Best Way to Exfoliate Your Face For Instantly Glowing Skin

Posted by Sandra Scott on

A good exfoliator removes dead skin cells, brightens your skin, makes your face feel smooth … and look really, really clean.

Get it right and you’ll have fresh, glowing skin. 

But get it wrong and you can do more harm than good!

Abrasive scrub exfoliators can damage your skin barrier - leading to redness, inflammation, and breakouts. Along with hyperpigmentation, especially if you have black or darker-toned skin. 

That’s why skin care experts recommend a gentler option… a chemical exfoliant. Not as scary as it sounds! 

Read on for the best way to reveal fresh, glowing skin in minutes.


best way to exfoliate to avoid hyperpigmentation


Exfoliation: The basics

Your skin naturally sheds dead skin cells every 30 days or so to make room for new, healthy cells. 

But sometimes the old cells don’t shed completely – resulting in dry, flaky skin that looks dull.

Exfoliation stops this by speeding up the process and removing the dead skin cells from the surface of your skin.


What are the skin benefits of exfoliation? 

Because it gets rid of the old dead cells, exfoliating is the one step in your skincare routine that will get your complexion glowing! 

It makes your skin feel smooth and leaves it looking brighter, clearer and younger.

Regularly exfoliating away dead skin cells means:

  • Fewer breakouts 
  • Smoother skin texture
  • No ingrown hairs
  • Brighter, glowing skin 

and ... 

  • It allows your moisturizer to absorb easily, keeping your skin well hydrated

It also increases blood circulation to your face, bringing nutrients to the skin’s surface and encouraging cell renewal.


Why is exfoliating especially important for a man's skin? 

It’s the build-up of dead skin cells that block your hair follicles and cause razor bumps and ingrown hairs when you shave. 

So exfoliating the dead cells away keeps your follicles clear - and stops ingrown hairs from forming.

Your beard grows faster too! 
We’ve got more on how exfoliation encourages beard growth here: “ EXFOLIATION: The Secret to an Awesome Beard”.


What can I use to exfoliate my skin? 

Exfoliation used to be limited to grainy facial scrubs. But now there are other gentler options.

Essentially there are two different types of exfoliant you can use – physical and chemical.

Physical exfoliation: This works by mechanically buffing off dead skin cells. Physical exfoliants include:

  • Facial Scrubs
  • Facial brushes and electronic cleaning devices
  • Exfoliating gloves

Chemical exfoliation: These natural exfoliants work by dissolving the bonds that hold dead skin cells together. The most effective are:

  • Alpha-hydroxy acids (AHAs) such as glycolic, lactic and citric acids. These work by gently ‘unglueing’ the bonds holding dull and dead skin cells to your skin’s surface. 
  • Beta-hydroxy acids (BHAs) such as salicylic acid. These may be better for acne-prone skin.

best way to exfoliate your face


What’s the best way to exfoliate my face? 

We always recommend a gentle, natural chemical exfoliant as the best way to go.

And here’s why.

Don’t use:

  Exfoliating Scrubs - the mechanical action of the exfoliating particles against your skin causes micro-tears.

This lets bacteria in and can triggers acne breakouts. It makes your face and body more susceptible to irritation and hyperpigmentation (and leaves your skin looking red and angry too!)

  Facial brushes, electronic cleaning devices and exfoliating gloves – along with damage to your skin barrier, they can be a breeding ground for bacteria unless you keep them scrupulously clean.  

Instead use:

   Natural chemical exfoliants that gently ‘unglue’ and dissolve away the dead skin cells.


Why is a chemical exfoliant better than a facial scrub? 

Natural chemical exfoliants work in a much more uniform way – leaving your skin looking smooth and glowing (not red and angry!).

They gently ‘unglue’ and dissolve the dead skin cells – rather than rubbing them away like a scrub does.

And the chemical exfoliants alpha-hydroxy acids (AHAs) are also powerful antioxidants – which stimulate your skin’s natural collagen production and repair any environmental damage to your skin.

That’s why we advocate gently exfoliating every day using our Daily Face Wash which contains the gentle AHA, Lactic Acid.

Cleaning and exfoliating in one daily step!

The Exfoliating Face Wash Every Man Needs




What Daily Face Wash delivers:

  • It makes your skin look smoother, clearer and brighter
  • It cleans your face so it feels fresh – with no dryness or tightness
  • Blemishes and pores appear smaller
  • It helps to get rid of blackheads
  • And reduces the chance of ingrown hairs

And using Daily Face Wash allows for better absorption of your moisturizer too, keeping your skin well hydrated.



Best face wash for my sensitive skin
My skin is sensitive and can get very dry and flaky. I want to exfoliate to get rid of the flakes but every scrub or exfoliating wash that I’ve used has left my face feeling red and raw. This Otis face wash doesn’t do that! I can use it every day and there’s no redness, no flakiness and no dryness!

Kevin, London

Why OTIS Daily Face Wash is so special 

  • Formulated with Lactic Acid (a mild AHA) to dissolve away dead skin cells and brighten even the most sensitive skin
  • Includes hydrating Glycerin and soothing Aloe Vera to protect your skin’s delicate balance of moisture so there’s no tight, dry feeling.
  • It does a really thorough job of washing away dirt and oil. 
  • And stimulates cell renewal and unclogs pores 

It’s suitable for all skin types, including sensitive skin and acne-prone skin.

Good to know: It’s cruelty free. We never test on animals.
And like all our products, it has undergone and passed the rigorous European Cosmetic Regulations. 


Daily Face Wash is part of our high-performance skincare routine for men. 

Customer tip: Apply a pea-sized amount of Daily Face Wash to your dry face just before stepping into the shower. Leave it to work for a few minutes, then lather and rinse.

And what works best for your face applies to the rest of your body. Whether you're exfoliating your chest, your legs or your back it’s always best to use a gentle natural AHA rather than a scrub



How often should I exfoliate my face?

Our exfoliating Daily Face Wash is gentle enough to use twice a day for all skin types.


What product should I use after exfoliating?

Apply a moisturiser straight after exfoliation. This will keep your face properly hydrated.

And because you’ve already got rid of the dead skin cells it allows your moisturizer to absorb easily and maximize the benefits to your skin.


I have sensitive skin. How often should I exfoliate, and what should I use?

OTIS Daily Face Wash can be used every day and is perfect for exfoliating sensitive skin. 

And because it includes hydrating Glycerin and soothing Aloe Vera it won’t leave your face feeling dry and irritated.

We’ve got more here – “How to exfoliate sensitive skin: Gently does it!”.

And for advice on taking care of sensitive skin check out "A Skincare Routine to Calm your Sensitive Skin".


What’s the best way to exfoliate different skin types?

Dry skin type - Getting rid of the dry, flaky skin that’s ruining your look is going to make a huge difference if you have dry skin.

As with sensitive skin, a gentle exfoliating face wash is your best option.

Oily skin type - Exfoliating every day can really improve oily skin, especially if you're prone to acne. It will effectively unclog pores, reduce blackheads and decrease the chance of breakouts.

However, one of the most common errors when you have oily skin is over-exfoliation! 

If you use harsh facial scrubs they’ll dry out and irritate the surface of your skin, ultimately causing it to produce more oil to compensate.  And a vicious cycle will be created!

Again, this can be avoided by using a gentle exfoliating face wash

Our Daily Face Wash includes purifying Tea Tree Oil which helps to regulate sebum production, keeping oily skin under control.


Can I exfoliate if I have acne prone skin?

Exfoliating away dead skin cells is extremely important in stopping blocked pores and preventing acne breakouts.

But it’s important to do it the right way.

If you have acne-prone skin, you should avoid grainy scrubs at all costs! The scrubbing action will inflame your skin too much. And irritating already inflamed skin is the last thing you want!

Avoid facial brushes and sponges too. They can be a breeding ground for more bacteria.

Acne-prone skin types should stick to natural chemical exfoliants like gentle AHA's, which dissolve the glue that holds dead skin cells together – without any irritating scrubbing action.

The best solution: find a non-drying face wash which cleans and gently exfoliates in one step – like our Daily Face Wash.

The anti-bacterial Tea Tree Oil in Daily Face Wash keeps oily skin under control; while Lactic Acid, exfoliates away dead skin cells and stops them from blocking pores and causing acne. 

So Daily Face Wash fights acne on three fronts:

  1. Regulating excess oil production
  2. Dissolving away dead skin cells
  3. Keeping your pores free of bacteria


How often should I exfoliate my face if I have acne?

As with other skin types, we recommend exfoliating very gently every day.


Does exfoliation encourage beard growth?


Regular exfoliation will not only make the skin under your beard feel more comfortable and less itchy it also encourages the hair to grow.

Getting rid of dead skin cells keeps your hair follicles clear and healthy. And healthy hair follicles encourage strong beard growth.



The Takeaway 

A good exfoliator... 

  • removes dead skin cells, 
  • brightens your skin, 
  • makes your face feel smooth … and look really, really clean.

Get it right and you’ll have fresh, glowing, healthy skin. 

But get it wrong and you can end up damaging your skin barrier!

That’s why skincare experts recommend gentle chemical exfoliants.

Natural chemical exfoliants gently ‘unglue’ and dissolve away the bonds that hold dead skin cells to the surface.

Our Daily Face Wash contains Lactic Acid, a natural chemical exfoliant, so…

  • It makes your skin look smoother, clearer and brighter
  • It cleans your face so it feels fresh – with no dryness or tightness
  • Blemishes and pores appear smaller
  • It helps to get rid of blackheads
  • And reduces the chance of ingrown hairs

And using Daily Face Wash allows for better absorption of your moisturizer too, keeping your skin well hydrated.

It’s the first step in our high-performance skin care routine for men 


All you need to stay looking handsome. 





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