An Expert Guide To Exfoliating Your Face The Right Way - Dang! Lifestyle Nigeria

An Expert Guide To Exfoliating Your Face The Right Way

Black woman applying skincare product to her face to demonstrate how to exfoliate your face the right way

In this post, you’ll learn how to exfoliate your face the right way to get rid of dead skin cells, improve skin cell turnover, and achieve that smooth and glowing face.


Exfoliation can be very beneficial for our skin. Yet it is tricky, as too much exfoliation and the wrong type of exfoliation for your skin type can be bad for you.


Read on to discover the right way to exfoliate your face to achieve a smooth and radiant complexion.


Key Takeaways: How to Exfoliate Your Face the Right Way

  • Exfoliation is crucial for vibrant skin, acting like a drain unclogger to remove dead skin cells, promote hydration, and reduce fine lines.

  • You can choose between physical (scrubs, brushes) and chemical (mandelic acid) exfoliants based on skin type and preference.


  • Mandelic acid stands out as a gentle yet effective chemical exfoliant, improving cell turnover, boosting collagen, and fighting mild acne.


  • Incorporate mandelic acid with recommended morning and night routines, adjusting frequency based on skin sensitivity.


  • Always use sunscreen, avoid over-exfoliation, and be consistent with your routine to enjoy a transformed, radiant complexion.


Why Exfoliation is Important: Exfoliate Your Face the Right Way

Let’s take a moment to understand why exfoliation is an essential step in our skincare journey.


You know how annoying it can be when your sink gets clogged by food scraps and all. Now, think of your skin as the sink, and dead skin cells as the hair and food scraps clogging the drain.


When the drain is clogged, water can’t flow through. In the same way, when our skin is clogged by dead skin cells, natural oils and moisture can't flow through properly, leading to dryness and irritation. 


Exfoliation acts like a drain unclogger, clearing away the blockage and allowing the natural oils to flow freely, keeping our skin hydrated and healthy. In addition, exfoliation helps to reduce fine lines and wrinkles.


It helps to combat skin dullness and improve skin clarity. Finally, it helps to reduce oil production and promote softer and smoother skin.


What to Use to Exfoliate Your Face


Choosing the right type of exfoliant for your skin type is important to ensure the effectiveness of the process and prevent worsening the situation.


So, what types of exfoliants are there, and what’s the right type for your skin type? Let’s find out.


Types of Exfoliator

There's a physical and chemical type of exfoliation.


Physical/Mechanical Exfoliation

This type of exfoliator includes exfoliating products or tools with an abrasive nature, like face scrubs, polishes, or brushes. The exfoliating process here requires the use of gentle friction to eliminate dead skin cells and dirt.


Chemical Exfoliation

Chemical exfoliators include products like chemical peels, toners, masks, serums, and moisturisers containing actives and acids that help eliminate dead skin cells from the skin tissues. These usually include AHAs like mandelic acid and glycolic acid, or BHAs like salicylic acid.


Best Exfoliator for Your Skin Type: Exfoliate Your Face the Right Way

Sensitive Skin

Sensitive skin is prone to redness and irritation, and experts generally recommend staying clear of exfoliation. But if you must exfoliate, avoid mechanical forms of exfoliation, as this can lead to further inflammation and redness, especially if you have acne-prone skin.

Dry Skin

This skin type can greatly benefit from exfoliating, as it helps to remove dry, dead skin cells sitting on the skin’s surface. However, mechanical exfoliation can increase dryness and even lead to micro-tears on the skin. 

Chemical face exfoliation with AHAs is more effective for this skin type. It’s important to moisturise after this process to prevent dryness.

Normal Skin

People with this skin type can benefit from both forms of exfoliation. You just need to find the best type that works for you and stick with it.

Oily Skin

This skin type can benefit from mechanical exfoliation (using face scrubs or exfoliating brushes). Oily skin tends to have more buildup on the surface than chemical exfoliation can remove. 

So, gently use an exfoliator or face scrub in circular motions for the best results.

Combination Skin

If you have a combination skin type, you’d need to combine both exfoliation methods to balance things up.

However, do not use both types of exfoliants on the same day. You could use mechanical facial exfoliation on a particular day(s) and a chemical exfoliant a few days or weeks later, depending on your routine.


How to Exfoliate Your Face the Right Way: Chemical vs. Mechanical Exfoliant: Which is Better?

Let's examine the pros and cons of each type of exfoliation.

Physical Exfoliant


  • Immediate Results: Physical scrubs provide immediate visible results by physically removing dead skin cells, leaving skin feeling smoother and softer.
  • Exfoliating brushes are more economical since they're reusable. You may only need to replace the brushes after a while.
  • The chances of an allergic reaction are minimal.


  • Physical exfoliation only works on the top layer of the skin.
  • You're prone to scrubbing too hard, leading to over-exfoliation.
  • It's difficult to exfoliate the face evenly due to changes in pressure level.

Chemical Exfoliant


  • Chemical exfoliants penetrate the deep layers of the skin.
  • Chemical exfoliants promote even exfoliation.
  • Aside from exfoliating, chemical exfoliants often have additional benefits. For example, AHAs like glycolic acid, apart from exfoliating, also help boost collagen production.


  • Chemical exfoliants take a little bit of time to work; it can take a few days or even weeks to see visible changes.
  • It increases photosensitivity, but if you use sunscreen adequately, you'll be fine.
  • Can be too strong for some: Certain chemical exfoliants, particularly high concentrations of AHAs or BHAs, can cause irritation, redness, and dryness for some individuals.

In conclusion, both chemical and physical facial exfoliation have their own merits and demerits. The best choice for you depends on your skin type, concerns, and preferences:

What's the Best Way to Exfoliate Your Face?

Here’s a quick guide on how to exfoliate your face the right way.

Chemical exfoliation is ideal for sensitive skin, acne-prone skin, and those looking for deeper exfoliation and improved skin texture and tone.

Physical exfoliation is suitable for normal to oily skin, those who prefer immediate results, and those looking for a more affordable option.

Ultimately, it's best to consult a dermatologist or skincare professional to determine the best type of exfoliation for your individual needs and achieve healthy, glowing skin.

Product image of the mandelic acid foaming face wash to use to exfoliate your face the right way

Introducing the Mandelic Exfoliating Face Wash & Toner for Chemical Facial Exfoliation

As you already know, mandelic acid is among the most effective AHAs for chemical exfoliation, and the benefits of mandelic acid for exfoliation are numerous. Here’s why using mandelic acid is the right way to exfoliate your face:.

  • It removes dead skin cells and improves cell turnover. 
  • It boosts collagen production
  • Also, it’s a gentle exfoliator, making it the best option for sensitive skin.
  • Mandelic acid's antibacterial properties help fight acne-causing bacteria while gently exfoliating dead skin cells and unclogging pores.
  • It helps to combat hyperpigmentation, leading to a brighter and even skin tone.

So, to use mandelic acid to exfoliate your face, go for the mandelic acid face wash or toner.

Mandelic Acid Exfoliating Face Wash

DANG! Ageless Mandelic 3-in-1 Face Wash is a gentle foaming face wash that gently exfoliates your skin to remove dirt and dead skin cells. Its cleaning enhances your complexion and leaves your skin feeling silky smooth and soft.

The Dang Ageless Mandelic Face Wash, derived from bitter almonds and specifically formulated with other ingredients like green tea extract, helps to clear age spots and resolve mild acne.

It’s suitable for all skin types and is a sulphate-free cleanser and exfoliator that helps your skin retain its natural moisture.

If you’d prefer the leave-on option, then the Mandelic Acid Toner would be a great option.

The Dang Ageless Mandelic Acid Toner is a gentle AHA that eliminates dirt stuck in your pores after you wash your face while also exfoliating your face to remove dead skin cells.

It minimises pores, helping you achieve smooth and clear skin.

Finally, the toner prepares the skin for serums and moisturisers, as it supplies the skin with moisture and helps regulate sebum production.

So, how do you use the mandelic acid exfoliating face wash or toner to exfoliate your face the right way?

Let’s find out.

How to Incorporate Mandelic Exfoliating Face Wash/Toner  Into Your Skincare Routine  

Here’s our expert-recommended routine for using Mandelic face wash to get the best results:

Morning Routine

  • Use an everyday gentle face wash 
  • Go in with your serums, like the vitamin C or collagen-hydrating serum (optional)
  • Apply a face moisturiser like the Ceramide Buffet Day Cream
  • Finish off with your sunscreen

Nigh Routine 

  • Mandelic face wash or Everyday gentle face wash and afterwards  use the mandelic acid toner
  • Serum (optional)
  • Spot treatment serum like Benzoyl Peroxide (optional- but recommended if you’re treating severe acne)
  • Face moisturiser

Here's the recommended use frequency:

  • For sensitive skin, please use only two times a week and three times a week when it becomes tolerable.
  • For normal skin, use 3–4 times a week and increase to once a day when tolerable.

 Precautions and potential side effects

  • Ensure to always use a moisturiser (cream or serum) after using the mandelic acid face wash or toner. This is necessary to prevent skin drying and breakage.
  • Also, always use sunscreen during the day, as this ingredient increases your sensitivity to the sun.
  • Do not use retinol with any AHA in the same routine.
  • Finally, if you’re introducing this product or any active product for the first time into your routine, always patch-test on the inside of your forearm to test your tolerance to the product.

Should You Exfoliate At Night or Morning?

When to exfoliate: morning or night?

The age-old debate has no one-size-fits-all answer. It all depends on your skin type and goals!

Here's a breakdown of the benefits and downsides of exfoliating in the morning or at night to help you decide which works best for you.

Morning Exfoliation:


  • Removes overnight oils and dead skin for a brighter, smoother canvas.
  • Prepares the skin for better absorption of makeup and skincare.
  • Ideal for oily or acne-prone skin.


  • May increase sun sensitivity, so always follow with SPF.
  • It is not recommended for sensitive skin or if using strong nighttime actives like retinol.

Night Exfoliation:


  • It allows the skin to repair and regenerate while you sleep.
  • Boosts the effectiveness of nighttime serums and moisturisers.
  • Ideal for dry or sensitive skin.


  • May leave skin slightly more vulnerable to sun exposure the next day.
  • Not ideal for oily skin prone to breakouts overnight.

Ultimately, the best time to exfoliate is the one that works best for your skin. Listen to your skin's needs, experiment, and adjust accordingly.

Remember, consistency and gentleness are key, no matter the time of day! If unsure, start with exfoliating 1-2 times per week in the evening and gradually adjust based on your skin's response.

Always follow with a moisturiser to keep your skin happy and healthy.

How Often Should You Exfoliate Your Face?: Exfoliate Your Face the Right Way

How often you should exfoliate your face depends on several factors, such as:

Skin type

  • If you have a normal skin type, two to three times a week will be fine. 
  • Once a week or every other week is suitable for a dry skin type.
  • Finally, if you have oily skin, three times a week is fine; you can increase it to four times a week if your skin can handle it.


  • Younger skin (20s-30s) can tolerate more frequent exfoliation.
  • Mature skin (40s and above): At this age, skin tends to become drier and thinner, so gentle exfoliation 1-2 times a week is recommended. Chemical exfoliants like BHAs are helpful for deeper exfoliation without irritation.


  Environmental factors (humidity and sun exposure)

  • During harsh weather, like dry air or excessive sun, you’ll require less frequent exfoliation.

Ultimately, the trick is to understand your skin type and listen to your skin.

black man in the bathroom with soap lader on this skin to demonstrate how to exfoliate your face the right way

Warning Signs of Over-exfoliation and How to Avoid It

Over-exfoliation can damage the skin and prevent you from reaping the real benefits of exfoliation. So, how do you know when enough is enough when it comes to exfoliation? Here's how to know and treat it.


  • Redness & irritation
  • Dryness & flakiness
  • Inflammation/increased acne-breakouts
  • Excessive skin peeling
  • Increased sensitivity to other products
  • Skin tightness

How to avoid or treat over-exfoliation

  • The first thing to do when you notice any of these signs is to take a break from using the products (at least for the time being).
  • Use soothing and skin-repairing products like ceramides, niacinamide, or snail mucin repair serum. Ceramides are extremely beneficial for the skin, as they improve hydration and moisturise it.
  • Reduce the frequency of use of the products to at least once or twice a week.



Exfoliation is the unsung hero of skincare; it eliminates skin dullness, ensuring a vibrant complexion. So far, we’ve explored the benefits of exfoliation, the different types of exfoliants, and the magic of mandelic acid as a gentle yet potent exfoliant.

Now, it's time to put knowledge into action.


Start your journey to healthy and bright skin. Looking for smooth and bright skin? Then the mandelic acid face wash and toner offer the perfect, gentle touch.

Remember to listen to your skin and adjust the frequency accordingly.


Finally, consistency is key. Make sure to incorporate exfoliation into your routine with care, and watch your skin transform. You’ll see a reduction in fine lines, less dullness, and a radiant, healthy glow.

It’s not just about removing dead skin cells; it’s about embracing the potential of a revitalised you. So, take the first step, choose your favourite exfoliating method, and unlock the secrets to more radiant skin.

FAQs: How to Exfoliate Your Face the Right Way

  • Should I exfoliate my face in the morning or at night?

Exfoliating your skin at night is the best course of action, as it helps remove the dirt and oil that accumulate throughout the day. Your skin may be more sensitive to sunlight after exfoliation, so if you choose to exfoliate in the morning, be sure to use sunscreen.


  • Do you wash your face before or after exfoliation?

You should wash your face before exfoliation, whether or not you’re applying a leave-on or wash-off exfoliant. This helps to remove dirt, sweat, and oil from the face, giving you a clean surface to apply the exfoliant.


  • Does exfoliating lighten the skin?

Exfoliants help to unclog your pores and remove skin cell buildup, thereby eliminating skin dullness. However, it doesn’t lighten your skin. Overall, with consistent use, you’ll notice an even skin tone and hyperpigmentation.


  • What should I apply after exfoliating my face at night?

After exfoliating, it is recommended that you apply a moisturiser afterwards to prevent dryness.


  • Can I use vitamin C after exfoliating?

Yes, you can! Applying vitamin C after exfoliation ensures its penetration, allowing it to effectively target those skin concerns and reveal brighter, more radiant skin.


  • Why is my face oily after exfoliating?

Your face becomes oily after exfoliating due to over-exfoliating. Over-exfoliating can disrupt the skin barrier and irritate your skin, leading to an increase in sebum production and causing oily skin.


Got more questions? Get answers from these specially curated skincare FAQs.

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