Skin Care

How Often Should You Exfoliate Your Body? Everything You Need To Know About This!

Exfoliation is believed to be the fastest and easiest way to give your skin a radiant glow. And yes, it is. Every day we lose more than 500 million skin cells, so the dead skin can build up quickly.

Written by Rachel Davis

On May 31, 2023 – 12 minutes read

Exfoliating Your Body - feature

Exfoliating your body can leave your skin looking and feeling baby smooth, soft, and gorgeous. But too much exfoliation can spoil the whole game. So the question is how often should you exfoliate your body? Over-exfoliating can have multiple side effects including rough patches, cracking skin, skin sensitivity, and breakouts. While a good number of people do benefit from exfoliating every alternate day, there might be a situation where you will find the need to cut down your exfoliation frequency.

Fortunately, we have put together this piece of writing to assist you in determining when and how often you should exfoliate your body. So, read further to find out all the information you need to start a body polishing routine that is best for your skin. 

How Often Should You Exfoliate Your Body? Why Should You Exfoliate Your Body?

Exfoliating your body has several benefits. Dead skin cells make your skin look dull. Exfoliating helps get rid of them. It even helps prevent clogged pores and allows other skin care products to perform efficiently on your skin.

How Often Should You Exfoliate Your Body? Why Should You Exfoliate Your Body?

But before you start with an exfoliating routine, it is important to find out your skin type as this has a say in how many times a week you should exfoliate your face or body. For dry and sensitive skin, exfoliation may seem aggressive but it will work wonders if you have oily skin. Exfoliation can even enhance the production of collagen(1) and keep the skin smooth and bright.

When And How Often Should You Exfoliate Your Body?

For beginners, it’s best to use a gentle scrub once or twice a week. Some people find it effective to exfoliate daily. But if you are in doubt, consult a dermatologist to know more about your skin type and the best products for your skin. But one thing you need to keep in mind is not to overdo it, as it is counterproductive. 

Now that we know why to exfoliate the body it is even more important to know how to exfoliate the body. Always be gentle on your skin. Move your fingers in a circular motion to apply the scrub. If you are exfoliating with the help of a brush, make light strokes. Do not exfoliate for more than 30 seconds. And immediately after, rinse it off with lukewarm water. If your skin has cuts or open wounds, do not exfoliate as it can worsen the situation. After the whole process, always remember to apply moisturizer.

How Often Should You Exfoliate Your Body Or Face?

Exfoliation, in simple terms, is the process of removing dead skin cells from the surface of your skin. And if you are still confused about how often you should exfoliate your face, then your skin type will decide how often you should exfoliate your body. 

  • Oily Skin: Are you a person who believes in regular exfoliating? Don’t overthink, just go for it. Even if you want to exfoliate daily it’s fine, when it comes to oily skin.
  • Normal Skin: If you exfoliate 2 to 3 times a week, you are in the safest zone. But if your skin tolerates it well, then you can exfoliate more frequently. 
  • Sensitive Skin: Target to exfoliate only once a week but if your skin is highly sensitive skin(2), you can skip it entirely. 

Body exfoliation includes harsh products like pumice stones which you shouldn’t use on your face. But scrubs that are gentle in nature are an ideal option. Try to exfoliate your body as much as possible. How often should you exfoliate your body in certain areas is listed below. Dead skin can be seen in any part of the body, but you need to take extra care of the following areas: 

  • Knees
  • Elbows
  • Feet
  • Thighs
  • Buttocks

To exfoliate your body, and these areas especially, you need to cleanse first. Then take your chosen scrub to exfoliate and rub gently in a circular motion onto your skin. Rinse it and afterward apply lotion. For areas with sores, cuts, or broken skin, you should avoid exfoliating until it heals completely. And if you feel any irritation, avoid it completely for some time.

While you may want to remove dead skin as much as possible for smooth and glowing skin, remember that exfoliating too often can have the opposite effect, 

Physical Exfoliation Vs Chemical Exfoliation

Before answering the question of how often should you exfoliate your body, let’s understand the two exfoliation methods. There are two different types of exfoliators. Physical exfoliators, which include serums, peels, and scrubs; and chemical exfoliators. The important difference is that chemical exfoliants use enzymes to loosen skin cells, while physical exfoliants consist of tiny particles that scrub away the debris. There are products that team up with both chemical and physical methods, like cleansers that begin with physical exfoliation but it turns into chemical exfoliation the moment when you add water. 

Physical Exfoliation Vs Chemical Exfoliation
  • Physical Exfoliation: In physical exfoliation, the exfoliator removes dead skin with the help of small grains. All exfoliants which are physical in nature use multiple exfoliating agents and some can irritate your skin too. So it is vital to choose your product wisely. Always check the components to make sure that no agents are too large, as scrubs with large particles can irritate. You can read further to know a few of the alternatives to physical exfoliators. 
  • Chemical Exfoliation: Chemical exfoliation(3) uses chemical reactions to remove dead skin cells, loosen your skin and enhance cell turnover. 

Is Exfoliation Necessary In Every Skincare Routine? 

We have already discussed how to and how often should you exfoliate your body, now let us see why it is necessary in every skincare routine. We cannot deny the fact that everyone can benefit from exfoliating their skin. Regardless of which skin type you have, exfoliation can give you an instant glow by clearing all the dead skin cells. Exfoliation even allows other skin-related products to work efficiently on your skin. 

For some people, using a face or body scrub isn’t just helpful but works like magic too. Exfoliation is very much vital if you are suffering from clogged pores and blemishes. And for those with skin that is quite mature, adding exfoliation to your skincare routine can trick the skin into acting young again. 

How Often Should You Exfoliate Your Body Or Skin With Gloves?

Research suggests that physical exfoliators like exfoliating gloves are harsh in nature in comparison to scrubs and other chemical exfoliators. That is the reason why it is recommended to only those people who have normal or oily skin. People with normal skin can use exfoliating gloves more often. People with sensitive skin types can avoid exfoliating gloves altogether. But there are things you need to know before buying one for yourself: 

  • Exfoliation gloves are not suitable for everyone. Skin types like sensitive, dry, or acne-prone skin should stay from this exfoliator. 
  • Exfoliating too much with gloves can break down the skin barrier and can create cracks in the skin. This can lead to inflammation and redness of the skin. 
  • Even females with normal skin types must avoid exfoliating too much. Using them once a week with gentle hands will put you in the safest zone. 
  • Maintain hygiene, and wash those gloves after every single use. Allow them to dry properly after use to prevent bacteria buildup. 

In the end, we can say that exfoliating gloves are effective means of skin exfoliation, but only for certain skin types. The process of removal of dead skin can allow lotion or moisturizer to work on your skin efficiently. It adds value to your skincare routine by offering hydration and enhancing the absorption of skincare products. 

Alternatives To Chemical Scrubs To Exfoliate Your Body

How often should you exfoliate your body apart from using those expensive exfoliators? well, earlier when these chemical products were not there in the market, people still had exfoliated their bodies. And even in today’s world, some people find old home remedies to be more effective. Let’s discuss a few alternatives to chemical scrubs to exfoliate your boy: 

Alternatives To Chemical Scrubs To Exfoliate Your Body
  • Baking soda and honey scrub: This alternative to chemical scrub is well suited for acne-prone skin. All you have to do is combine baking soda, honey, aloe vera gel, tea tree oil, and vitamin E oil in a bowl and mix them well. Apply it on your face, and gently massage it with your fingertips in a circular motion. Allow it to rest for 2 minutes, rinse it off, and finally apply moisturizer. 
  • Oatmeal Scrub: Oatmeal scrub helps in softening your skin with the help of skin-soothing ingredients. To prepare this you need to grind oats until you get a dust-like consistency. Put it in a bowl, add coconut oil, grapeseed oil, brown sugar, and chamomile tea bags, and mix it properly. Apply the scrub all over your body except on your face, and massage it in a circular motion. Rinse it with lukewarm water and apply moisturizer all over your body.
  • Sea Salt Scrub: Combine ground sea salt, coconut or jojoba oil, and essential oil in a bowl and blend it well. While in the shower, apply the scrub to your whole body, massage it well, and rinse it with water. 

Exfoliation Tips For Radiant & Glowing Skin

How often should you exfoliate your body or skin to achieve that radiant glowing skin? Go through these below-mentioned tips for radiant, glowing skin and to avoid skin damage by over-exfoliation: 

  • Be gentle: Be careful when you are using products with too many active ingredients. Be careful while getting involved in targeted treatments which can make your skin look beautiful for a while but in the long run, it is going to damage your skin. Try not to use salicylic and glycolic acid at once, and avoid facials too often. Each of these treatments has its benefit, but doing it together or getting these too often is more harmful than good. 
  • Minimize Exfoliation: The absolute highest number of times you should be exfoliating your skin is three times a week and not more than that. Over-exfoliate your skin and you will see tiny cracks in the skin barrier that will lead to inflammation and moisture loss. Your skin may lose its natural oils and you can experience breakouts. 
  • Brush away flaky skin: If your skin is extremely flaky and dry, the immediate way to get rid of dead cell buildup is with the help of a cleansing brush or an at-home kit, which is used to vanish dead skin. 
  • Don’t be afraid to use salicylic acid every single day: Yes, though it is true that you cannot exfoliate your face/body every single day, you can use salicylic acid–based cleanser daily. This acid is not harsh on your skin like physical exfoliators, so without any worry, you can use it daily. 
  • Listen to your skin: The most basic yet vital thing to remember when it comes to how often you should exfoliate is to let your skin be your Google and tell you what is best for you.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. When should someone exfoliate their body? 

You should exfoliate your body if your skin is feeling flaky, dry or rough. If you shave your body hair too often, then exfoliate the skin before with a scrub to increase the experience.

2. Can you use a body scrub over your face? 

Your face is quite delicate compared to the rest of your body, so it is not advised to use a body scrub over the face. But if the body scrub is made out of gentle ingredients, then you may use it over your face.

3. Is it good to exfoliate the body every day? 

Exfoliating the skin daily can cause discomfort because of its harsh ingredients. Body scrubbing can only be done once or twice a week. 

4. Can body scrubs remove dark spots? 

The answer is Yes! Dark spots are signs of exposure to sunlight and also aging. Exfoliating helps because it enhances the regeneration of new skin cells and a few scrubs contain ingredients that help in breaking pigmentation, protect against sun damage and slow down the aging process. 

5. If my skin can naturally exfoliate, then why do I need to scrub? 

You need to add exfoliation to your skincare routine, as natural exfoliation procedures slow down with age. It begins with 14 days in the infant phase to 21-18 days as teens, till 42-84 days over 50 years. Therefore, adding exfoliation to the skincare routine is very much essential. 

6. When not to exfoliate your body? 

Do not scrub if you are facing a sunburn, rash, or any other skin problem.  If you have any cuts, sunburn, rashes, or bruises on your skin, avoid scrubbing as it will irritate. Some of the ingredients present in the scrub can make the condition worse.

7. Should I exfoliate my body before or after hair removal? 

If you want silky and hairless skin then you should exfoliate before shaving. Freshly exfoliated skin can improve your experience. But if you want to remove hair with wax, then it is highly recommended to exfoliate a day before waxing. Exfoliating and waxing one after the other is harmful to your skin. 

8. How often should you exfoliate your body?

You shouldn’t exfoliate more than twice a week.  Research suggests allowing time between exfoliation sessions, especially if you have dry or sensitive skin. If you have oily skin, you can exfoliate more frequently. 

9. Can I use grounds from the coffee machine for exfoliating? 

Coffee grounds are not as smooth as coffee scrub because they are made for brewing. The shape, size, and texture are made for brewing only, unlike coffee scrubs which are made for exfoliating only. 

10. How often should you exfoliate your whole body? 

Exfoliate your body every 10 days minimum, but it is suggested to exfoliate two times a week if you have sensitive skin and double it if you have oily skin. 

11. Do you exfoliate before or after washing your body? 

If you are confused regarding when to exfoliate or use a body scrub, make sure you use it after you have showered, and after you have used shower gel or body soap. When your skin is clean and all set for exfoliation, and the warm water will make your body soft, then exfoliation will work efficiently. 

Bottom Line

Getting into the final verdict on “how often should you exfoliate your body”. It can be difficult to find the perfect exfoliating balance for your skin. Once you know what exactly your skin needs, it is just a matter of sticking to that regular skincare routine and at the same time not overdoing it.

If you notice any sort of unwanted change, consult a dermatologist immediately.

  1. Springer Nature Switzerland AG.(2023).Collagen. Available at:
  2. John Wiley & Sons.(1999-2023).Sensitive skin. Available at:
  3. Springer Nature Switzerland AG.(2023).Chemical Peelings. Available at:

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Hi! I am Rachel; a mom and a hair and makeup artist. I am very old-school and I love sharing my experiences on parenting, marriage, and daily life hacks. What is more fun than that! I believe that to take care of anything, you have to love and give your heart and soul to it. Writing has been my passion ever since I was little and it’s the best way I express myself – my thoughts and dreams. Here, I write about everything that I love.

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