The Expert Guide on Exfoliation

The Expert Guide on Exfoliation

The Expert Guide to Exfoliation (for Men)

How would you feel if we told you you don’t have to look like boiled leather by the time you hit thirty? While some dudes are already skincare savvy and have everything under control, you might not be quite sure how to tackle exfoliation, or what it even means. Today the Bottlecode team breaks down everything you need to know about this critical part of skincare, simply and easily.

Why Do We Exfoliate?

As we age, we slow down. So does the rate at which our skin produces new skin cells. And just like a great diet and exercise can keep us fit and mobile for longer, exfoliation can help improve our skin turnover, leaving room for younger, healthier skin.
In our 20’s, we get a full skin turnover in 14-21 days. By 30, that’s about 28-45 days. By 40, you’re looking at 45-60 days. This wouldn’t be a problem, if it wasn’t for the dead skin buildup that comes on your face. This makes your skin look dry and listless, clogs pores leading to blackheads (and acne, if you’re prone), and makes wrinkles look deeper and patchy skin worse. 

What is Exfoliation?

Making sure that gunky layer or dead skin cells move on fast unlocks fresher, brighter, younger-looking skin. It feels softer and looks better. Exfoliation is a simple idea- manually turn over those skin cells so you don’t get that buildup. There’s 2 key ways to do that.

Chemical Exfoliation

Don’t worry, you don’t need a science degree for this one. But you do get to put acid on your face! Nothing that will melt it off, of course. You simply use a mild acid to loosen dead skin cells and encourage skin turnover. Typically, these acids fall in two categories:
  • AHA: Alpha Hydroxy Acids.Glycolic acid is the most common AHA you’ll see. Lactic Acid comes in second. These are both great for dry and typical skins. Azelaic Acid is a newer AHA that’s great for melasma or irregular pigmentation.
  • BHA: Beta Hydroxy Acids. Salicylic acid is the only BHA you’ll see commonly. BHAs are great for oily and acne-prone skins, but a bit harsh for dry skins.

Physical Exfoliation

Here you use a mildly abrasive scrub to slough off those dead skin cells instead. It seems more fun and accessible than acids, but it’s not always the very best choice for facial skin, which is thinner than the rest of the body. Normal, non-sensitive skins will be fine with them, but if you have other issues, you might want to look at chemical exfoliation instead.

What Does Exfoliation Do?

So, encouraging skin turnover makes your skin softer and healthier. But what else does exfoliation do?
  • Improves texture
  • Evens skin tone
  • Makes pores and lines look finer
  • Helps reduce congestion, blackheads, whiteheads
  • Helps reduce ingrown hairs at the beard
  • Improves product absorption
If you are a BIPOC man, or just prone to looking ashy in general, exfoliation also helps brighten skin.

How Often Should I Exfoliate?

Exfoliation is like a great beer or a fine wine- best appreciated in small amounts. If you go sandpapering your skin every day, all you’ll do is make it mad. While it does depend a little on your exact concerns- angry acne or dry skin needs kinder handling then a normal or oily skin- two times a week is usually good for exfoliating.

What About Exfoliating Brushes and Devices?

Cleansing brushes and similar tools are just fancy ways to physically exfoliate. They have their place if you prefer them, but you need to keep them scrupulously clean- and dry in-between uses- if you use one, or they’re very prone to bacteria and mold.

Why Do We Recommend Chemical Exfoliation?

With exfoliation, it’s easy to go for too much of a good thing and harm your facial skin barrier instead. As we mentioned, it’s thin next to other skin. It’s very easy to press too hard, or use too rough a product, with physical exfoliants. AHAs and BHAs are gentler and harder to do damage with. But personal taste plays a factor at the end of the day. And don’t forget- you have skin everywhere! A good loofah or scrub is great for other parts of the body.

About Bottlecode

Bottlecode is proud to offer a wide range of exfoliants, formulated specifically for men, in our handy online store. We’ve chosen only the best men’s skincare products, with tried and trusted names you can rely on. Why not take one of our exfoliants out for a spin today? We promise you and your skin will fall in love with it.