Skin exfoliation is the active process of removing dead skin cells from the body. Our body sheds almost one million skin cells everyday, making room for fresh skin. Our body does this for several reasons: To eliminate external pollutants from the skin (remember your epidermis, or top level of skin is your largest organ, and your first defense against your environment), to adjust to climate, and to shed bacteria and fungus. While our body is remarkable in its ability to self-preserve and restore, sometimes it needs a little help, and that’s where exfoliation comes in.
On average, you should exfoliate your face and body 2-3 times per week, but this is largely dependent on the person. Someone with sensitive skin may need to exfoliate less, whereas an active person who sweats a lot may need to exfoliate more. Remember to use facial exfoliants made specifically for the face, as these products are usually more sensitive.
You should always exfoliate clean skin, which means you should follow-up with exfoliation in the shower after you’ve washed with soap. When exfoliating, you should do so in small, circular motions, after you have washed and while you’re in the bath or shower. We recommend using scrubs in the shower instead of the bath. Most scrubs are either sugar or salt based, and sometimes combined, which could become irritating to the skin if soaking in it. Certain salt, such as Epsom salt, is made for soaking (but that’s because it’s not really salt, it’s a mineral compound of magnesium and sulfate).
After you exfoliate, it’s important to follow-up with moisturizer, balm, or body butter to ensure your skin is absorbing fresh moisture. In time, this process will produce naturally soft, supple skin. Many products, such as our Salt it Off Shea and Face the Day have moisturizers built into the scrub, so you don’t even need to do anything more after you get out of the shower!
You should definitely not exfoliate any irritated, rashed, sunburnt, or broken skin. This will only aggravate the ailment instead of aid it. Instead, wait until your skin has healed.
When you should exfoliate:
- Exfoliating before shaving helps to create a softer, smoother, and closer shave.
- Exfoliating before applying sunscreen helps the skin to best absorb the sunscreen.
- Exfoliating before applying sunless tanners allows for better absorption and a more even “tan.”
- Exfoliate gently once your skin has started peeling. Take extra caution with this. You never want to exfoliate raw or sore skin.
- Exfoliate your hands before giving yourself a manicure and your feet before giving yourself a pedicure to help naturally eliminate overgrown cuticles and produce smoother nail beds.
- Exfoliate after working out or sweating to help your body eliminate the extra skin cells shed during this time.
- Exfoliate extra dry spots, such as your elbows, heels, and knees.
Feel free to use your hands to spread scrub, or you can get a scrub brush, or shower gloves, it’s really all a matter of personal preference. A special tip for super-glowing skin and for people who love to exfoliate – drink more water. Water helps your body perform its main functions, such as the shedding of skin; you can read more about that here.
Do you have any questions about skin exfoliation? Feel free to comment below or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, and we’ll answer your questions right away!