Can exfoliation help acne?

or will the harshness of some products make it worse...
Asked by charleymarley

2 answers

Top answer
Yes it can help depending on the severity of acne. I would normally recommend a fruit acid/glycolic or AHA exfoliator. You should not change the amount of times you exfoliate. I would recommend 1 – 3 times per week depending on your needs. However, if someone with severe acne is on Ro Accutane or Retinol, they are to not exfoliate at all.
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Preventing the build up of dead skin cells will help to keep your pores clear and therefore unblocked so exfoliation needs to be part of your skin care routine. Definitely avoid harsh scrubs (anything that feels scratchy against your skin) as these may aggravate existing lesions and lead to further inflammation. Mechanical scrubs with jojoba beads (made from jojoba wax) are very gentle as the beads will melt as you massage them in. I use a scrub with jojoba beads and retinol so there is some mechanical exfoliation combined with chemical exfoliation. This is a powerful yet gentle combination. Look out for cleansers with glycolic and salicylic acid in. Glycolic acid helps to exfoliate the surface of the impaction and salicylic will penetrate the pore to help release the blockage so these two ingredients work well in tandem. Salicylic acid is also anti inflammatory and anti bacterial and there is lots of evidence that it is very helpful for acne sufferers. Good luck.