Exfoliation is important for men because our skin is thicker than women's, produces more oil, and obviously, grows coarse hair. Exfoliation can help make all of these factors work in your favor.
Exfoliating removes dead skin cells that make your skin look and feel dry. Using a mechanical exfoliant before shaving raises the facial hair prior to your shave. That not only gives you a smoother shave, but also leads to fewer ingrown hairs and breakouts due to shaving.
You have two options here: chemical (using acids and/or enzymes) or mechanical (using scrubs or brushes). Use mild exfoliators every day and more abrasive exfoliators 2-3 times a week. Key ingredients to look for (primarily in chemical exfoliators) include Salicylic Acid, Lactic Acid, Alpha-Hydroxy Acid and Fruit Enzymes. Remember, a slight tingle is OK. A burn is probably too much.
Mechanical exfoliates from left to right:
Billy Jealousy Liquid Sands Facial Cleanser $24
Dove Men + Care Deep Clean Face Scrub $5
Sisley Paris Buff and Wash Facial Gel $120
Click to the next slide for our chemical exfoliate picks.