Your body has (most) things figured out. Your skin naturally regenerates once a month and gets rid of dead skin cells. However, aging, sun exposure and disease can slow this process down. This is where exfoliation becomes a useful tool. A good exfoliant can be considered a hack of sorts, a quick way to remove dead skin and help your complexion.
The very moment you search online for exfoliants, you'll find dozens of pages and information. Although the American Academy of Dermatology defines exfoliation as "the process of removing dead skin cells from the outer layer of your skin" (1), the options you have to shed that dead skin are numerous - and complicated.
So, we've created a useful guide to understand what’s an exfoliation, what exfoliants are out there and how to use an exfoliant.
Manual or Physical Exfoliation
Physical exfoliation involves any type of abrasive substances to remove excess dead skin. Think of coffee, brown sugar or loofahs. The coarse texture of ground grains, mixed with enriching organic oils, are a great way to replenish your skin.
However, physical exfoliation is not recommended for every part of your body or for people with allergic or sensitive skin. Physical exfoliants made with coffee, salt, brown sugar or any large grains may irritate your face. They work incredibly well on your body, and can become helpful allies in achieving smooth skin.
When using physical exfoliants, you should definitely avoid large grains (such as nut shells) or any product containing microbeads. Although microbeads are not as jagged as other materials, these small pieces of plastic can't be broken down and pose a danger to our environment and water systems.
Adriá's Mango Tangerine Scrub is a gentle body scrub that will make your skin feel smooth and replenished after every use.
How Do You Use a Physical Exfoliant?
Body scrubs are physical exfoliants that mechanically slough away dead skin cells. This type of mechanical exfoliation not only smooths and polishes the skin but also draws out impurities. If you're curious to try out a body scrub, you may try out our Exfoliate Your Body Bundle.
It’s best to use a body scrub once a week to keep your skin soft and smooth from head to toe. Now, the frequency with which you exfoliate depends on your type of skin. Avoid it completely if your skin is too sensitive.
Here’s how to add one to your body care routine. First, use lukewarm water and allow it to run for 5 -10 minutes to soften the skin. This may be done in the shower. Pause running water and apply the scrub in circular motions; start at your feet and move upwards towards your heart to enhance circulation.
Maintain gentle pressure and try not to scrub too hard - this may irritate your skin. Rinse thoroughly and finish your shower. You may end your routine by applying your favorite body oil or lotion while your skin is still slightly damp.
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