How to Get Rid of Dead Skin on the Face


Exfoliation explained

Every 30 days or so, your skin naturally sheds. The upper layer of skin (epidermis) sheds, revealing new skin from the intermediate layer (dermis).

But the cell cycle isn’t always so simple. Flaky skin, dry spots, and blocked pores might result from incomplete cell loss. Exfoliation can assist your body in removing these cells.

How to Get Rid of Dead Skin on the Face - Photo by Ron Lach
How to Get Rid of Dead Skin on the Face – Photo by Ron Lach

Exfoliation is the removal of dead skin cells with an exfoliator. Exfoliators include chemical treatments and brushes.

Learn how to pick the best exfoliant for your skin type.

Skin Types

It’s critical to know your skin type before selecting an exfoliant. Remember that skin type varies with age, weather, and lifestyle factors like smoking.

Skin types include:

  • Dry. A dry skin type that demands extra moisture. Your skin undoubtedly feels much drier in cold, dry conditions.
  • Combination. This skin type is neither dry nor oily. You may have an oily T-zone and dry cheeks and jawline. Most people have combination skin.
  • Oily. In this skin type, the sebaceous glands behind the pores generate excessive sebum, or natural oils. This causes acne and blocked pores.
  • Sensitive. This skin is often irritated by fragrances, chemicals, and other synthetic items. Sensitive skin can be dry, oily, or mixed.
  • Normal. This skin isn’t dry, oily, or sensitive. It’s unusual, as most people’s skin is oily or dry.

Your skin type can be determined by a dermatologist or esthetician. To do it at home, follow these steps:

    1. Wash your face, removing all makeup.
    2. Dry your face without toner or moisturizer.
    3. After an hour, gently dab a tissue over your face.

What they seek:

    • You have oily skin if the tissue absorbs oil all over your face.
    • Combination skin absorbs oil only in specific places.
    • Normal or dry skin has no oil on the tissue.
    • Dry skin is scaly or flaky.

While it may appear that only dry skin has flakes of dead skin cells, this can occur on every skin type. Even if you discover flakes, apply an exfoliant suitable for your skin type.


Chemical exfoliation is the gentlest exfoliation technique. Still, make sure you follow the manufacturer’s directions to the letter.

AHAs are acronyms for acronyms for acronyms for

AHAs are plant-based chemicals that help breakdown dead skin cells on the face. For dry to normal skin types.

AHAs include:

  • lactic acid
  • corrosive
  • sulfate
  • lactate

Amazon has several AHA exfoliators. Some items include one or more AHAs. If you’ve never used AHAs, start with a single AHA product to see how your skin reacts to each one.

Beta hydroxy acids (BHAs)

Beta hydroxy acids (BHAs) help eliminate dead skin cells deep into pores, reducing breakouts. They work well for oily, mixed, or skin with acne scars or sun spots.

Salicylic acid is a popular BHA found in several exfoliators on Amazon.


Enzyme peels use fruit enzymes to exfoliate dead skin cells from your face. Unlike AHAs or BHAs, enzyme peels don’t speed up cellular turnover, so they don’t reveal new skin. This makes them ideal for those with sensitive skin.


Mechanical exfoliation removes dead skin rather than eliminating it. For normal to oily skin, it’s less mild than chemical exfoliation. Avoid exfoliating sensitive or dry skin.


The tiny granules in this powder absorb oil and exfoliate dead skin. To use, combine the powder with water until it forms a paste. Use less water to make a thicker paste.


Dry brushing removes dead skin cells with gentle bristles. Brush wet skin lightly in tiny circles for up to 30 seconds with a small natural bristle brush. This technique should only be used on skin free of minor wounds or inflammation.


If you have regular skin, you can exfoliate by drying your face with a washcloth. After washing your face, gently dry it with a soft washcloth.

Not to be used

Whatever your skin type, avoid exfoliants that include irritating or abrasive particles. Not all exfoliants are made equal. Many exfoliating scrubs are too abrasive for your skin.

Avoid exfoliators that contain:

  • sugar
  • nut shells
  • beads
  • microbes
  • baking soda
  • coarse salt

Safety advice

Regular exfoliation typically results in softer skin. To keep these effects, use a decent moisturizer suitable for your skin type.

If you have dry skin, use a cream moisturizer over lotion. If you have oily or mixed skin, search for a light lotion or gel moisturizer.

Wearing sunscreen is vital regardless of whether you’ve exfoliated or not.

Acids and mechanical exfoliation remove the whole skin layer. The newly exposed skin is more susceptible to sunburn. Find out which SPF is best for your face.

Exfoliation should also be avoided if you have:

  • There’s a new acne outbreak
  • A disease that causes facial lesions, such as herpes simplex
  • Rosacea
  • Venomous warts

Finally, test any new product on a tiny patch first. Apply a little amount of the new product on the inside of your arm. Apply and remove it as directed by the manufacturer.

After 24 hours, if there is no irritation, you can use it on your face.

In summary,

Exfoliation removes dead skin from the face. You’ll have smoother, gentler skin. Exfoliation also helps makeup apply more evenly if you use it.

Start slowly to see what products and exfoliants your skin can tolerate, and always finish with moisturizer and sunscreen.