Get Smart About Exfoliation

It’s natural for skin to experience a build up of dead skin cells, debris and dirt. But it’s also what helps to create a tired, dull complexion.

Exfoliating regularly keeps skin looking fresh—when done correctly. Too many people don’t exfoliate properly, and this leads to skin damage including redness and pre-mature aging.

The benefits of exfoliation are:

  • Unclog pores

  • Relieve dry skin. Yes…it sounds like the opposite is true, but dry skin has more build up, so exfoliating helps moisturizer get to where it’s needed most.

  • Minimizing the appearance of age spots. The excess melanin is removed during exfoliation, making age spots or other hyperpigmentation appear less obvious.

  • Delaying or reducing blemishes. The build up can clog pores, which can trap bacteria, which leads to breakouts. Exfoliating helps minimize this process.

Physical or chemical exfoliant

Types of hyperpigmentation

There are two types of exfoliants: physical and chemical.

Physical exfoliants are hard or semi-hard substances such as fruit pits, rice bran, nutshells or synthetic beads. They also include facial brushes or exfoliating materials such as loofah. Physical exfoliants are very aggressive on sensitive skin, including skin that experiences rosacea and redness or hormonal skin. They work just like sandpaper—they shred or scrape the top layer of the skin to remove the unwanted material. When not used correctly, they can leave microscopic cuts in your skin, creating a breeding ground for bacteria, which can lead to breakouts or infection.

There are times when a physical exfoliant is needed, usually for acneic skin or body skin. Hylunia’s Grape Seed Scrub for the face and for the body is designed to offer the benefits of a physical exfoliant without damaging skin.

Chemical exfoliants are fruit acids or enzymes (including papaya, pineapple and pumpkin), alpha hydroxyl acids, beta hydroxyl acids and glycolic acid, to name a few. They work by dissolving the layer of dead skin cells, instead of scraping them off. It is a more gentle approach to exfoliating, but does the job just as well as a physical exfoliant.

Circles, not lines

Gently massage an exfoliating product into skin using your fingertips in a circular motion across the skin surface.

Do not ever aggressively move the fingertips in a straight up-and-down motion—otherwise you risk damaging your skin.

Take it off then put it back in

Exfoliating not only removes dead skin cells, dirt and environmental debris. It also removes skin’s natural oils, which is why skin feels dry immediately after removing the exfoliation product.

It’s vital that you rehydrate skin immediately after exfoliation. Tone and moisturize within two minutes of rinsing the exfoliating product from your skin to optimize hydration. During certain times of the year—such as summer or winter—you may need to moisturize twice to fully rehydrate skin.


Older, more mature skin may need to be exfoliated more frequently than younger skin. If your skin feels tight or is red after exfoliating, you may be doing it too often.

Older, more mature skin may need to be exfoliated more frequently than younger skin. If your skin feels tight or is red after exfoliating, you may be doing it too often. If you’re not sure if it’s time to exfoliate, use this at-home test:

  1. Take a piece of clear tape
  2. Apply it to your forehead, cheeks or chin
  3. Gently rub it onto the skin
  4. Remove it

When you take the tape of your skin and you see skin flakes, it’s time to exfoliate.

Go Pro

Even when you’re regularly exfoliating skin at home, nothing beats a professional exfoliation. Think of it this way: you may wash your car every week, but it’s always cleaner after a professional detail. Skin care works the same way.

The treatment you’ll receive at a spa or skin care clinic will give skin the cleaning and care it needs to look and feel its best.