R.I.P. Dead Skin Cells
Exfoliating is an important skin care routine that not only keeps your skin healthy, but can make your skin more elastic, and help you to look younger.
Exfoliating is beneficial to both men and women, even if you're not concerned about how young you look, because exfoliation cleans dried skin, and keeps your skin healthy.
Cell turnover, or the natural growth of the cells in your skin allows you to heal, keeps skin looking young, and keeps your skin healthy, but over time, new skin cells will push old, dead cells to the surface, and they can build up to create a layer over your face. Exfoliating 1-3 times per week (depending on whether you have dry or oily skin) is a great way to prevent this buildup and improve the health of your skin.
Use the Right Care and Products
Choosing the right products is essential to skin health, proper exfoliation, and skin care. For example, you may use a Loofah, but these natural sponges collect bacteria as soon as they get wet. Unless you can dry them out for two weeks, they won't fully dry in between use, which means you may be rubbing bacteria into your skin. If you're going to use an exfoliating aid to prepare for your body scrub, try using pumice stone or an exfoliating glove, and then washing it and completely drying it in between uses so you don't give yourself acne.
The same goes for back brushes and sponges. Make sure they are completely dried before using them. For exfoliators, you'll want to choose a natural product without any chemicals. Exfoliants with AHA's, or chemical acids, can irritate your skin, make you more sensitive to sunlight, and cause redness and blotches. Natural ingredients like pumice stone, salt, and sugar make great, healthy alternatives to harmful chemicals and microbeads, which can damage your skin and the environment. For the best results, look for products with fruit, natural oils, and moisturizers, to prevent skin irritation.
Start with Your Feet
This is especially important if your job requires that you stand on your feet. Standing up for long periods of time builds calluses, which are not only unattractive; they can build up into large, deforming lumps, which can actually hurt your feet. Ladies like to keep their feet smooth, and can spend a bit more time here with a pumice stone or callus removing file before exfoliating. Apply the exfoliating scrub in circles, following the natural contours of your feet.
Exfoliate Before You Shave
Did you know that exfoliating can help you get a closer shave? More importantly, it can help remove oils from the skin, and allows you to get closer to the roots, so your hairs take longer to grow back. Both men and women can use a moisturizing exfoliator instead of a shaving cream. Apply your exfoliator normally to scrub your skin, rinse your razor, and shave as normal, rinsing the blade between each stroke. You'll get a closer shave, and your skin will be incredibly smooth afterwards. Remember to apply aftershave or lotion to your skin afterward, just like you would with a normal shave.
Use the Right Exfoliating Method
The biggest mistakes you can make when exfoliating is scrubbing too hard. You want to gently rub the exfoliator in circles into your skin, not scrubbing your skin off! Doing so will cause redness, and could make sensitive skin hurt. Use the following steps to get the best, smoothly polished skin, without redness or soreness.
- Step into a warm (not too hot) shower and get wet.
- Use your normal body wash or soap first, or use an exfoliator with soap or a cleaning solution.
- Use a clean wash cloth to scrub your skin. Be gentle.
- Use a small amount of exfoliator and start on your feet, rubbing the exfoliating solution in circles on the soles of your feet. Work your way up, paying special attention to your knees, hip bones, your hands, and your elbows, where more dead skin builds-up.
- Be gentle, and use a wash cloth, or glove if you want, but not a rough one.
- Rise off with warm water, again, not hot.
If you have very oily skin, you can exfoliate up to three times per week. If you have normal or dry skin, consider once or twice per week, and moisturize your skin every day.
Taking care of your skin in between exfoliation is important for maintaining healthy skin. If you're using an exfoliator without a built in moisturizer, you'll want to moisturize immediately afterwards. If it has a built in moisturizer, you can decide if you want to add additional moisturizer based on your skin. If you have oily skin, steer clear, if you have normal skin, it's up to you, and if you have dry skin, more moisturizer is always better. If you use a firming or anti-wrinkle cream, your skin will absorb it better following exfoliation.
Exfoliating your skin is a great way to keep your skin healthy and looking young, and prevent dead skin cells from building up anywhere on your body. If you want to get the best results, use a quality exfoliator, make sure that your bath products dry in between use, and remember that moisturizing is important.
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