Exfoliation – Why, when and with what

It is no secret that skin care is my passion. That is probably due to the fact that I am a physician and I love the scientific aspect, but I guess being 37 and always having had problematic skin is a big reason as well.

I believe that no makeup will look good as long as the skin beneath it is neglected, and even though I am not afraid to age (the only way out of it is dying young, you know), I want my skin to look its best at all stages of my life.

Exfoliation 101
Exfoliation 101

 

Whenever I talk about exfoliation, chemical exfoliation in particular, I get a ton of questions and am asked for recommendations. So I figured it would be best if I sat down and filmed a video, hoping to answer as many questions as possible.

 

 

Topics addressed

  • Why should you exfoliate?
  • How often should you exfoliate?
  • Physical Exfoliants
  • Chemical Exfoliants (AHAs, BHAs, PHAs)
  • Enzymatic Exfoliants

A little more information on enzymatic exfoliants is here:

„Enzymes 101“, a post by Hidden Harmony World

 

Products mentioned in the video

  • Clarisonic (Review)
  • Konjac Sponge (Review)
  • PIXI Glow Tonic
  • AlphaH Liquid Gold (Review)
  • Sunday Riley Good Genes (Review)
  • Clearasil Daily Clear Refreshing Pads (Review)

Do you exfoliate?

And which products do you prefer?

Do you have product recommendations you want to share?

 

Now if there are any questions unanswered, or if there is another topic you want me to cover, feel free to leave it in the comments below and I will do my best to answer/address them.

 

If you want to read more about skincare, please check out the „Skincare Reviews“ category in the side bar.
This post may contain affiliate links. All opinions are honest and my own.

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  • Ten

    Great watch! and beautiful blog as well.. <3

    haveyouseenten.com

  • Great video, really enjoyed watching!

    Anika | anikamay.co.uk

  • This is such a very great video, so full of information, I think I will try the Good Genes very soon!

    http://fannyanddailybeauty.com

    • There is currently a duo pack with a Luna and a Good Genes small size, great for testing.

      • Thank you for the info, I will check it out, even though I’m not sure if I want to try the Luna oil as I’ve been reading so many mixed reviews recently!

        • You have? What was the downside?

          • I’ve seen a few people saying that, for the price, the results weren’t that obvious, that is was nothing else than just an average night oil! I’m a little bit confused now!

          • Oh, okay. I cant tell you about the long-time effects, I have only used it for about two weeks now (three?), but it is a lovely oil from first impression and I have been paying as much for others without Retinol. The Retinol is maybe a weaker formulation, which is why the results are maybe not that obvious, but it has no side effects like peeling to irritation. A bonus for sensitive skin I might think. But I will get back to you with my final thoughts in June.

          • Oh I didn’t know you were trying it ! The fact that it seems adapted to sensitive skin is what made me first want it, now I believe I will wait for your final thoughts to take a decision!

          • I will write a review in July, which is when I have been using it long enough. I even remembered to take before pictures of my hyper pigmentation!

  • Haha, I always say that the only alternative to aging is dying young!
    http://carolinapage.eu

  • Very informative video! I’m like you and exfoliate my skin using chemical exfoliators every other day or so, my skin loves it and definitely is looking its best yet. x

    Mummy’s Beauty Corner

    • Strange, isn´t it? I am nearing 40 and yet my skin looks better than it did in my mid-twenties. It is not about age, it is about knowledge. And consistency. And a better diet than in my mid-twenties, I think.

  • I never exfoliated my skin until about a year ago. I tried one product by Garnier and saw soooo much build up come off, it was terrifying, so I continued to use it. Then I got my Silvercrest face brush, which made my skin super soft and clean, and now I don’t think I’ll ever stop using it 😀 I love how you talk about every product from a scientific point of view… It’s always super informative. I didn’t know you were a physician, but that explains a lot. I would really love to know as much about the skin as you do. I have been really trying to figure out what different ingredients mean and do, so all of your posts are really helpful when it comes to that 🙂 Thank you for sharing your knowledge with us 🙂 xx

    BeautyPepTalk

    • I stopped using my Clarisonic because my skin didn´t take it too well anymore, but before that I used it several years and loved the way it made my skin feel.
      I am glad I can be of help. If there is any topic you would like covered in another video, please feel free to leave me a comment and I will be happy to do my research.

  • I never exfoliated my skin until about a year ago. I tried one product by Garnier and saw soooo much build up come off, it was terrifying, so I continued to use it. Then I got my Silvercrest face brush, which made my skin super soft and clean, and now I don’t think I’ll ever stop using it 😀 I love how you talk about every product from a scientific point of view… It’s always super informative. I didn’t know you were a physician, but that explains a lot. I would really love to know as much about the skin as you do. I have been really trying to figure out what different ingredients mean and do, so all of your posts are really helpful when it comes to that 🙂 Thank you for sharing your knowledge with us 🙂 xx

    BeautyPepTalk

  • Kay (shoesandglitter)

    Thank you so much for this video! Honestly, I’m not very knowledgeable when it comes to skincare, especially exfoliating. So believe it or not, I was actually watching this and taking some notes! 🙂 I don’t exfoliate as much as I should, it’s the one step in my skincare routine I always tend to neglect. I will try out those Clearasil pads as they do seem very handy and affordable, I’m a little worried about the alcohol in them as my skin doesn’t usually react well to that, but I think for the price it’s still worth a try! x x Thanks for sharing this! 🙂 <3

    Kay
    http://shoesandglitter.com

    • It is worth trying, you cant really go wrong at this price. But if alcohol is a concern and your skin isn’t very acne-prone I would suggest the PIXI Glow Tonic. Maybe something to switch to if you like the effect of the Clearasil Pads and want to do more, as it is a little pricier.

    • It is worth trying, you cant really go wrong at this price. But if alcohol is a concern and your skin isn’t very acne-prone I would suggest the PIXI Glow Tonic. Maybe something to switch to if you like the effect of the Clearasil Pads and want to do more, as it is a little pricier.

      • Kay (shoesandglitter)

        Thank you for the tip. 🙂 I will try out the Clearasil pads first, since the Pixi tonic is a little more on the pricey side. x

  • I love how well you’ve explained everything! I feel like maybe I should include a BHA treatment in my routine, to be used only when I need it. I’ve been thinking of getting the Paula’s Choice one, have you tried it before?

    Advaita | Blush Canvas

    • I haven tried anything form Paula´s Choice, but the brand is definitely on my list of brands that I want to explore. Only problem is this list is so long (and potentially so expensive), so I am not sure when I will get around to.
      I use my BHA only when needed as well, but with all the hormonal changes that has been almost everyday. I hope everything is back to normal soon…

  • I try to exfoliate once a month. I used to get chemical peels at a salon a few years back. Now I rely on my exfoliator from The Body Shop.

    http://www.mydailywear.co.uk

  • I didn’t know much about exfoliating but now I certainly took few notes 🙂 Very lovely and informative post, Anne. I need to step up my exfoliating game as I don’t think I do it enough.

    -Leta | The Nerdy Me

    • The younger you are, the less exfoliation is necessary. Only if you are a sun worshipper or a heavy smoker, in this case you have to start pretty early. But it doesn’t hurt to gradually introduce it into your routine early and increase frequency as time goes by.
      If there is any other skincare topic you would want covered, please just drop me a line.

    • The younger you are, the less exfoliation is necessary. Only if you are a sun worshipper or a heavy smoker, in this case you have to start pretty early. But it doesn’t hurt to gradually introduce it into your routine early and increase frequency as time goes by.
      If there is any other skincare topic you would want covered, please just drop me a line.

  • Mary

    Thanks for this great informative video. My dermatologist told me that exfoliation is one of the most important things we can do for your skin as we get older. I’m in my early 40s so this rings true for me!

    http://www.districthilo.com

    Love, Mary

    • I am completely on board with your dermatologist. Exfoliation, SPF and hydrate are key.

    • I am completely on board with your dermatologist. Exfoliation, SPF and hydrate are key.

  • A great video and very informative. It’s important to exfoliate and I have recently been using one by Tropic Skincare (also giving it away on my blog actually).

    It’s recommended to use 3 times a week, for me I tend to use it twice and it’s been working really very nicely for me in my thirties.

    Thanks for sharing!

    Laura xo

    http://www.shehearts.net

    • Tropic skincare sounds like an enzymatic peel? I will have to check out your giveaway and see what you think of it.

    • Tropic skincare sounds like an enzymatic peel? I will have to check out your giveaway and see what you think of it.

  • Ah! So many good pieces of information! I’ll definitely have to step up my exfoliation game and find something that actually works with my skin 😉 I’ll definitely be watching this through later and taking some notes!

    Erin
    http://sexycardi.blogspot.ca

    • I hope you will find something that works for you. Exfoliation is really an important part in my routine. Did you come back inspired from your trip?

    • I hope you will find something that works for you. Exfoliation is really an important part in my routine. Did you come back inspired from your trip?

      • Yes and no, haha. I think it’s not really blogging that I was finding dull, it’s my life at the moment. I’ve taken that as a cue to look for a new job and try to live a little better.

        • Oh well, if your life is dull, blogging won´t be the escape. But with some changes may come more inspiration.

  • Great video I learned a lot 😀
    Gemma x

  • I have only just recently realised the benefits of exfoliation and its amazing!

    Parie x

    classandglitter.com

  • As you know, I’m an exfoliator. There is a fine line for my skin between the perfect amount and too much. I use Pixi almost everyday. I alternate my products at night between several things but it almost always includes SR Tidal or SR Good Genes. The nights I go for an exfoliating mask or PTR Unwrinkle pad, I skip the other components and do something healing like something with sea buckthorn, rosehip, or vitamin C.

    • Sounds pretty similar to my routine. I rotate my exfoliation products as well, depending on my skins needs and the other stuff I am using. That seems to be the best way to go. And it keeps my routine exciting.

    • Sounds pretty similar to my routine. I rotate my exfoliation products as well, depending on my skins needs and the other stuff I am using. That seems to be the best way to go. And it keeps my routine exciting.

  • You are so extremely knowledgeable and this video was really helpful! Of course now I want the Good Genes…I only use the Pixi Glow Tonic at the moment.

    Agata http://herandmakeup.com

    • The Glow Tonic is a great one to start. You are still young, you have time to get into it slowly. But the Good Genes is a nice product.

    • The Glow Tonic is a great one to start. You are still young, you have time to get into it slowly. But the Good Genes is a nice product.

  • As you know, I loved this video! Very informative! xx

    Beautylymin

    • Thank you. That means a lot, as I know that you take your skincare very seriously.

  • oh ja, ich muss mich immer daran erinnern regelmäßig auch wenn ich müde bin dran zu denken, das ganze programm durchzuziehen und nicht nur einen teil des hautpflege programms 😀 pixi steht schon länger auf meiner probier liste 😀 das muss ich mir echt mal ansehen 🙂
    http://www.youtube.com/c/MissLovelyAttitude
    http://lovelyattitude.com

    • Lohnt sich auf jeden Fall. Ich kann inzwischen nicht mehr schlafen, wenn ich nicht mein Programm gemacht hab, das nervt mich so, dass ich wieder aufstehe.

  • Rachel Vogt (Rachel Vogt Trend

    This is great! Thanks for sharing.

    xoxo, Rachel

    http://www.rachelvogttrends.com

  • Great breakdown! I try to alternate between physical and chemical exfoliants but I always try to be conscious to not over exfoliate since it can have adverse effects.

    • Absolutely. I used to go crazy with the scrubs and my skin was so much worse!

  • Aditi Oberoi Malhotra

    This very helpful babe, thanks for the video!!

    Adi xx

    http://www.fancycorrectitude.com

  • thefashionsalt

    I love how you break down the chemical exfoliants. I’ve wanted to try one, but wasn’t sure which would be best. Now I know lactic acid would probably work best, and that Sunday Riley one sounds perfect. And your little one sounds so sweet in the background 🙂
    ~Lili
    http://www.thefashionsalt.com

  • Great post and video! I stopped using physical exfoliants more than 5 years ago, except for the absolute most gentle ones that don’t have scratchy particles – so no scrubs, but I use exfoliating creams that get thicker when you massage or ball up. In that category I warmly recommend Institut Esthederm Crème Douce Désincrustante and Masque Gomme Purifiant, both excellent and absolutely not irritating even for the most sensitive skins. Unfortunately they’re almost impossible to find in the US, but it’s easier in Europe.
    I do use chemical exfoliants daily, in the form of AHA and BHA. I don’t use any product containing retinol right now but I need to find a good one. AHA products are everywhere but it’s a little hard to find one with BHA that’s not designed for young acne-prone skin, so I get mine from Paula’s Choice.

    Beaumiroir

    • I have heard great things about the Paula´s Choice range and have been meaning to try something from them for a while now. And you are right, BHA´s are usually like the Clearasil Pads aimed at young and spotty skin.
      I admit that I do use a physical exfoliant every now and again, mainly because I am curious and want to test the stuff.

  • I would love to try chemical scrubs. I used St Ives Apricot scrub for sometime and really didn’t like the harsh feeling. I am looking for some mild scrubs because those suit me best. Thanks for sharing. 🙂

    Chaste & Beautiful

    • If you want to avoid the harshness, chemical exfoliants really are the ay to go. They are very effective without the micro trauma.

    • If you want to avoid the harshness, chemical exfoliants really are the ay to go. They are very effective without the micro trauma.

  • Trang Do

    Great review! Love the video!

    Xoxo,
    Love from http://www.trangscorner.com {a lifestyle, fashion, beauty, and food blog}

  • Rosanna Briguglio

    Great products, I really want to try the Sunday Riley Good Genes and I love the Pixi Glow Tonic!
    Have a lovely weekend 🙂
    Rosanna x
    http://rosesrooftop.blogspot.co.uk/

  • Very informative! At the moment I exfoliate with a 2% BHA lotion for the face. And for my body I use either an exfoliating glove or an in-shower body scrub. And yes to callagen production!

  • I’m only 27 and i already feel like my skin is dull and dehydrated. I do vote for exfoliations and tonics like the one from Pixi and Clinique. I hope i can move out London one day somewhere where it’s green and less pollution, i don’t think pollution helps my skin to be healthier x
    London personal style blogger Yukova

    • That is an important point, environmental damage like pollution is taking a toll on our skin, no matter our age. And I can imagine London being pretty harsh. Any moving plans soon or is it just a dream for the future?

    • That is an important point, environmental damage like pollution is taking a toll on our skin, no matter our age. And I can imagine London being pretty harsh. Any moving plans soon or is it just a dream for the future?

  • I am way less consistent with my body exfoliation, but I started dry brushing when I was pregnant and do that before I shower. It is exfoliating, but said to b tightening and detoxifying as well, and it is strangely enjoyable.

  • You look amazing on the video, glowy skin!!

    Happy Friday!! Kisses,

    BLOG | TAISLANY

  • I really like using acids, right now I use every morning the Clinique Mild Clarifying Lotion which has 0.5% of salicylic acid and every third night Derma E overnight peel which has 5% of glycolic acid and also some malic a lactic acids.

    However I feel I may need something stronger but I don’t know what as I tried to avoid using alcohol to prevent more dehydration on my skin. Any recs?

    • That is tricky, because almost all stronger chemical exfoliants contain alcohol to increase efficacy. I personally don’t know about a stronger one without. I bet there are some though, I just haven’t heard of them yet.

      • I was afraid you said so. I’m so tempted to use Liquid Gold but alcohol and price stop me. Maybe if I can get in shape my skin and stop dehydration I’ll bit the bullet and try acids with alcohol or I’d try Avène Triacneal.

        • I will keep my eyes open and if I discover something without alcohol I´d recommend I will tell you.

        • I will keep my eyes open and if I discover something without alcohol I´d recommend I will tell you.

  • Kelly M

    It is so cool to see you and your absolutely radiant skin! I did not know about 28 days for a full cell turn over.. I think this started to happen to me at 25.. Would you say this is accurate? Exfoliation is 100% necessary! Can this be done with a good scrub or a mud mask? Am I totally missing the point? Haha! It is the day after Cinco de Drinko after all..

    XOXO
    kellmenow | http://www.kellmenow.com/productreviews/
    Instagram | https://www.instagram.com/kell_menow/
    Facebook | https://www.facebook.com/kellmenow/?fref=ts
    Twitter | https://twitter.com/kell_menow
    BlogLovin | https://www.bloglovin.com/blogs/blog-kellmenow-14252307

    • How you exfoliate is down to personal preference. Of course a good scrub will be effective. My problem with physical exfoliants is that most of them cause small injuries to the skin, which can lead to inflammation. The one thing that doesn’t, the microbeads, are environmentally dangerous, so I stick to chemical peels. A mud mask has detoxifying purpose, but not that much of an exfoliating effect.

  • Kate

    This was so informative! You look gorgeous in the video – your skin is glowing! I’m forever trying to balance my skin’s sensitivity with its tendency to get congested so regular, gentle exfoliation is a must for me. x

    Kate Louise Blogs

  • Great video and very informative. I love using face mask but I have been thinking recently I actually need to exfoliate a bit more. The PIXI Glow Tonic sounds lovely and I really want to try it out. Your skin looks so glowing and now that I’m 39, skincare is a very big deal for me (always been) and taking care of my skin. Thanks for sharing this video. x

    http://facetocurls.com/

    • The great thing about the Pixi Glow Tonic is that you can use it every day (or every other day), so you will see the results constantly and it isn’t that expensive.

  • I like the way you think – aging is inevitable but doesn’t mean we shouldn’t take care of our skin 🙂

    I really should be more regular with my exfoliation regime – I have a face and a body scrub but they only tend to get used when I have an extra few minutes in the shower, which isn’t often with two under 2 haha.

    Away From The Blue Blog

    • I am not that consistent with my body exfoliation, but my face exfoliation is part of my daily routine, so I never skip it. But I agree, taking the time for yourself with two children around is a struggle.

  • idu

    Your son chuckling was so cute. You did shed a lot of light on exfoliation and your skin is glowing btw. I must get me the good genes asap. I’ve always been a fan of physical exfoliating cos I feel like I’m actually doing something, lol. Great video, loaded with info.

    http://fashionablyidu.blogspot.com/

    • I used to prefer physical as well, but as I got older I realized it was doing more harm on my skin than good.

  • I’m a big fan of the Liquid Gold, I’ve been meaning to get the glow tonic for absolutely ages and Good Genes is defo on my wishlist too.

    Tenz

    http://www.shesabouthatlife.com

    xxx

    • I can wholeheartedly recommend all of them. I got the Good Genes for my mother as a Christmas present and she loves it as well.

  • I does smell very nice. The Pixi is a great place to start, non-irritating, not too expensive and that way you can see if acids do something for you or not. I believe they will, and then you can upgrade to one of the other products. Good Genes is great, but pretty expensive to start with.

  • rakhshanda

    I would love to try these products dear. Great video 🙂
    http://www.rakhshanda-chamberofbeauty.com/

  • This is very helpful! I really needed these tips to help with my skin!x

    AimeeSueXO
    BlogLovin

    • What do you struggle with?

      • Just acne prone skin. My acne’s all cleared up now but I still struggle with scaring and redness x

        • They are great to help with scarring, but have you tried a retinol?

  • Really liked this video, I’m trying to get more into skincare but it’s a bit confusing so things like this really help!

    alicered.co.uk

    • It can be overwhelming, as there are so many product and opinions out there.

  • I never knew how often to exfoliate! Thanks for posting!

    Darriyan♡ | http://www.darriyancateland.blogspot.com

    • It is best to start slowly and then build up to more frequent exfoliation in the process.

  • Ellen Warner

    Thanks for posting, it’s been really helpful. I am a bit crap at exfoliating!

    http://www.ejwxo.blogspot.com

  • Dressed With Soul

    Ich musste auch über den Satz im Eingang sehr schmunzeln, und es ist wahr, was Du schreibst. Um Deine Frage zu beantworten: ich peele meine Haut nur sehr selten, früher habe ich es noch öfter gemacht, aber mit der Zeit immer noch seltener. Ob das nun positiv oder negativ ist, da bin ich mir nicht sicher 🙂
    http://www.dressedwithsoul.com

    • Das kannst natürlich nur Du wissen, ob es positiv oder negativ ist. Aber solange Deine Haut so schön und strahlend ist wie auf den Fotos, kann es nicht ganz verkehrt sein.

  • You’re quite right about the appearance of makeup depending entirely on the skin underneath! Thanks for the reminder to exfoliate…

    aglassofice.com
    x

  • Toyas Tales

    This was very informative. I always used face scrubs for exfoliation but never felt like they were totally adequate at removing all of the dead skin. i have been afraid of chemical exfoliation because my skin is extremely sensitive and I heard some may cause excessive peeling.
    LaToya
    http://www.toyastales.blogspot.com

    • I think it is the dose that makes the poison, as it is with everything. If you choose a mild one (Pixi Glow Tonic, Clarins Gentle Exfoliant) and start maybe once a week, you should be fine. And from that you can work your way up to a few more times, just like your skin is most comfortable with.

  • I don’t exfoliate that much so thank you for the reminder! And I agree that we need to listen to our skin. I love your new videos lately, you put a lot of text now, and you are a natural in front of the camera. xx

  • This was really informative video, thank you!

    Kisses,

    Nazlıgül | on my own way

    • Do you exfoliate regularly?

      • Yes, I do. I recently got a scrubbing gel from Yves Rocher but I can’t say that I like it.

        • Why not? Too harsh?

          • The texture is not. But it really makes my skin dry after application which I told you it’s already dry enough..

  • Hanna

    Love the video, thanks for sharing –Hanna Lei

    Latest Post: Outfit: 2-D Cartoon Bag after Finals

  • Your friend can rest assured, the Glow Tonic does not worsen cystic acne. I do have cystic spots myself, and in contrary I found glycolic acid to be very helpful with my skins condition.

  • theSTYLetti

    Really great video. It is so nice to know why certain products are better for acne-prone skin. Just enough of a description and so informative. Thanks for sharing! 🙂 Janea
    http://theSTYLetti.com