Exfoliating the skin is a regimen that many women tend to overlook—not realizing its importance when it comes to removing dead skin cells, which in turn leaves the skin smoother and more radiant. A little trivia about exfoliating—it was the ancient Egyptians who first started this practice, and in the middle era people used wine as a kind of exfoliant!
Exfoliating resolves many skin issues aside from removing dry skin cells on the surface. It helps with blemished skin—especially when some of the products we use on our face tend to be too harsh. It’s also a good idea to exfoliate after a skin breakout, to remove the dark marks that get left behind. With clogged pores, the more you remove dry skin cells on the surface, the less oil will stay trapped—which then decreases the blackheads and whiteheads in the area. Hyperpigmentation is another skin care problem, particularly for aging women. These are the brown spots that appear during pregnancy, hormonal changes, because of genetics, or as the skin ages. Exfoliating helps break up the pigmented cells to allow these brown spots to fade.
There are two types of exfoliating—a chemical exfoliant which you apply, leave on the skin, and let it do its work, and a physical exfoliant wherein you have to do the work using facial brushes, sponges, facial scrubs, etc. A combination of both will give your skin the best results. For normal skin, it’s best to exfoliate twice a week but for women with sensitive skin, once a week is enough.
Don’t forget to exfoliate even the body! You can do this using an exfoliating cleanser, a loofah, body brush or exfoliating gloves, a pumice stone, and body lotion. Before showering, use the loofah, body brush or exfoliating glove to brush off loose skin and prepare it for the exfoliating process. Use the pumice stone on your feet to eliminate rough spots and callouses. Apply the exfoliating cleanser on your loofah, brush or glove and begin scrubbing your body in a circular motion. Rinse off everything with warm water, followed by a cold spash. After showering and drying the body off with a towel, apply lotion.
Remember that exfoliating can cause the skin to dry, so too much of it is definitely bad. Always keep the skin hydrated using moisturizers and body lotion that suits you.