It’s safe to say that most people have made thoroughly washing their skin a daily priority. But what about exfoliating? Have you made that a priority as well? If you’ve neglected exfoliating in the past, it’s not too late to incorporate it into your skin-care regimen. In this guide, not only will you learn how to exfoliate your skin, you’ll also learn why it’s so important.
Benefits Of Exfoliating
So what exactly is exfoliation and what does it do for your skin? It’s actually the process of removing dead skin cells from the uppermost layer of skin. Over time, as your body is exposed to harsh weather, germs and bacteria, your skin becomes dry and starts to flake. Although you may not be able to see those tiny flakes, your skin will feel dry and look ashen. But when you exfoliate your skin, you remove that ashen layer of skin, revealing the new, healthy skin underneath. Here are some other benefits of exfoliating:
- It rejuvenates your skin – If you exfoliate on a regular basis, your skin will never have a dull moment. The process of skin renewal will quicken, leaving you with only bright and healthy skin. This will also help slow the onset of fine lines and wrinkles as well as skin discoloration.
- It prevents pimples from popping up – By removing the dead skin cells from your body, you prevent your pores from clogging and creating those pesky pimples.
- You can get rid of calluses – If you’re on your feet a lot, you probably deal with calluses on your feet all the time. Although they act as a cushion for your feet, they’re unsightly and feel rough. By exfoliating, you can get rid of these calluses and show off your feet in sandals. To learn more about proper foot care, read Foot Callus Treatment And Prevention.
What You Should Use
You may have already known about the benefits of exfoliating, but perhaps you just didn’t know what tools to use. There are different types of exfoliants on the market, and it can be tough to pick the right one if you don’t know what you’re looking for. First of all, you should know that there are two main types of exfoliants:
- Chemical – Chemical exfoliants are referred to as such because of the chemicals they contain. These chemicals, which include salicylic acid, lactic acid and glycolic acid, remove the dead skin cells from your skin by dissolving their connection to your new skin. They are typically found in facial and body cleansers.
- Physical – Physical exfoliants are what you may normally think of as an exfoliant such as a loofah sponge or a pumice stone. This can also refer to a body wash that contains exfoliating micro beads. Physical exfoliants work together (body wash and a loofah or body wash and a pumice stone) to remove dead skin cells through the use of friction. If you’ve never used body wash before, you might want to check out Body Wash Or Bar Soap: Which Is Better?
When it comes to the battle of physical exfoliants versus chemical exfoliants, you’ll probably need to use a combination of both to rid your body of its dead skin. For instance, you may want to use a body wash with exfoliating beads for your body, but a cleanser that contains salicylic acid for your face. As for choosing the best exfoliating tool, the choice is up to you. For areas that are much drier, such as callused feet or dry elbows, you may want to use a loofah sponge or a pumice stone. However, for more sensitive areas such as your face, you may want to use a washcloth. If you have sensitive skin in general, you should probably skip the loofah altogether and just use a washcloth.
How To Properly Exfoliate Your Skin
Now that you know what to use, it’s time to find out how to use it. Here are the steps for a proper exfoliation:
- Apply the cleanser to the washcloth or loofah sponge.
- Start scrubbing your skin gently in a circular motion. This will create a lather that will work its way into your skin.
- Once you’ve scrubbed your entire body, rinse the exfoliant off.
- Moisturize your skin.
To ensure that you get the most out of your exfoliation, use warm water to moisten your skin. Don’t use hot water as it will dry out and perhaps irritate your skin. Be sure to scrub your skin gently – if you scrub too hard, you can irritate your skin. Once you’ve exfoliated, you won’t have to do so for another week, unless you have oily skin or are prone to acne. In those cases, you may want to exfoliate on a daily basis.
Lastly, don’t forget to store your exfoliating tools properly. If you use a washcloth, toss it into the clothes hamper once you are finished with it. If you use a loofah sponge, squeeze it out thoroughly after you’ve exfoliated and hang it from your shower caddy to keep it away from germs and bacteria. Be sure to replace your loofah on a regular basis or wash it often with a vinegar solution. After all, you want to keep your skin problems limited to just a few dead skin cells.