do you exfoliate or cleanse first - an image showing a lady using a facial cleanser

Do you Exfoliate or Cleanse First? Here's What You Should Know

Cleansing is a method of washing away dirt and skin impurities. Exfoliating is done to remove dead skin from the surface of your face and body, which can lead to acne, so do you exfoliate or cleanse first?

The goal of cleansing first is to assist in the removal of dirt, grime, and pollutants that may have accumulated by giving better access to removing dead skin cells when exfoliating.

However, there are several things to consider when making this choice, like your skin type, the exfoliating product, and your personal preference.

If you're not sure, talk to a dermatologist or try an experiment. Experiment with both exfoliation and cleansing methods to find what works best for you.

do you exfoliate or cleanse first - an image showing a lady using a facial cleanser

Cleansing Before Exfoliating

By cleansing your face first, you remove makeup, sweat, and dirt off the skin's surface. You can then apply an exfoliant on the clean base to remove dead cells on the skin surface.

Cleansing can also mean when you use something that cleanses the pores and helps get rid of dirt and impurities from the skin. Exfoliating afterward can soften your skin and allow new skin cells to grow as dead skin cells are cleansed off. 

Importance of Cleansing Before Exfoliating

Most times, it's a good idea to start with a cleanser before applying any exfoliating product. Cleansing the face before exfoliation will:

  1. Allow the exfoliants to penetrate deep into the skin
  2. Help to remove makeup or dirt from the skin before exfoliating
  3. Provide a smoother base for exfoliation

READ: How Much Water Should I Drink to Clear Acne?

Exfoliating Before Cleansing

Exfoliating before cleansing helps you get rid of the top layer of dead skin cells and helps prepare your skin for a cleanse.

If you're like most people, it's probably just a matter of a dermatologist's prescription, experiment or habit. You exfoliate using an exfoliating or one of these best soap for hyperpigmentation on your face that removes the dead surface skin cells on your face.

Afterwards, you can use a cleanser for a proper clean, smooth and receptive skin surface that would respond well to a moisturizer.

Importance of Exfoliating Before Cleansing

If you want your skin surface to look and feel its best, exfoliating is an important part of the process. The following are some of the benefits of exfoliating before cleansing:

  1. Removing dead skin cells during cleansing
  2. Opening the pores that can clog up with dirt, makeup, and other impurities.
  3. Opening the pores and followed by cleansing allow your face to feel smoother and look cleaner.
  4. Exfoliating sometimes proves to be better as cleaning the face with towels can cause irritation on a broken face.
  5. Following exfoliation with cleansing gives a smoother skin after moisturizing

READ: How To Exfoliate Your Vagina

Types of Exfoliation

1. Physical Exfoliation

Physical exfoliation is the use of soap and scrubs with grainy particles to slough away dead skin cells brighten skin instantly. Madamglow exfoliating soap contains natural exfoliating ingredients which are gentle on skin it lathers creamy without stripping skin of its essential oils highly tolerable and suitable for all skin types even sensitive skin.  

2. Chemical Exfoliation

Chemical exfoliation removes oil and dead cells from the skin by gradually dissolving them with chemicals. Examples of chemicals for exfoliation are alpha and beta hydroxy acids and polyhydroxy acids that include lactobionic acid and gluconolactone.

3. Mechanical Exfoliation

Mechanical exfoliation is the use of a device to exfoliate the skin it includes laser treatment and microdermabrasion.

READ: Is Toner Supposed to Burn?

Can You Cleanse and Exfoliate At The Same Time?

Yes, you can cleanse and exfoliate at the same time. Exfoliating and cleansing your face at the same time helps your skin feel fresh and smooth, while removing dead skin cells. Cleansing can greatly improve the health of your skin. Applying a cleanser plus an exfoliant together can also be effective in getting rid of blackheads?

If you wish to merge your exfoliation and cleansing together into one step, try out the Madamglow exfoliating cleanser bar soap which serves as a good exfoliating cleanser.

READ: Exfoliating Stretch Marks


Exfoliating before cleansing can help you prevent dryness and irritation caused by rough and dry calluses. Cleansing removes dirts while exfoliation removes oil and dead skin cells. You can either do the two together or cleanse before you exfoliate. Whichever works for you is fine.

Exfoliation and cleansing are two very different forms of skincare. So, when you hear about exfoliating, or even cleansing, you might think they're the same. They're not.

Exfoliation is a chemical or mechanical process and cleansing is a method to wash and cleanse your skin. When it comes to exfoliating, we recommend using a gentle exfoliating cleanser. 

Also, using a microdermabrasion tool or a scrub will help you remove dry or flaky skin. You can follow up with a moisturizer like the purifying face cream moisturizer for added protection against signs of aging such as wrinkles and fine lines.

Madamglow exfoliating bar soap performs dual action of cleansing and exfoliation thus helping you save time on your skincare regimen while achieving optimal result.


Click the link below for savings on Madamglow exfoliating bar soap.



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