Beauty / Make Your Brown Skin Brilliant: Give Yourself That Glow With These Exfoliation Tips

Make Your Brown Skin Brilliant: Give Yourself That Glow With These Exfoliation Tips

Beauty Jul 02, 2019

Brown skin is designed to glow, and the best way to achieve it is through a gentle summer exfoliation routine. Read on to learn about the latest technology and innovations that enhance our beauty! Give Yourself That Glow With The Right Exfoliation Tips 

Besan Ka Attah (Chickpea Flour) May Not Be Right For Everyone  

Countless websites claim that Bollywood beauties such as Aishwarya Rai Bachchan use besan ka attah as their simple, DIY exfoliator. These websites tout that this classic kitchen staple as 100% natural and a budget-friendly way to get your skin to glow like a Bollywood star.

These DIY recipes might work on the skin but they also clog the pipes of your sink. The savings you make by using besan ka attah fall short when you have to spend money for a plumber. Also as someone who battled acne scars, I can personally tell you that raw, natural ingredients can sometimes be too rough on the skin and cause micro tears that lead to further hyperpigmentation.

It’s important to note that exfoliation will not reduce hyperpigmentation on the knees and elbows. Regine Perron, Director, Boutique & Spa Development/Clarins Division warns, “There is no cure for hyperpigmentation. In order to lighten them specifically on the elbows and knees, chemical peels may help with laser therapy”. I agree with Perron because when I was 13, I used a pumice to rub my elbows to the point that they were pink which hurt and in a few weeks’ time the elbows returned to their natural dark brown state.


Exfoliation tips
Exfoliation is key to giving your brown skin that glow. Photo Credit:


Make Sure You Pick The Right Exfoliation Process For You 

When you are choosing a product, whether it’s for thee face, lips or body, assess your skin’s sensitivity and your time commitment.

Always try to obtain a sample to do a patch test at home. For example if you are curious about glycolic acid-based products, you would apply a dab of the sample to the side of your face, and then wait a few minutes to assess your skin’s reaction. If your skin is oily, assess whether a physical exfoliator pierces your pimples because that will further damage your skin.

An important criterion for selecting exfoliators is whether to go physical, mechanical or chemical.

A physical exfoliator is one that is granular and based on ingredients such as sugar or salt. I prefer sugar and salt because they are less abrasive and stripping than ground up shells. Moreover, they dissolve as they rinsed off, so there is no risk of clogging the sink. Beware that salt can sting minor nicks and scrapes. Another type of physical exfoliator is using a brush to shake the dead skin cells free from the surface. Just remember not to press to hard on the skin as that will also cause tears. Here’s a tip: Don’t bend the bristles.

A mechanical exfoliator is a subset of the physical ones. It is associated with microdermabrasion which is an intense treatment that diminishes the appearance of sun spots, and acne scars. It creates a smoother looking surface, so the light bounces of the skin to create a radiant effect.

Chemical exfoliators typically include alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) such as acid found in lemons, apples, papayas and pineapples to slough off dead skin cells. A popular AHA is glycolic acid which is derived from sugar cane. These products break down the sticky web dead skin cells that dull our natural glow to reveal fresh skin.


Give Yourself That Glow With These Exfoliation Tips: Besan may not be right for every skin type. Photo Credit:


Timing Is Everything 

The challenge is to discover your ideal routine because your skin changes monthly due to hormones and the seasons also impact habits. In the summer when your pores tend to get clogged due to excess sebum, you will likely exfoliate more rather than in winter, when your skin is drier and sensitive because of electrical heat. However be careful as exfoliation can make your skin become more sensitive to the sun by 45%, so keep an eye on your skin. If you feel that your skin is becoming more sensitive, decrease your exfoliation routine to once every week or ten days.

To reap the benefits of glowing skin, you need to be consistent. Perron recommends for the body, “Two – Three times a week is plenty. If your skin is sensitive, you might prefer to do it less. Anything more might irritate the skin. Do not scrub too hard or too often. If you do you are removing healthy cells too which will leave your skin red & sore. For an extra burst of energy use a salt scrub which helps the blood flow.”

If you have a gentle exfoliator for the face, you can use it daily or every other day.  If you are exfoliating the lips, a weekly treatment  suffices because the skin is thin.

Which Product Work On Brown Skin? 

The one objective that an exfoliator must achieve is to liberate the skin from ashiness without causing micro tears that lead to hyperpigmentation.  Below is a list of products that I recommend for brown beauties:

The face and neck must be treated like twins because they are covered in thin skin which ages quickly. I have mixed skin, and am  huge fan of daily, gentle, exfoliation to reveal fresh skin and to keep the surface smooth. Every morning, I like to wash my hands, tap my face with tepid water, and then squeeze a nickel-size amount of Fresh Sugar Strawberry Exfoliating Face Wash onto my left palm. I then rub my palms together and proceed to massage my face and neck using broad circles, making sure to never touch the contour of my eyes.  I then rinse my face with tepid water.


Give Yourself That Glow With These Exfoliation Tips: Fresh Sugar Strawberry Exfoliating Face Wash. Photo


On a weekly basis, I intensify my routine by using a glycolic masque such as Caudalie Glycolic Peel which is composed of glycolic acid and papaya to refine the skin. The instructions  state that it should stay on for 10 minutes, and I confirm that after 10 minutes my eyes start to water, even though my face and neck feel fine.  I am always amazed at my face’s luminosity after I rinse off the peel.

Give Yourself That Glow With These Exfoliation Tips: Caudalie Glycolic Peel. Photo Credit:


If I am travelling, I refuse to sacrifice my routine because consistency is the key to classic beauty. In this situation, I recommend packing exfoliating wipes such as Volition Apple Cider Vinegar Pads. I love that the pads are shaped to fit like finger puppets so it will never fall into the sink. Further, the horny surface removes sebum, while depositing AHAs such as witch hazel, and extracts from apple, sugar cane and maple. This product perks up the skin.


Give Yourself That Glow With These Exfoliation Tips: Volition Apple Cider Vinegar Pads. Photo Credit:


If you are dealing with scarring and/or dark spots, microdermabrasion, is an excellent option. This type of treatment is more intense and acts like a pseudo zamboni for the bump-ridden areas of the face. I have dark spots and some enlarged pores on my upper left cheek, and loved how the Silk’n Re Vit™ Microderm gently moved over the bumpiness and I immediately felt a uniform softness in the area.  This product is like beauty ex-machina!


Give Yourself That Glow With The Right Exfoliation Tips
Give Yourself That Glow With These Exfoliation Tips: Silk’n Re Vit™ Microderm. Photo Credit:

The lips are an oft-forgotten zone in warmer months but as in winter, lips are covered in balm and colour products. I love using the Bite Beauty Weekly Lip Scrub because in addition to smelling like cake batter, the golden sugar gently lifts the bits of dead skin.  The best way to apply it, is to take a dollop the size of a raisin, and then massage it, using tight circular motions, onto moistened lips,.  You can also scrub the contour of the lips, to stave off the formation of barcode lines.


Give Yourself That Glow With These Exfoliation Tips: Bite Beauty Weekly Lip Scrub. Photo Credit:


The body is our vessel and it should be treated like gold on a daily basis. For this area, the simplest, gentlest way to exfoliate is to use a chemical exfoliator such as Reversa Skin Smoothing Body Lotion which is 10% glycolic acid. The product has no odour and is rapidly absorbed by the skin.  It instantly hydrates and over the course of several days I noticed that overall my skin became softer, in particular my elbows and knees.  I had been nervous that I would wake up surrounded by dead skin cells but thankfully this lotion just resulted in my dead skin being gently sloughed off in the shower.


Reversa Skin Smoothing Body Lotion. Photo Credit:

If you prefer a weekly ritual which is tinged with ceremony and glamour, then carefully follow these tips from  Regine when exfoliating the body, “The technique remains the same which means that we scrub the dead cells with our hands in an upward movement to increase the blood circulation. You might need to work harder on the elbows, knees, feet and heels in a circular movement as the skin surface in these areas become rougher especially during winter time.”  A wonderful, glamourous scrub is the Clarins Tonic Body Polisher with essential oils.  This salt-based scrub is mixed with essential oils to deliver a radiant lift while sloughing away stubborn dead skin cells.



Give Yourself That Glow With The Right Exfoliation Tips
Give Yourself That Glow With These Exfoliation Tips: Clarins Tonic Body Polisher with essential oils. Photo Credit:


Goop suggests that dry brushing is a means to detox the skin. I tried the Goop G.Tox Ultimate Dry Brush, which is made of pure, natural sisal, for several days. Each day prior to stepping into the shower, I used this stiff bristled brush to stroke my dry skin towards my heart. My skin turned pink and there was an ouch factor. I quickly adjusted the pressure and by day 3 I liked the ritual because my skin felt soft. I also noticed that initially, as the brush removed dead skin cells, my body emitted a slight odour and by day four  it disappeared. I like how my skin looks — refreshed and smooth!



Give Yourself That Glow With The Right Exfoliation Tips
Give Yourself That Glow With These Exfoliation Tips: Goop G.Tox Ultimate Dry Brush. Photo Credit:


Sloughing Thoughts 

Our skin’s cell turnover means that there is always fresh skin to be had… and since brown skin is beautiful this is fantastic news! The trick to optimizing this beauty trait is to pick a exfoliators and develop accompanying habits that ensure that only our best skin makes it to the surface.


Main Image Photo Credit:

Meena Khan

Meena Khan


Meena (@meenalaregina) always loved the idea of exploring the non-conventional idea of beauty. Having grown up as a pimply chubby teenager, she wanted to see the change in the world that best reflected your uniqueness as well. Her well-received collection of blogs where she tries on various beauty p...