Readily noticing dull or flaky skin on the face is an in immediate indicator that an exfoliation treatment may be necessary. Because most people examine the skin on their face more often then the skin that covers their body, keeping up with facial exfoliation--the process of removing layered dead skin cells--is much easier than knowing when and how often to exfoliate the skin on the body.
Knowing When to Exfoliate
The skin on the face and the body differ in some ways, but they exhibit similar signs when the need to exfoliate arises. Clogged pores, often signified by breakouts, may occur as a result of layers of dead skin cells that have failed to fall off on their own. Rough patches on the skin also occur as a result of dead skin cells remaining stuck to the body if they are unaided by a loofah, textured sponge, brush, or scrub product. If bath and body products suddenly lose their effectiveness, an underlying need for exfoliation may be the culprit.
How Often Should We Exfoliate?
The best practice for soft, smooth, glowing skin, is to avoid waiting until the body is showing signs that it requires an exfoliation treatment. Exfoliating the skin two to three times a week is enough for most people. Moreover, regular exfoliation can be done at home and does not require a spa visit. Start by soaking in a warm bath to open the pores to allow deep cleaning and to loosen dead skin. Then lather bar soap onto a textured sponge, loofah, bath mitt, or washcloth. Using a circular motion, rub the lather onto the body while applying light pressure to the skin. In some cases, compounded dead skin may roll off the body in small flake. After exfoliating the entire body, follow up with a moisturizing cleanser if desired. For the purpose of exfoliating, bar soap works better for allowing the body to shed dead skin than shower gels as gel products have a stickier texture. People who prefer shower gels may use their favorite gel product as usual after exfoliating with bar soap.
Spa Treatments vs. Exfoliating at Home
Exfoliation treatments many spas offer are generally like turbo-powered home sessions. Spas use a variety of high-quality ingredients, which may include some chemicals, depending on the service. A great advantage of going to the spa is having the technician apply the treatment or perform the scrub while the customer relaxes. In many cases, spa exfoliants are too intense to be used multiple times a week at home. Therefore, it is best to limit spa treatments that remove dead skin to no more than once a week, though most people who exfoliate at home can stand to receive a professional exfoliation treatment much less frequently.
Prevention is Better Than Cure
Using a gentle method to exfoliate the skin every few days at home is the best approach. Following a regular schedule will prevent dead skin from building up and clogging pores. Allowing the skin to “breath” freely will eliminate the need for other skin treatments to remedy the effects of dull, tired skin. As always, choose natural, chemical-free products to incorporate into a regular exfoliation routine.