The upper layer of the skin is made of dead, dry skin cells that are replaced with a new layer of cells every two to four weeks. As one gets older, skin gets dryer and dull, because it takes a longer time for the old cells to slough off. Furthermore, when this layer of cells is not removed, skin pores can become clogged, and acne and blackheads may erupt.
To enhance removal of the outermost layer of dead skin cells, exfoliation may be done. This skin care method rejuvenates the skin by exposing a younger layer of cells after the outer dead cells are removed. Learning how to exfoliate skin is one of the basic things one needs to achieve a youthful glow.
What Are the Benefits of Exfoliation?
Skin exfoliation has numerous benefits, making it one of the preferred methods performed by cosmetic experts and recommended by dermatologists. These benefits include the following:
- Exfoliating dead skin cells promotes the process of skin renewal, thereby keeping the skin healthy and fresh.
- Skin exfoliation removes dirt and stops buildup from skin, thus providing the skin adequate amounts of oxygen.
- The exfoliation process improves the blood circulation, which provides skin cells life and energy.
- It removes dirt, opens clogged pores, and prevents eruption of blackheads, making the skin clean and smooth.
- By removing dull skin layers, exfoliation reduces the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines, which can make one look younger.
- Exfoliated skin bears an even tone and reduces skin discoloration.
- The overall skin texture is improved, making one look more youthful and healthy.
How to Exfoliate Skin
Here are some ways you can perform skin exfoliation:
Method 1: Using a Loofah
- Before a shower, use a loofah (a sponge derived from a dried fruit of a plant) to brush your dry skin. This helps to remove loose skin cells and prepare it for exfoliating.
- Go into the shower to wet your body. Avoid exfoliating your skin when you have any open cuts, wounds, or sunburn.
- Remove rough spots or hard skin on the feet using a pumice stone. For extremely rough skin, soak the feet in warm water with a cup of milk for about half an hour prior to your shower.
- Apply exfoliating cleanser on your loofah. Scrub your body using circular motions, from the bottoms of the feet and up the rest of your body. Do not scrub the bikini area too hard because this area is quite sensitive. For hard-to-reach places like the back, use a long-handled body brush. For your face, especially around the eyes, use a product with a gentle formulation. And do not forget to scrub your hands.
- Rinse with lukewarm water, followed by cold water. Use a shower gel to help soften your skin.
- After the shower, apply a moisturizing body lotion containing alpha (AHA) or beta hydroxy acids, which promote removal of dead skin cells.
- Use a body moisturizer daily to keep your skin hydrated, since exfoliation can strip away natural oils.
Method 2: Using Baking Soda
Mix one teaspoon baking soda with some water to make a paste.Moisten your face with water and then apply the paste using the fingertips. Avoid the area around the eyes. Gently scrub your face using circular motions, for a few seconds, covering small areas at a time. Exfoliate areas with blackheads and whiteheads in the T-zone taking care not to over scrub, which can harm the skin. Rinse off with water, making sure to remove the baking soda completely. Pat your face dry then moisturize with a facial skin products.
Method 3：Using a Fruit Mask
To exfoliate the skin using natural products, mash a cup of various fruits (pineapples, kiwi, banana, peach, etc). These fruits are excellent sources of alpha hydroxy acids which help break bonds between dead skin cells. To the mixture, add some honey, oatmeal, and yogurt. Spread a thin layer of this mixture over the skin and let it stay for fifteen minutes. This will form a dry mask, so sprinkle some water over it, and rub it lightly using your fingers. Do this for 30 seconds, using circular motions. Wash off and pat the skin dry.
Method 4: Using Rice, Peppermint Oil and Lemon Juice
For exfoliating oily skin, grind a quarter cup of rice to make a fine powder. Mix with the ground rice with peppermint oil, making sure that the rice does not coagulate. Then add juice from half a lemon. Apply this mixture using circular motions on the face. Rinse off with lukewarm water.
Method 5: Using Orange Essential Oil, Oatmeal and Lemon Juice
Make a body exfoliant using orange essential oil, which has a toning effect on the skin. Mix two tablespoons of bran, two tablespoons of ground oatmeal, one teaspoon of lemon juice and five drops of orange essential oil. Let the mixture stand for a couple of hours prior to use. Apply to your body using circular motions then rinse well. Use a moisturizer after exfoliation.
Method 6: Using White Sugar and Olive Oil
This scrub can be used for the entire body and face. Make a paste using two tablespoons of olive oil and white sugar. Rub this paste using circular motions on the body then rinse well. This cheap exfoliating scrub can make the skin supple within a few minutes.
Method 7: Using Salt and Almond Oil
The best exfoliants are salt scrubs, but they should not be used on the face. Combine half a cup of salt or sea salt, half a cup of almond oil and a few drops of essential oil. Apply this mixture over the body. Avoid using over a wound or open cut.
Method 8: Using Cucumber and Avocado
Mash half an avocado until smooth. Cut about two-inch length of a cucumber, removing the skin and chopping into small pieces. Add the mashed avocado, one tablespoon of honey and one tablespoon of white sugar to the cucumber. While mixing, add some drops of olive oil until the consistency of the mixture smoothens into a pasty consistency. Exfoliate your body using the paste and leave on the skin for 10-15 minutes. Rinse off with warm water. It might be a little difficult to remove the paste, but avoid using soap. Wash thoroughly with either warm or cold water, but not with hot water. Pat your skin dry with towel. You may apply a skin toner or antiseptic to close your pores and a moisturizer to retain skin moisture.
Tips on How to Exfoliate Skin
Here are more tips for proper skin exfoliation:
- If your skin is oily, exfoliate frequently. However, if your skin is more on the dry side, exfoliate less frequently.
- You can do mild exfoliation once or twice a week and more intense exfoliation once or twice a month.
- Very frequent scrubbing and exfoliation can damage the skin.
- Apply masks or peels after exfoliating for best results.
- Use a facial scrub for the face and body scrubs for the body.
- Rub your skin gently as you scrub and avoid harsh rubbing, which can lead to skin redness and irritation.
These exfoliation tips will help you achieve healthy, glowing skin without damaging even sensitive skin. Learn how to exfoliate skin effectively and pamper yourself now.