Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation
Top

How to exfoliate

Exfoliating.jpg

Q: This might sound like a really stupid question, but how do you exfoliate 'properly'?

Rohit

A: Our expert Ahmed Zambarakji answers your questions below:

Not a stupid question by any means, mate. The goal of exfoliation is to get rid of dead skin cells, dislodge any gunk festering away in your pores and even release any trapped or / ingrown hairs. It’s a lot like sanding down a plank of wood, as - when done properly - you’ll reveal a fresh layer of even-toned skin.

There are two exfoliation methods available to you: chemical and mechanical. You’re probably more familiar with the latter method as most men’s exfoliators come in the form of a face scrub that contains tiny granules that are designed to literally buff away debris. Most of the time these face scrubs foam up and so should be used with lukewarm water.

Formulas with a denser consistency can be used directly on damp skin, to give you a more aggressive scrub – this is an ideal as a pre-shave measure for guys with really thick beards. I like to use a fairly grainy exfoliator during or after a hot shower when my pores are open and my beard is soft. I go about the job with a light circular motion, paying careful attention not to overdo it and cause my skin any discomfort or irritation. You really don’t need to put that much elbow grease into it.

Chemical exfoliants, on the other hand typically use ingredients like AHAs (alpha hydroxyl acids), salicylic acid or glycolic acid, all of which are designed to loosen the ‘glue’ that holds dead skin to your face. This method can be less aggressive than mechanical scrubbing and – in spite of the hardcore-sounding ingredients – can be fairly gentle in the right concentration.

Chemical exfoliants are often found in overnight products and in many corrective (often ‘brightening’) skincare products. Most of them don’t require any kind of special technique to apply either – just slap the stuff on as you would a moisturiser or lotion.

Find Ahmed on theexfoliator.com

(Image: Getty)

Related

Bald_1.jpg

Hairless tip

Grooming_3.jpg

How to grow a beard

Grooming_1.jpg

Problem-solve profuse perspiration

More

The winners of the ShortList Grooming Awards with House of Fraser

And the winners are...

31 May 2017

The 11 best moisturisers for men

Because your face deserves better

by Sam Diss
30 May 2017

A guy’s guide to skincare - by a girl who just really wants to help

Just a girl, standing in front of a bunch of guys, trying to make them moisturise twice a day

by Lauren O'Neill
15 May 2017

Supermodel Paul Sculfor tells us how to be the perfect catch

Tips from a man who knows better than anyone

20 Mar 2017

Meet the judges for the 2017 ShortList Grooming Awards

We're back with the best new products for 2017

17 Mar 2017

5 of the biggest men's hair trends for 2017

You're not actually going to get a six-pack, so settle for a slick new haircut instead

by Jamie Carson
03 Jan 2017

8 express grooming treatments for the discerning yet curious man

When you want to look good but just don't have the time

by Jamie Carson
13 Dec 2016

Manscaping; what is it, how to do it and how short is TOO short

After a lifetime of assuming that all guys went au naturale, Josh Burt realised that everything he knew was wrong

by Josh Burt
13 Dec 2016

Trim your pubic hair? Science claims you’ve probably got an STD

You're 80% more likely to have a sexually transmitted disease, new research suggests

by Jamie Carson
06 Dec 2016

What to do when you’re going bald

We round up the best ways to deal with hair loss

by Jamie Carson
17 Oct 2016