How to Know That Your Exfoliator Works

Exfoliating can improve the health of your skin.

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Whether you use a manual or chemical exfoliation system, you know that it is working by the way your skin looks and feels. Manual exfoliation refers to using an abrasive product to remove dead skin cells, while chemical exfoliation dissolves the binding that holds dead skin cells on the surface. Both approaches are different, yet strive for the same goal. Based on your skin type, one might be better than the other. You can determine that your style of exfoliation is working by checking a few basic things.

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Run the pads of your fingers lightly across your skin. If it feels smooth and soft, then your exfoliator has removed dead skin cells. Any section that feels rough or patchy needs extra attention.


Look at your skin in a mirror under a bright light. It should look polished and glowing rather than flaky or dull. A quality exfoliator increases blood circulation, which results in a rosy hue. However, if you observe bright red patches or rashy areas, your exfoliation style may be too harsh for your skin type.


Scrape a fingernail gently across the skin that has been thoroughly moisturized. If you are able to collect dead skin under your nail, then you need more frequent or vigorous exfoliation.

Tips & Warnings

Always start out slowly when testing a new exfoliator, particularly on delicate skin like the face. Check that your skin type can handle it without becoming overly inflamed.

If you have particularly sensitive skin, check with a dermatologist before starting an exfoliation regimen.

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ReferencesSkin911: Exfoliating SkinPhoto Credit Jupiterimages/liquidlibrary/Getty ImagesRead Next:

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