Out with the old and in with the new. It’s a phrase we know well. While it’s typically reserved for jobs, relationships and spring cleaning, it also relates to our skin. Beyond hydrating, one of the most beneficial things you can do for your skin is exfoliate. That’s because as we age our body’s natural exfoliation slows down, meaning dead skin cells, clogged pores and the likelihood for an uneven complexion are more prevalent. Exfoliating gives you a natural glow, helps stimulate blood circulation and really, it breathes new life into your skin. Often you only hear about cleansing your face, but I’m here to tell you, you need to exfoliate everywhere.
Exfoliating all over helps make hydration and shaving much more effective, but that’s not all. Here’s why you should exfoliate each region and a few rules about frequency and ways to do.
Our lips are ultra sensitive, so be gentle. You can exfoliate to help plump your lips and exfoliate to help products go on smooth. Whatever your purpose, use a soft lip scrub every few days or rub your toothbrush over your lips after you’ve brushed. This summer when you’re wearing high shine products, you’ll be doing it the right way–no bleeding color or parched pout here.
I could go on forever about this one. You can dry brush your face 3 times a week, use a Konjac facial sponge without product or try an exfoliating cleanser (not recommended if you have sensitive skin) to brighten up your skin every day. A small round edge granule exfoliant will banish blackheads, help foundation look flawless when applied, and during summer months, allow you to go makeup-free with confidence without injuring your skin.
Unfortunately our bodies aren’t exempt from experiencing skin issues. If you work out a lot or sweat at night you might know the struggle. Luckily, with the proper body skin care routine and regular exfoliating you’re on your way to clear, smooth, swimsuit ready skin. With dead skin gone, your moisturizer has more chance to work. Don’t forget those pesky areas like mid-back, the sides of your behind and chest. Remember to only exfoliate every few days. Too frequent exfoliation–depending on your skin type–can cause irritation, redness and over-drying.
Speaking of being ready to rock a killer swimsuit, our legs need extra TLC. While exfoliating’s main goal is to get you nourished, healthy skin, roughing up your gams once or twice a week has two other major benefits. Dry brushing your legs is believed to help reduce cellulite thanks to increased blood flow from the exfoliation process, while pre-shave exfoliation (in a circular motion) makes for a closer shave and less ingrown hairs. It also helps razors last longer because they don’t dull from dead skin.
No matter how you manage your nether region, it’s good to do a light exfoliation along your bikini line to prevent irritation and ingrown hairs. If you shave, this will reduce the chance for razor burn (shutter!) and if you’re prepping for a wax, it’s vital. Because you don’t want to risk any chance for product irritation, stick with warm water and a natural sponge to get the job done.
Whether trying to clean them up for sandal season or nourish them during cold weather months, our feet need exfoliating to stay soft. Long days in heels or uncomfortable shoes without socks can harden your soles and leave your toes screaming for a pedicure. Try a DIY citrus scrub every other night on your heels and then all over when about to repolish your nails. This will make the skin softer and clean up edges around the nails, leaving you with a better polish job and less chance for hangnails and cuticle buildup.