Magazine / Beauty / Body Care

How to Exfoliate Your Body Like A Pro

MD Alexandra Dorobantu
Dermatologist
On May 31st, 2021

Our body needs as much love and attention as our face. Are you dreaming of healthy, glowing skin and a long-lasting tan after your Amalfi vacation? Well, start exfoliating!

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The Body Glow-Up mini-series focuses on creating a routine to maintain healthy and radiant skin from your shoulders to your toes. For a basic face care routine, check out the Skinimalism mini-series to compliment your luminous body! The Body Glow-Up mini-series' episodes focus on the four steps of your routine: exfoliation, cleansing, moisturising, tools, and treatments.

Exfoliation is the process of removing dead skin cells from the top layer of the skin called the epidermis. It is an essential part of your skincare regime, regardless of skin type. Done correctly will improve blood circulation, fight body acne and hyperpigmentation, brighten and even skin texture. Hello, beautiful, radiant skin! 

There are two types of exfoliation: mechanical and chemical. Mechanical exfoliation involves manually removing dead skin cells using products with different granules or tools, such as a brush or sponge. 

A chemical exfoliant dissolves dead skin cells using gentle acids like alpha and beta hydroxy acids. Chemical exfoliants are perfect for people fighting oily or acne-prone skin because they work deep into the pores removing impurities and excess sebum.

Top Tips on How to Exfoliate

  • Exfoliating the skin can be drying. To keep your skin smooth and hydrated, apply moisturiser right after.

  • Your skin condition determines the frequency at which you should exfoliate. Be patient not to over-exfoliate since this will result in dry, irritated skin with red patches and inflammation.

  • When exfoliating, make sure you apply slight pressure and sense the gritty texture on your skin to extract the top layer of dead tissue.

  • Even though you are exfoliating, choose hydrating scrubs with ingredients like Manuka honey, sea salt or algae. 

  • If you fight body acne or folliculitis, exfoliate 2-3 times per week.

Mechanical Exfoliation

It's essential to be gentle with your skin when doing mechanical exfoliation. When in the shower, wash your skin with a hydrating cleanser. After that, with soft, circular motions, apply your favourite exfoliant. If you are using a brush, don't press it too hard on the skin. Exfoliate for 30 seconds before rinsing with lukewarm water. If the skin has bruises, open wounds, or is sunburned, skip exfoliation till complete recovery. Finish with a moisturiser.

Scrubs

A body scrub will leave your skin looking and feeling fantastic and improve its overall health through its drainage action. When dead skin cells accumulate on the skin's surface, they can clog pores and cause unwanted pimples. Using a body scrub, you will remove this layer of dead cells and decrease the frequency of body acne. Scrubs are good for keratosis pilaris, also known as strawberry skin.

Green Angel has one of the best body scrubs out there. I love how gentle but effective they are. All their products are made with organic ingredients, pure essential oils and seaweed that will help enhance the elasticity and smoothness of your skin. Use Green Angel body smoother around your cuticles too. It will gently exfoliate dead skin cells and give your nails a well-deserved touch-up.

Exfoliating Gloves/Mitts 

Exfoliating using mitts is a perfect way to exfoliate when using body scrubs. They have a rough surface that aids in removing dead skin cells while also improving blood circulation. It is easier to use an exfoliating glove than a brush when you are travelling or in a hurry as it is faster, and you can cover a bigger surface. They're good for the legs, shoulders, and arms.

Exfoliating brushes 

An exfoliating brush is a bristle brush used to scrape dead skin cells from the face and body. Some can be used on dry skin, and others with a cleanser in the shower.

You can find two types of body brushes: electric, usually made of silicone with low, gentle vibrations and dry brushes with soft bristles. Both exfoliate, massage, cleanse pores, boost blood circulation, and stimulate lymphatic drainage. The pulsations of an electric brush break up debris, dead skin cells, improve cellulitis, while the rotations brush them out, leaving the skin smooth and soft.

If you have sensitive skin, it is best to opt for a silicone brush rather than a dry brush with coarse bristles.  Electric brushes usually have different levels of softness and pulsation, so you might prefer it if you have irritation prone skin. Also, if you suffer from active body acne or eczema, you should avoid dry brushing as it worsens your condition.

Chemicals Exfoliation 

Chemical exfoliation entails the use of products containing acids. AHAs are a class of water-soluble acids that are commonly found in sugary fruits. These acids aid in removing dead skin cells from the skin's surface, allowing new skin cells to develop in their place. BHA penetrates deep into the pores and clears off extra sebum and impurities to unclog the pores and treat acne. The most known BHA is salicylic acid. Body cleansers with salicylic acid are an excellent option for afflictions such as body acne, hyperpigmentation, or keratosis pilaris.

Exfoliation is an essential part of any proper skincare regime. Regardless of the method used, it would be best not to exfoliate more than 2-3 times per week. If you suffer from any medical condition like eczema, psoriasis, or inflamed body acne, you should talk to your dermatologist first.

Stop exfoliating if your skin becomes swollen, inflamed, or irritated. Still, if this happens, follow with a soothing, hydrating moisturiser. Hydration after a body scrub support intense, long-lasting hydration and leaves your skin soft and supple. It is a result that you will see right away.

If a perfect holiday tan is your summer goal, then you should not be afraid of using a gentle, hydrating body scrub once a week. It will keep your skin glowing and uniformly coloured. When your skin feels and looks great, nothing can stop you! Next time we'll continue our body care series with the perfect methods to achieve the ultimate shower experience. Follow the #DHBodyGlowUp for products and recommendations and improve your body care routine for radiant and healthy skin.

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