Learn About Exfoliate Before or After Shaving for Softer Skin

Last modified on :

Lyndon Seitz
Your guide to this Review is Lyndon Seitz

How we review products

This post contains affiliate links, and we will be compensated if you buy after clicking on our links

exfoliate before or after shaving

Learn About Exfoliate Before or After Shaving for Softer Skin

Shaving is now a habit that needs to be done once a month. However, in this activity, several things are still a question. One of them is to exfoliate before or after shaving. This is still a debate because it is feared that it can affect skin conditions. Well, to find out more, you can see the following review about exfoliate before or after shaving.

Should you exfoliate before or after shaving?

exfoliate before or after shaving
Exfoliate when shaving

It’s best to exfoliate before shaving, says Sarah Allen, MD, a board-certified Internal Medicine physician. “It removes dead skin and debris, leaving your skin feeling silky smooth,” she says. “Also, many common exfoliants may burn after shaving, causing your skin to appear red and angry—best it’s to avoid this.”

More importantly, Dr. Allen recommends that you exfoliate regularly. “Exfoliating removes the top layer of skin, known as the stratum corneum, leaving skin feeling clean and bright.”

What kind of exfoliation is best when shaving, chemical or physical?

Chemical and physical exfoliant
Chemical and physical exfoliant

Dermatologists recommend that patients use physical exfoliants before shaving. Dr. Allen explains that “physical exfoliants typically contain crystals to slough off dead skin cells, whereas chemical exfoliants loosen dead skin cells, making them easier to brush away.” 

“These include alpha-hydroxy acids—chemical exfoliants are not recommended immediately before shaving because they may cause slightly more irritation than physical exfoliants.”

Why is shaving exfoliation important?

Important of exfoliant
Important of exfoliant

Shaving is a type of exfoliation in and of itself. Dr. Allen emphasizes the importance of exfoliating at least twice a week, with additional physical exfoliation before shaving, leaving skin smooth, soft, and toned.

Pros and Cons of Exfoliating the Skin

Many pros of exfoliant
Many pros of exfoliant


  • Exfoliation can remove dead skin cells from the skin. This promotes skin renewal and unclogs pores, which aids in the prevention of blackheads and breakouts.
  • After exfoliation, cells that enter the top layer bring moisture and a natural glow.
  • It exfoliates your skin before shaving, removes dead skin cells that can clog your razor blade, and result in a smoother shave.
  • Uneven skin tone can be caused by leftover dirt and makeup. Exfoliating can assist in cleaning and smoothing out skin color.
  • On a clean surface, skin care products such as acne medication can penetrate deeper.


  • Excessive exfoliation may have the opposite effect of improving the appearance of your skin. This can be caused by either exfoliating too frequently or scrubbing too hard. This can result in dryness or irritation if too much skin is removed.
  • Exfoliating creams should be kept out of the reach of children. Exfoliating a child’s skin may disrupt skin growth but has little effect on the child’s face.
  • Biodegradable exfoliation beads are not available. Beads end up in the water and are eaten by sea creatures. Instead, use biodegradable products.

How to Choose the Best Exfoliation Method

Exfoliant method
Exfoliant method
  • Type of skin

If you have dry, flaky skin, avoid mechanical exfoliants because they will further dry your skin, causing micro-tears.

Scrubs should be avoided if you have sensitive skin because they will irritate it even more. Use gentle chemical exfoliants instead. A salicylic acid peel will also help if you have acne.

Mechanical exfoliation and brushing will help you if you have oily skin. Oily skin has an extra layer of oil buildup.

For normal skin, any exfoliation method will suffice. You may need to try different exfoliants until you find one that works best.

A combination of chemical and physical exfoliation is appropriate for combination skin. However, do not use both exfoliation methods simultaneously; always follow up with a moisturizer.

  • Exfoliating ingredients

Chemical and physical exfoliants contain different ingredients that you may or may not be able to tolerate. Everything boils down to your skin type.

If you have sensitive skin, make sure the exfoliant you’re using doesn’t contain any ingredients that will irritate it even more.

  • Moisturization

Exfoliation dries out your skin. As a result, you must have a moisturization strategy in place. Assume you have a moisturizer; use it immediately to keep your skin hydrated.

Simultaneously, choose exfoliates with moisturizing properties, especially if using chemical peels.

  • Scrubbing beads

Physical scrubs contain beads that exfoliate the skin by removing dirt, dead skin cells, and oil. The size of the beads will determine the exfoliation process.

At the same time, if you are concerned about the environment, choose an exfoliate that contains natural beads rather than plastic beads.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you exfoliate and shave on the same day?

The short answer is yes to both. Exfoliating can be done both before and after shaving. However, if you must choose just one, exfoliate first and then shave. As a result of doing so, your skin will be clean and ready for you to shave with ease.

Does exfoliating prevent ingrown hairs?

Exfoliation is essential for avoiding ingrown hairs. That is the only way to keep them at bay. Before shaving, prepare the skin and hair by loosening the strands with a gentle exfoliating cleanser containing alpha or beta hydroxy acids.


We recommend exfoliating before shaving to reduce the risk of ingrown hairs and irritation. Buffering that excess dead skin will result in your silkiest shave yet, as long as you use the proper techniques and remember your aftercare. So, there’s no need to argue about exfoliate before or after shaving.


  • Lyndon Seitz

    Every office has its clown, and for us, that’s Lyndon. As a fun-loving guy who likes to take the pressure out of tense situations, we rely on him for comedic support to get us through our hardest days. You’ll find him working on a lot of our food-related posts, from drinks to recipe tips, right on down to kitchen fixtures and kitchen gadgets. If there’s one thing we can say about him, it’s that he makes a mean chicken milanese, and he can’t sing (don’t ask him to, we beg of you). Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/lyndon-seitz-bbb09471/