Simply put, exfoliating helps to keep your skin silky soft and smooth by buffing away and removing dead skin cells. Your skin naturally sheds dead skin cells every 30 days or so. When this happens, new skin cells form the top layers of your skin. If those dead cells don’t shed, it can result in dull, dry and flaky patches. Exfoliating is the process of helping to speed up that process by removing dead skin cells from the surface of your skin. You can exfoliate your skin by using a purpose-made chemical or granular exfoliating product or an exfoliation tool such as a pumice stone, exfoliating shower puff or an electric cleansing/exfoliating brush. You can also exfoliate your skin by using homemade products.
What are the benefits of exfoliating your skin?
- Minimize Blemished Skin and Breakouts: If you have acne-prone or blemished skin, a good exfoliating routine could be just what you need. If you fall victim to break-outs, exfoliating can help unclog pores to minimize the formation of whiteheads and blackheads. If you suffer with acne or break-outs, you might think exfoliating isn’t for you. However, a gentle exfoliating regime can help breakdown bacteria and speed up the production of new skin cells. When exfoliating, take extra care not to scrub your face or body too hard and make sure you aren’t using a harsh exfoliant. Otherwise, you may find your skin becomes too dried out which can result in the production of excess sebum and so… the cycle of blemishes begins. Instead, opt for a gentle exfoliant, stick to the two-day a week routine and use light moisturizers to rehydrate your skin after exfoliating.
- Stimulate Blood Flow: Did you know exfoliating your skin increases blood circulation? The motion of exfoliating stimulates blood flow which in turn helps flush out toxins. Exfoliating your skin is one of the best ways to stimulate blood flow and lymph drainage. This improved blood circulation minimizes the appearance of cellulite, improves skin elasticity and will enhance your all over body glow and radiance.
- Improve Skin Hydration and Moisture Levels: If you’re guilty of neglecting to exfoliate your skin, it’s likely that your skin is also suffering from dehydration. As layers of dead skin cells build it, it can be harder for your skin to absorb the hydrating moisturizers you apply. By regularly exfoliating you will be able to buff away those dead skin cells to remove dry, flaky skin. Follow up by applying a moisturizer to the new skin cells to help improve moisture absorption and reap the benefits of healthy, hydrated skin.
Household items you can use to exfoliate your skin:
- Sugar: If you have sensitive skin or you’re looking for an effective exfoliant that’s gentle enough for your face, you’ll want to use something finer than salt, as it can be a little too abrasive. Sugar can also be used to exfoliate your body, especially if you tend to shave your legs and scrub at the same time. That’s a good time to choose sugar over salt to avoid the expected sting.
- Coffee: Coffee may be in the running as a favorite choice when exfoliating your body. It’s a good antioxidant that also promotes collagen formation, the building block of your skin. Ground coffee can treat cellulite as an exfoliant or be molded into cubes to battle stretch marks.
- Baking Soda: One of the most versatile items you probably already have in your home is baking soda. It can be used to lighten underarms, to make deodorant, in a bath soak, or to whiten your teeth. This easy cleanser recipe is great for all skin types. Mix a teaspoon of baking soda into your facial cleanser or make a paste of just baking soda and honey.
- Milk: The lactic acid in milk can quickly go to work to remove dead skin cells. To use on your face, pour a small amount onto your palm and massage into your skin. You can also combine whole milk with a whipped egg for dry skin or add aloe vera for sensitive skin. Yogurt masks are an excellent and relaxing way to exfoliate. Get head to toe milk benefits by adding 2–4 cups of plain, unsweetened yogurt to your bath water.