Best Ways to Exfoliate Acne-Prone Skin

Exfoliation needs no introduction at all to us ladies! But still, in the simplest language, exfoliation is the process of removing old, dead skin cells on the skin’s outermost surface, to help maintain healthy skin. Exfoliation is a very important/necessary part of skin care routine, be it any skin type ; but Exfoliating Acne prone skin can be really tricky. In this Article, you will find the right ways to exfoliate Acne Prone skin, some tips and a few suggestive products which I have been using for a while.

Best way to exfoliate acne prone skin

Options available for exfoliating Acne Prone skin
Broadly, there are two basic/good options available for Acne Prone skin ie. Physical and Chemical Exfoliation.

Physical exfoliation involves manually removing dead skin cells with the help of an abrasive ingredient. It can be something as simple as an over-the-counter scrub, or a professional procedure, such as micro dermabrasion. Physical scrubs definitely leave your skin feeling soft and smooth, but we strongly believe they are not the best choice for acne-prone skin. Reason being, a scrub leads to friction on the skin that can irritate already inflamed skin, increase redness and promote additional breakouts. I would suggest that if you have active inflamed acne, you should avoid physical exfoliators or choose the kind of scrubs that are very mild on the skin (milder the better). Here is a list of scrubs that you can use to exfoliate skin:

Vichy Vichy Purete Thermale Softening Exfoliating Cream
Forest Essentials Revitalising Kashmiri Walnut Gel Scrub
• Oriflame Swedish Spa Face Scrub
Keracnyl Triple Action Face Mask
Vichy Normaderm 3 in 1 Cleanser Scrub Mask
• Forest Essentials ubtans.

facial ubtan

Now, coming to Chemical Exfoliation which is a much better option I believe, if you have acne prone skin. Chemical exfoliation involves dissolving or loosening the bonds that hold dead skin cells on the skin’s surface. Some common chemical exfoliants which prove to be good for acne prone skin include:

• Alpha hydroxy acids (AHA)- glycolic, lactic, and tartaric acid
• Beta hydroxy acids (BHA) – salicylic acid
• Retinoids – Retin A (tretinoin), Differin (adapalene), Tazorac (tazarotene)
• Chemical peels – trichloroacetic acid (TCA), carbolic or phenol, AHA and BHA peels

The market is flooded with OTC (over-the-counter) products which contain these as ingredients. You can always consult your dermatologist before going ahead and picking the right chemical exfoliation products (face wash, toner, moisturizer, masks) depending on how sensitive your skin is, what options would suit you better etc. In case you want to inculcate one chemical exfoliant in your regime you can start with trying the following face washes.

AHA Glow Face wash
Ducray Keracnyl Foaming gel
• Saslic Face wash
• Sebamed Cleansing Foam

You can also go through this post on Best Salicylic acid based products

Completely Natural Ways to Exfoliate Skin:

1. Oatmeal Oatmeal is a great natural exfoliant and has anti-inflammatory properties . I have used oatmeal as a scrub and it definitely gives good results. You can finely/coarsely grind some oatmeal in a blender or food processor, then mix it with some medium of your choice like rose water, milk, honey etc. Mix thoroughly until it becomes a smooth paste, and then apply the mixture to your face. Leave it on for 15 minutes, and then rinse with warm water.
2. Sugar Scrub: Sugar is made from sugar cane, which is a natural source of glycolic acid, an alphy hydroxy acid. Glycolic acid is good chemical exfoliant that helps in sloughing off dead skin, as well as boosting new skin cell production and making the skin smooth, soft. Mix about one-half cup of sugar (white or brown ) with rose water or facial oil to make a paste. Using circular motions gently massage the mixture into your skin and rinse well — it’s safe enough to use on both face and body.
3. Papaya: Papaya contains the enzyme papain, which dissolves old, dead skin cells without harming the younger, live cells beneath . It’s also believed that the enzyme can help heal the skin and cause lines and brown age spots to vanish. You can take some papaya pulp, or just grate it and apply straightaway on your skin for smoother, softer skin.
4. Coffee Coffee has great exfoliating, anti oxidant properties and helps tone the skin as well.You can Mix some coarsely ground coffee with some honey and use the mixture to scrub off dead skin cells.
5. Tomato and Sugar Scrub: It’s the most popular scrub for acne-prone skin – loaded with nutrients such as vitamin C and A, and antioxidant “lycopene,” tomatoes are considered at treat for all skin types, including acne prone, and it can reduce blackheads as well. Combined with sugar, it works as a good scrub. To make this scrub, cut a tomato into two halves, and sprinkle granulated sugar on top of each half. Gently massage the tomato slice all over the face in circular motion, and rinse off after 10 to 15 minutes. Soon, you will be left with soft, smooth, and tan-free skin.

Finally, here are a few tips one should keep in mind when you need to exfoliate Acne Prone skin:
• Never over do it, be very gentle when rubbing your face.
• Ideally, don’t exfoliate more than 2-3 times in a week when using physical scrubs
• Avoid physical scrubs completely if you have active acne
• Don’t go under the sun right after exfoliation.

Best Makeup For Acne Prone Skin
Best Toners for Acne Prone Skin Available in India
Best Salicylic Acid-Based Products for Acne-Prone Skin
How To Exfoliate Lips
How to Exfoliate Your Skin After Using Epilators


35 thoughts on “Best Ways to Exfoliate Acne-Prone Skin

    1. GLad Neha 🙂 Try clindac A gel or lotion, if it works for u !
      I always rush to my derma incase of any skin problem *ghost* *ghost*

        1. oh I see, which peels ur taking in? I want to get glycolic acid peeling done *green* *green* N i hope ur avoiding the sunnn *blush* *blush*

          1. same dear 🙂 It didnt do anything bad for my skin except for one for which she gave me some cream.
            Even i have observed that my skin is bit dark now 🙁 🙁 may be due to sun exposure

  1. Neha….thanks for this post – I will get the roop nikhar ubtan *powder* *powder*

    My favorites are YSL exfoliator (its not a physical exfoliator) and Clinique’s exfoliator…..

  2. Nupuriii this is such an excellent post. Now I realize how much i missed reading your articles. You got me addicted to ubtans and seriously they are excellent for dry skin as well. i mean i really cant stand using scrubs because they leave my skin super dry. it’s only ubtan that i use for scrubbing and they are awesome. and thankoo for this post. it’s sooo helpful. *puchhi* *puchhi*

  3. awwww Thankoooo Ratizzz *puchhi* *puchhi* *puchhi*
    I think I missed writing here even more *haan ji*
    Fe ubtans are pure luv,n u have to try this roop nikhar one 🙂 n Have u tried Oats for scrubbing they dont leave skin dat dry !
    Achaa I want to try something from dat jaypore brand u told me, u liking thoz ??

    1. hihih yeah have tried oats but always forget about using them. 😛 yes loving both the things. the soap does not melt away like other hand made soaps and the face pack is amazing. i have the mud one and it gives me such a cooling tightening effect. very much like fe products. very good! 🙂 i am planning to pick a thing or two more from them 🙂

  4. Hi,
    Very nice post. I already had chemical peels but harfly grttimg any face getting worse day by day. Nd I m single..looking for marriage. .how can I make my face look good

    1. Razy, I think ur skin is peeling , may be dats why u feel ur skin is getting worse, dont worry, talk to your derma about it 🙂

  5. Such an amazing post Furfuri *jai ho* *jai ho* I have acne-prone skin too and this will be really useful *happy dance* *thankyou* bookmarked *oye balle*

  6. very useful post indeed gal.. for people like me.. *jai ho* *thankyou* worth reading and following tips.. *clap* *clap*

  7. hey there, i have a question for all beauty experts here. i hav an oily to normal skin and it is very very senitive. i have been using lush beauty products since last two years, and simply love them – especially herbalism (ive been using it as a facewash). bbut i recently came to know that the product are no more sold in india. please can u suggest which brand of products can replace it with

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