Are you exfoliating your skin the wrong way?



Yeah, this is one of the most common skin related query I get from my patients.

Well, this depends on your age, skin type, any active skin problem you are having etc. and also on the exfoliation method you are using. 

The normal skin turnover cycle is around 28 days for most individuals. That is, our skin replenishes itself every 28 days. Exfoliating can help to accelerate this process by removing the outermost dead layer of cells. Exfoliating the skin results is more fresher and radiant looking skin. It reduces the pigmentation, dark circles and pimples, reduces the oiliness of skin, decrease open pores and results in a healthy and radiant skin. But over exfoliation can result in dryness and irritation of skin. So it is important to find a balance that work well for your skin type.


Exfoliation methods can be home based treatment and clinic based treatment.

Home based include home peels like AHA 30% peel, BHA 2% peel, glycolic acid peel, lactic acid peel etc.

Clinic based peels should be done by a dermatologist. This include glycolic acid 30-70%, salicylic acid 30%, lactic acid, mandelic acid, tricholoro acetic acid, kojic acid, phenol, resorcinol etc. which are for professional use only.


If you are less than 20 years, and have normal skin, your skin does not need exfoliation. Daily cleansing with a pH balanced cleanser would do.

If you have oily skin, go for exfoliation once a week if using home exfoliation methods, like BHA 2%, AHA 30% etc.

If you have dry skin, lactic acid helps in gentle exfoliation and can be done fortnightly.

Those who are more than 20years old and with oily acne prone skin, exfoliate weekly once or twice with AHA, BHA peel.

Those with pigmentation can go for AHA once weekly. Those with dry skin can go for lactic acid peel once every 2 weeks. 

Those who are above 30 years, with oily skin exfoliate twice weekly with AHA or BHA peel. And those with dry skin can use lactic acid based home peel. Those who have pigmentation, use AHA peel, glycolic acid based peel or kojic acid based peel twice a week. 

Make sure you are using the correct product according to your skin type. If you have any doubt regarding which product to use and when to use, better consult your dermatologist rather than testing on your skin.


After care following clinic exfoliation include skin barrier repair creams, sunscreen and moisturiser. Avoid harsh cleansers and parlour procedures for 3-5 days.

After care following home exfoliation include moisturiser use after washing face and sunscreen use as required.

If you are using any active treatment for acne or pigmentation, you can contine the same the next day if there is no irritation or redness following exfoliation.

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