How to Exfoliate Sensitive Skin at Home

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ATTENTION ALL SENSITIVE SKIN SUFFERERS! If you’re like me and you’ve struggled with your high maintenance, overly sensitive skin for far too long, this is the info you need to make your life a lot easier. When you learn how to treat your skin right, you will see results. Get ready to learn about the best ways to exfoliate your sensitive skin at home, the best homemade exfoliators you can treat yourself to, and so much more.  

how to exfoliate sensitive skin at home

How Often Should You Exfoliate Sensitive Skin At Home?

It is a well-known recommendation for people without sensitive skin to exfoliate 2-3 times a week. But what about people with sensitive skin? We should only be exfoliating once, and no more than twice a week. Over-exfoliation causes redness, flaky, and irritated skin.  

At What Age Should You Start Exfoliating?

Because your skin is a rockstar at exfoliating itself when we’re younger, our skin looks fantastic, and there’s no need to exfoliate. However, as we get older, this rockstar gets much lazier, and dead cells build up faster and take longer to remove (naturally) on our skin.

Everyone is different, so by providing an age would serve an injustice to this question. Instead, you can realize its time to start exfoliating when:

  • Acne begins to develop
  • Your skin has lost its glow

You can always ask your dermatologist for the best advice when it comes to your skin and whether or not its time to start exfoliating. Better safe than sorry! 

What Is The Best Way To Exfoliate Sensitive Skin? (Step By Step)

homemade scrub with sugar, honey, rolled oats, lemon juice

Tip: NEVER exfoliate if you have a facial wound, burn (including sunburn), or herpes outbreak. This will only irritate your already compromised skin! 

Though it may seem like a simple task, here is the proper way to exfoliate your sensitive skin at home:

  1. Pull your hair back. The last thing you want is this getting in the way.  
  2. Remove all makeup from your face with a makeup remover.
  3. Open those pores. You can either take a hot, steamy shower or use a warm (but not scalding) towel on your face for up to 90 seconds.
  4. Use your usual cleanser to clean your face. Never skip this step. You always want to clean before exfoliating so that you don’t rub dirt/debris down into your pores! 
  5. Apply your exfoliation product to your wet skin. 
  6. Use gentle, circular motions with your fingers. A washcloth or exfoliation brush is often too abrasive for sensitive skin. 
  7. Keep away from around the eyes, but the product can cover the rest of your face. You can focus your effort on areas that may be a little more oily, such as the edges of your nose and your chin. 
  8. Exfoliate in gentle strokes for no more than 30 seconds at a time. 
  9. Rinse your face with warm water, and make sure all of the product comes off. Then use a few splashes of cool water to ensures those pores close back up.
  10. Pat your face dry. Never rub! Then apply your trusty moisturizer and enjoy your fresh, rejuvenated, smooth skin! 

Tip: When using a new skincare product like an exfoliator, always use a 24-hour skin patch test to ensure you do not have an adverse reaction! 

Is It Better To Exfoliate In The Morning Or At Night?

Whether it’s better to exfoliate during the AM or PM really depends on the individual. If you wear makeup during the day, exfoliating at night can help give you that deep-down scrub to help get any trapped makeup out of your pores.  However, if you wake up feeling rather dull or oily faced, it’s a better choice to exfoliate during the day.

If you’re like me and suffer from rosacea and overly sensitive skin, I always opt to exfoliate at night. Even though I use the gentlest exfoliation products that I can get my hands on, my skin is bound to be a little irritated. A little beauty sleep helps bring the glow back by morning.  

You can try exfoliating in the morning one week and in the evening another week and see what works best for you. According to the experts, the best time is up to you! We all love a little freedom in our routine.  

Should You Exfoliate Before Using A Mask?

coffee scrub on face

Yes! You should definitely exfoliate before treating your face to a mask. After all, if you’ve got a layer of dead skin gunking up your skin, how are those beneficial mask ingredients going to dive down and benefit your skin? Always exfoliate (and cleanse) before mask application to provide nutrients where they belong and achieve the happiest skin.  

What Are The Best Ingredients To Look For With My Sensitive Skin? 

Ingredients that are best-proven to help smooth and moisturize sensitive skin include:

  • Glycolic acid 
  • Lactic acid
  • Salicylic acid 
  • Malic acid
  • Mandelic acid
  • Lactobionic acid

Ingredients that brighten skin and help with dark spots

  • Papaya enzymes 
  • Pineapple enzymes
  • Pomegranate enzymes 

How Often Should You Exfoliate Your Body?

If you have sensitive skin on your body like you do on your face, keep the body to once a week exfoliation to play it safe. If you notice your skin needs more, go for it.

Also, If you’re like me, your (facial) sensitive skin is taking an absolute beating right now thanks to Coronavirus and having to wear a face mask everywhere.

However, these homemade exfoliators are gentle and nurturing enough to help improve the appearance of your poor, abused skin. The result is simply healthier, more youthful-looking skin.

Treat yourself with a high-quality exfoliation ritual as part of your routine—your skin has never needed it more than it does now! 

Homemade Exfoliators For Sensitive Skin

Want to know the easiest and best DIY scrub recipes you can make and enjoy at home? Save money and skip the extra ingredients with these winners and you won’t be disappointed. 

1. Natural Exfoliator For Acne-Prone Skin

Coffe exfoliating scrub

You’ll need:

¼ cup fresh (finely) ground coffee grounds

¼ cup of brown sugar 

And ¼ cup of coconut oil

  • Combine all ingredients in a bowl and open your pores
  • Add scrub to face and gently rub into the skin, the leave on for 10 minutes.
  • Rinse with cool water 

For another great recipe for acne-prone skin, you’ll need:

2 tablespoons sugar (white or brown is fine)

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 tablespoon of lemon juice

  • Follow the same steps as above, but leave it on for 30 minutes instead. 

Benefits: Coconut oil is an antimicrobial, while the caffeine in coffee grounds stimulates skin renewal. Olive oil provides nutrients for the face, and lemon juice is an astringent. 

2. Homemade Facial Scrubs For Aging Skin

You’ll need: 

1 tablespoon baking soda

½ tablespoon of raw honey

½ lemon (juiced) 

  • Combine all ingredients in a bowl and open your pores. 
  • Add scrub to your face in circular motions for 3-4 minutes
  • Rinse with cool water

Benefits: Lemon and baking soda will tighten skin and help remove dark spots on aged skin, resulting in a brighter complexion. 

3. Home Made Oat exfoliator For Sensitive Skin

You’ll need:

3 tablespoons oatmeal (uncut)

1 tablespoon cold milk

1 tablespoon of water

  • Combine ingredients in small bowl
  • Open your pores with a hot washcloth over face for 1 minute
  • Add the paste to face and let it sit for 45 minutes to treat acne
  • Apply water and scrub off in gentle, circular motions
  • Rinse with cool water

Benefits: Oatmeal helps keep skin hydrated and reduces inflammation while milk is packed with vitamins.  

4. Homemade Face Scrub With Honey

homemade exfoliator made out of brown sugar, honey and olive oil

You’ll need: 

1 tablespoon of raw honey 

1 tablespoon of brown sugar

  • Mix ingredients in small bowl
  • Open your pores with the hot washcloth (1 minute)
  • Gently massage onto face for 1-2 minutes.
  • Rinse with cool water

Benefits: Honey is full of nutrients and is perfect for evening out skin tone.

5. Tomato Scrub For Sensitive Skin

You’ll need:

1 medium tomato (green stalk still attached) 

2 tablespoons of granulated sugar

  • Cut off the top of the tomato (make it a thick enough slice, as this will be your exfoliator pad) 
  • Open your pores with a wet washcloth for 1 minute
  • With the sugar spread out on a small plate, dip the tomato top in the sugar for an even coat
  • Use the tomato to scrub around your face in small, circular motions, for 2-3 minutes
  • Leave this on for 10 minutes
  • Rinse with cool water

Benefits: Tomatoes are high in the antioxidant lycopene, helping eliminate harmful free radicals in the body. 

Lifehack: Don’t feel like your usual exfoliation routine? If you live near the sea, you’re in luck. Saltwater is amazing for the skin. The minerals in seawater help sensitive skin stay healthy, and the salt in the water naturally exfoliates your skin. As if you needed any more reason to book that beach vacay! 

Thanks for stopping by! We hope you enjoyed this article about how to exfoliate sensitive skin at home.

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