What Does a Face Exfoliator Do?

what does face exfoliator do?

What Does a Face Exfoliator Do? We got your answer!

Wondering what does a face exfoliator do and why do we even need it? Especially if it comes to our regular skincare routine and even skin prep before makeup!

Before we go further, we must realize that our skin is our body’s largest organ. It’s a living thing and, like the rest of our body, it’s constantly shedding and regenerating new cells. And when those skin cells look dull and dry (or ashy as my friend Andie would say) our skin looks dull and lifeless.

As we age, the cells are slower to turn over, and don’t shed off as quickly. As a result, dead skin can build up on the face (and body), and exfoliating helps move the process along more quickly than if we left it up to nature alone. And on top of that, using a good face exfoliator not only helps you look younger and more refreshed but your makeup lays nicer on the skin too!

Benefits of Exfoliating Your Face

There are many benefits to exfoliating your face. First, an at home exfoliator will get rid of the dull, dead skin to reveal dewy new skin beneath. After doing this, the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles will be seriously minimized. Plus, the skin’s true colors shine through, allowing for a better color match to the foundation. Makeup application is a breeze when you’re working on a smooth canvas! Let’s do a deeper dive to learn more about how to exfoliate the skin on your face.

How To Find The Best Face Exfoliator

The key to effective dead skin removal is to find the best exfoliant to use on your face. How can you know the best face exfoliator to use? Well, you need to know your skin type, to begin with. The best way to determine what type of skin you have is to take a good look at it under the light. Touch and inspect your skin an hour after you have cleansed your face. Does it feel rough or tight? Does your skin look dull or can you see any flakes?


The next thing to think about are the ingredients in the exfoliant. Think about what you would like to achieve and be sure that it matches with what the description promises. Sometimes you will see the words “brightening”, “acid”, “moisturizing”, or “granules” on the label. It’s important to be sure that you know what you’re buying as the correct face exfoliator depends on what type of skin you have.

How To Use Sexapeel™

Instant Exfoliating Spray

Give your skin a little rub. Does it turn pink or even a little bit red? That means it’s touch-sensitive, and if your skin is touch sensitive, you should be very careful if you’re using what is called a “manual” exfoliant. A manual exfoliant has tiny granules in it, which literally scrub your dead skin off using the granules combined with pressure from your own hands. You may also just have sensitive skin, which reacts when you put any kind of a chemical or something with fragrance on your face. If your skin is sensitive, using a gentle exfoliator on your face is your best bet.

Enzyme Exfoliants

The best gentle exfoliant for super sensitive skin, especially on skin that has never really utilized a facial exfoliator before, would be an enzyme exfoliant, which is derived from food such as pumpkin and pineapple. These fruit-based exfoliants will gently clear the layer of dead skin off the face by using naturally occurring enzymes. Even for sensitive skin, these can be used on a daily basis for a fresh faced look no matter how sensitive the skin. Enzyme exfoliants can be found in masks, at home peels, and moisturizers and serums.

Acid Exfoliants

Next, there are acid exfoliants. Don’t be scared! Acid exfoliators can still be really gentle! Here you would want to look for AHA, BHA, and lactic acids, which will do a great job of ridding your face of that dead and dull outer layer. There are, of course, much stronger acid exfoliators on the market as well, so take good care to research before buying and applying. 

Chemical/Gommage Exfoliant

The best chemical exfoliant for most skin types is Sexapeel™ spray exfoliator. Sexapeel exfoliator is acid-based, featuring glycolic acid, which is an alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) derived from sugar cane. It’s also really great for sensitive skin. Sexapeel is the best facial exfoliator as it’s gentle enough to be used on the delicate skin of the face, and can easily be used any time for a quick, at home exfoliation. To use Sexapeel spray exfoliator, give it a shake, spray it onto your hands, then apply to the face and gently rub the skin for 20-30 seconds, then rinse the dead skin off with lukewarm water. Your skin will look smooth, refreshed, dewy, and ready for the world!

Exfoliant for Dry Skin

If you have dry skin, or if you are over the age of 40, exfoliating the skin on your face is a must. Depending on the type of exfoliant you’re using, you can exfoliate your face a few times a week if the product is gentle enough. Manual exfoliation should be used about once per week, depending on how your skin tolerates it, however enzyme exfoliants can be used a few times a week. (Don’t forget to do a spot test first as everyone’s skin is different.)

Manual Exfoliant

A manual exfoliant is an exfoliant that uses friction or a tool (a washcloth, loofa or granule) to remove dead skin.

If you're using a manual exfoliant with granules or a “gritty” feeling, the best way to get the dead skin off of your face is to start with damp skin, then apply the product to your hands and gently rub the granules on your face.
Focus on where your skin feels driest and stay away from the very delicate skin near the eyes! The skin around the eyes should be loved and pampered and never treated with a manual exfoliant. 

To Exfoliate or Not Exfoliate?

Keep in mind that sometimes your skin should NOT be exfoliated. If you have skin that is so sensitive that after conducting a patch test your face doesn’t recover within an hour or so, now may not be the time to start exfoliating. You should start using a cleanser with an AHA in it to help exfoliate your skin and get it accustomed to using more products.

Sometimes you can get your skin “ready” for an exfoliation over time. If you have active acne, now is definitely not the time to exfoliate your face, as you could irritate your skin and make the breakout worse, or it could introduce bacteria, which may lead to an infection. If you have rosacea, you can still exfoliate your face, especially around your inflamed skin, but still should do so carefully and gently.


In addition to getting all that dead skin off and washing away the dullness from your face, you will be priming your face for an incredible makeup application. Your face will be a smooth canvas! And with no dull skin in the way, it will be ready for your foundation to be matched perfectly to your true skin tone. Your face will be soft and smooth and your makeup will lay on your skin beautifully. 

Exfoliating Do's & Don't's

Finally, please be sure to take precautions after you have exfoliated your face. Be aware that you may have some redness, even if you’re not particularly sensitive, but it will usually go away in an hour or so. If you feel a burning sensation during your patch test, do not use the product! All is not lost, though, as you can probably still use that product on your hands, feet, or other areas that love to be exfoliated! One more thing: remember, you are about to remove a thin layer of dead skin, so you will be more susceptible to sunburn! Be sure to wear sunscreen every day, wear a hat, and keep your face out of the sun. You don’t want to burn all that fresh, new skin! 

Hope that helps answer what face exfoliators do and why we need it!

See ya next time!
xo