Wellness Warrior

7 Signs you need to exfoliate.

Achieving healthy and radiant skin is a goal that many of us aspire to, I know it sure is on my list. A step often overlooked is exfoliation, which helps remove dead skin cells, unclog pores, and promote a youthful and glowing complexion. To ensure you’re exfoliating your face at the right time, it’s essential to recognize the signs you need to exfoliate. Here are a few things I have noticed on my own face that gave me an indication that it was time to exfoliate!

Signs you need to exfoliate
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7 Clear signs you need to exfoliate.

You know your skin better than anyone else. What works and what doesn’t. If you aren’t too sure about what your skin needs, it is always a great idea to see a professional for some assistance! Here are a few signs I have experienced in my life, letting me know that it’s time to up my exfoliation game!

1. You have dull looking skin.

If your skin feels like it lacks it’s usual glow, it’s probably a sign to grab your exfoliator again! When dead skin cells start accumulating, it can make your complexion look dull and tired. Think of your face as a mirror. If the mirror doesn’t get wiped clean with some cleaning supplies, the mirror looks faded and foggy. The same goes for your face!

Exfoliation avoids these issues by gently scrubbing away these unwanted layers, revealing the fresh, vibrant skin that lies beneath.

RELATED: The perfect winter skincare routine to embrace the chill.

2. Acne and clogged pores take over.

If I ever forget to exfoliate, or it’s been a windy day outside, my pores tell the story! I have always gotten the worst acne just before it’s time for a good scrub. Dead skin cells can trap oil and bacteria in your pores, leading to breakouts and most probably blackheads too.

By exfoliating, you remove these dead skin cells and dirt leading to acne and clogged pore free skin! (Unless hormones are on a rampage again.) Exfoliating your face serves as a vital tool in breaking this cycle by effectively removing these troublesome dead cells and keeping your pores clean and clear.

Acne and clogged pores

3. Your skin feels rough to touch.

Whenever your skin starts feeling rough, uneven or bumpy, it’s a pretty good sign you need to exfoliate. A smooth skin texture is important for a flawless makeup application and a youthful appearance. When dead skin cells accumulate, they can create an undesirable surface texture, making your skin lose its natural softness and suppleness.

Exfoliation acts as the eraser that smooths away these rough patches, leaving your skin feeling velvety and revitalized.

4. An increase in fine lines and wrinkles.

My eyes tell a story when it’s time to exfoliate. I tend to get very prominent fine lines under my eyes when I have missed an exfoliating session or two (not making that mistake again). Fine lines and wrinkles can be a telltale sign that it’s time to exfoliate.

Dead skin cells that accumulate on the surface can accentuate these signs of aging, making them more apparent. While exfoliation won’t work miracles, it’s an important tool in your anti-aging arsenal, helping to rejuvenate your skin and promote a more youthful, radiant complexion.

5. Sudden oily face.

An overly oily complexion is often a telltale sign that it’s time to exfoliate your face. Excess sebum production can result from clogged pores, and this excess oiliness can lead to various skin issues, including acne and a shiny, greasy appearance.

Exfoliation can come to the rescue by clearing away the dead skin cells and debris that may be obstructing your pores and causing your skin to overcompensate with oil. By regularly exfoliating, you can help balance your skin’s sebum production and keep it in check.

Oily Face

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6. An uneven skin tone.

An uneven skin tone, characterized by dark spots, hyperpigmentation, or redness, can be a disheartening sign that exfoliation is in order. Exfoliation plays a pivotal role in addressing these concerns by effectively sloughing off these dead cells, which, in turn, encourages a more even distribution of pigment.

Regular exfoliation can help fade dark spots, reduce redness, and promote a smoother, more harmonious skin tone.

7. A lack of absorption.

When my skincare products feel like they aren’t working the way they used to, a lack of exfoliation is usually the cause. When a layer of dead skin cells accumulates on the surface, it acts as a barrier, preventing your serums, moisturizers, and other products from penetrating the skin effectively.

Exfoliation steps in as the solution by removing this stubborn layer, creating a clean canvas for your skincare products to be absorbed the way it was meant to.

Tips to ensure you are exfoliating correctly.

Although it might seem obvious, here are a few tips to keep in mind when exfoliating your skin!

  • Choose the right exfoliant: There are two main types of exfoliants – physical (scrubs) and chemical (acids). Pick the one that suits your skin type and concerns.
  • Start slow: If you’re new to exfoliating, begin with a lower frequency and build up gradually to avoid over-exfoliating.
  • Follow instructions: Always read and follow the manufacturer’s instructions for your chosen exfoliant.
  • Protect your skin: Use sunscreen daily, as exfoliating can make your skin more sensitive to UV radiation.
  • Be gentle: Avoid harsh scrubbing, and remember that less is often more when it comes to exfoliation.
Tips for exfoliating

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When should you avoid exfoliating your face?

Believe it or not, there are certain times when you shouldn’t be exfoliating your face as it can cause more harm than good.

  • Sunburn or Windburn: Exfoliating sunburned or windburned skin can exacerbate the irritation and prolong the healing process.
  • Active acne flare-up: Exfoliating can aggravate active acne lesions, potentially leading to more inflammation and scarring.
  • Open wounds or cuts: Exfoliating over open wounds or cuts can introduce bacteria and hinder the natural healing process.
  • Skin conditions: If you have skin conditions like eczema, psoriasis, or rosacea, exfoliation can worsen symptoms and should be done with caution under professional guidance.
  • Over-exfoliation: If you’ve exfoliated too much or too frequently recently, give your skin a break to prevent over-exfoliation, which can lead to sensitivity and damage.
  • Harsh weather conditions: In extreme cold or windy weather, excessive exfoliation can strip your skin’s protective barrier, making it more susceptible to environmental damage.
  • Using certain medications: Some medications, like retinoids or acne treatments, can make your skin more sensitive, and excessive exfoliation may worsen side effects.


Exfoliating your face is a vital step in achieving healthy, radiant skin. By paying attention to these signs and adding exfoliation into your skincare routine, you can unlock the full potential of your skin, revealing a youthful, glowing complexion.

Just remember to exfoliate in moderation, choose the right products for your skin, and protect your skin from the sun. Your skin will thank you with a fresh, vibrant appearance that exudes confidence and health.

Happy Scrubbing,

Your Wellness Warrior!

9 thoughts on “7 Signs you need to exfoliate.”

  1. Excellent tips about exfoliation! I prefer chemical exfoliators myself. In fact, I have about 3 favorites that I use. Sometimes it can be a little difficult to know it’s time to exfoliate, but your recommendation about dull-looking skin tends to be the one that works for me

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  3. Pingback: Welcome November ’23 Beauty Spotlight Team – Never Say Die Beauty

  4. How nice to meet you via The Beauty Spotlight Team. Exfoliation has been on my mind lately so I recently purchased two products. The first is Brighten Up by Vasanti which I’ve used before and really like. Then there were raves online about the one from Dermalogica so when I placed my 15% off order I included a small size of theirs and am looking forward to using it.

    1. Thank you! I do, I love using REN Skincare. I change my products according to the needs of my face though, so I have a few different products I use from them. Himalaya is also a really great product that I go for when I can’t find what I’m looking for by REN.

  5. Thank you for sharing this as exfoliation is a skin care step I often skip. I have dry and quite sensitive skin. Do you recommend an exfoliation product for sensitive skin?

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