Skin gritting: What is it, and does it work?

Skin gritting: What is it, and does it work?

In the ever-evolving world of skincare, enthusiasts are always on the lookout for innovative techniques promising flawless, radiant skin. One such phenomenon that has gained considerable traction is “skin gritting.”

This method, popularized by skincare aficionados and social media influencers, involves a meticulous process aimed at deeply cleansing the pores and extracting impurities, leaving behind a smoother complexion. But what exactly is skin gritting, and does it really work?

What is skin gritting?

Skin gritting is a multi-step process designed with the purpose to purge the skin of stubborn impurities, particularly blackheads and congested pores. The technique typically involves three main steps: Oil cleansing, clay masks, and facial massaging which is supposed to help dislodge the “grits”.  If we were to do skin gritting, here’s how we’d do so:

Step 1: Apply an oil cleanser and gently massage the oil into the skin using circular movements for about 2-3 minutes. The oil helps dissolve and lift away dirt, makeup, and excess sebum from the pores.

Step 2: Apply a clay mask afterwards all over your face, focusing on areas where you have blackhead or larger pores. Allow the clay mask to dry completely (about 10 minutes) to penetrate the skin and absorb build-up from the pores.

Step 3: Once the clay mask is dry, wet your fingers with water and gently massage in circular motions for 1-2 minutes. Some say they experience that this step helps further loosen any impurities trapped in the pores.

Step 4: Rinse off the clay mask with lukewarm water, making sure to remove all traces of both products from your skin.

Step 5: Moisturize. After skin gritting, it’s important to moisturize your skin to replenish and keep it hydrated.

Why do people do it?

Mostly, it all comes down to aesthetics. In reality, you can’t shrink the actual size of your pores; however, unclogging them can help them appear smaller visually.

In other words, most people practice skin gritting to minimize the appearance of their pores by ridding them of grime and impurities. Some say they experience the sebaceous filaments and build-up leaving the skin physically, resembling small “grits”. However, whether this is simply residue of the product used, dead skin cells that have loosened, or actual build-up is, honestly, hard to tell. But with that said, we do understand why it can bring satisfaction seeing the small particles leave your skin.

Should I do it?

What you’re really asking is whether the effects of skin gritting are true or not – and the answer is that it's quite hard to determine completely.

However, using an exfoliating facial mask, such as our Deep Cleansing Mask, generally helps unclog pores and lift away dead skin cells to reveal a brighter, fresher complexion. In Deep Cleansing Mask, this is mostly thanks to the ingredient combo consisting of salicylic acid (BHA), glycolic acid, and activated bamboo charcoal, which helps absorb and draw out toxins while decongesting clogged pores and sloughing off dead skin cells.

So, whether you opt out of the massaging/gritting ritual or you're in to try it, applying an exfoliating mask is never a bad idea if your goal is to cleanse your pores.

If you do consider trying skin gritting yourself, we’d like to share some precautions that are worth noting before heading into it. First of all, keep your skin type in mind when choosing what product to use. Especially sensitive and breakout-prone skin types can experience irritation when not using the right type of products. Always make sure the ingredients are gentle on the skin and avoid harsh scrubs and sulphates, if your skin is prone to reaction.

If you want our best  tips on how to perfect your exfoliation rituals, head to our blogpost; Exfoliation guide: The what, when & why’s.


  • Sharkey, L. (2019) “Everything You Need to Know About Skin Gritting”, medically reviewed by Cobb, C.,