Should You Be Exfoliating In The Morning Or At Night?

Face oil that we all call sebum is produced by the tiny glands under the skin, in order to protect the skin from the dangers of the outside world. These glands use hair follicles within the skin as a pathway, allowing the oil to reach the surface of the skin (outer layer) to form a barrier that prevents the penetration of bacteria or other harmful agents.

Excessive dirt that builds up on the surface can cause blockages of the follicle, trapping sebum, sweat, and dead skin cells. The lack of sebum on the surface of the skin allows bacteria to penetrate the follicle causing inflammation. The final result is acne, whiteheads and blackheads.

This is why exfoliating your skin is extremely important. But when should you do it? Let’s take a look.....

Benefits of exfoliating in the AM:

  • Exfoliating in the morning may be more gentle for sensitive skin

Many people tend to use harsher products in the evening, such as stronger toners and acne treatments! Exfoliating right before using all those harsh products can be a lot for the skin to handle. 

  • Exfoliating in the AM can make your complexion appear brighter

Searching for that AM glow? Instead of reaching for coffee to wake you up, which can actually cause your skin to look duller, try a gentle, stimulating massage! The process of rubbing exfoliator into the skin stimulates blood flow, which can make your complexion appear brighter and healthier.

Benefits of exfoliating in the PM: 

  • Your skin needs extra cleansing at night

Especially if you’re wearing sunscreen (which you should – always) or makeup. While rinsing with just water in the morning may be perfectly fine for some people, cleansing at night is ALWAYS a must. Throughout the day, even if you haven’t applied sunscreen or makeup, your skin is being bombarded with environmental stressors and impurities such as dirt, oil, and free radicals. Exfoliating in the evening will assure that you are getting the deepest cleanse possible, and it will effectively break down hard-to-dissolve makeup and sunscreen particles.

  • Exfoliating at night can make your skincare products work better

If you find yourself reaching for an acne-fighting solution at night, or maybe a deeper moisturizer, you may want to exfoliate in the evening. Depending on what ingredients you’re using before bed (which is when your skin regenerates the most, by the way – so stock up on a nutrient-rich moisturizer), it may be better to exfoliate your skin in the evening.


The answer is clear – there is no clear answer! Depending on your personal preferences and skin type and needs, exfoliating in the morning or evening is kind of up to you and what you’re looking to achieve or solve.  

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