Skin gritting is a self-care technique that has been batted around the internet for the past few years and offers something most others don’t: tangible evidence that you’re removing something from your skin.
Though, there’s some debate over exactly what you’re accomplishing.
Products are applied to or placed into the skin, with the final massage often producing tiny, dark, bug-like specks from your pores. This is the “grit” the technique is named after and isn’t the most appetizing thing to look at but can make you feel like you’re doing something productive.
There are two popularly used approaches to skin gritting:
- Oil, clay mask, oil — Clean face with an oil-based cleanser to dissolve dirt and open and soften your pores. Then apply a clay mask (bentonite and kaolin are the most-recommended) and leave on for 10 minutes. Next, wash off the clay and reapply the oil cleanser, leaving it on for about half an hour before massaging your skin, which is when any grit will be released. This must be done gently to minimize irritation and the risk of broken capillaries.
- Oil, acid, clay, oil — Application of glycolic, salicylic or lactic acid after the initial cleansing is done to further loosen the grits from your pores and skin, though some people find this dries out their skin too much.
Some of these specks may be blackheads, which will appear to be elongated and contain wax opposite of the “dark” side. But most of it is probably dirt, debris and dead skin cells that may or may not be clogging your pores.
Some people contend most grits are leftover particles from the clay mask and other skin products. Nonetheless, many people love how they look and feel after they’ve used this technique and have added it to their routine.
Gritting shouldn’t be done more than once a week. Those with sensitive skin shouldn’t do it more than once a month, and those with acne, rosacea, eczema and other skin conditions should consult their dermatologist before trying it.