Do You Exfoliate or Cleanse First? Do You Really Need It?

Exfoliate or Cleanse First

You've all heard and are aware of the advantages of exfoliation up to this point. How to exfoliate to eliminate pollutants from the pores. Generally, exfoliation leaves the skin generally healthier, brighter, and cleaner. The one thing you might still be unsure of is should you cleanse or exfoliate first. While we prioritize washing first in the skincare hierarchy, many have disagreed.

The good news is that there isn't always a correct or incorrect response. You can start with a cleanser and then use a face scrub. Alternately, exfoliate the skin before washing it. What works best for your skin is the best course of action. Benefits may be found in both. In order to fully comprehend the sequence of skincare, you must first grasp the importance of exfoliation and the effects it has on your skin.

What is Cleansing and its Benefits?

Let's start by making it obvious that washing and exfoliating are two distinct processes. Your skin can be cleansed by either of these activities, but they do so in quite different ways.

Cleaning specifically entails thoroughly cleaning your face using a solution designed to get rid of dirt and oil from your skin's pores. Skin cleanser is designed to remove dirt and grime while still being mild enough for the most delicate skin on your face.

In comparison to conventional soap and water, the cleanser is considerably healthier for the skin on your face. Regular bar soap and body soap are frequently overly alkaline, which can take away beneficial moisturizing oils and have detrimental effects on health.

The ability to remove makeup is another advantage that cleansers may offer. Many high-end cleaning solutions have ingredients that make it much simpler to remove leftovers. For ladies who use any form of makeup, we would always advise using cleansers.

How to Use a Cleanser?

To use a cleansing product:

  • Wash your face with warm water to open your pores and remove perspiration and grime that is just on the surface.
  • Rub your palms together after applying a few drops of the cleaning solution to them.
  • You should massage the product into your face for 20 to 30 seconds.
  • For optimal results, make gentle circular motions.
  • Wash your face with the cleanser and warm water.
  • Use an exfoliating product or pat your face dry if you want.

What is Exfoliation and its Benefits?

A similar but different technique is exfoliation, which involves scrubbing away the top layer of skin along with any surrounding or tougher dirt and debris, such as blackheads. Dead cells that are collected over the course of the day or week are removed using this method.

Dead skin cells naturally build up over time and are actually essential for maintaining the protection and hydration of your skin's pores. These old skin cells are removed during exfoliation, which can reveal newer, healthier skin cells. Your skin also feels softer and appears warmer or more vibrant as a result of this.

Exfoliation can also lighten the tone of your skin by eliminating blemishes and minimizing fine or wrinkle lines. Your skin's outside look and color will both improve. To the touch, your skin will feel much softer. Overall, exfoliating gives your skin a younger, healthier appearance.

How to use an Exfoliator?

To use an exfoliating product:

  • Use warm water to wash your face.
  • Take an exfoliating pad or apply some of the exfoliating product to your palms.
  • Apply some pressure as you massage the exfoliating substance into your skin. For best results, the exfoliator must penetrate deeply into your pores. Spend around 20 seconds doing this.
  • Use warm water to gently wash your face, then pat it dry.
  • Every time you use an exfoliant, follow up with a moisturizer. Over time, exfoliation may easily result in dry skin, but a moisturizer can assist your skin cells in retaining the moisture they still possess and stop your skin from getting dry or uncomfortable.

Do you Exfoliate Before or After Cleansing?

Cleansing Before Exfoliate

Cleaning the skin first helps to remove grime, perspiration, and makeup off the surface. Exfoliation is the process of removing dead skin cells that can accumulate on the skin's surface starting from a clean base. Dead skin cells are swept away during exfoliation, which can soften your skin and allow a new layer of skin cells to show through. After this, your skin will be prepared for moisturizer, oil, or serum.

Exfoliation Before Cleansing

Although a little unorthodox, this technique has many positive effects on the skin. Cleaning the surface of your skin with a scrub can help remove residue, dead skin cells, and debris. The use of a cleanser after this procedure aids in washing away any debris or dead skin cells that the scrub may have raised from the skin's surface. This offers your skin a complete cleaning as well as a very smooth, responsive surface for a moisturizer.

What are the Benefits of Cleansing and Exfoliating Simultaneously?

You may simultaneously wash and exfoliate with an exfoliating cleanser. This implies that with only one solution and one procedure, you may get rid of perspiration and filth as well as dead skin cells. less time, less effort, and less guessing. Who doesn't enjoy a nice multipurpose item?

Generally speaking, dry skin needs a little less exfoliation to prevent losing your skin's natural, moisturizing oils whereas oily skin needs more exfoliation to remove excess oil. But don't worry, proactive's thorough mechanisms are balanced to permit regular usage.

What’s an Ideal Skincare Routine?

Cleansers and exfoliators should be used in tandem as part of a perfect skincare routine. The following hypothetical regimen includes many variations based on the demands and sensitivity of your skin:

  • Clear your face.
  • To remove the top layer of dirt and debris, use a mild cleaner.
  • To get rid of dead skin cells, use an exfoliating product.
  • To keep your skin protected, use moisturizer.
  • To give your skin more nutrition, use a serum.
  • If required, apply a lotion or balm to the skin.

However, keep in mind that you should only exfoliate around twice a week. This prevents you from rubbing your skin too much and turning it raw. It’s also frequent enough that your dead skin cells shouldn’t pile up too much to make your skin suffer.


Ultimately, cleansing and exfoliating are both critical parts of any holistic routine. If you aren't sure, you can always try out doing one of the other first and see what results. Remember, you can always switch things around in the above order if necessary. Both types of products are necessary for healthy and great-looking skin!

Frequently Asked Questions - Do I Exfoliate or Cleanse First

Should you exfoliate your face before or after cleansing?

If you have ever thought about what comes first, cleansing or exfoliating. You should always cleanse before exfoliating because cleaning your face before exfoliating allows you to start with a fresh state.

Should I exfoliate right after cleansing?

You should exfoliate your face when it is freshly cleansed and free of products so that the gentle acids and hydrating ingredients can work their magic on your skin as effectively as possible.

What is the next step after exfoliating?

If you just finished cleansing and exfoliating your face, the most important thing to do is to stay moisturized. While exfoliation won't strip oil from your skin completely, it will remove most of it and make your surface dry.

Do I face wash after exfoliating?

It's really simple. First, don't exfoliate more than twice a week. Second, wash your face first. Preferably with face cleansers that not only takes the dirt and grime off your face but also hydrates it. So instead of washing your face after exfoliation, do it before for better results.

Can I cleanse my face every day?

In general, you should be cleansing your face at least twice a day. You should wash your face both morning and night because the skin creates sebum and oil throughout the day.

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