What Is Skin Gritting? Benefits, Precautions, And More

Minimize breakouts and cleanse every pore with the benefits of this skincare trend.

Reviewed by Bianca Lorena Saldes, Registered Cosmetic Nurse Bianca Lorena Saldes Bianca Lorena SaldesRegistered Cosmetic Nurse facebook_iconlinkedin_iconinsta_icon
Written by , BA, MSc Eshna Das BA, MSc linkedin_icon Experience: 3 years
Edited by , MA (English Literature) Ramona Sinha MA (English Literature) linkedin_icon Experience: 11 years
Fact-checked by , MA (English Literature) Swathi E MA (English Literature) linkedin_icon Experience: 3 years
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If you are always searching for the latest skin care trends, you might have heard of skin gritting. This deep pore cleansing method has taken the beauty world by storm and has quickly found its way into beauty routines. This method involves multiple steps to dislodge dirt from your skin pores and minimize breakouts. Keep reading to understand the benefits of skin gritting, learn the step-by-step process, and precautions to take.

What Is Skin Gritting?

Popularized by Skincare Addiction Community on Reddit in 2015, skin gritting is a method of removing blackheads from your pores.

Gritting combines a number of techniques, such as oil cleansing, applying clay masks, and facial massaging, to help dislodge the grits buried deep in your skin. Grits form due to your pores being clogged with dirt, dead skin, or leftover makeup. Once these clogged pores come in contact with air, they oxidize and become blackheads. People with oily skin tend to have larger pores which fill up with sebum. This can make your skin more prone to developing blackheads, acne, or blemishes. Other than removing blackheads, it gives your skin a shinier and smoother appearance. While people are still not sure if this method works, let us look at the possible benefits gritting may offer.

Benefits Of Skin Gritting

With the internet still confused about whether to try it or not, fans of this method claim that gritting may benefit you in the following ways:

  • It gives your skin a soft texture.
  • It dislodges grits from your pores.
  • It gives you a clear complexion.
  • It removes dead cells from your skin.
  • It stimulates the blood circulation in your skin.

Stephanie Bailey, a YouTuber, shares her experience of skin gritting in the video. Despite high hopes, the results are underwhelming; the blackheads didn’t “slide out” as claimed. However, the combination of oil and charcoal left her skin feeling smoother and clearer. She says, “My skin feels like is a lot more rejuvenated from the oil going in after the clay mask so I feel like it really opened up my pores and then you know putting the oil and just really made it feel lovely it feels incredibly smooth and healthy right now which is a good thing but at the end of the day it didn’t do what it said it did I feel like I’m on like Mythbusters right now (i).

With the benefits of gritting listed above, let’s read now about the different methods of gritting.

How To Do Skin Gritting

These are the three methods popularly used to get rid of skin grits. They are:

1. The Oil-clay-oil Method

This method involves two products— pure carrier oil and clay mask. It can be done in three steps.

  1. The first step involves using an oil-based cleanser to clear and soften your pores. Studies suggest that healthy participants who used bath oil for 28 days showed significant improvement in barrier skin function and a reduction in symptoms of dry skin (1).
  1. Clay masks have been popularly used by consumers for removing blackheads, acne, and spots for centuries (2). After you clear your face with an oil cleanser, apply a clay mask of your choice. Let it set, rinse off and pat dry with a towel. The clay mask helps get rid of excess oil and dead cells from your pores.
  1. Once you have removed the mask and your skin has dried, massage a few drops of facial oil on your skin for 2-3 minutes. At this point, you will notice blackheads and any remaining impurities starting to come out.

2. The Oil-acid-clay-oil Method

This method involves adding one extra step to your gritting routine— exfoliation. Consumers who use this method suggest incorporating an exfoliating acid solution, preferably one with beta hydroxy acids (BHAs) into the routine. BHAs, especially salicylic acid, have been used as an exfoliating agent which stimulates the exfoliation of the skin cells. This results in the removal of dead cells from your skin and promotes cell renewal (3), (4).

  1. Use an oil cleanser to clean and soften your pores.
  2. Apply a BHA product on your skin and leave it for 20 minutes.
  3. Without washing off the BHA, apply a clay mask on top of it. Let it set, rinse it off and pat dry with a towel.
  4. Once your skin has dried, massage your face with oil for 2-3 minutes and see the grits come out of your skin.
protip_icon Pro Tip
For clay masks, look for ones with exfoliating beads that help remove blackheads. And use a silicone scrubber to remove the mask easily.

3. The Oil-sleep-oil Method

If you are someone with little time on your hands or sensitive skin, this routine is the one for you. This method requires just two things— oil and sleep.

  1. Finish your night skincare routine.
  2. Put on a coat of oil and leave it overnight. The oil softens your pores and brings out all the impurities of your skin.
  3. In the morning, wake up and massage your face with oil to remove the remaining grime.
  4. Gently remove the oil using a cloth with warm water.

You can choose and try any of the above methods according to your convenience and your skin type. In the next section, we look at some of the precautions to consider before you start skin gritting.

Precautions To Consider Before Doing Skin Gritting

You must keep these tips in mind before you go for gritting.

  • Rub your face gently. Rubbing it aggressively may lead to skin irritation.
  • Make sure to remove the mask or exfoliating agent completely, otherwise, it can give you dry skin or cause redness and discomfort.

Wondering if you should follow his procedure every day? Let’s find out

How Often Can You Do It

It is highly recommended that you only do skin gritting only once a week. More than that can result in dry skin. Using oil or an exfoliating agent may result in skin irritation or inflammation. If you feel any discomfort or see your skin drying too often, stop it altogether. How do you know what is coming out from your skin are grits and not anything else? Let’s look into the next section to figure that out.

How To Examine Skin Gritting

According to Reddit users, grits will have a black or grey top with a yellow or white bottom. If you see that both ends are black, then it is not a grit. Followers of this method claim that chances are that it is dirt. Another thing to keep in mind is that not all grits will be big in shape. Some can be small, thin, and waxy in texture. This means if you try to flatten them and they don’t, then chances are they aren’t grits. While skin gritting may have its benefits, there are a few risk factors that you need to keep in mind.

Are There Any Risk Factors?

These are a few risks you must keep in mind before you opt for gritting.

  • Rubbing your face aggressively could result in burst capillaries and micro-cuts.
  • If you have very sensitive skin, eczema, or any skin disease, using an exfoliating agent may cause inflammation. It is strongly advised that you consult your dermatologist before you go for it.
protip_icon Pro Tip
Pay attention while massaging your face! Too much pressure can result in broken capillaries and micro-cuts, from clay residue, that may lead to hyperpigmentation.

Skin gritting is a deep pore cleansing method that involves decongesting the pores by removing dirt, makeup, or dead skin. While there is no scientific evidence to support the efficacy of skin gritting, proponents of this method claim it removes dead skin from your skin, promotes blood circulation, and improves overall skin health. As per your skin needs, you can opt for the oil-clay-oil, oil-sleep-oil, or oil-acid-clay-oil methods. Remember to remove the exfoliating agent completely to prevent dry or red skin. If you have skin conditions like eczema or sensitive skin, consult your doctor before trying skin gritting.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you use coconut oil for Skin gritting?

No. Coconut oil can clog your pores more. It is ideal to use specially formulated oil cleansers made for this method (5).

Can skin gritting shrink pores?

No. While gritting can help get the dirt and grime out of your skin, it does not reduce the size of your pores.

Key Takeaways

  • Skin gritting is a deep pore cleansing method that helps to remove blackheads from the pores.
  • Gritting may soften and smoothen your skin and impart a healthy glow to it.
  • The oil-clay-oil, oil-acid-clay-oil, and oil-sleep-oil methods are used for skin gritting.
  • Do it only once a week, and do not rub your face aggressively as it could result in burst capillaries.

It is time to conquer blackheads! Here is a comprehensive tutorial and a step-by-step guide on skin gritting and achieving a clearer complexion. Click here to watch the video now!

Personal Experience: Source


Articles on StyleCraze are backed by verified information from peer-reviewed and academic research papers, reputed organizations, research institutions, and medical associations to ensure accuracy and relevance. Read our editorial policy to learn more.

  1. The effectiveness of using a bath oil to reduce signs of dry skin: A randomized controlled pragmatic study
  2. Treatment Modalities for Acne
  3. Hydroxy Acids the Most Widely Used Anti-aging Agents
  4. Salicylic acid as a peeling agent: a comprehensive review
  5. Comedogenicity of Oils
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Bianca Lorena Saldes
Bianca Lorena SaldesRegistered Cosmetic Nurse
Bianca Lorena Saldes is a Registered Cosmetic Nurse and Esthetic Educator with over five years of experience in the field. Her expertise lies in anti-aging treatments, and she aims to help individuals feel confident and look their best.

Read full bio of Bianca Lorena Saldes
Eshna Das
Eshna DasAssociate Editor
Eshna is an associate editor and a certified skin care coach. She has over three years of experience, a triple main bachelor’s degree in psychology, English, and journalism from Mount Carmel College, Bengaluru, and a master’s degree in psychology from Sampurna Montfort College, Bengaluru.

Read full bio of Eshna Das
Ramona is an editor at StyleCraze with 11 years of experience in writing and editing. She has authored over 200 articles on skin and hair care. She graduated from the University of Calcutta, West Bengal, and did her post-graduation from the University of Kalyani, West Bengal.

Read full bio of Ramona Sinha
Swathi E
Swathi ESenior Beauty & Lifestyle Writer
Swathi has a postgraduate degree in English literature from The English And Foreign Languages University, Hyderabad, and over three years of experience in writing on beauty, health, and lifestyle. She also has a diploma in English journalism from the Indian Institute of Mass Communication, Kottayam, and is a certified skincare coach.

Read full bio of Swathi E
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