The Benefits of a Exfoliating (And Why You Should Try A Cleansing Powder)

The Benefits of a Exfoliating (And Why You Should Try A Cleansing Powder)

Exfoliating is a pretty popular buzzword in relation to a skincare routine - for good reason. This step helps to rejuvenate and revitalize your skin, leaving it glowing and refreshed.

I get asked so many questions on exfoliating, "is it for me?", "what's the best exfoliant?", "how often should I exfoliate?"...

I just knew it was time to delve into exfoliation and break down what it is, the numerous benefits it offers, and one of my favorite at-home exfoliants to take your skincare routine to the next level.

What is Exfoliating and its Purpose?

Exfoliating is the process of removing dead skin cells from the surface of your skin. These cells can accumulate over time, giving your skin a dull look, clogged pores, and uneven skin tone. The primary purpose of exfoliating is to promote cell turnover - the continuous process of shedding dead skin cells and subsequently replacing them with younger cells.  This process has become the holy grail of healthy skin because the process reveals fresh, vibrant, softer skin.

There are core main types of exfoliation: physical (mechanical) and chemical.

  • Physical exfoliation involves using abrasive substances like granules or brushes to manually slough off dead skin cells.
  • Chemical exfoliation utilizes acids or enzymes to dissolve dead skin cells. This method is often gentler, more controlled, and can penetrate deeper into the skin.

The Benefits of Exfoliating

Dead skin cells can be somewhat of a pain as they can build up, stick to the outermost surface of the skin, and cloud your complexion.  Bringing emphasis to a dull appearance, fine lines, and even wrinkles.   

Let's look at some ways exfoliating is beneficial to your skin:

  • Brighter Complexion: Regular exfoliation removes the dull, dead skin cells on the surface, allowing your skin to reflect light better and appear more radiant.
  • Smaller Pores: Exfoliating helps to unclog pores, reducing their appearance and preventing breakouts caused by trapped oil and debris.

  • Even Skin Tone: By removing pigmented, dead skin cells, exfoliating can contribute to a more even skin tone, reducing the appearance of dark spots and hyperpigmentation.

  • Improved Texture: Exfoliating encourages smoother skin by eliminating rough patches, leaving behind a soft and supple texture.
  • Stimulates Collagen Production: By promoting cell turnover, exfoliating stimulates collagen production, which is crucial for maintaining skin elasticity and firmness.

    Let's Talk Physical Exfoliants

    Physical exfoliants are typically frowned upon because of their abrasiveness and often can do more harm than good to your skin.  Unpopular opinion here...

    Physical exfoliants aren't a bad thing!  Hear me out.  While there is a ton of emphasis on chemical exfoliants which are gentler in nature, it's all about selecting the right exfoliant and using it appropriately.

    Now, while they may not be for all skin types they are effective at removing debris and dead skin cells, providing instant results, and are often a practical choice for individuals who may not have access to advanced skincare products and/or treatments.

    How to Upgrade Your Routine Using a Physical Exfoliant

    Traditional physical exfoliants come in various forms, but there is one product that has gained popularity and that is...cleansing powders. Cleansing powders are a dry, powdered product that is designed to cleanse AND exfoliate the skin. Unlike traditional cleansers, which are often in liquid or gel form, cleansing powders typically come in a dry, finely milled powder. These powders are activated by adding water, creating a paste that can be applied to the skin.

    Here's how you can seamlessly integrate it into your skincare routine:

    • Choose the Right Product: Look for a cleansing powder with gentle exfoliating agents such as rice bran, oatmeal, or enzymes. These ingredients effectively slough off dead skin cells without causing irritation.

    • Mix with Water: Most cleansing powders require you to mix them with water or hydrosol to create a paste. This ensures a smooth application and prevents over-exfoliation.

    • Gentle Massage: Apply the cleansing powder to damp skin and gently massage in circular motions. This helps distribute the product evenly and enhances the exfoliating effect.

    • Adjust Frequency: Unlike some traditional exfoliants that may be too harsh for daily use, cleansing powders are often gentle enough for regular application. However, it's essential to monitor your skin's response and adjust the frequency accordingly.  I recommend following the general rule of thumb of 1-2 times a week.

      And What About the Benefits?

      • Customizable Intensity: Cleansing powders offer a customizable exfoliation experience. You can control the intensity by adjusting the amount of water or cleanser used in the mixing process, ensuring a personalized skincare routine.

      • Travel-Friendly: With their dry, powder form, these exfoliants are travel-friendly and easy to pack without the risk of spillage. This makes them a convenient choice for maintaining your skincare routine on the go.

      • Long Shelf Life: Unlike some liquid exfoliants that may lose efficacy over time, cleansing powders often have a longer shelf life, making them a cost-effective option.

      • Versatility: Cleansing powders can double as a mask or be combined with other skincare products for a customized treatment. This versatility makes them a valuable addition to any skincare routine.

      • Suitable For All Skin Types: Generally suitable for a wide range of skin types, making them a versatile option in skincare routines. They tend to be gentle and less abrasive compared to some physical exfoliants, which makes them suitable for sensitive or delicate skin.

      Essential Tips to Exfoliating

      While there are many benefits to exfoliating, it's no secret that exfoliating can leave your skin vulnerable.  To reduce issues such as irritation or sensitivity, here are a few skin tips to incorporate into your routine alongside exfoliating:

      • Finish your routine with a moisturizer that hydrates and nourishes the skin.

      • Limit exfoliation to no more than 2 times a week.  If you find your skin doesn't respond well to this frequency, decrease to 1 time a week.

      • Exfoliate during your PM routine.  When you exfoliate you are revealing fresh new skin to the surface.  When performed during your AM routine you are subjecting your skin to bacteria, debris, and pollutants during such a vulnerable state.  Opt for performing exfoliating at night to allow your skin time to rebound (when it's working the hardest to regenerate) before it comes into contact with everyday elements.

      • Wear sun protection to keep your skin looking youthful and feeling supple.  Pssst, SPF should be worn daily despite skin type, concern, and/or exfoliating choices.


      In conclusion, exfoliating can be an essential step in achieving and maintaining healthy, glowing skin. The benefits are numerous, ranging from a brighter complexion to improved texture and even skin tone. By incorporating a cleansing, exfoliating powder into your routine, you not only amplify these advantages but also enjoy a customizable and convenient exfoliation experience that doesn't compromise your skin health. 

       xo, Frankie

      Frankie Croker | Holistic Esthetician

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