By Dr. Josh Zeichner
Our skin cells are constantly replacing themselves. It takes about two weeks for a baby skin cell to move from the bottom layer of the skin up to the top, where it is shed. When extra cells build up on the surface of the skin, it can give a dull and lusterless appearance. Exfoliating is the process of removing those dead cells, leaving the skin looking fresher.
In general, exfoliating once or twice a week is enough to keep your skin looking healthy. So if exfoliating a little is a good thing, is exfoliating a lot much better? No! Over-exfoliating can actually be problematic. Removing too much from the surface can leave the skin unprotected from the environment. It can lead to redness and irritation, leaving your skin looking worse than when you started.
You may not realize that your daily shave serves any further function than trimming your beard. In fact, shaving also helps exfoliate the skin by removing dead cells on its surface. So if you shave every day, do you need to exfoliate too? The answer is likely no. Shaving can leave your skin sensitive, and exfoliating on top of that can make matters worse.
So, when it comes to areas you shave, skip the scrub and loofah. Just don’t forget about them altogether -- they can still be put to good use on areas you don’t shave, like your forehead and nose.