How to Exfoliate: What Type, When & How to Start a Routine!

The surface of your skin is covered in a layer of dead skin cells that can make your skin look dull — and prevent your skincare products from doing their job. Not to mention the dreaded side effects of dead skin build up like clogged pores, ingrown hairs, bumpy skin!

The cure to freeing your glowing skin that’s hiding underneath? An exfoliation routine.

None of us want dull or irritated skin, but many of us are not exfoliating. 😳 

I chock this up this up to information overload. Like most things this day and age, we are constantly bombarded with information, often times conflicting and left to sort it all out ourselves... if you're anything like me, by mid-search you're over it and have wasted so much time that you're late on other deadlines and move on to something else, often times never to return! 

To save you from the spiral down the exfoliation rabbit hole, here's the gist of the different types of exfoliating and my favorite products to get your routine started! 

Once you see how simple it is and how happy your skin is, you’ll be kicking yourself for not starting earlier!

What kind of exfoliation is right for you?

There are three different types of exfoliation that your skin can benefit from. You can choose your fave, or like me combine all three for pore perfection!

Three types of exfoliators:

  1. Physical Exfoliation, is what most of us think of when we hear exfoliation, the scrubby kind. Found in cleansers and cleansing scrubs, this type of exfoliation works by using tiny biodegradable exfoliators like sugars and salts to remove dead skin cells from the skin’s surface. You can also use a tool like a loofa or buffer.

  2. Chemical exfoliation, is not as scary as it sounds. It’s probably something you're already doing (hopefully!). This exfoliator, found in cleansers, toners, moisturizers and masks, is made from molecules like Alpha-hydroxy Acids, Salicylic Acid and Glycolic Acid. Their job is to loosen the bonds that hold old, dull cells onto the surface of the skin in order to help you get rid of them. #byeboy (clearly old, dull cells are all male... JK!)

  3. Micro-exfoliation, which is another form of physical exfoliation, is often achieved with a cosmetic tool. Think spa roller, which uses tiny, stainless steel tips to break through the layer of dead skin cells (and a host of other benefits which we'll get to l later).

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Our fave exfoliating Products:

Physical Exfoliation

A MUST do 2-3 times per week!

DIY This is the only type of exfoliant that I would recommend DIYing (if that's your thang!).

  • There are a ton of recipes online, the simplest of which is a combination or salt, sugar & oil.

  • I've definitely made + used homemade scrubs on my body that felt great, but with my sensitive skin, I ALWAYS use a premium exfoliator on my face.

R+F’s ENHANCEMENTS Micro-Dermabrasion Paste This oil-free physical exfoliator for radiant skin uses a salt and sugar blend for maximum exfoliation on your face and body.

  • Customizable: it can be applied on wet or dry skin, & its strength adjusted by adding water.

  • If you have sensitive skin like me, patch test first, please! I started using the product mixed with water, and now that I've built up my skin, I can use it straight out of the jar!

R+F’s REDEFINE Daily Cleansing Mask gently exfoliates with finely granulated exfoliators to smooth skin without disrupting the skin’s natural barrier.

  • This exfoliation is gentle enough to be used nightly (which I do) and leaves your skin feeling AHhhhhmazing!

ecoTOOLs Buffers + Loofas: Reveal radiant skin with exfoliating loofah & bamboo. The loofah expands when wet to scrub your skin clean & exfoliates to reveal fresh, radiant skin.

Chemical Exfoliation

Combine both physical and chemical exfoliation for optimal results. 

Everyone should be using a cleanser and toner in our skincare routine. Here's a list of products I currently use or that I've used in past exfoliation routines:

R+F’s REDEFINE Pore Minimizing Toner contains Poly-hydroxy Acids to exfoliate pore-clogging dead skin cells. Minimized pores?! Nuff said... can be used 1-2 times per day.

R+F’s REVERSE Intensive Brightening Toner uses Salicylic Acid to help reveal a more radiant complexion.

Combo Product (2 in 1):

R+F’s REVERSE Deep Exfoliating Wash utilizes a multi-mechanism exfoliating system. If you're looking to reveal the younger and brighter skin that has been waiting below the surface, this one is for you!

  • Alpha-hydroxy Acids loosen old, dull skin cells so physical exfoliators can effectively sweep them away for a fresh, polished surface.

  • I used this wash when I was getting rid of my old acne scars and still use it when my skin needs a pick me up, like after I'm sick or after my skin's been over exposed to the elements on a trip... basically, any time I want to speed up my cell turnover and regeneration.


A minute to spare for the best skin of your life.

R+F’s Amp MD Roller: I will be honest in saying that I've only ever tried 1 type of micro-exfoliation, the AMP MD Roller.

The results are astonishing, and I've never felt the need to seek out additional treatments.

I've used my roller for fine lines and wrinkles, when I noticed parentheses by my mouth and crows feet by my eyes forming. 

Very annoying hormonal acne scars, you know the gross hard ones from pimples that were under the surface and resulted in hard lumps under the skin my face. Consistently rolling my face resulted in these simply healing... like really just healing and going away in a few weeks! Isn't that nuts?! Or is it nuts that I'm impressed by a product actually doing what it says it will?! 🤷🏻‍♀️ #results

Anyway, the AMP MD Roller is made up of laser-cut stainless steel tips that gently permeate this top layer of dead cells, amping up the power of ingredients layered on afterwards for faster, more dramatic results.

This also conditions skin for visibly advanced firming while refining tone and texture at the same time.

It only takes a minute to roll the entire face and neck area for gorgeous skin!


Creating an Exfoliating Routine

If you want to get rid of old scars, discoloration, dullness or fine lines and wrinkles you MUST be exfoliating in your daily routine.

The great thing about exfoliation is that it can be gentle and adjusted to your skin’s needs. Choose the kind of exfoliation based on the sensitivity of your skin. Try our suggested frequency, but slowly integrate to your current routine to avoid irritation.

Regular exfoliation is the best way to get your skin to look younger, “Kick out those old cells and bring in the new!” for your best skin ever.

So now that you have all the information, how will you incorporate this into your routine? As you've learned, it's best to incorporate the different types of exfoliating. Below I list how easily incorporate different types of exfoliating into my routine.

My current routine:

Daily, I use a toner every time I wash my face, which is twice a day. I use the ecoTOOLs body loofah to wash my body in the shower, this loofah is espeicially good for dry skin.

2-3xs per week: I refresh my skin with an exfoliating scrub, R+F’s microderm paste which I keep in my shower for easy access. I also use the AMP Md Roller on my face, neck and chest a few times a week before I go to bed to keep the wrinkles away!

Can’t wait to see your glowing skin!