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Medically Reviewed by Dr. Eva Simmons-O’Brien

Dr. Eva Simmons O’Brien received her MD from Yale University and is a board-certified dermatologist. With over 30 years of experience, she has worked for hospitals, established her own private practice, and consulted for organizations such as the FDA. Today, Dr. Eva runs her own practice in addition to serving as our Chief Science Officer.

How to Exfoliate Skin Naturally

How to Exfoliate Skin Naturally

How to Exfoliate Skin Naturally



We know you want to look good without spending a ton of time getting that way. One sure-fire way to get healthy-looking skin with minimal effort is by exfoliating. 

Hold on tight, this ain’t your mama’s exfoliating routine. Men’s skin is different from women’s skin, and most of the products you find at your local big-box store are made to work with women’s skin. 

Men’s skin has a specific pH balance that makes it tougher, thicker, and slightly more oily than women’s. When we exfoliate with products made for women, they simply aren’t as effective. 

Even worse, some of the products you find on store shelves are filled with ingredients you wouldn’t even want to use to clean your toilet. 

Let’s talk about natural exfoliation, why you need to do it, and how to effectively minimize your skincare routine. 

What is Exfoliation?

If you’re completely new to the skincare game, hey bro, you’re in good hands. 

Every dude needs to take care of his skin, not only so you look good, but so that it’s protected from everyday stressors like the sun, environmental toxins, and other irritants that can make your skin look dull and lifeless. 

Exfoliation is part of a basic skin care routine. The most basic skin care routines should include:


Morning and night, using an easy, natural cleanser is best. Plant-based ingredients work synergistically with your skin to simultaneously dig out oil and dirt without stripping your skin of natural moisture.


Every skin type needs hydration, even if you feel like you’ve struck oil in your t-zone. In fact, excess oil can even be a sign of dehydrated skin that just needs a little clean, natural hydration to get it back on track. 


Exfoliation removes the top layer of dead skin cells, dirt, and oil to reveal healthier newer skin. Exfoliating your skin has numerous benefits, which we’ll cover later, but it’s an important part of any skincare routine. 

Exfoliation helps supercharge your skin’s cellular turnover, which leaves it looking fresher, more youthful, and helps you avoid problematic breakouts. It gives your skin a healthy glow and frees it from the buildup of irritants. 

Who Should Exfoliate?

You, that’s who. Everyone needs to exfoliate, even if you have sensitive skin. Oily, dry, normal, and sensitive skin types all benefit from the effects of exfoliation. Depending on your skin type, you may need to exfoliate more or less. 

There are also different ways to exfoliate your skin, including natural exfoliation, which is typically the most gentle and effective way to exfoliate virtually any type of skin. 

What Are the Benefits of Exfoliation?

Exfoliation benefits your skin by keeping it looking healthy and vibrant, but there are some serious healthy skin benefits of exfoliation beyond pure aesthetics. 

Exfoliating Helps Cellular Turnover

To really understand the benefits of exfoliation, you need to know how your skin works. Your skin is on a constant cycle of cellular turnover. In other words, your skin continuously makes new skin cells. 

New skin cells are made in the deepest layers of your skin, and as they age, they are pushed to the surface of your skin (the epidermis). Once the skin cell reaches the surface of your skin, it dies. These dead skin cells should slough off eventually, making way for newer, younger cells.

Unfortunately, two things work against this process.

  1. Age. As we get older, cellular turnover slows. When you’re an infant, your skin cells regenerate every seven days. During our youth, it slows to approximately 14 days. Once you hit 30, your skin cells are reproducing about once a month. 

    This means the dead skin cells hang out on the surface of your skin longer, making your skin look dull and potentially clogging your pores. 

  2. Lack of good skincare. Guys, we aren’t generally known for taking great care of our skin. Most of us are still using the same soap to wash our faces we’ve used since grade school. 

When we aren’t giving our skin the good stuff it needs to function properly, it doesn’t. Cell turnover slows, we start looking older, our skin looks dull, and we get breakouts. 

Exfoliating your skin fast tracks your cellular turnover. It quickly removes the buildup of dead skin cells clinging to the surface and sends a signal to the skin that it needs to hurry up and make more new skin cells. 

The result is cell turnover that rivals a newborn baby. That might be an exaggeration, but you get the idea. 

Exfoliating Helps Prevent Breakouts

Nothing is worse than getting a breakout, and you can help prevent them by exfoliating your skin on a regular basis. 

Breakouts happen when excess oil, called sebum, mixes with dead skin cells and clogs your pores. There’s less chance for dead skin cells to clog your pores when you exfoliate because you’re actively removing them from your skin. 

Exfoliating also helps dig deep into pores, lifting out excess oil and helping regulate your skin’s natural oil production. 

Skin that naturally feels greasy benefits from the active removal of excess oil. If your skin’s on the drier side, don’t worry. A good, natural exfoliant won’t strip your skin of natural moisture. 

Exfoliating Stimulates Collagen Production

As a dude, you may not know a lot about collagen. Collagen is a basic building block that makes up many tissues in our bodies, including our skin. Collagen is what keeps your skin looking plump and reduces the onset of wrinkles.

When you’re young, your skin makes a ton of collagen, which is why you might have had chubby cheeks until your mid-twenties. Although you probably didn’t like chubby cheeks, collagen also kept crow’s feet from forming and prevented frown lines. 

As you get older, your collagen production slows, but exfoliating your skin stimulates collagen production. When your skin makes more collagen, it looks more youthful. Fine lines and wrinkles begin to disappear, leaving your skin looking less hollow.  

What Are The Three Different Types of Exfoliation?

You can exfoliate your skin in three different ways, such as:

  • Chemically
  • Mechanically
  • Physically 

Let’s go over how each is done and which is best for your skin. 

Chemical Exfoliation

Chemical exfoliation uses chemicals and acids to exfoliate and remove the top layer of your skin. These products use enzymes and acids to gently break down and dissolve the bonds between them and healthy skin cells. 

You can use chemically exfoliating products at home, but you can also have a chemical exfoliation done in a medical setting with a much higher level of chemical interaction. These procedures are typically very invasive and involve at least a few days of recovery (i.e. your face will be red and peeling). 

Mechanical Exfoliation

Mechanical exfoliation involves the use of a device to remove the top layer of dead skin cells. An example of a mechanical exfoliation is a microdermabrasion. 

Mechanical exfoliating can be irritating for sensitive skin and normal skin alike. Because you are introducing a rough surface (like a brush, cloth, or other devices) to your skin, there’s more of a chance for your skin to become irritated and even develop a breakout. 

Physical Exfoliation

Physical exfoliation uses products that contain granules that lift dead skin cells and help remove them from the surface of your skin. If you’ve ever used that famous apricot scrub from the drugstore, you’ve physically exfoliated your face. 

Physical exfoliation works for every skin type and is generally the best way to exfoliate your skin at home, but the products you use to physically exfoliate your skin matter. That’s where natural exfoliation comes in clutch. 

What is Natural Skin Exfoliation?

Natural skin exfoliation is the use of natural (usually plant-based) ingredients to gently exfoliate your skin. When we use safer ingredients on our skin, we generally see less irritation and get better results. 

Natural skin care is well-tolerated by most skin types, no matter what kind of skin you have. Let’s go over which ingredients make the best natural exfoliators and how to exfoliate your skin naturally for best results.

Best Natural Skin Exfoliants

Don’t settle for the same stuff your sister uses. That scrub isn’t for you, bro. Instead, look for natural ingredients that exfoliate without any toxic ingredients that could strip your skin of moisture, leave it dry, or irritate it and make it uncomfortable. 

  • Papaya. Papaya contains an enzyme called “papain.” This enzyme is incredibly effective at dissolving the bonds between dead skin cells and healthy skin cells, making it easier for you to wash away dead skin cells when you cleanse your skin. 

    Papaya is like getting a chemical exfoliation with the power of nature.
  • Prunus Armeniaca. Yeah, that’s a fancy name for apricot seed powder. Apricot seed is a really popular natural exfoliant. Still, you might be surprised that most of the apricot scrubs you see marketed in the store actually contain crushed walnuts shells, which are incredibly abrasive to your skin. 

    Apricot seed powder is made from crushed apricot seeds, which have been ground down until they are incredibly fine. The result is a much more gentle scrub that is incredibly effective at lifting away dead skin cells without causing microtears in your skin or causing irritation. 
  • Aloe. Aloe doesn’t exfoliate, but it’s definitely the best exfoliating sidekick available. Aloe makes sure your skin isn’t left dry and irritated after exfoliation. 

    Exfoliation naturally removes skin oil. Aloe helps balance out your skin’s moisture, hydrating it and soothing it after exfoliation to keep it soft and healthy. 
  • Apricot oil. Apricot oil is great for skin exfoliation as it helps reduce inflammation and hydrate the skin deeply. Another Robin to your exfoliant’s Batman, apricot oil gives your skin a healthy dose of antioxidants and offers restorative benefits that are crucial to skin that has just been exfoliated. 

You’ve got the best ingredients, now you just need the know how. Exfoliating your skin naturally is easy when you use Disco’s Exfoliating Face Scrub. Our face scrub contains the very best natural exfoliants -- like papaya and apricot seed powder -- and is quick and easy to use. 

After you cleanse your skin, gently massage a penny-sized amount of product into your skin and rinse with water. Pat dry and follow up with moisturizer. Use once or twice a week for best results. 

Let’s Disco

You’ve got better natural exfoliating options than what you find at the grocery store. Level up your skin routine and get better results with the skin care line developed by a man and formulated for men’s skin. Disco exfoliates your skin better and faster, so you can look great and get on with your day. 



Get The Facts: What's In My Products: Men | Safe 

SkinCare Boot Camp: The Evolving Role of Skin Care | NCBI 

Acne: Symptoms and Conditions | Mayo Clinic 


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