Why You Should Exfoliate Every Day

Episode #38 / Jul 2, 2009
Dr. Schultz has time and time again recommended that you exfoliate (in a way that is appropriate for you) every single day. Now he'll explain what exfoliation is and why you should do it.
Lanny on July 3, 2009 at 10:21pm

I following your advices.. and this is one of them! Thank you!

jon on July 5, 2009 at 11:23pm

Exfoliate, do you mean by using small crystal beads?

Neal Schultz, M.D. on July 20, 2009 at 4:06pm

@jon: Exfoliation can be accomplished with "small crystal beads" which is like a granular exfoliant and we call this physical exfoliation. Physical exfoliation is best if you have thick, oily or large pored skin. Or you can exfoliate with a gentle chemical exfoliant like glycolic acid. Chemical exfoliants are best for fine, thin, sensitive, small-pored skin.

Rusty on October 9, 2009 at 3:50am

I know that exfoliating every day is essential. But I was wondering what time? Do we exfoliate every morning before make up? Or at night, after removing make up and cleansing. Thanks! :D

Neal Schultz, M.D. on October 28, 2009 at 4:03am

@Rusty: It's probably best to exfoliate at bedtime after cleansing (and removing makeup if you're wearing it), but the bottom line is to pick a time in the course of your day where it works for your schedule so you can really do it regularly, and then exfoliate at approximately the same time every day. Thank you for the good question!

Kim on January 18, 2010 at 4:49am

I heard if you overexfoliate it can actually lead to dry skin...which I feel is kind of true... i used to use microcrystal exfoliator every night and my skin was still parched and VERY dry in the morning even when i used a moisturizer afterwards....help! LOL!

Lorena on January 19, 2010 at 7:11pm

I want to know if its good to exfoliate everyday with glycolic acid even if i have acne?? would this be irritating for my skin?

Neal Schultz, M.D. on January 26, 2010 at 3:49pm

@Lorena: As long as you don't have sensitive skin, it is beneficial to exfoliate with glycolic acid daily but the strength of the glycolic needs to be appropriate for your skin.

Neal Schultz, M.D. on February 9, 2010 at 3:11am

@Kim: Over-exfoliation doesn’t lead to dry skin but it does lead to irritated skin and irritated skin can appear to be flaky. That is why it most likely appears to you to be dry and also why moisturizers do not help correct over-exfoliated skin. Microcrystal exfoliation every night is probably too aggressive for your skin. It would be best to stop exfoliating for 4-5 days, continue use of moisturizers as your skin recovers, and then resume your microcrystal exfoliator every third day and gradually increase to the point where you may be getting flaky again (but again this is irritation, not dryness) and then back off the schedule to a comfortable frequency where you are no longer irritated or flaky.

Jay on February 12, 2010 at 12:58am

Is it okay to exfloiate every day? I have heard that it can cause early wrinkles, and your face can produce more oil.

Neal Schultz, M.D. on March 7, 2010 at 12:00am

@Jay: Yes, it is okay to exfoliate every day and I believe it is one of the keys to beautiful and healthy skin. You just need to make sure that the exfoliant is appropriate for your skin (not too strong for daily application) and its oil and water skin type. In regards to your question about oil production, you may be asking because people are sometimes concerned that an exfoliant may dry out your skin, and it is alleged that over-drying the skin causes increased oil production. I'm happy to report that oil production is only influenced by male hormone and the allegation that over-drying the skin can cause increased oil has never been demonstrated in any medical study. Lastly, exfoliation doesn't cause wrinkles; in fact, it has three ways to prevent and repair them. Of course, if you have come across any studies that demonstrate that exfoliation causes wrinkles or increased oil production, please pass it along as I'm always open to new information.

emma on June 8, 2010 at 1:44pm

There are lots of talk about using apple cider vinegar, aspirin toner and aspirin masks, is it an effective method? I heard for exfoliation to work it has to be at a certain pH, I would really like an opinion from a professional.

Neal Schultz, M.D. on June 10, 2010 at 4:33am

@Emma: There are many factors (pH, stability, dissociation constant, vehicle, etc) that are needed for safe and effective exfoliation. For that and many other reasons I cannot recommend apple cider vinegar, aspirin toner and aspirin masks.