdermabrasion treatment. Also referred to as mechanical exfoliation or micro resurfacing, microdermabrasion uses a mechanical suction tube coupled with an exfoliating tip to get rid of dead or dry layers of skin. It is extremely effective in cleaning out pores and rejuvenating skin, though the process does need to be repeated every few weeks to maintain the positive effects.
    • While it can be relatively expensive, microdermabrasion is non-invasive and performed in-office by a dermatologist.
    • A common treatment routine would be every two to three weeks with at least six to 10 treatments to achieve lasting results.
  4. Image titled Exfoliate Your Face Step 18
    Try a chemical peel. If you do not have dry or sensitive skin, you may be a candidate for getting a chemical peel from a dermatologist every four to six weeks. Chemical peel solutions contain high concentrations of salicylic acid and retinoic acid that help to speed cell regeneration. Your skin will peel for a few days directly following a chemical peel and then it will begin to heal itself and generate fresh, smooth skin. However, be aware that these peels usually cost about $250 per treatment.[4]


  • After you are done exfoliating, use a non-comedogenic moisturizer to preserve the smoothness and avoid breaking out.
  • Apply sunscreen to your face if you are going out in the sun after you have exfoliated. Your skin may be slightly irritated and the old dead skin has been removed so it is easy for the fresh skin to be damaged by sun.
  • Pat your face dry with a clean towel after exfoliating.
  • Do not exfoliate too often since it will dry out your skin.


  • Don't scrub your face too hard, this can cause damage to and hurt your skin.
  • Don't exfoliate every day. Two to three times per week is plenty to rejuvenate your skin.
  • Be extremely careful when using tea tree oil on your face, if it gets in your eye it will burn it.

Article Info

Categories: Skin Care