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How Should I Exfoliate If I Have Oily Skin?
Exfoliation is a vital skincare step for an oily complexion. Not only does exfoliation keep skin looking young and fresh, but it also helps prevent spots and pimples. So just how often should you do it?
When it comes to skincare, exfoliation is king. The removal of dead skin cells makes a huge difference to the health and appearance of your complexion. If your skin has been lacklustre recently, it’s likely you’ve not been exfoliating with the right products … or at all.
Exfoliation is vital to maintaining the health of oily skin. Increased oiliness makes it harder for your skin to shed cells naturally.
Healthy skin has an average turnover rate of 25 to 30 days. That means every month, you have completely new skin!
Skin cells go through many phases, finally maturing and ending up in the top layers of your skin. Here, each cell gives up its internal fluids to form your skin barrier, leaving the cell as technically dead.
Scientists compare this layer of your skin to mortar and bricks. Dead skin cells are the bricks, and their expelled fluids make the mortar. This tightly packed structure locks hydration in and keeps nasties out.
When you have oily skin, dead cells don’t flake off as quickly. This is because your skin is adding more mortar—in the form of sebum—into your skin cell wall. This is the reason oily skin can be prone to breakouts: when dead skin cells hang around too long, they end up blocking pores and feeding acne-causing bacteria.
However, over-exfoliation can be just as bad. Excessive exfoliation accelerates skin-cell turnover way past a healthy rate. This leaves skin feeling tight and sensitive while also leaving it vulnerable to dehydration and, worst-case scenario, infection.
How Often Should You Exfoliate an Oily Complexion?
While everyone’s skin type is unique, the average oily skin type that isn’t sensitive benefits from exfoliation 2 to 3 times a week. It’s best to do this by using a specific chemical exfoliant: salicylic acid.
Although this ingredient is called an acid, it’s not the kind that’s going to burn your skin. Salicylic acid is a mild acid that gently speeds up your skin-cell turnover by dissolving the mortar that holds those bricks together.
This is actually much better than using a facial scrub, as exfoliating acids don’t encourage you to over-scrub the skin. In fact, no scrubbing is required at all.
Many types of skincare acids are available, but salicylic acid (which is a beta-hydroxy acid) is oil-soluble, which makes it ideal for oily skin. Salicylic acid can penetrate oil-filled pores and scout out areas of dead skin that have the potential to cause a breakout. Dermalogica Overnight Clearing Gel is one of our favourite salicylic acid exfoliators.
It’s also worthwhile to know that the maximum legal concentration of salicylic acid in a skincare product is 2%. While not every skincare company states how much of this ingredient they put into their products, this information should help to guide your product selection.
As always, if you need further advice concerning exfoliation or help selecting an appropriate product for your unique skin concerns, then don’t hesitate to contact us at email@example.com or 03 9486 7179.
SHOP FOR EXFOLIATORS AND OILY SKIN
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Do I Really Need to Exfoliate My Face?
If you’re not already exfoliating regularly, you’re missing out on a host of skincare benefits. It’s hard to believe that a step that takes less than a minute offers so many good things.
One of the greatest things you can do for your skin is quick, easy, effective exfoliation. There’s lots of reasons why you should add this beneficial step to your skincare routine and few reasons why you shouldn’t.
First, take a quick look at the different ways you can integrate exfoliation into your skincare routine. You can choose from:
- Chemical exfoliants (AHAs, such as glycolic acid; BHAs, such as salicylic acid; enzymes)
- Physical exfoliants (brushes, cloths, scrubs)
Chemical exfoliants require minimal effort but offer maximum benefit. Once applied and remaining on the skin, acids and enzymes gently loosen the ‘glue’ that holds dead skin cells together. Chemical exfoliants also offer several other benefits, but more about that later.
If you’re wondering what a chemical exfoliant looks like, we’ve handpicked some of our favourites:
Physical exfoliants are the kind most people think of first. They work by combining tiny particles with the mechanical action of your hands to gently buff away dead skin.
Scrubs are very effective at quickly smoothing your skin. Getting rid of those old, dead skin cells also helps your subsequent skincare products to penetrate more effectively.
We recommend the following physical exfoliants:
- Dermalogica Skin Prep Scrub
- Alpha-H Chamois Facial Cleansing Cloth
- Clarisonic Plus Sonic Cleansing System
Now, on to the benefits of integrating exfoliation into your skincare regimen. Depending on the type you use, exfoliation works on many different levels to provide numerous benefits, including the following:
- Helps increase skin cell turnover (which naturally declines with age)
- Improves skin’s texture and appearance
- Helps lighten hyperpigmentation
- Helps moisturisers and serums to absorb deeply
- Helps fight signs of premature ageing
Let’s take a deeper look at each of these benefits.
1. Exfoliation helps increase skin cell turnover.
Healthy skin completely renews itself every 25 to 30 days, but this period gradually increases with age. When your skin-cell turnover rate slows, your complexion appears dull, sallow, and aged.
Exfoliation speeds up the turnover rate to reveal newer, fresher, and healthier skin that’s radiant instead of dull.
2. Exfoliation improves skin’s texture and appearance.
Have you ever suffered from a sunburn that later left you with a blotchy tan and perhaps peeling skin? This is a vivid example of uneven texture and tone.
Without exfoliation, the same effect is at play on your complexion, just on a lesser scale. Exfoliation helps smooth different areas of skin for a more even look and feel.
3. Exfoliation helps lighten hyperpigmentation.
Whether you’re addressing age spots or a generally uneven skin tone, exfoliation is your go-to treatment. Exfoliation naturally increases your skin cell turnover rate, which helps to shed areas of darkened skin more quickly, resulting in visibly brightened skin.
4. Exfoliation helps moisturisers and serums to absorb deeply.
If you want to get the most effective results from your coveted moisturiser or serum, then exfoliation is an absolute must. Without exfoliation, the active ingredients in these products have to penetrate through an increased thickness of dead skin cells before they reach the cells they can affect.
5. Exfoliation helps to fight signs of premature ageing.
This is where those chemical exfoliants really set themselves apart. In fact, all types of exfoliants help to reduce signs of premature ageing by:
- Increasing the turnover rate of skin cells
- Fading and blending areas of uneven skin tone
- Smoothing skin’s texture
However, only chemical exfoliant are also able to stimulate your skin’s manufacture of important skin proteins such as collagen. These proteins help to support skin, and a lack of them allows fine lines and wrinkles to form.
To add an anti-ageing benefit to your exfoliation routine, we recommend choosing an exfoliant containing both salicylic and glycolic acid. These products are two of our favourites:
- PRIORI Advanced AHA Perfection Facial Gel can be applied as a serum after cleansing.
- Alpha-H Age Delay Anti Wrinkle Night Treatment combines two steps: exfoliation and moisturisation.
If these recommendations don’t fit into your current routine, head over to our exfoliant shop to browse through our handpicked range of sought-after chemical and physical exfoliants.
The Best Exfoliators & Scrubs for Oily Skin: Reviews & Buying Guide
Last Updated on Dec 17, 2019Follow us on:
Are you tired of oily skin? What about dull, discolored skin? The solution for both of these situations is using the best exfoliators and scrubs for oily skin. They could improve your complexion after only one use. Then, regular exfoliation will help you maintain healthy, dewy fresh skin.
There are a variety of scrubs and exfoliants, from creams with abrasive microparticles to gels with alpha and beta hydroxy acids (not to mention all the other options). Fortunately, most are inexpensive enough that you can experiment to see what works best for you.
Since each time you exfoliate you’re exposing new skin, remember to moisturize afterward. It’s also smart to wear sunscreen.
Let’s look at the reviews of the top scrubs and exfoliators for oily skin. We hope our research helps you find exactly what you want.
Best Exfoliators & Scrubs for Oily Skin
Nip + Fab Glycolic Fix Night Pads Extreme
Are you struggling with sensitive, acne-prone skin? Then skip the abrasive scrubs. Try Nip + Fab’s Extreme Night Pads. You’ll get a two-month supply for a surprisingly low cost.
What makes these pads special is that they blend glycolic, lactic, and salicylic acids. These three essential ingredients unclog pores to clear up and prevent breakouts and get rid of blackheads. They also dissolve the bonds that hold dead skin together so that you can remove it without scrubbing your face.
Finally, the addition of hyaluronic acid plumps out fine lines and keeps your face refreshed and comfortable.
Nip + Fab Glycolic Fix Scrub
Users say that the Nip+Fab scrub leaves their face as smooth as a baby’s bottom. Their fine lines have faded and so has discoloration from sun damage and acne. The secret ingredient is 3% glycolic acid that polishes their skin. But there’s also salicylic acid to clear up pimples, too.
La Roche-Posay Effaclar Medicated Gel Cleanser
Salicylic acid is one of the best things you can use on oily skin. It dissolves the oil and dead skin that clog pores. Plus, it helps your skin stay less greasy. Over-the-counter products are only authorized to have a 2% concentration of it.
La Roche-Posay’s Effaclar gel cleanser uses 2% salicylic acid to clear up your complexion. If your face has been too sensitive for scrubs or peels, it will provide the gentle exfoliation you need.
Ebanel Ultimate Brightening Peeling Gel
The Ebanel Peeling Gel only needs a minute to lift away the gunk in your pores. The black willow bark acts like salicylic acid to dissolve oil. Then licorice root and aloe comfort your skin. Use it twice a week for best results.
Olay Daily Facials, Deeply Purifying
There are four versions of the Olay Daily Facial Cloths. The Deeply Purifying kind is ideal for combination to oily skin. Each disposable cloth creates a pleasant lather once it’s exposed to water. All you need to do is wipe your face, rinse the cloth, then wipe again to finish. Not only do they clean your skin, but they also remove makeup and act as a toner.
AHA/BHA Exfoliating Cleanser from Murad
Stop getting stressed over those acne scars. Murad’s exfoliating cleanser combines lactic, glycolic, and salicylic acids to resurface your face. Over time, it fades discoloration and clears up blackheads.
Bioré Baking Soda Cleansing Scrub
Allure Magazine awarded Bioré the Best of Beauty Award for their baking soda scrub. It’s perfect for managing that oily T-zone, plus it’s mild enough to use up to three times a week.
This isn’t just baking soda by itself because that would wreck your pH balance. This one protects the natural acidity of your skin. The label lists silica, citric acid, microcrystalline cellulose, and menthol, too. The result is a water-activated powder that bubbles away impurities, dead cells, and oil. Tests show that it leaves faces 2 ½ times cleaner than a regular face wash.
Bioré Pore Unclogging Scrub
Bioré’s cool and tingly classic scrub uses 2% salicylic acid with microparticles of wax for effective exfoliation. It gets rid of dull skin and unclogs pores at the same time. And it’s mild enough that users with oily skin can wash with it every day.
Garnier Clean Scrub
The Clean Scrub from Garnier opens up clogged pores with salicylic acid and charcoal. This combination ensures that blackheads start to shrink out of sight the first time you wash with it. Moreover, the charcoal soaks up excess oil so you stay less shiny.
Alba Botanica ACNEdote Face & Body Scrub
Alba Botanica understands that it’s not just your face that needs attention. Their scrub is perfect for body acne as well. It contains 2% salicylic acid derived from willow bark plus other vegetarian ingredients. Some users say it leaves their skin a little dry, so it’s important to moisturize afterward.
AcneFree Exfoliating Face Scrub
Say goodbye to breakouts with the AcneFree face scrub. It calms down sebum production to mattify your complexion. At the same time, it cleans up pimples with charcoal and salicylic acid. Then, jojoba oil keeps your skin hydrated.
Neutrogena Naturals Acne Foaming Facial Scrub
If you’re trying to cut down on chemicals in your skincare products, the foaming scrub from Neutrogena features 93% naturally-derived components. Those include wintergreen leaf, a source of salicylic acid. Furthermore, the formula has no sulfates, petrolatum, dyes, or parabens.
L’Oreal Paris Go 360 Clean Cleanser
This L’Oreal facial cleanser becomes an exfoliator when you use the included silicone Scrublet brush. You’ll be massaging salicylic acid into your skin to liberate dirt, oil, and dead cells. The company promises that regular use leads to smaller pores and fewer breakouts.
Beauty by Earth Konjac Facial Sponge
You don’t need a cleanser to exfoliate. Try a Konjac sponge. The black ones are the best for oily faces. Meanwhile, the white ones are milder for sensitive areas. To use one, soak in warm water until it’s soft. Then massage in slow circles.
Clarisonic Mia Prima Sonic Cleansing Face Brush
The Clarisonic Mia Prima sonic brush helps you exfoliate in the shower. It may be round but it doesn’t spin or tear your skin. Instead, it vibrates at an ultrasonic frequency for sixty seconds. The gentle action actually cleans six times more effectively than just washing your face.
Neutrogena Microdermabrasion Starter Kit
We think this is a must-have item if you love to exfoliate. Neutrogena’s Microdermabrasion kit has an applicator that runs on two AA batteries. That’s convenient because you never need to wait for a recharge.
The starter kit includes a one-month supply of puffs, too. The puffs are covered in ultrafine crystals and purifying ingredients. A clinical trial reported that more than 90% of the participants had instantly smoother skin after only one use.
St. Ives Face Scrub, Green Tea
You probably know them because of their apricot scrub. But you might like the green tea scrub from St. Ives better. It’s not just abrasive. It has 1% salicylic acid to decongest pores plus green tea to brighten your complexion and calm inflammation.
Acure Brilliantly Brightening Facial Scrub
Acure’s Brilliantly Brightening Scrub avoids tricky ingredients like sulfates, parabens, and those little plastic beads. Instead, it relies on French green clay, lemon peel, and sea kelp to revitalize dull skin.
Natural Exfoliating Face Mask with Manuka Honey & Walnut by Era Organics
The microdermabrasion face scrub from Era Organics avoids the primary problem with walnut shell scrubs. It may look just as grainy, but the texture comes from sugarcane and the meat of the walnut. Therefore, it’s less rough on your face. Additionally, antiseptic Manuka honey helps your skin heal.
ASDM Beverly Hills 20% Salicylic Acid Peel
This salicylic acid peel from ASDM Beverly Hills is free of parabens and artificial fragrances. It’s potent enough to deeply cleanse your pores but mild enough to avoid the redness and irritation that’s common after using a peel. It also reduces sebum production so your face makes less oil.
Bliss That’s Incredi-peel Glycolic Resurfacing Pads
The Bliss resurfacing pads are a 3-in-1 solution for your skin. They are a peel, a serum, and a toner all at once. Just as important, they’re free of parabens, sulfates, and phthalates. You won’t even need to rinse after you use one.
Of course, the main ingredient is glycolic acid. But there’s also witch hazel, an ideal astringent for oily skin. In addition, calendula and licorice calm inflammation while Vitamin E keeps your complexion young.
Skinfood Black Sugar Mask Wash-Off Exfoliator
K-beauty is all the rage. Fans of Korean products recommend Skinfood’s Black Sugar Exfoliator. It’s packed with minerals like magnesium, potassium, phosphorus, and calcium. It has skin-nourishing vitamins too like niacin and pantothenic acid. The texture leaves your skin smooth and soft.
You’ll be able to reduce shine easier with the right scrubs and exfoliators. They revitalize dull complexions and unclog pores. But that’s not all. Regular exfoliation can help fade discoloration and prevent acne. It’s a small investment of time and money for a big payoff in healthy skin.