How often should you be exfoliating?

One of the many questions I am asked on social media is how often should I be exfoliating for my skin type? Products have moved on so much that its hard now to link your skin type to how often you should exfoliate. Years ago you may have heard a dry skin needs to exfoliate 3 x a week and an oily once a week, this now isn’t strictly true as it depends on the type of exfoliator you are using.

There are three methods of exfoliation:

  • Physical (mechanical) – where the exfoliator is physically buffing of the dead skin cells, this can be as simple as using a muslin cloth, cleasning brush or a granular exfoliator to the more intensive microdermabrasion where fine crystals are used with a vaccum to banish dead skin cells.
  • Chemical – sounds more intensive then a physical exfoliater, but don’t be put off some of the greatest exfoliators use chemical acids and often these brilliantly affective exfoliating acids come from sugar cane, milk etc. Chemical exfoliating acids breakdown the bonds that hold the cells in place allowing the dead skin cells to be free and to fall away naturally or with a physical exfloliator.
  • Enzyme – often confused and categorised with chemical exfoliators, ezymes are similar however they do have some unique differences. Enzymes speed up a specific function in the skin and the skin is loaded with enzymes all playing a different role in the skin. It’s the protease enzymes that specifically dissolve the bonds between the dead skins cells so they fall away and allow new cells to surface.

In this blog I wanted to share the Triple Action Exfoliators and the Dual Action Exfoliaters (the single method exfoliation blog will floow shortly) that are available. You may be thinking why do we need all three , there is several reason why I would want you to consider using this type of exfoliation:

  • You’r busy and don’t have time to vary your exfoliation methods (one day enzymes, one day physical etc)
  • You have noticed your skin doesn’t respond well to daily exfoliation, weekly treatments allows your skin to renew and respond
  • You want a treatment exfoliator and you want to target more then just smoother brighter skin

Triple Action Exfoliating Treatments

Murad Vita-C Triple Exfoliating Facial

Triple action in exfoliation and double the  power of Vitamin C, Murad Vita C Triple Action Exfoliating Facial is a real power house. Combining powerfully effective pure Vitamin C (ascorbic acid), a Vitamin C derivative (tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate) which is super stable and then very cleverly adding a peptide (glutathione) that boosts the brightening benefits of Vitamin C and extends the antioxidant life of Vitamin C.

Ascorbic acid (Vitamin C) is super brightening, a real glow booster and also known as the gold standard of Vitamin C, thanks to its ability to stimulate collagen production, protect the cells from extrenal aggressions and aid the breakdown of hyperpigmentation.


Triple action exfoliation, in my opinon as a skin expert makes compete sense, when you understand the skins makeup it makes complete sense to include three different methods of exfoliation. If you are already using one or two of these methods you probably won’t need to include triple action exfoliation, however as a one stop exfoliation and mask a couple of times a week you can’t beat it.


Murad Chemical Exfoliation

Glycolic acid is the smallest AHA (alpha hydroxy acids)  allowing it to penetrate deeply and aid the break down of hyperpigmentation and revealing an incrediable brightness especially important when your tackling an uneven skin tone. In addition to glycolic is also lactic acid which I have a real passion for. It’s a mild AHA and is a great humectant as well as promoting cell renewal. We all know I am all about pulling in as much water into the skin as humanly possible. To deeply cleanse the pores, the brilliant oil soluble BHA (salicylic acid) has been included to tackle breakouts and imperfections.

Murad Enzyme Exfoliation

The dead skin cells are held together by corneodesmosomes, lipase and protease break down the amino acids to free the dead skin cells. Its important to note this process naturally occurs daily and your natural skin enzymes break these bonds easily, however as we age the enzyme activity declines and the dead skin cells don’t fall asway as easily.

Murad Physical Exfoliation

To buff the dead skin cells that the chemical and enzyme exfoliants have freed Murad have used a super gentle natural mineral called Silica. Polishing and lifting away the dead skin cells to leave a smoother and softer skin texture.

For smoother, brighter, clearer skin it is perfect. Use the mask no more than twice a week and there really is no need to do any other type of exfoliation.



Dual Action Exfoliation

Wildsmith Dual Action Exfoliating Treatment

Whilst Wildsmith Skin have referred to this as a Dual Action Exfoliating Treatment  it does contain all three methods of exfoliation like Murad. Instead of AHA’s Wildsmith Skin have chosen to use PHA’s the next generation of AHA’s, believed to be smaller, gentler and an all-round powerhouse of exfoliating acids. PHA’s can attract and hold moisture, restore the skins pH, and restore the skins natural enzyme activity which declines with age.

The cherry stone micro powder is noticeable as soon as you apply the Wildsmith Dual Action Exfoliator, its glides effortlessly thanks to the gel texture and removes easily, this is very different to the Murad exfoliator which is very fine grain and you tend to not notice how many grains are in the exfoliater until you come to remove it.  Not forgetting the third method of exfoliation, enzyme provided by pineapple extract, which not only refines the skin texture but reduces any inflammation in the skin.


No Grain Dual Action Exfoliator

If you really do not like the idea of grains (physical / mechanical exfoliation) in your exfoliator but love the idea of dual action exfoliation I think you will love Ren Glycol Lactic Radiance Renewal Mask. With two chemical exfoliants, glycolic and lactic you will get the power and the performance from these dynamic exfoliating acids and the enzymes to break the bonds that hold the dead skin cells. Don’t forget if you remove this with a muslin cloth then you will effectively be adding the physical exfoliation part.


My Skincare key takeaways:

  • Use Triple and Dual Action Exfoliants that contain chemical acids at night-time
  • Wear an SPF in the morning
  • Cleanse with a balm or a cleansing oil If you have dry skin first before exfoliating as the balm will gorge the skin with omegas and fatty acids and infuse the upper layers with the all-important omegas to help the skin when you use chemical exfoliants
  • Be careful not to over exfoliate, these are triple and dual action exfoliaters so are extremely effective and therefore you only need to exfoliate a couple of times a week. 

I hope you have enjoyed this blog, please let me know if you need any help with your skin.

Stay tuned for more blogs and follow me on social media for latest launches and more skin school.



Facebook @SkinSchoolWithFionaBrackenbury 

Bye for now,

Fiona x

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