Birchbox Experts on the Do’s and Don’ts of Exfoliation

Exfoliation isn’t quite as straightforward as other steps in your grooming routine. When practiced incorrectly it can actually harm the dermis. To help you scrub like a pro, we tapped a few Birchbox staffers for their expert advice. Take note of the following commandments to ensure a healthy and clear complexion.

DON’T Over-Exfoliate

“It's tempting to scrub every day, but stick to twice a week—max. Otherwise you can seriously irritate your skin, making it red and flaky.”
—Cristina, Senior Editor

DO Pick a Scrub for Your Skin Type

“No matter what, granules in an exfoliator should be fine and, with the best cleansers, they actually dissolve as you use them. If your skin is sensitive to scrubbing, you should try a powder exfoliant, or a gentler scrub.”
—Eric, Senior Director, Merchandising & Marketing

DON’T Exfoliate Damaged Skin

“If skin has been tanned or sunburned, you never want to further aggravate it. Let the redness or irritation heal. This is especially key if you've had a cosmetic procedure done like microdermabrasion or a chemical peel. Give your skin a rest before adding more friction.”
—Madison, Lead Discovery Specialist

DO Cleanse Before You Exfoliate

“There is a specific order to your skincare routine. Cleansing before exfoliating is crucial because an exfoliant can push grime and oils deeper into the skin. It's also so important to exfoliate after washing with warm water because you can't clean out pores unless they’re wide open. So, exfoliating in the shower is actually ideal.”
—Ashley, Brand Merchandising and Marketing Manager

DON’T Apply Too Much Pressure

“The goal is to remove the dead cells—which can be done with soft, small circular motions. Too much pressure can damage the healthy skin. Also, if you shave frequently, try combining your shave cream and exfoliant so that you accomplish both tasks with one motion. The less pressure, the better!”
—Carlos, Men’s Merchandising and Marketing Manager

DO Exfoliate in the Morning

“Our body regenerates and renews itself overnight—this includes skin cells. So, since new, healthy cells are strongest in the morning, it's the best time to scrub away the dead ones.”
—Lucas, Men’s Merchandising and Marketing Associate

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