7 Common Exfoliation Mistakes You Keep Making Every Time

The harms you’ve been doing to your skin

A lady exfoliating her face

Though exfoliation is an important skincare routine and the major secret to an healthy glowing skin, doing it the wrong way can do more harm than its good. For a more effective results, here are the 7 common yet detrimental mistakes you should avoid when exfoliating:

1. Exfoliating too frequently/ Not exfoliating enough

The number of times you exfoliate each week depends on your skin type and what you’re trying to achieve. But no matter the skin type, you don’t want to be exfoliating every day. Exfoliating every day won’t give your new cells the chance to turnover. It also strips the skin of its natural oil and can cause breakouts. 

If your skin can handle it, experts recommend you exfoliate two to three times per week. But for sensitive or dry skin, you might just want to exfoliate once a week or month depending on what your skin can handle. Have a standard exfoliation routine and avoid over-exfoliating as this can cause irritation to your skin and can lead to skin damage.


Under-exfoliation will allow dead skin cells to build up, leading to dullness and rough texture. Your skincare products may also not get the chance to penetrate as deeply as they should when you don’t exfoliate. 

The best option is to visit your dermatologist, know your skin type and determine the best exfoliating routine for you. This will help prevent over-exfoliating or under-exfoliating, giving you a proper balance.

2. Using the wrong exfoliator for your skin

Exfoliators samples

As you determine your exfoliation routine, you should also pick the best exfoliator that’s right for your skin type. Generally, there are two types of exfoliator – physical exfoliator and chemical exfoliator. 

If you have dry or sensitive skin, you should avoid physical exfoliators as they can be harsh on the skin. If you want to use one, use a gentle physical exfoliator but it’s best if you avoid it. Go for chemical exfoliators instead as these are usually gentle on the skin. 

Oily skin can still use physical exfoliator so as to be able to effectively remove dead cells build-up, but all the same, do not scrub too aggressively to avoid skin tears. 

Don’t just buy any exfoliator, check it out and make sure it is suitable for your skin type. If you by chance use an exfoliator that irritates your skin, stop it and opt for another one.

Exfoliation routine chart for different skin types

3. Not exfoliating when the skin is dry

Many people don’t exfoliate when their skin is dry most especially during winter. It is necessary to exfoliate to remove dead skin cells accumulated from dry air. The only thing is that it’s best to avoid physical exfoliators during winter, as they can be harsh on the skin and cause micro-tears. Instead, opt for a gentle, chemical exfoliator that contains ingredients like glycolic acid for healthy skin turnover.

4. Not moisturizing after exfoliating

A lady applying moisturizer on a damp skin

Exfoliation removes dead skin cells as well as the natural oils of the skin. After exfoliating, the best practice is to apply moisturizer immediately to prevent the skin from being too dry and irritated.

5. Don’t exfoliate for too long

People think the longer they exfoliate, the better it works. Well, it might be the more you are hurting your skin. Sometimes, “less is much”. Exfoliate for just 30 seconds to 1 minute. Don’t scrub your skin for too long. Exfoliate in a circular motion to effectively remove dead skin cells.

6. Scrubbing aggressively

Scrubbing the skin during shower

The way some people exfoliate, you’d think they are at war with their skin. Your skin needs care so be gentle with it. You’d be told to scrub hard to be able to fully remove dead skin cells especially on stubborn parts like the legs. Yes fine! But not as hard as your skin having tears (just because you want new skin). Avoid scrubbing aggressively especially when you are using physical exfoliators. It can cause skin irritation, microtears and skin damage. Keep your skin happy by scrubbing gently.

7. Using hot water after exfoliating

This is a bad practice. Exfoliation itself already made your skin dry, using hot water from your shower to wash off the scrub will only leave your skin drier. Wash off your scrub using lukewarm water.

Want to know more beauty mistakes you unconsciously make everyday?

Then make sure to sign up for my newsletter to:

  • Enjoy exclusive beauty tips every week
  • Get notified of new beauty contents you will definitely love.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *