Exfoliating for Beginners: A Complete Guide

by | Updated: January 5th, 2021 | Read time: 4 minutes

No matter what type of skin you have, exfoliation is the best-kept secret to keeping it looking gorgeous. Regular exfoliation is essential to maintaining healthy skin cells. It works by gently sloughing away the top layer of dead skin or releasing the “intercellular glue” holding onto dead cells, thus exposing the newer, healthier skin cells. Exfoliation also unblocks pores – which in turn leaves them open and more receptive to whatever topical products (serums, lotions, etc.) you apply. So, not only does exfoliation have its own benefits – it also makes your other skin care treatments more effective!


Woman in Mirror Following Exfoliating For Beginners Tips Wiping Product on Face with Cotton Pad | Vitacost.com/blogWhat are the types of exfoliations?

There are two ways to exfoliate:

1. Mechanical Exfoliation:   This method involves using a granular or physical exfoliator to roll across the skin, sloughing off the dead cells. Scrubs are a great at-home treatment, while microdermabrasions can be done professionally.

2. Chemical Exfoliation: To chemically exfoliate skin, enzymes and alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) are used to loosen the glue-like substance holding cells together, allowing them to slough away. Facial peels are a form of chemical exfoliation, and they can either be very gentle (available over the counter) or very aggressive (prescribed by a doctor only).

How do you know which type of exfoliation is right for you?

Chemical exfoliates (a.k.a. “peels”)

There are a wide variety of professional chemical peels offered at spas and medical facilities. The strengths range depending on the goals you’re trying to achieve. If you’re considering professional treatment, make sure to work with licensed and professional individuals only (estheticians, nurses and doctors).

If you don’t want aggressive or expensive treatments, try MyChelle’s do-it-yourself peels, formulated to safely dissolve dry, dead skin cells while increasing cellular turnover deep within your skin. Our peels are like unstoppable nutrient superheroes, packed with potent blends of special plant-derived skin brighteners and texturizers that help battle signs of sun damage. Natural, enzyme-rich alpha-hydroxy acids smooth the look of wrinkles and leave an invigorating, tingling sensation behind.

For combination or oily/blemish-prone skin types, I recommend  the Incredible Pumpkin Peel, loaded with pumpkin pulp, enzymes and antioxidants. This fortifying peel rejuvenates and supports cellular integrity while clearing pores and aiding detoxification. Skin is left feeling incredibly soft, smooth and clean with a renewed healthy glow. This is a great beginner’s peel!

If you’re concerned about hyperpigmentation and sun damage, the MyChelle Apple Brightening Peel should be your go-to treatment for brightening skin. A potent blend of apple fruit skin brighteners and texturizers combat and repair signs of sun damage. Lactic and azelaic acids effectively restore youthful tone, texture and firmness. Plant-derived gallic acid and mulberry bark extract naturally diminish UV-induced discoloration and age spots.

Diminish the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles using the Fruit Fiesta Peel, perfect for revealing youthful, vibrant, beautiful skin. Potent multi-fruit acids and 7% lactic acid smooth the look of wrinkles, leaving skin feeling refreshed and invigorated. You may experience a light tingling sensation with this fantastic treatment. This is MyChelle’s most active exfoliate.

Physical exfoliates (a.k.a. “scrubs”)

Microdermabrasion is a well-known treatment offered by professionals involving micro sized crystals or beads blown across the skin to physically loosen and remove dead cells. Laser resurfacing is another form of physical exfoliation but is a much deeper, invasive treatment. Again, when considering these types of treatments work with reputable, licensed professionals only.

MyChelle has created easy to use, top-notch physical exfoliators that slough off dead skin cells and instantly improve your skin’s surface texture and appearance. Our scrubs are designed to roll across the skin, lifting up surface debris and dead cells. Our exceptional spherical beads gently remove the gunk without stripping away moisture or causing irritation.

For an easy-to-use weekly scrub that’s perfect for all skin types, try our Fruit Enzyme Scrub loaded with dual skin polishers and dissolving enzymes that quickly exfoliate dead skin cell build-up and unwanted debris in pores. Super-smooth jojoba beads and refined bamboo stem powder gently polish the skin without irritating or tearing the surface. Fruit enzymes dissolve dulling residue for ultra-smooth, ultra-soft skin.

Want an added boost of moisture from your exfoliation? Try the Tropical Skin Smoother designed for dry skin (but really great for everyone!). Ultra-fine bamboo stem powder and 1.6% lactic acid release and dissolve dead cell build up to give dry skin a brighter appearance. Rich in vitamins and minerals, exfoliation also helps ingredients deeply penetrate into the skin.

A few reminders

Exfoliating is essential to beautiful, glowing skin, but over exfoliating can be harmful. It is possible to exfoliate too much, and your skin will be the first to tell you if you’ve gone too far. It’s recommended to exfoliate twice to three times per week. You can easily interchange your exfoliates, using a scrub one day and a peel a few days later. Mix and match, or stick with the one that works best for you.

Before trying any new product or form of exfoliation, test-patch the product on your skin (behind your earlobes) to determine whether or not you’ll have a reaction or sensitivity to the product.