Sensitive and dull skin

Exfoliation 101 for sensitive and dull skin

Dr. Deepti Prasad
Medically Reviewed By:

Dr. Deepthi Prasad, MBBS.

Written by Our Editorial Team


Nobody wants dull skin when it comes to skin health. Each day your skin faces a great amount of dust and dirt and all of this has an impact on your skin. When these pollutants along with our dead skin cells start to accumulate on our epidermis, the problem doesn't restrict only to dull skin but acne and hyperpigmentation too. Regular exfoliation of the skin can fend off all of this, but the trick is to exfoliate correctly. How you exfoliate can make or break your skin barrier. So we are going to understand how to use an exfoliant in a way that you can see the best results without disrupting your skin barrier or causing too much irritation.

What is exfoliation?

The skin cells in your body naturally shed every month to make room for new cells but as we age our cell turnover slows down leaving these dead cells not shed completely, which is followed by dry, dull skin and clogged pores. This is when exfoliation comes in handy. Exfoliation is the process of removing dead skill cells from the outer layer of your skin, so simple right? But dermatologists believe this is where they see most people making mistakes, either by exfoliating too often or by not using the right exfoliants and these mistakes can cost you the health of your skin barrier.

Your skin barrier protects you from irritation, allergens, and dehydration (to an extent) which is why it becomes important to maintain a healthy skin barrier. Exfoliants, when used rightly, disrupt the skin barrier in a way that is beneficial to us with minimal to no harm.

Benefits of exfoliation


Before getting into the benefits of exfoliation, here is what can go wrong if you don't exfoliate regularly: dullness, prone to acne, undergrowth/ ingrown hair, early ageing, and chances of infection to list a few. Not so nice! To prevent all this and more, we exfoliate.

Long-term exfoliation is said to increase collagen production and in turn the elasticity of the skin. Exfoliation also improves skin texture by reducing small bumps and pores that we usually observe on our skin. Right exfoliators are seen to regularize the depigmented or hyperpigmented areas of the skin (hyperpigmentation of the skin).

Types of exfoliation

Exfoliation can broadly be categorized as Physical and Chemical depending on the type of exfoliant used:




Contains tiny exfoliation particles that help get rid of dead skin cells and surface impurities.

These do not have any physical particles but are made using gentle acids that peel away the dead skin cells and dirt.


Easy to use with almost no side effects.

Must use a bit cautiously and some skin types might react to certain classes of acids.


The tiny particles that are present in the exfoliator can is a bit harsh and abrasive causing micro-tears on the skin barrier.

chemical exfoliators are a lot gentler on your skin since they do not contain any harsh scrubbing particles, making them suitable for people with sensitive skin.


Cleansing scrubs, body brushes, loofahs, etc.

Alpha and Beta Hydroxy acids, Retinol, etc.


Which exfoliator should you choose?

If you are someone whose skin irritates or stings while using or after using new products, you might be having sensitive skin. Avoiding physical exfoliants might be a good idea as the particles from the scrub or the hard mechanical strain might be too harsh for your skin to handle causing redness and irritation.
Gentle chemical peels with a low percentage of acids will work great for sensitive skin. Chemical exfoliants you might consider are peels with BHAs which are less irritating than other chemical exfoliants. You also have an option of gentle acids-infused face washes which can be used on the go that exfoliates acne-prone skin and prevents further inflammation. Also, promotes collagen synthesis and hence minimizes fine lines and wrinkles on skin.

Also Read : Can Wrinkles Be Reversed? Let's Find Out

It is always better to consult your clinician before beginning a new skin regimen involving acids.

What to do after exfoliation?

Make sure to thoroughly wash off so that no product or dead skin cells remain. Pat your skin dry with a clean and soft towel and do not forget to replenish your skin with moisturizer for that glow from within.

ThriveCo Exfoliating Foaming Face Wash offers surface and deep pore cleansing. It removes all types of buildup and helps succeeding skincare products to penetrate better. This radiance-boosting formula retexturizes and conditions to add a translucent veil of luminescence to the skin .

Also Read : Blemish Busting Ingredients : How To Get Rid Of Blemishes And Get Glowing Skin


About Doctor :

Dr. Deepthi Prasad

Dr. Deepthi Prasad specializes in Dermatology, Cosmetology, and Aesthetic Dermatology and has been practicing for over 15 years. After completing MBBS from Dr. NTR University of Health Sciences Andhra Pradesh in 2009, she earned a MD in Dermatology, Venereology & Leprosy from Osmania Medical College in Hyderabad in 2014.




Disclaimer:All the content published on is solely for information purposes. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always consider seeking the advice of your physician or a qualified healthcare provider. The information, suggestion, or remedies mentioned on this site are provided without warranty of any kind, whether express or implied.

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