By now you likely have heard about all of the benefits of exfoliation. How it removes impurities from the pores. The way it leaves the skin cleaner, brighter, and healthier overall. The one thing you may still be wondering is, do you exfoliate or cleanse first? While we pick cleansing first in the order of things, this skincare question has been debated by many.

The good news is that there isn’t necessarily a right or wrong answer. You can try a cleanser first, then an exfoliating face scrub. Or, you can exfoliate then cleanse the skin. The best thing to do is what works best for your skin. There are benefits to both. Ultimately, to understand the order of skincare, you must first know why exfoliation matters in the first place and what exfoliating does to your skin.


Why Exfoliation Matters


Adding exfoliation as a step to your regular skin care routine helps to unclog pores, eliminate bacteria, and maintain the skin’s balance. The result is fewer breakouts, clearer skin, and a more radiant complexion. That’s why the decision of whether to exfoliate or cleanse first matters less than being consistent about doing both.

All areas of skincare work better together rather than on their own. Exfoliation is not necessary on a daily basis, but it’s just as important as cleaning or moisturizing the skin. Your skin is susceptible to built up sweat, oil, makeup residue, and other toxins from the air that sink into your pores. It creates a fast track to whiteheads, blackheads, and other types of breakouts. It also causes the skin to appear less vibrant and discolored in some areas.

Exfoliation removes this buildup and paves the way for new skin cells to take its place by sloughing away the dead skin. A clean, exfoliated face allows the skin to do its best work. Additionally, when you’re asleep, the body releases a human growth hormone that’s essential for collagen production [1]. In turn, collagen helps to minimize the appearance of fine lines and visibly decrease the size of your pores. By supporting your skin’s natural processes, it gives you a healthier, fresher appearance.


Benefits of Using Cleanser First


Cleaning the face before exfoliating allows you to start with a fresh slate. Exfoliation dives into the pores, more so than a mild cleanser. It’s important to remove your makeup and clean your face on a daily basis. It’s not always necessary to exfoliate with the same frequency.


The process we recommend is to apply a thin layer of the Kate Somerville ExfoliKate® Intensive Exfoliating Treatment in the morning or evening, once or twice a week. Massage it into the face for 30 seconds and leave on the skin for up to two minutes to allow the skin to fully absorb the facial scrub’s healthy ingredients. Then, rinse and pat the face dry before moving on to toner and moisturizer.

ExfoliKate® contains lactic acid, fruit enzymes, and salicylic acid as part of its effective formula. Their role is to improve the look of the skin’s texture by helping to remove dead skin cells and unclog pores. Keep with the recommended use and you’ll see how this exfoliating treatment helps to improve your skin week by week.

Benefits of Using an Exfoliant First


Generally speaking, fewer people choose to exfoliate then cleanse, although there are benefits to reversing these skincare steps. The action of sloughing away dead skin cells, excess oil, and other impurities can take care of cleansing simultaneously. When approached in this way, mechanical exfoliation is the better choice. By using specific “tools” to remove the top layer of the skin, it promotes a smoother texture and a brighter appearance.

Use a damp washcloth or exfoliating brush to gently wipe the face by using small, circular motions. This will stimulate the skin as you brush away the top layer of the skin. Keep in mind, though, not all cleansers are made to exfoliate the skin and vice-versa. Be careful about the type of tool you use since some are more abrasive than others and can irritate or tear the skin.


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