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Scrub Smart: Expert Tips For Perfecting Your Exfoliation Routine

girl exfoliating

Published: May 30, 2024

girl exfoliating

Ask any dermatologist and they’ll tell you that exfoliation is essential if you want to keep your skin looking healthy and youthful. Even though your skin naturally exfoliates on its own, its ability to do so declines with age, with this downward spiral beginning when you’re in your 20s. After this, the rate at which your skin naturally sheds its dead cells slows down. This causes all of those cells to pile up on your skin’s surface.

Exfoliating them away yourself offers a ton of benefits. Not only will your skin immediately take on a smoother, softer, and brighter appearance but regular exfoliation will also counter the look of wrinkles, acne, dullness, and more. Plus, exfoliated skin will happily drink up any skincare products that you apply to it. This will make your entire skincare routine all the more effective!

With that said, if you want to experience all of those benefits, you need to make sure that you’re exfoliating correctly. Yes, that’s right – there’s a right and a wrong way to exfoliate, and any mistakes that you make could mean that your exfoliation efforts are harming, rather than helping, your skin. So, to make sure that you truly are giving your skin the very best, read on as Bionyx shares some expert tips that will help you to perfect your exfoliation routine.

Choose the Right Exfoliator For Your Skin

Rhodium Complex Facial Peeling

First and foremost, you need to make sure that the exfoliator you’re using is a good match for your skin. This may seem obvious yet it’s an area where many trip up. It’s all too easy to be swayed by an exfoliator that promises the world, only to later discover that it’s either too harsh or not strong enough for your skin.

When choosing an exfoliator, you have two main options:

  • Physical exfoliators – from scrubs to cleansing brushes, physical exfoliators physically remove the dead skin cells that are cluttering up your skin’s surface.
  • Chemical exfoliators – these make use of acids to dissolve the link that keeps dead cells attached to the skin’s surface. This allows those cells to drop away.

Which is best? They both have their pros and cons. Physical exfoliators, like the Bionyx Rhodium Complex Facial Peeling, tend to be the easiest form of exfoliation to start with. However, if you have severely oily, acne-prone skin, you may find that a chemical exfoliant is more effective.

Of course, let’s not forget that the skin on the body needs to be regularly exfoliated too. Can you use the same exfoliator on your face and body? Unfortunately, no. The skin on the body is much thicker than the skin on the face. This means that your body exfoliator needs to be more abrasive. This is why physical exfoliants are usually the go-to for the body, with scrubs being one of the best ways to clear away dead skin cells from this area. Go with a scrub that has a sea salt base, such as the Bionyx Salt Scrub, and you’ll also be treating your skin to an array of minerals!

Prep Your Skin With a Cleanse

Rhodium Mousse Cleanser

Before you begin exfoliating your skin, you need to put in some prep work. Even if your exfoliator is designed to be applied to dry skin, you should always ensure that your skin has been thoroughly cleansed before exfoliating.

Wondering why? Won’t your exfoliator also cleanse your skin? 

Technically, yes. However, exfoliators are designed to provide a deeper cleanse than a cleanser. Exfoliators reach into the pores to remove deep-seated impurities. However, if you have a layer of dirt and sebum covering your skin’s surface, your exfoliator will instead focus on clearing this away. Sure, your face may be clean by the time you’re done. However, your pores may still be blocked as your exfoliator won’t have had the chance to clear them out.

Having said that, don’t go overboard with your cleansing efforts before exfoliation. A gentle cleanser is the best way forward so that you don’t end up irritating or damaging your skin barrier. Look for a cleanser that moisturizes as it cleans, just like the Bionyx Rhodium Mousse Cleanser. It forms a lavish lather that cleans and conditions the skin at the same time. This leaves the skin feeling perfectly prepped for the exfoliator that’s about to follow.

Be Gentle With Your Skin When Exfoliating

One mistake that many make when exfoliating is being too rough with their skin. They use way too much product and then scrub their skin as hard as they can with this, believing that more pressure equals better results.

However, that’s not the case at all. Instead, all of that roughness only strips away your skin’s natural protective barrier. This will leave your skin vulnerable to damage, as well as the symptoms of over-exfoliation (more on this later!). 

If you want to experience the best possible results from your exfoliation efforts, be gentle with your skin. Use the recommended amount of product and apply this with a light and even touch. Massage your skin while you’re exfoliating it to not only improve the efficacy of your exfoliator but to also give your circulation a boost. This will have your skin looking so much fresher and rosier once you’re done!

Always Follow Up With the Rest of Your Skincare Routine

BIO-Facial Toner

Once you’re done exfoliating your skin, it’s important that you don’t stop there, no matter how much of a hurry you may be in! Even if you use a gentle exfoliator with the right exfoliation technique, exfoliation still leaves the skin more susceptible to damage. This is purely because it removes the layer of dead skin cells that provides an extra barrier between your skin and the environment around it.

This is why freshly exfoliated skin should never be left bare. Instead, always follow on with the rest of your skincare routine. Not only will this provide a new barrier for your exfoliated skin, but the lack of dead skin cells covering your skin’s surface will allow all of your skincare products to better penetrate your skin. This means that they’ll work even more effectively!

What should you apply to your skin after exfoliation?

Start with a hydrating toner, like the Rhodium Facial Toner from Bionyx. It will soothe the feeling of any inflammation while also rebalancing the pH level on your skin’s surface.

Then, apply a serum. Now would be a good time to make the most of your more potent products since they’ll be able to sink into your skin uninhibited. A formula like the Bionyx BioLift Platinum Deep Wrinkle Concentrate, which is brimming with powerful vitamins and antioxidants, would be perfect!

Finally, lock all of that goodness into your skin with a cream. This is the most important part of post-exfoliation skincare since a moisturizer is what will form that all-important physical barrier over the surface of your skin. The Bionyx Platinum Transformative Cream would be a great one to use!

Keep Freshly Exfoliated Skin Safe From the Sun

If you exfoliate in the morning, there’s one other aspect of aftercare that’s extremely important; sun protection. As we mentioned earlier, freshly exfoliated skin is more vulnerable to damage, and this includes sun damage. Without those dead skin cells on your skin’s surface, UV rays will be able to reach the deeper layers of your skin even more easily. This causes even deeper damage than usual. This makes sun protection even more essential than usual.

The way in which exfoliation leaves the skin more sensitive to UV damage is why many people choose to exfoliate in the evenings instead. This can definitely be advantageous if you spend a lot of time outdoors during the day. 

However, cell turnover peaks while you sleep. This means that mornings are a great time to slough away all of those dead cells that have built up overnight. Exfoliating in the mornings will give you a glow that lasts all day. If you prefer to exfoliate in the mornings, continue to do so but just remember to be extra diligent about sun protection.

Don’t Exfoliate Too Often

If you want to perfect your exfoliation routine, then this means knowing how often to exfoliate. This is something that varies between individuals and is largely determined by your skin type.

Those with oily skin, for example, often need to exfoliate two or three times a week. This is necessary to clear away the excess sebum that their skin is producing. However, dry skin doesn’t produce enough sebum, meaning that it only needs to be exfoliated once or twice a week. You should be exfoliating even less than this if you have sensitive skin in order to prevent further compromising your already-damaged skin barrier.

What happens if you exfoliate too often? 

It won’t be long before you’re suffering from the symptoms of over-exfoliation. This is a problem that comes about when the skin barrier has experienced harm. Inflammation, redness, and sensitivities are all common signs that the skin has been over-exfoliated. You’ll likely also notice that your existing skin concerns become worse. For example, if you have acne-prone skin, you’ll likely see more breakouts. On the other hand, those with dry skin might notice peeling and flaking.

Once your skin has been over-exfoliated, you’ll need to put a stop to your exfoliation routine. Your skin will need some time to heal, meaning that the rest of your skincare routine also needs to be toned down and super gentle. It can take weeks, or even months, for the skin to recover from over-exfoliation. Only once this happens should you return to exfoliation. However, even then, introduce it gradually into your routine again. At the same time, ensure that you don’t make the same mistakes that led to over-exfoliation in the first place.


As important as exfoliation may be, it’s just as important to make sure that you’re doing it correctly. Making mistakes in your exfoliation routine could end up having devastating consequences for your skin. Fortunately, with Bionyx, you’re in good hands! Keep all of our expert tips in mind and adjust your exfoliation routine accordingly so that you can reap the rewards of your exfoliating efforts without having to deal with any of the downsides!

Click here to shop for more bestselling skincare products from Bionyx. 

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