Exfoliation is the natural process of shedding dead skin cells from the surface of skin. Without exfoliation, dead skin cells may accumulate on the skin’s surface, which can lead to a dull look. Using an exfoliator can help speed up the cell renewal process by sloughing off dead surface cells so skin looks fresher, more vibrant. This is what it means to exfoliate.
Clinique’s bestselling Clarifying Lotion is a twice-a-day liquid exfoliator used with a cotton ball to sweep away dead cells that can contribute to dull skin, breakouts, and clogged pores. It comes in five uniquely tailored formulas so you can choose the one that’s right for your skin type. 7 Day Scrub Cream is a manual exfoliator that you massage over skin. It contains ingredients like silica to help provide gentle exfoliation in a water-based cream. Explore all of Clinique’s exfoliators here.
“How do you exfoliate?” is one of the most frequent questions our Clinique Experts get. It’s important to start with clean skin. Before you exfoliate, remove your makeup with a Clinique makeup remover and cleanse with one of our top cleansers. Now you’re ready to exfoliate. Use Clarifying Lotion, 7 Day Scrub Cream, or your favourite Clinique exfoliator. Be gentle. No need to apply extra pressure or be overzealous with scrubbing—just let the exfoliator do the work. Always follow up with a moisturiser for your skin type. It will sink right into freshly exfoliated skin. In the morning, apply sunblock after moisturiser to protect skin.
A common belief is that exfoliating once a week with high intensity and pressure is all that's needed for a fresh complexion, but that may not always be the most beneficial approach for skin. We encourage gentle daily exfoliation with a formula like Clarifying Lotion that can offer results without having to over-scrub. Mild exfoliation also helps prep skin for moisturiser and makeup.
When you exfoliate skin, you’re inviting fresh skin cells to come to the surface. The immediate result is smooth, renewed, glowing skin. For drier skin types, exfoliation helps remove surface flakes that can be a barrier to moisture absorption. For oilier skin types, exfoliation helps minimise excess oil and keep pores clear. Exfoliation is beneficial for all skin types.
Our guiding dermatologists tell us that twice-a-day exfoliation is a good strategy. However, exfoliating products can differ by formula. We encourage clients to use Clinique's Clarifying Lotion twice daily. If you prefer a scrub, 7 Day Scrub Cream is gentle enough to use once a day. Some specialised exfoliators, like our Exfoliating Scrub for oily skins, are recommended as needed 3–4 times per week. Avoid using exfoliators on active breakouts.
It starts with your skin type. Clinique has a range of bestselling exfoliating products for different skin types and concerns. Look for the skin type indicator listed on each: Very Dry to Dry (Skin Type 1), Dry Combination (Skin Type 2), Combination Oily (Skin Type 3) or Oily (Skin Type 4). For personalised recommendations, take our quick Skin Diagnostic.