EXFOLIATION: Dos and Don'ts

EXFOLIATION: Dos and Don'ts

Posted by Sandra Scott on

From beauty editors to dermatologists, the advice is everywhere ….

Exfoliating is one of the best things you can do for your skin.

And it’s true!

Regular exfoliation means:

  • Fewer breakouts
  • Smoother texture
  • No Ingrown hairs
  • Brighter, glowing skin 
and ... 
  • your beard grows faster too!

But “how to exfoliate” is often left out. And that’s the most important thing about exfoliation.

Don’t worry. We’ve got you.

 Exfoliation Dos and Dont's



Why exfoliation matters 

Exfoliating removes the dead skin cells that build up on your skin.

These dry cells can block your pores and hair follicles - and make your skin look gray and dull.

"Ungluing" and removing them instantly improves the look (and feel) of your skin - accelerating cell renewal and stimulating your skin’s natural repair mechanism.

  • your face feels smoother
  • your skin tone is brighter and more even
  • your pores look smaller
  • it helps get rid of blackheads
  • there’s less chance of ingrown hairs
  • 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. 


How to exfoliate 

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

But get it wrong and your freshly exfoliated face can look red and irritated - as though you've attacked it with sandpaper!

And we want to make sure you get exfoliation right!

So we’ll start with the things you shouldn’t do – the “don’ts”.
Then go on to show you how to exfoliate the right way…


Exfoliation DON’Ts 

DON’T use a rough facial scrub
The mechanical action of rubbing exfoliating particles against your skin causes micro-tears. This leaves your skin looking red and angry – and more susceptible to irritation!

And if you have darker skin abrasive scrubs can lead to hyperpigmentation too. 


DON’T use facial brushes and electronic cleaning devices, sponges or wash cloths
These tools can spread bacteria (leading to breakouts) unless you keep them scrupulously clean.


DON’T be too rough!
The skin on your face is delicate, so never scrub at your face … with anything!
You can end up damaging healthy skin cells and leave it dry, red and irritated.


DON’T over-exfoliate
Over-exfoliating will dry out and irritate the surface of your face, ultimately causing it to produce more oil to compensate. 


And now here's how to do exfoliation properly...


Exfoliation Dos and Dont's


Exfoliation Dos 

DO use an AHA to exfoliate
What on earth is an AHA, we hear you ask?


AHA’s (or Alpha-Hydroxy Acids) are natural chemical exfoliants, and they’re expert at clearing away dead skin cells

They work by gently dissolving the bonds that hold dry, dead skin cells to the surface. This accelerates cell renewal - as well as stimulating your skin’s natural repair mechanism.

In skincare, Lactic Acid is the most effective (and gentlest) type of alpha hydroxy acid (AHA).
And you can find Lactic Acid in our Daily Face Wash.


And why are AHA’s better for exfoliation?
Firstly, AHA’s gently ‘unglue’ and dissolve the dead cells – rather than rubbing them away like a scrub would.

So they’re suitable for all skin types, even sensitive skin.

Secondly, they’re gentle enough to be used every day.

And finally, they exfoliate in a much more uniform way than a scrub – leaving your skin looking smooth and glowing (not red and angry!).

Gently dissolving dead skin cells – rather than scrubbing - will brighten your skin and reduce pore size, as well as evening out any skin discoloration (like acne marks or dark spots from excess melanin, or skin pigment). 


DO keep it simple
You can use a separate exfoliating lotion that includes an AHA, but by far the easiest way to exfoliate is to use a FACE WASH that has an AHA included.

So we recommend gently exfoliating every day using our Daily Face Wash - which contains the mild AHA, Lactic Acid.

Cleaning and exfoliating your face at the same time.
One step – two jobs done!


DO exfoliate little and often
Try to adopt a policy of ‘little and often’, exfoliating very gently every day. Your face will get all of the immediate benefits of exfoliation, but without prompting any irritation or unwanted increase in oiliness.


DO be gentle
There’s no need to rub or scrub at your skin when you use a mild AHA to exfoliate. The natural acid gently dissolves away the dry, dead skin cells.  

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.

You can use Daily Face Wash twice a day and know that your skin is beautifully exfoliated – no dull, dry skin, no rough patches - and no need to use a rough grainy scrub!


Best Exfoliating Face Wash for Men



Why our 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 

Suitable for all skin types, including sensitive skin and acne-prone skin.

Good to know: Cruelty free. We never test on animals.
All of our products have undergone and passed the rigorous European Cosmetic Regulations. 


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


 Otis Skincare products for men. Three products on blue background




Is it better to exfoliate before or after shaving? 

You should definitely exfoliate before you shave.
Removing the dead skin cells beforehand means you can shave with less pressure, so there's less chance of irritation – and you can avoid ingrown hairs. But gentleness is key!

We've got more on exfoliation and shaving here - "Is it best to exfoliate before or after shaving?".

And 9 tips on how you can achieve a perfect, pain-free shave in our article here - and gentle exfoliation is one of those tips!


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

With all skin types we recommend exfoliating very gently every day.

However, you know your skin better than anybody. Start using an exfoliating lotion, or exfoliating face wash, twice a week, and if you have no adverse reactions you can build up the number of days from there.


Got more questions?

We've got all the answers here “Ultimate Guide to Exfoliation: FAQ's”.



The Takeaway 

The beauty editors and dermatologists are right!

Exfoliating away dead skin cells is one of the best things you can do for your skin.
You just need to take a gentle approach. 'Little and often' is the best way to go!

And when you get it right, you'll have clearer, smoother, brighter-looking skin.


All you need to stay looking handsome. 





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