Health Skin

Ayurveda’s take on Skin Exfoliation

Learn how to exfoliate your skin the right way!

The dull complexion and poor skin texture can ruin a good day. A constant buildup of dead skin, oil, sebum, and pollutants can make the skin lose its luster and healthy appearance and make it prone to acne, clogged pores, and other skin conditions. Ayurveda considers exfoliation (removal of impurities and dead skin cells) an integral part of our well-being. Therefore, it is required from all of us to exfoliate, remove dead skin/other buildups, and allow our skin to breathe, look healthy, and glow. When done correctly, exfoliation can boost our skin’s natural radiance and offer multiple other benefits. Wondering how? Read ahead!

image is showing how to exfoliate face, legs, and arms
Exfoliation of skin

What is exfoliation?

Every 30 days, our skin naturally sheds off dead skin cells to make space for new cells. While under ordinary circumstances, the skin sheds off easily, in some cases, old dead skin cells do not shed off entirely and create flaky, dry patches. Apart from this, there can be oil/sebum buildup on the outer layer of our skin, which along with dead skin cells, can clog pores.

Exfoliation is a process that removes dead skin/sebum/oil/dirt buildup from the surface and pores of our skin. It can be of two types, either chemical or physical. Physical exfoliation includes physically scrubbing the skin using a scrub or any other skincare tool. On the other hand, chemical exfoliation uses cleansers, peels, and face creams made using chemicals or enzymes that chemically break down the surface buildup.

Regular exfoliation and removal of the buildup of dead cells from the surface of the skin are very important as they can help improve overall skin health and complexion, stimulate collagen synthesis, and improve skin texture, and lymphatic drainage.

What does Ayurveda say about exfoliation?

Ayurveda recognizes the process of exfoliation as vital for the outer skin, internal body, and mind and is an integral part of deep-cleansing philosophy too. Ayurveda for skin care attributes multiple benefits to scrubbing/exfoliating. Traditional practices highlight that physical exfoliation can get rid of the buildup of hard and dead skin, maintain soft and healthy skin, reduce any scarring or pigmentation, reduce the buildup of toxins, and enhance the lymphatic system. Ayurveda for skin care also recognizes body brushing as it aids in the reduction of cellulite and cleanses the body. Exfoliation can also help stimulate multiple senses and can significantly improve mood and offer relaxation. Learn more about How to make Ayurvedic body scrubs at home.

Benefits of skin exfoliation

Regular skin exfoliation enhances the skin’s youthfulness, texture, complexion, and radiance. It acts like a reset button when our skin feels congested and dull due to the accumulation of dirt, dead skin, and oil/sebum. Exfoliation is a vital step in a well-rounded skincare regimen, and it has multiple benefits, as highlighted by Ayurveda skin care and modern-day research. The following is the list of other potential benefits.

#1 Proper exfoliation helps unclog pores and white and blackheads

Exfoliation and unclogging of pores can not only help in preventing blackheads and whiteheads but also help in reducing acne and blemishes. Layers of dirt and dead skin cells can clog and seal our pores due to the secretion and accumulation of sebum and oil. This accumulation can lead to breakouts and other skin troubles. By exfoliating, you can remove these stubborn blockages, unclog pores, and get rid of white and blackheads. Ingredients such as turmeric, licorice, walnut, orange, etc., can help with the exfoliation process. The most important part of exfoliation is to deeply cleanse the impurities, dirt, and gunk from the delicate skin. For that, you need an exfoliator that does all of it without harming your skin. You can try Citrenis Clean and Bright Skin-Buffing Gelly. It is a perfect blend of Ayurveda and modern science.

#2 Exfoliation improves skin tone and texture

Often accumulation of dead skin can cause hyperpigmentation, rough texture, dark spots, etc. By removing these dead skin cells, accumulated oil/sebum, and dirt, exfoliation can help resolve these skin issues and help in evening out the skin tone. By removing dead skin cells, exfoliation helps keep fresh and healthy cells on the surface, offering a clear and bright complexion. Regular exfoliation and massage can also enhance the brightness and glow of our skin by improving blood circulation. Face scrubs made using saffron, cardamom, sugar, oatmeal, etc., have shown great potential in smoothening, firming, and brightening the skin. Scrubs are often infused with turmeric, sandalwood, etc., to offer glowing skin.

#3 Exfoliation improves circulation and lymphatic drainage

Regular exfoliation can also help stimulate blood circulation to the skin’s surface and promote lymphatic drainage for overall cleansing. Thus exfoliation can help facilitate skin detoxification and cellular health and offer radiant skin. Ayurveda for skin care recommends adding Manjistha to scrubs as it helps in blood purification.

#4 Exfoliation improves collagen production and slows signs of aging

Exfoliation can help stimulate collagen synthesis and improve the skin’s texture and health. By exfoliating, we create mild traumas on our skin that activate the fibroblasts and trigger the release of collagen production in our body, which slows down as we age. Thus with better collagen production, exfoliation can help make the skin look young, firm, and plump.

The right way to exfoliate based on your dosha

Our dominant dosha affects our skin. Even though different skin type has different qualities and requires unique skin care products and remedies, the one thing that all skin types share is that the skin constantly rebuilds itself by shedding and replacing skin cells. Therefore no matter what our skin type is, Vata, Pitta, or Kapha, exfoliation should be a part of our beauty regime.

image of a woman who has clear and smoother skin after exfoliation of the skin
Clear and Smooth Skin 😊

Vata skin

The skin is generally dry, rough, and delicate. Therefore people with such skin should opt for exfoliating products that are soothing, hydrating, and not harsh on the skin. Vata skin type people can use a paste of one tablespoon of ground oatmeal, half a teaspoon of ground rose petals, and one teaspoon of sugar and water/rose water. Apply and gently work it into the skin and rinse off with warm water. Vata skin type people can also add sandalwood powder to the paste. Skin exfoliation is very vital for people with dry skin as it helps get rid of dead skin accumulation and helps promote healthy skin turnover. Moisturizing the skin after exfoliation is highly recommended. If you are looking for an Ayurvedic skin care product that is specially made for vata skin type, try Oatmeal Nutmeg Smoothifying Exfoliator (For Dry/Vata Skin)

Pitta skin

The skin is often sensitive, sweaty, and flushed; therefore, it requires exfoliating that offers soothing and cooling effects. Since people with Pitta Dosha have oily skin and are more prone to acne and rosacea, they must exfoliate their skin to trigger unclogging of pores and lymphatic drainage. Such people must use a paste made of one tablespoon of sugar and half a teaspoon of coriander powder, turmeric, and sandalwood (calms Pitta) with aloe vera gel. Gently massage the paste, and rinse off with cool water. Spritzing cold milk or rose water after exfoliation is also recommended, as it offers a calming and cooling effect and reduces the heat generated by scrubbing.

Kapha skin

The skin is usually oily, cool, and soft. Therefore people with Kapha skin type should ideally use a paste made with honey and cornmeal to gently massage it and wash it off with warm water. Similarly, a paste of sugar, ginger, sandalwood powder, and water can also be excellent for Kapha skin. Dry brushing and regular exfoliating this way can help remove dead skin cells, oil, and excessive sebum. As we know kapha skin is quite sensitive, so you need to use an exfoliator that does not harm your skin. Take a look at Lavender Licorice Restorative Exfoliator (For Sensitive Skin)


Using the right exfoliation methods based on our skin type and doshas can help maintain healthy and glowing skin. According to Ayurveda skin care and modern-day research, several natural skin care products can help exfoliate and offer healthy and glowing skin. These products are natural and do not expose the skin to harsh chemicals that can damage the cells and lead to skin troubles.

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