Skin Care | Exfoliation and Peels

What are the Best Exfoliating Treatments for Your Skin Type

To exfoliate or not to exfoliate is the beauty question of late.

It’s a touchy subject, with many people voicing various opinions.

But for us folks at the NC, it is an integral part of your routine.

Your skin is the body’s largest organ and constantly renews itself;

Dead skin cells accumulate on the surface, making your skin look dull and dry.

Exfoliation resurfaces and stimulates blood flow, infusing your skin with nutrients.

Helping you to achieve that coveted, healthy glow.

So, whether you’re concerned about exfoliating sensitive skin or looking for a dry skin boost,

Join us as we tailor an exfoliation plan for your particular skin type.

Exfoliating treatments

Exfoliating treatments on the market today currently run in physical and chemical lanes.

Both technically do the same thing—remove dead skin and debris—yet they do so in entirely different ways, as this study (1) discusses.

You must also ensure you’re doing it right; good exfoliation allows your serums and moisturisers to penetrate deep into your skin.

Why exfoliate?

  • it softens fine lines
  • it unclogs pores
  • removes dry, flaky areas of skin
  • encourages collagen synthesis
  • helps to promote cellular turnover
  • gives your skin a vibrant, glowing complexion
  • retains moisture levels in the top layer of your skin

In this article, we go deep into what exfoliation is and all the reasons exfoliation benefits your skin.

Exfoliating treatments for different skin types

Sensitive skin types

If you have sensitive skin, you don’t need us to tell you that too much physical scrubbing can make you look like the revenge of the killer tomato.

While you need to be gentle with your skin, it doesn’t mean you should skip the exfoliating step altogether.

You must avoid products containing large gritty grains, as these can be too abrasive; opt for very gentle powders or peeling gommages that gently slough off any dry, dead skin cells without irritation.

We are big fans of gentle enzymatic peels for sensitive skin, and this article is an excellent read if you are considering a peel but are unsure whether your skin can tolerate it.

Dry skin types

Dry skin is similar to sensitive skin because the cells that adhere to the surface can be very flaky and often quite inflamed and sensitive.

Creamy scrubs with spherical beads that won’t damage your skin’s lipid layer and protective barrier are ideal, as they moisturise as you exfoliate.

Along with enzymatic peels and gommage formulas, you may want to introduce low-strength alpha hydroxy acids into your routine for a mild exfoliation which is not overly irritating.

Lactic acid has incredibly hydrating molecules, and the great thing is that it only surface exfoliates, so it won’t inflame or irritate your skin,

Normal skin types

We applaud you if you are among the lucky few with normal skin. Predictably, there are a lot more options for you here.

Numerous products suit this skin type; a beautifying boost can be achieved from exfoliating washes to gentle peels containing alpha hydroxy acids.

A word of caution here: even though your skin is normal and more durable, don’t be overzealous with the scrubbing and massaging, which can take your skin from ordinary to sensitive in no time!

Oily/Combination skin types

A beta-hydroxy acid formula is the best option if you have an oily/combination skin type, as this study (2) demonstrates.

They are oil-soluble and can help to break down excessive surface debris and oils in the follicular wall.

An exfoliating clay mask is also a great option to simultaneously exfoliate whilst pulling out debris and impacted plugs from the follicular wall.

The critical point is not to use reusable devices like the Clarisonic brush and cloths; these can harbour bacteria from your previous treatment and make your breakouts or acne worse.

Mature skin type

While it is more of a skin condition than a skin type, mature skin and exfoliation are worth mentioning.

A more mature skin type usually copes better with peeling exfoliators that contain gentle fruit acids to slough away dead skin cells and improve skin texture.

A gentle occasional chemical peel with alpha-hydroxy acids will help to lighten lines and restore skin to a youthful glow.

Facial discs that you swipe across your skin are great; they work by gently peeling away dead skin cells, debris and excess oil or dirt from the surface of your skin without causing inflammageing.

Follow the link to find out more about the right exfoliating products for your particular skin type.

To conclude. The naked truth

As you can see, there are many methods and exfoliating products, including exfoliating powders and deeper peels, to help with stubborn acne.

The method you choose will really depend on your skin type and any particular skin conditions you may have.

Sensitive skin types work best with powder and exfoliating gels, as does a dry skin type.

When tackling oily or a combination skin type, you will be better using a beta hydroxy acid like salicylic acid..

But it is essential not to forget that with great power comes great responsibility.

This is why we never recommend exfoliating more than once a week.

If you do want to get regular chemical peels, these should be done much less frequently and be administered by a skincare professional, otherwise you may do more harm than good.


  1. Skincare and the exfoliating process
  2. Salicylic acid as a peeling agent: a comprehensive review.

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