7 Skin Care Myths — Busted

face exfoliation skin tips

Myth No. 2: You Must Exfoliate Often

If you’re exfoliating every time you wash your face, you need to cut it down … pronto. Instead of a daily scrub, you should be exfoliating once every two weeks, says Dr. Michael Gold, a dermatologist in Nashville, Tenn. This is because the dead skin cells that don’t get sloughed off when washed actually protect your skin from pollution and harmful bacteria.

Of course, you should also make sure you’re using the right product when you do exfoliate. New York City dermatologist Dr. Jeannette Graf recommends not using face scrubs because “the sharp edges of the particles in some scrubs made from apricot pits and walnut shells can injure the skin.”

So what should you use? Gentle exfoliators made with rice or scrub beads like Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant, $50. (Graf says to even use products listed as “daily” every two weeks.) You can also use chemical exfoliants, like salicylic or glycolic acid, like DDF Glycolic 5% Daily Cleaning Pads, $35. When you use these products, your skin should feel a little tingly but never red or irritated. If your skin seems irritated, ditch the scrub and look for a gentler option.