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Should I Exfoliate Before Or After Shaving Or Waxing & Exfoliation Benefits

Should I Exfoliate Before Or After Shaving

Shaving is a type of manual exfoliation as you use the blade to scrape off unwanted hair from the skin’s surface, sloughing off the excess dead skin on that top layer. However, a little extra buffing can improve the process and make the area even silkier. You’re probably wondering: should I exfoliate before or after shaving? 

Many thoughts cross your mind before you reach forward and grab your handy razor or wax. Which comes first, shaving or exfoliating? How frequently ought one to exfoliate? And if you do it incorrectly, can you harm your skin? You don’t have to deal with these problems on your own. Continue reading for a brief explanation of what you should do first: shave or exfoliate.

Exfoliate Before Shaving

You should exfoliate before shaving. By exfoliating your skin with warm water before shaving, you will get rid of the top layer of extra dead skin cells that can cause painful and inflammatory problems like razor burn. This is a crucial pro tip you should follow before you put on shaving cream or other shaving products and begin shaving. It will result in smooth skin as well as help prevent ingrown hair. It is also great before shaving the pubic area.

Exfoliating after shaving is never a good idea because your freshly shaved skin will be sensitive or even cut in some places.

You can choose between two types, chemical or physical exfoliation. If you’re wondering which one to choose, it’s a matter of taste. 

  • Chemical exfoliants like salicylic acid or beta hydroxy acid will clear your pores and lessen grease between shaving. Chemical exfoliators tend to be less abrasive and irritate the skin less. Additionally, these acids tend to produce long-lasting results and are more potent. 
  • Any substance that manually scrapes the skin with small grains or brushes is considered a physical exfoliator. The dead skin cells are mechanically removed by the grains or brushes, exposing the fresh cells beneath. 

Some solutions use sugars, salts or micropearls together with healthy skin-friendly components like cocoa butter and coconut oil to easily remove dead skin cells and leave you with smooth skin. Results from physical exfoliators typically appear right away.

We advise exfoliating two to three times per week using warm water, except if you have dry skin.

Do You Exfoliate Before Or After Waxing?

Exfoliate Before Waxing

You should exfoliate before waxing. While you can exfoliate skin right before you start shaving, preparing your skin for waxing implies exfoliating a day or two before the treatment. To reduce the danger of burning or irritation following waxing, you want the skin barrier to be intact, so exfoliating the same day is not a good option. 

Do not skip this step because it reduces ingrown hair and stimulates hair follicle as it grows. If hairs are stuck beneath the skin, the wax won’t stick to them.

Older skin cells rise to the surface as new ones form. Even while some of those skin cells normally shed, many end up in a mixture of sweat, grime and sebum. This layer can give protection to the skin and serve a purpose, but it has the potential to overstay its welcome.

Using exfoliators at least once a week, you can easily remove this layer from the skin and avoid clogging pores, dull skin and dry skin patches. Exfoliation can be a good preparation before Brazilian wax (read more).

In addition to enhancing skin tone and texture, exfoliation can help prepare skin for a successful waxing procedure by showing the younger, more even skin beneath. Waxing cannot function well without exfoliating the skin first. Without it, you increase the possibility of getting post-waxing acne and ingrown hair.

If you’re looking for waxing methods, check out our sugar wax reviews.

What Does Exfoliating Do For Your Skin: Benefits Of Exfoliating

Exfoliation Benefits

Exfoliation not only removes dead skin cells from your face and body, but it also helps with other skincare imperfections. It improves the effectiveness of your regular skincare routine, allowing you to enjoy healthy and glowing skin.

Removing Dead Skin Cells

Exfoliation is the act of scrubbing your skin, whether with a glove, loofa, brush or granules, to remove dead skin. You can scrub these right off with a little extra mechanical assistance to welcome the new skin to the surface.

Ingrown Hair

One of the main causes of ingrown hairs is clogged pores caused by a lack of exfoliation. When you exfoliate and remove the unnecessary top layer of dead skin, you allow your hairs to grow out easily instead of coiling back in because they can grow properly.

Unclogged Pores

Warm water exfoliation prevents dry, dead skin from clogging pores and resulting in stubborn blockages like whiteheads and blackheads. Additionally, it removes any surface dirt that might still be on your skin after cleansing.

Better Absorption Of Other Skincare Products

Better Product Absorption

Your skin’s surface is smooth and free of dead skin, which allows other skincare products to penetrate more deeply because your pores are unclogged and clean. Exfoliation helps serums and moisturizers penetrate the skin.

Dead skin serves as a barrier between your skin and serums. By removing it, everything works much better.

Better Skin Texture

If you have dark spots, a rough texture, hyperpigmentation or acne scars, exfoliation is the first thing you can try. After exfoliation, you will notice an improvement in skin tone with continued use.

Boosts Circulation & Lymphatic Drainage

Numerous benefits of exfoliation include increased lymphatic drainage for internal cleansing and increased oxygen-rich blood flow to feed and nourish the top layer of skin.

Prevents Acne

Exfoliating aids in the unclogging of pores, thereby reducing acne. Use it to prevent breakouts, but only in a non-irritating and safe manner. Don’t scrub your skin raw to get rid of acne. This will harm your skin and cause some other issues. 

You can use a physical exfoliant once or twice a week.

Increases Cell Turnover

It promotes cell turnover, making the skin appear more radiant. This means that the skin maintains a layer of fresh, healthy cells on the surface while removing dead, dry or dying cells. The ultra-dewy and baby-faced complexion we all desire is the result of this.

Stimulates Collagen Synthesis

Exfoliating regularly helps to stimulate collagen synthesis, which improves the texture and integrity of the skin and keeps it looking plump, tight and young.

Frequently Asked Questions

You should use a body scrub before shaving your legs. For the closest shave and smooth legs, shave upward, counter to the direction of your hair growth. It’s important to clean your skin and remove all possible dead layers left there. By doing that, you will prepare your skin properly for the hair removal process and, at the same time, exfoliating will effectively prevent ingrown hairs and result in smooth legs.

You can shave right after exfoliation. This will result in a smoother shave and a lower risk of razor bumps or irritation. Rather than rubbing your skin dry, which can irritate it, gently pat it dry after getting out of the bath or shower. Always apply a moisturizing cream or lotion whether you have dry or oily skin.

You should exfoliate before waxing. When it comes to waxing, you should use your chosen exfoliator a day or two before waxing. Exfoliation aids wax in grabbing hair rather than skin, but it can make skin more sensitive to pain, so it is better to use gentle scrubs. Use a rough washcloth to gently scrub away dead skin cells, but don’t scrub too hard.

You shouldn’t exfoliate every day, but it really depends on your skin type. It is recommended to use scrubs 2-3 times a week, but there are some exceptions. If your skin is sensitive or dry, you should use it once a week or maximum twice. If you have oily skin, you can safely use it 3 times a week.

Exfoliating is important because it helps in removing dead skin cells by breaking the bonds that hold them together. It allows new cells to emerge and boosts your daily glow. By exfoliating, you get rid of dirt and debris that your cleanser might have missed from deep inside your pores.


Should I exfoliate before or after shaving or waxing? The answer is always the same: before. Listen to your skin to determine how frequently you should exfoliate. It is entirely up to you whether you prefer chemical exfoliants over physical ones or vice versa. Fortunately, there are some general guidelines. Look for tiny, finely milled grains like flax seeds and rice that will not scratch or damage your skin.