Sometimes we have to shed dead weight to make progress. This principle that applies to our lives is also true of our skin. Dead skin cells typically fall off on their own, but as people age, the dead cells become “stickier” and do not shed on their own as easily. Fortunately, with a little manual help, we can maintain fresh, clean, glowing skin regardless. There are multiple exfoliation tools and products available in the skincare market. Choosing a product is largely a matter of skin type and personal preference.
Mitts and Pads
Exfoliating mitts and pads have a textured surface that rubs away layers of dead skin. Mitts and pads are generally used in the bath or shower after wetting the skin and ca be used in conjunction with soaps and body cleansers. Exfoliating mitts and pads can be purchased in the beauty section at any store and are available in a variety of textures. People who have sensitive skin should opt for a softer texture while those who can appreciate more intense scrubbing may wish to try a korean washcloth, which has a much rougher texture.
Textured sponges work well for people who are new to exfoliating as well as those who have sensitive skin. Natural sponges tend to work best for removing dead skin cells. Because natural sponges are technically sea animals, people who wish to avoid animal products may prefer using vegan Konjac sponges that are made from plant-based materials. Although a sponge may feel coarse when dry, wetting the sponge soften its surface while still providing enough texture to remove dead skin cells.
Liquid Scrub Products
A variety of liquid scrub products are available in the form of a paste that may utilize sugar, salt, microbeads, and even nut shell and seed fragments to scrub the skin. The products are usually packaged in jars and are sold in bath and body stores, online, and at spas. Scrubs can even be purchased in the health and beauty section of a grocery store, drug store, or other general retail outlet that carries bath products. When choosing a liquid scrub, stick to products that have 100 percent natural ingredients and are free of chemicals such as parabens and sulfates.
One of the first and most immediately noticeable benefits of dry brushing is smoother, exfoliated skin. When choosing a dry brush, it is best to use one with natural bristles. Brushing can be done daily prior to showering. Starting at the feet, brush upward toward the middle of the body using long, smooth strokes. Repeat on the arms and upper body, brushing toward the center. It is important to be gentle when dry brushing. The skin may be slightly pink afterward, but should never be red or sore.
With exception of dry brushing, exfoliation should be followed up by ensuring the skin is adequately soothed and moisturized. For best results, implement exfoliation into a regular skincare routine that consists of also using natural cleansers and moisturizers. Most people require body exfoliation no more than two to three times each week.