The skin you can touch on your face is already dead. That’s normal. By the time it reaches the top layer (stratum corneum) it is dead. So the very top layer of the skin can be exfoliated from time to time to refresh the skin’s appearance. It is wise to not overdo it, but some people under-do it or never exfoliate. In that case the skin can appear dull or lackluster. Also moisturizer just ends up sitting on top of the skin and never penetrating and helping you. So it is prudent to exfoliate a bit.
In line with most my thinking though, less is more. Do not exfoliate daily. Once a week is sufficient. You can use a scrub with jojoba beads once or twice a week. (the mini plastic bead scrubs are destroying the environment and slowly being banned, so if you have that stuff it is time to switch). Please throw away St. Ives if you are still using that jagged stuff, it is too much and causes microtears in the skin. Use it on your arms or legs or butt but not your face please!
In esthetics scrubs are called “manual exfoliants”. And there are also “chemical exfoliants” such as alpha and beta hydroxys. They have a place in good skin care but we will get to peels and such later.
My favorite gentle scrub is Natropathica’s “Oat facial polish”. It’s pricey but so beautiful in so many ways. Oat beta glucan is quite healing and soothing and anti-inflammatory and those jojoba beads pop giving your skin deep hydration with getting rid of dead skin.
Next up is Serums.. WTF are they? Do I need one?