Exfoliation: Why everyone should have it in their skin care routine

January 31, 2019 8 min read

exfoliation benefits routine yellow bird blog

First of all, let's look at 3 common questions about the benefits of exfoliation: 

  1. Why should I exfoliate?
  2. How is exfoliation for your face different from your body?
  3. How often should I exfoliate?

We hear about exfoliation all the time, but does it really live up to all the hype?

We want to clear this up quickly, so we’ll be upfront and honest, rather than wait for you to reach the end of the article for a verdict. The answer is absolutely!

Of course, it needs to be done correctly, using the right products to achieve the results you want to see, but oh boy, once you see what exfoliation can do for your skin you’ll become a firm believer!

So get ready to learn all about exfoliation-- from the myriad of benefits to how to do it yourself for your skin type, on the regular, and get radiant results!

1. Why should I exfoliate?

We’re glad you asked!

Our skin naturally sheds dead skin cells to make way for new healthy skin to come through. 

exfoliate regularly yellow bird blog scrub

Sometimes, however, too many cells try to shed at once and the body can’t keep up with its natural shedding process.

This is where exfoliation comes in.

Exfoliation helps to slough off these dead skin cells that may clog your pores and contribute to breakouts and a dull looking complexion. One of the biggest secrets to having a glowing complexion is regular exfoliation. 

Not only does exfoliation remove dead skin build up, it also helps to boost collagen production for firmer, plumper skin, as well as ensure better absorption of all your skin care products.

It’s that one step in your skin care routine that can truly make all the difference.


2. How is exfoliating your face is different than exfoliating your body?

Facial exfoliation differs from body exfoliation because the skin on your face is more delicate, thinner and more sensitive than the skin on the rest of your body.

yellow bird blog exfoliate skin care

This simply means that the body can usually tolerate slightly rougher exfoliants without it causing any irritation. Learning how to read labels is very important!

Fortunately, because ourCharcoal Salt and Sugar Scrub is formulated with such gentle, soothing and all natural ingredients, it can be used on the face and the body! It’s the ideal multi-purpose exfoliant and will leave your skin feeling as soft and luxurious. The salt combined with the sugar is the perfect amount of abrasiveness. 

Activated charcoal draws out deep down impurities for clearer, healthier skin, while luxurious, non-comedogenic oils includingKukui Nut Oil, Almond Oil, and Grapeseed Oil leave a sheer veil of beautiful dewy hydration on the skin. Powerful antioxidants also help to fight aging free radicals so you can enjoy gorgeously youthful and radiant skin with regular use.

3. How often should I exfoliate?

Over-exfoliating can occur in several different ways.

  1. When you exfoliate on a daily basis with an exfoliantintendedfor 1-2 times weekly use.
  2. When you use an exfoliant that is too abrasive for your skin. (Too abrasive= physical particles are too rough or large OR a chemical that is too strong and abrasive.)

Over-exfoliation can really aggravate the skin because there won’t be any dead skin cells left and you’ll be exfoliating fresh, new skin that needs time to strengthen. Over-exfoliation can cause dry, red, irritated skin and you’ll know you’ve overdone it when your skin reacts, trust us!

the yellow bird blog exfoliate how to best practice

Best Practice: We recommend exfoliating on a weekly basis if you have slightly sensitive skin and two to three times a week if your skin is not as sensitive.

Nicole’s Tip: For best results with a scrub, get your face wet with hot water to open up your pores (um, but please don’t burn yourself…) and massage the scrub into damp skin using your fingertips in light, circular motions for a minute or two before rinsing with lukewarm water and patting dry. The scrub will leave a light, moisturizing layer of oil that is next-level relaxing!

If your skin is super sensitive and you can only exfoliate with a scrub 1x a week,  then theHemp and Organic Cotton Washcloths are perfect for you (they are perfect for all skin, all the time.. But especially super sensitive skin). Hemp is naturally antibacterial and will provide an effective, yet highly gentle exfoliation. Wet your cloth and use alone by massaging gently over your face in circular motions or use it to gently wipe off your cleanser. To get a nice detox with this ultra gentle exfoliation, use an activated charcoal soap with hot water so that your pores are open and the charcoal can bind to the toxins and get rid of them.

If you’re looking for an easy way to amp up your cleansing and moisturizing routine then an exfoliate is just what your skin needs!


Ok, so now that you know what physical exfoliation is and which products you want to start with, how do you incorporate exfoliation into your regular facial routine?

exfoliate routine blog yellow bird

When it comes to skin care, a routine is the name of the game. While I would love to just have a magic elixir that could instantly transform my skin whenever I remembered to put it on, it doesn't actually work that way. Clear and beautiful skin takes time. 

Here is a basic face and exfoliation routine to keep your skin glowing :

1. Cleanse your skin. Cleansing your skin every day is important-- removing physical impurities, washing off that top layer of sweat and dirt, and sloughing off dead skin cells. Using products that do that AND don't harm the good bacteria and new skin cells is essential. Our soapis an easy go-to for this (read more on how soap works here) -- and with a wide range of ingredients, it's hard to go wrong. You want a soap that has no chemical fragrance and is rich in oils and butters. I love using any of our soaps in conjunction with our Organic Cotton + Hemp Washcloths-- so very soft and antibacterial. Seriously one of my fave products we have. Many people with eczema have loved using our Neem Soap-- to read more about some of our unique soap ingredients, check out this post. Oh, and our activated charcoal soaps are best sellers for a reason-- an easy way to cleanse the skin and wash out massive amounts of toxins. You can read all about that here

2. Exfoliate. With a clean face that is still damp (I like using hot water to get my face damp so that my pores are nice and open), gently exfoliate your face in circular motions. Exfoliate for 2-3 minutes, allowing the physical exfoliant to loosen and remove the dead skin cells. You can exfoliate based on your need- for very gentle exfoliation, try our Goat's Milk, Lavender and Oat Soap. It has oats in it that will provide a light amount of friction but dissolve quickly. For microdermabrasion, our Dead Sea Mud, Pumice and Activated Charcoalis AMAZING. I personally love it to remove sweat. On my face, I use it with a washcloth and it is just the right amount of abrasion to feel clean and fresh afterward, without my skin feeling stripped. For a more robust exfoliation, I am OBSESSED with our Activated Charcoal Salt and Sugar Scrub. Every single time I use it, I see (after 1 use!!) my pores shrink (because the gunk is out of them) and blackheads decrease. It has the perfect blend of salt and sugar to make it loosen the dead skin and impurities that are stuck down in the pores, but as you rub it on your skin, the sugar dissolves so it doesn't stay full on abrasive. It is also FULL of great oils so after you rinse it off, your face isn't dry; but nicely hydrated and refreshed. I use it on my whole body-- it's that good. Here's another post all about why a salt and sugar scrub is such a good part of a regular skin routine!

3. Hydrate. This step is so important. We don't want to just cleanse and exfoliate our skin without giving it a direct bit of hydration. And our skin's sebum is oil, so putting on a nourishing oil is essential. [I know it can seem counterintuitive to use oil on an oily face-- but I promise, it is just the thing to help balance your skin. Read all about it here]. The beautiful thing about hydrating with an oil is that oils are super concentrated in nutrients (they contain no water to dilute them) and these nutrients will sink deep into the pores and target your skin care concerns right away! After exfoliating (or just cleansing-- remember, exfoliation doesn't have to happen every day!) For all skin, even the most sensitive, I LOVE our Argan Oil face oil. Apply some of the oil into the palm of your hand and use your fingertips to pat the oil into your skin (don’t rub) until fully absorbed and that’s all there is to it! It will take less than a minute to fully sent in. If this is your morning routine, once the oil is dry, you can go right on with your make up routine (and a lot of time, face oil will help your make up sit on your skin more evenly). If this is your evening routine, you are ready for that beauty sleep. 

See, the routine is so important but it doesn't have to be complicated. Also, in each step, there is room to try different products based on YOUR skins needs. Our skin's needs vary--depending on the weather (dry/hot/humid etc), physical activity, amount of sleep, and what we are putting into our body. I am all about a simple routine, and still having a lot of choices-- I love choices :) 

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What about using physical exfoliation on the rest of the body?

Exfoliation is great for all your skin-- after all, all of our skin produces sweat and dead skin cells. I like to spot exfoliate for especially rough patches. You can use the scrub to exfoliate just your feet if they are feeling especially rough (and then coat them in our foot cream-- I promise they will look 100x better after a single use!) Here is a way one customer uses our scrub (I also LOVE using our scrub to exfoliate my legs before shaving! No red bumps after, and such a smooth shave! Highly recommend) 

Review Salt and Sugar Scrub the Yellow Bird

2. Will exfoliating with salt and sugar rub all my skin off?

Nope. Isn't that good news:) It is gentle enough to leave your living, vibrant skin cells intact. I do not recommend using it on your face every day, but it is gentle enough for almost every skin type to use at least 1x a week. Of course, use your discretion since everyone's skin is unique. 

3. How should men work exfoliating into their skin care routine?

I would start with 2x a week. I would stick to the cleanse-exfoliate-moisturize  routine (you really can't go wrong there). If your hands are feeling really rough, try using the salt and sugar scrub on them after washing and then putting on our all natural foot cream to moisturize them. 

4. Will the Charcoal Scrub ruin my sink?

Nope. It is black (it has oil + charcoal), but with a quick wipe down of your sink, it will be clean! Washes off super easily. Just think, an extra 30 seconds and you have a clean face AND a clean sink. win win. #girlwashyoursink 

Here is a link to all our exfoliating products . Have any questions-- Shoot me an email and I would be HAPPY to chat skin care <3

Nicole P
Nicole P

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