Does Exfoliating Help With Acne?

This site contains affiliate links to products. We may receive a commission for purchases made through these links.

Acne is caused by dirt, grime, sweat, and oil sinking into our pores throughout the day. While the solution to this problem sounds simple, many people struggle with acne-prone skin, making pimples and spots an everyday problem that they have to deal with.

Simply washing our face is often not enough. The impurities that clog our pores sometimes need an extra scrub to be removed, making exfoliation a very important cleaning process.

However, can exfoliation help reduce acne? Many dermatologists have admitted that exfoliating incorrectly can lead to chronic or cystic acne, ultimately making the situation worse. To prevent this, it is vital that we know exactly how to safely and correctly exfoliate our skin.

Below, we will be discussing how you should go about exfoliating your skin if you struggle with acne, as well as the importance of knowing your skin type. Also, we will discuss why this cleaning technique works so well for people who have acne-prone skin.

Exfoliation and Acne-Prone Skin

Dermatologists recommend exfoliation to people who struggle with acne-prone skin. There are various reasons for this – the most obvious being the fact that exfoliation will help unclog pores.

Acne-prone skin refers to a skin type that is susceptible to developing spots, pimples, and other blemishes. This skin type also appears shiny due to the over-development of natural oils and sebum.

This excess oil is the culprit behind the development of acne. To reduce the spots formed, exfoliators can be used to clean the face and eliminate any impurities. For this reason, exfoliation definitely helps when it comes to preventing or easing acne.

How to Exfoliate Correctly

Before we can begin exfoliating our skin, it is very important that we understand exactly what the cause behind our acne is. As we have mentioned, clogged pores are often the main culprit – however, this does not mean that acne is only caused by clogged pores.

Many teenagers suffer from acne because of hormonal changes, bad eating habits, and certain medications. All of these factors can cause the development of blackheads, whiteheads, bumps, and even cysts.

You need to determine the severity of your acne before you can plan your skincare routine. There are exfoliating products out there that are formulated for specific skin and acne types, meaning that you could be using the wrong skincare brands. If you do not use the correct products, you may see very little to no improvement when it comes to your acne.

For example, if you struggle with oily skin, you should look for an exfoliator that contains salicylic acid. On the other hand, if you have a dry skin type, exfoliators with glycolic acid will work best when reducing your acne.

Advantages of Exfoliating For Acne-Prone Skin Types

There are plenty of advantages when it comes to exfoliating your skin. However, these benefits are often even more noticeable when acne-prone skin is involved.

When someone who struggles with acne begins to exfoliate, the bacteria that sits on the surface of their skin will be minimized. This clears the skin, reducing the impurities that could potentially block pores and cause the development of more spots.

When done correctly, exfoliating can work to preserve the natural oils found on our skin. When these oils are eliminated, our skin can become dehydrated, dry, and sensitive. For this reason, exfoliation is a great way to clean the face while keeping it moisturized.

Certain exfoliators contain natural alpha-hydroxy acids. This ingredient works to smooth out the skin tone of our face, giving us a more radiant and even look. Also, the chemicals used in these exfoliators will dissolve any dead skin cells. In other words, the layer of older skin is removed, making way for newer, healthier, and stronger skin cells. This can also reduce the appearance of lines and wrinkles on our faces.

Exfoliating Tips to Help Fight Acne

We now know that exfoliating can help fight acne when done correctly. The most important thing to keep in mind is that chemical exfoliators work best with acne-prone skin. These products are designed and formulated to reduce redness and eliminate the bacteria that is responsible for acne.

If you struggle with oily skin, it is recommended that you exfoliate at least two times a week. On the other hand, if your skin is dry or normal, once a week should be sufficient.

One of the biggest mistakes that people make is over-exfoliating their skin. As we discussed, exfoliators are designed to remove and dissolve the dead skin cells from our faces. With that being said, if we exfoliate too often, the newer and healthy cells could also be eliminated. When this occurs, your skin will feel very sensitive, raw, and irritated.

Lastly, if you are someone who exercises frequently, you may need to exfoliate more often. On top of this, we naturally sweat more in the warmer, summer months. Because of this, many people who struggle with acne-prone skin develop more spots during this time of year. To prevent this, oily-skinned people should exfoliate three times a week during these months.


So does exfoliating help with acne? As you can see above, yes, exfoliation can drastically improve acne. However, it can also lead to chronic or cystic acne when done incorrectly. For this reason, it is very important that we are careful when cleaning and exfoliating our faces. We should also look for exfoliators that are formulated for our specific skin type, as this can massively improve the complexion of our skin.

It is recommended that people who struggle with acne-prone skin should use chemical exfoliators. These products work to eliminate the harmful bacteria and oils that lead to the development of pimples and other blemishes.

People with oily skin types should exfoliate at least twice a week. Once a week should be sufficient for people who have dry skin. More so, people who exercise often or who live in warmer climates should exfoliate more frequently, as their sweat is likely to worsen their acne.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *