Exfoliation is a quintessential part of any skincare routine, and if you haven’t worked an exfoliant into your arsenal yet, you really should. But while there’s no doubting the benefits exfoliation, one particular question continues to plague many skincare enthusiasts: morning or bedtime? There are a number of advantages to each, it turns out, and many dermatologists and skincare experts are divided on the issue. Ultimately, it comes down to your personal needs and preferences; there’s a case to be made for morning and evening exfoliation. Today, though, we’ll be making the case for doing it at nighttime, if for no other reason than the fact that to many, exfoliation probably seems like a morning thing, and you may never have even considered doing it at night instead. But we’re here to tell you that you might benefit from giving nighttime exfoliation some serious thought. Let’s talk about why.

Exfoliation Clears Out Grime
Which is especially advantageous at night. See, throughout the day, you accumulate grime and gunk from daytime creams and makeup, your environment—especially if you spend time outside—and etc. This kind of blockage typically won’t happen while you sleep, meaning waiting until the morning to clear is up is a little silly. Instead, when it’s an exfoliation day (remember not to exfoliate too often—two, three times a week tops), give your pores some much-needed purging right before bed.

Exfoliation May Be Damaging
And we all know what the skin is good at doing overnight, right? If you guessed “repairing and renewing,” you’re dead on. See, exfoliation has many benefits, but it does cause temporary damage in order to work its magic. Think about it like this: you may have heard that when you do strength training exercises, you actually tear up your muscles to a degree, right? And yet, by repeatedly doing so, with proper time to rest in between, the muscles actually become stronger. It’s somewhat similar with exfoliation: you’re causing little tiny tears and scrapes in your skin, but in so doing, you help it become brighter, clearer, and younger-looking overall. Of course, your skin is better at repairing itself during some parts of the day than others. Nighttime is when your skin focuses on restoring itself; on healing and strengthening. So do your skin a favor and exfoliate at night so that you’re giving your body a chance to quickly repair the damage caused by exfoliation so you can better reap the eventual benefits you get from it.

Make Way for Night Creams!
And finally, possibly the most convincing argument for exfoliating at night; it helps your nighttime skin products absorb better! Think about it: when you exfoliate, you’re scraping away dead skin cells. Dead skin cells which could get in the way of all those wonderful night creams, serums, and etc that you like to use before bed. Exfoliation sweeps away these potential obstacles and gives your nighttime skin products ample opportunity to do what they were designed to do.

So, to review, exfoliating at night can get rid of the caked-on grime your face accumulates throughout the day, it gives your body a chance to repair the damage quickly, and it makes way for nourishing nighttime skin products. In short, what’s not to love?

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