The Skin Care Sequence: Should You Exfoliate or Cleanse First?

Skincare routines can be complex and confusing, especially when understanding the correct order of application. Today, let’s clarify one of the most commonly asked questions: should you exfoliate or cleanse first?

Understanding Cleansing and Exfoliating

Before we dive into the answer, it’s essential to understand the purpose of each process.

Cleansing is the process of removing dirt, oil, and other impurities from your skin’s surface. It’s the initial step in most skincare routines, setting a clean slate for the application of other products.

Exfoliating, on the other hand, goes a level deeper. This step involves removing dead skin cells that accumulate on your skin’s surface, leading to a dull complexion, clogged pores, and uneven skin texture. Exfoliation can be mechanical (using a scrub or brush) or chemical (using products with alpha or beta hydroxy acids).

The Right Order: Cleanse Before You Exfoliate

Now, to the question at hand. As a general rule, you should cleanse your skin before exfoliating. Here’s why:

  1. Preparation for Exfoliation: Cleansing first removes surface impurities and excess oil, preparing your skin for the exfoliation step. This order allows the exfoliating product to work more effectively, as it doesn’t have to combat layers of makeup or dirt.
  1. Maximizing Exfoliation Benefits: When you exfoliate first, you might move around the dirt and oil on your face, preventing the exfoliating product from fully reaching your skin. But by cleansing first, you ensure that the exfoliating product can penetrate deeper, removing dead skin cells more efficiently and promoting skin rejuvenation.
  1. Gentleness on Skin: Starting with a cleanser tends to be gentler on your skin. Exfoliating on dirty skin can push impurities deeper into the pores, leading to potential inflammation and breakouts.

Cleanse before you exfoliate for the most effective and skin-friendly routine. However, always remember that everyone’s skin is different. What works for one person might not work for another. Always listen to your skin and adjust your skincare routine as needed. And, importantly, remember to follow up your cleansing and exfoliating routine with a good moisturizer to hydrate your skin and maintain its natural moisture barrier.

This post was written by a professional at RevivaMask. is manufactured using high-quality umbilical cord-derived ingredients specifically designed for skin rejuvenation. The RevivaMask’s solution captures a mixture of ingredients in extracellular vesicles including a high concentration of exosomes, growth factors, cytokines, proteins, and interleukins which can help restore damaged tissue, maintain skin elasticity, and speed treatment recovery time for an unmatched experience in skin rejuvenation. Contact RevivaMask to rejuvenate your skin today.


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