Hey man, you need to exfoliate. Yes, we mean you. You need to exfoliate, and you need to exfoliate correctly. We get it -- you have no idea what exfoliating even means. Your partner has some gritty stuff in a tube you tried once, but it smelled slightly like menthol and felt like sandpaper on your face. We don’t blame you for not trying it twice.
If you’re new to the exfoliating game, and we’re just going to assume you are, you need to understand what exfoliating is, what it does, how to do it correctly, and how to care for your skin after you exfoliate.
Here’s everything you need to know about exfoliating as a guy, including how to make sure your skin is taken care of once you’re done.
What is Exfoliating?
Go grab a piece of transparent tape. Seriously. Pull a piece out and stick it across your forehead. Rub your finger across the tape a few times and then remove it. If you see “stuff” on the tape, you need to exfoliate.
The “stuff” you see is actually dead skin, and until you exfoliate it just hangs out there, clogging your pores, dulling your complexion, and giving you razor burn.
Exfoliating is a process you can do a few times a week to keep that dry skin flakeage in check.
Bearded bros, same goes for you. If you’ve ever experienced beardruff (beard dandruff), exfoliating can help you change the forecast from snow to sun in a matter of minutes.
There are numerous ways to exfoliate:
- Chemical peels. If you’re willing to shell out the cash, you can go for the gold standard in exfoliation, the chemical peel. A dermatologist will apply a chemical to your skin which will remove the uppermost layers.
Depending on what type of chemical peel you get, you might have to lay low for a few days until your face heals, because some treatments are more invasive and penetrate deeper than others.
- Exfoliating tools. An exfoliating tool is something you use to remove the top layer of dead skin from your face. Sponges, clothes, brushes, loofahs-whatever it is, if you’re scrubbing your face with it, it’s doing some kind of exfoliating.
The problem with exfoliating tools is that typically they over-exfoliate. Essentially it feels kind of like scratching your face against tree bark… not that you’d know what that feels like, but you can imagine, right?
Exfoliating too much can leave your skin red, irritated, and chapped.
- Exfoliating scrubs. Exfoliating scrubs are applied to your face (at home) and contain an ingredient that gently, yet effectively, removes the dead skin from your face. Popular exfoliating ingredients are crushed apricot seed, walnut, and papaya.
Scrubs are a great way to maintain fresh, flake-free skin at home, without the use of chemicals or bacteria-laden scrub brushes.
The takeaway: You’ve got dead skin stuck on your face. Exfoliating gets rid of it.
What Else Does Exfoliating Do?
Maybe just removing dead skin isn’t enough to convince you to add an additional step to your skincare routine.
The result of all that dead skin removal, however, has some pretty impressive benefits:
- Exfoliating helps you get a better shave. Constantly battling ingrown hairs, razor burn, and bumps? The reason you can’t get a close and comfortable shave is because you’ve got a buildup of dead skin cells on the surface of your skin. Dead skin clogs your pores and gets trapped under the surface of your skin when you shave, resulting in bumps and ingrowns.
- Exfoliating helps eliminate dry skin. It’s winter, you’re cold, your skin starts shedding like a moulting bird. It’s not sexy. Exfoliating helps remove that dry skin, but make sure you follow the post-exfoliating tips below so you can help keep your skin hydrated.
- Exfoliating makes your skin look like new. Whether you’ve just begun to notice fine lines and wrinkles around your eyes, redness or irritation, or just a dull-looking complexion, exfoliating can fresh your skin, keep it looking as young as you feel, and trick your friends into thinking you get eight hours of sleep every night.
In short, exfoliating can make your skin look healthy, which makes you look healthy.
How to Exfoliate
It’s really simple. First, don’t exfoliate more than twice a week. Second, wash your face first. Preferably with a face cleanser that not only takes the dirt and grime off your face, but also hydrates and rejuvenates it so your skin doesn’t feel dry and tight after you wash.
Now you’re ready to exfoliate following these 4 easy steps:
That’s it. It’s literally that simple. Your skin likely feels fresh and even looks brighter than it did before you exfoliated. We hate to say we told you so but… we told you so.
What you do next is critically important in making sure your skin is protected and healthy post-exfoliation. Exfoliation is beneficial for your skin, but removal of dead skin cells does leave your skin in a compromised position; new skin underneath needs to be moisturized and protected.
5 Post-Exfoliation Tips You Should Be Following
It’s not enough to just slough away the dead skin, now that you’ve got the skin of a newborn babe you’ve gotta protect it.
- Shave. Okay, this isn’t a part of the protection plan, but right after you exfoliate is the perfect time to get the closest shave of your life.
Pro tip: After exfoliating, pat your skin dry with a warm, damp towel before lathering up for your shave. The warmth of the towel will keep your pores open and will help you get a closer, cleaner shave.
- Moisturize. We can’t stress this enough. Your skin needs moisture, especially after you exfoliate. Using a super-hydrating facial moisturizer after you exfoliate helps replenish any moisture loss from exfoliating.
- Apply sunscreen. “If you can’t tone it, tan it” might be your mantra for your midsection, but the sun isn’t going to do your face any favors. UV rays expose your skin to free radicals, which cause your skin to age prematurely.
Unless you’re into skin that looks like worn leather baggage, we’d highly advise you to apply a sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher every single day. It’s one of the most proactive approaches you can take with your skin.
- Leave it alone. Exfoliating is beneficial for all skin types, especially blemish-prone skin. Exfoliating removes dirt and dead skin that can clog pores and cause blemishes to form.
Exfoliating won’t cure blemish-prone skin overnight, so once you’ve finished exfoliating, the best thing you can do is leave your skin alone. It may be tempting, but stay away from the mirror and don’t pick or squeeze anything on your face. It will only make it red and more noticeable.
- Adopt a grown-man skin routine. Alright, not necessarily a post-exfoliating must, but taking care of your skin is important, and doing it with the right products is key. You don’t have to spend a lot of time or money to have great skin that’s also healthy and comfortable.
If you’re looking for skin care that’s formulated for guys, by guys, we’ve got you covered. At Disco, we offer high-end products for guys who just want good skin without a lot of hassle.
Our products are:
- Free from parabens (chemicals that aren’t good for your skin)
- Natural ingredient-driven
We create great products you can trust, with ingredients that work and produce results. Our skin care system is quick, easy, and formulated especially to match the optimal pH balance of men’s skin.
What’s even easier? We make getting our skin care into your hands the easiest part of all. Sign up for our 3-month subscription option and you can literally set it and forget it. You’ll get the great skin care products you need delivered right to your door every three months.
Afraid of commitment? That’s cool (at least with us). We offer a one-time purchase option so you can buy what you want, when you want.
Exfoliating is a crucial component of any skin care routine, and the benefits make it worth the literally one minute of time you’ll spend doing it each week.
Protecting your skin post-exfoliation with hydrating moisturizers and a good sunscreen will keep your skin primed for all the action your day has to deliver. Disco offers exfoliating scrubs, washes, and moisturizers, along with a complete lineup of all-natural skin care so you can get products formulated especially for a man’s skin. You’re welcome. Now go throw away that piece of tape with your dead skin on it -- why are you even still holding onto that?