Skin not only has a life cycle, but it goes through quite a lot on a day-to-day basis, so it’s essential to take good care of it. Whether we’re talking about your face or your body, exfoliation is a necessary process that helps you and enhances your skincare routine. So just why should you exfoliate the body and what is an exfoliating body scrub?
Our skin is made up of several layers, and the outermost layer is exposed to the elements, rubs against clothing, and generally bears the brunt of our life. It naturally comes to the end of its life, and will eventually fall off, but it’s so subtle that we don’t really notice. The newer fresh layers are exposed, and the life cycle begins again. When we use a body scrub, we help the process and work away the dead skin cells by scrubbing them away.
Body scrubs can be made of several different things, but generally, it’s a combination of something coarse like sugar or salt and a base of something oilier in order to create the effect we’re looking for. There are also human-made materials like microbeads that can also act as an exfoliant. So, whether you make your own at home or purchase something exfoliating body scrubs are actually really useful.
Dirt and Pollution
Of course, we are also subject to various airborne particles of pollution and other dirt, and if not removed from the skin, these can cause irritation, dulling of the skin, and even rashes. Sometimes, just showering doesn’t actually remove all of these correctly, which is why something a little more substantial like an exfoliant is needed.
When you exfoliate the skin, you can also soften any rough or dry patches, the rubbing effect helps with the circulation, and it also ensures that potential ingrowing hairs are freed. Any bumps caused by a razor are smooth. So, it’s actually quite a necessary process and can easily be incorporated into a beauty routine as you only need to do it once or twice a week.
What is Best?
Picking an exfoliant is a pretty personal choice. Sugar offers a gentler source of exfoliation as it is less abrasive than those that contain salt. Because sugar is glycolic acid, it has the ability to help dead skin breakdown and repair expose the smoother surface underneath. Sugar has the benefit of being able to help with rehydration and moisturising of the skin, so if you have particularly dry or dehydrated skin type, then you might want to consider something with a sugar base.
If you’re going to make your own at home, you can just add some sugar to your favourite body wash. As mentioned, salt is a little more abrasive, and if you are looking to create your own, there is nothing better than pink Himalayan salt as this is good for the skin. It contains naturally occurring trace minerals that have the side effect of offering a natural purification for the skin. This means that toxins and congestion are drawn out of the pores leaving the skin in a much healthier state.
Salt is also good at helping promote better circulation. Of course, if you like the sound of the benefits of both sugar and salt, you can combine them. There are plenty of exfoliant products for sale that have both ingredients, or again you can make your own at home depending on your time and resources.
How Do You Use a Body Scrub?
Once you have decided on the product you are going to use, aim for twice a week to ensure that your skin remains in the best condition possible. It is easy to incorporate body scrubbing into a shower or bath. You should allow the water to run for a while or sit in the water for a while so that your skin becomes softer. Remove the area for exfoliation from the water and using the scrub create circular motions from the outside in towards the heart.
There is no need to scrub particularly vigorously, you’re not looking too red, and the skin just gently cleanse it. You can then rinse it well, and once you get out of the shower or bath, apply a moisturising lotion before you are fully dry to seal in the effects of your exfoliation treatment.
Other Times to Exfoliate
When you decide it is time to get your body summer-ready and want to apply fake tan you should definitely be doing the body scrub before you do. This will ensure that the coverage of the tan is more even. Generally, the darker patches we are all prone to getting on knees and elbows is down to the fact the skin is often rougher on these areas so by exfoliating first you stand a much better chance of getting the evenest coverage possible.
You may have to work a little hard on these areas. Of course, if you are going to apply fake tan straight after you can skip the moisturising stage as often tanning products are combined with lotion to ensure they are easy to use. Another good time to exfoliate is if you are headed to the sauna or steam room as the process ensures your pores are open and clean allowing any other toxins to escape so you can get the maximum benefit possible from your steam room experience.Last modified: January 27, 2021