How to Get Rid of Dead Skin on the Face

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Everyone has dead skin cells on their face. In fact, the top 18 to 23 layers of the skin are made up of dead cells. Skin cells are removed and new cells are replenished monthly. Your body sheds 30,000 to 40,000 old skin cells every day. New skin cells form at the bottom of the epidermis, the top layer of your skin.

Exfoliating is an effective way to make sure you remove dead skin cells, but each skin type requires different types of exfoliation to avoid irritating or clogging pores.

Verywell / Jessica Olah

What is dead skin?

Exfoliation is a way to remove dead skin cells from the surface of your skin. There are two ways to exfoliate your skin at home: chemically or mechanically.

Mechanical exfoliation uses a tool, such as a brush or sponge, or brush to physically remove dead skin cells. Chemical exfoliation uses chemicals, such as alpha and beta hydroxy acids, to gently dissolve dead skin cells. The method you choose should be guided by your skin type.

Exfoliation makes the skin soft and smooth, but should not be overused. If you exfoliate too much, you can harm your skin.

Exfoliating dead skin and skin types

There are 5 skin types: sensitive, normal, dry, oily and combination skin. Each type is suitable for a different type of exfoliation. Choosing the right exfoliation method for your skin type can help prevent irritation, dryness, and redness.

Sensitive skin

People with sensitive skin are prone to inflammation or reactions to chemicals or fragrances. Typically, people with sensitive skin experience itching, burning, stinging, tightness, and dryness.

People with sensitive skin can still exfoliate but need to be careful about the products they use. Mechanical exfoliation can be too harsh for those with sensitive skin. We recommend them to use face towels and mild chemical exfoliants. To avoid intolerances and adverse reactions, consider mandelic acid for gentle exfoliation and products with few ingredients.

Normal skin

Exfoliating the skin is often simpler, and people with normal skin can use chemical or mechanical exfoliation. People with normal skin are considered to have balanced skin without a compromised skin barrier or with little risk of adverse reactions to products.

Dry skin

Dry skin is the result of weather, age, and other environmental and genetic factors. Dry skin can last a lifetime or only appear sporadically.

Dry skin often presents with tightness, roughness, itching, flaking, and redness. Exfoliation for this skin type should be approached with care. To avoid increased dryness, worsening of symptoms, or skin irritation, choose products that are gentle. People with dry skin should also exfoliate with a washcloth and gentle chemical exfoliant.

When choosing an exfoliant, look for ingredients like lactic acid. These products can help remove dead skin cells without causing further skin irritation.

Oily skin

People with oily skin have excess sebum on their face. Exfoliating oily skin is an important part of a skin care routine for this skin type. Exfoliating can not only help remove dead skin cells, but it can also prevent acne and acne spots.

Oily skin leads to a buildup of dead skin cells that clog pores, leading to breakouts. People with this skin type can opt for mechanical exfoliation or using a stronger chemical exfoliant. Look for products that contain salicylic acid.

Combination skin

Combination skin is when the skin is oily in some spots and dry or sensitive in others. If combination skin’s main concern is oil, tackle it with salicylic acid. If sensitive skin is a primary concern, opt for lactic acid.

How to remove dead skin on face: Types of exfoliants

Chemical Exfoliation

Chemical exfoliants are tolerated by most skin types. These exfoliants dissolve dead skin cells with chemicals. They can be found in cleansers, toners, creams, masks, or chemical peels.

Gentle chemicals used in chemical exfoliants include:

  • Alpha hydroxy acids
  • Beta Hydroxy Acids
  • Retinoids

Some chemical options use low-pH ingredients to remove dead skin cells from the face and minimize skin irritation. You can also use a stronger chemical exfoliant if you have oily or thicker skin.

If you use an exfoliant or chemical exfoliator, apply the product gently in small, circular motions. Do this for about 30 seconds, and then rinse with warm, not hot water.

Certain medications and even over-the-counter products can make your skin more sensitive or flaky. These include prescription retinoid creams and products containing retinol or benzoyl peroxide. Exfoliating while using these products can worsen dry skin or even cause acne.

Mechanical exfoliator

Also known as physical exfoliation, mechanical exfoliation can be a washcloth, sponge, or facial scrub.

You should avoid harsh chemical or mechanical exfoliation if you have a darker skin tone or notice dark spots on your skin after a burn, bite, or acne breakout. For some people, especially those with darker skin tones, more aggressive forms of exfoliation can lead to dark spots on the skin.

Exfoliation can dry out the skin. Apply moisturizer right after exfoliating to keep skin healthy and hydrated.

The frequency of exfoliation depends on your skin type and exfoliation method. In general, the more aggressive the exfoliation, the less it needs to be done. Be careful not to exfoliate too much as this can cause redness and irritation.


Your skin gets rid of dead skin cells and creates new cells regularly. When there is a buildup of dead skin cells on your face, it can lead to problems like clogged pores. You can try an at-home exfoliation to remove dead skin cells by mechanical or chemical means. Mechanical exfoliation is harsher on your skin and is not recommended for those with dry or sensitive skin. Check with your dermatologist if you’re not sure which exfoliant is best for you.

A very good word

Skin concerns can be stressful and even embarrassing. To keep skin looking its best while supporting its natural processes to remove dead skin, try exfoliation. Depending on your skin type and needs, you can find the best exfoliator to help remove excess dead skin cells from your face without causing problems for your skin. friend.

If you’re not sure what your skin type is or have questions about exfoliation in general, talk to your dermatologist. They will be able to help you find and recommend the best products for your skin type.

frequently asked Questions

How long will dead skin stay on my face?

Skin cells regenerate every 30 days. If there is a problem with the shedding of skin cells, they can stick to the skin of the face and lead to dry patches or clogged pores. This layer of dead skin can stay on the face until it is properly exfoliated.

What is the best way to remove dead skin on face at home?

It is possible to successfully exfoliate the face at home with methods and products tailored to your specific skin type. Once you’ve determined your skin type is normal, sensitive, dry, oily, or combination, choose an exfoliation method or product that works best for your skin type. Avoid mechanical exfoliation for dry or sensitive skin.

Why does dead skin stick to your face?

If your skin produces too many skin cells, it can lead to a buildup of dead skin on the skin’s surface. This could be due to a lack of moisture or the inability of skin cells to separate from the skin.

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