The arrival of late fall and winter often brings with it the onset of skin “blahs.” Colder temperatures and reduced humidity throughout much of the country causes our skin - head to toe - to lose moisture at a faster rate, leaving it looking dull and feeling uncomfortable. But have no fear, there is something we can do throughout the season to keep our skin as soft and supple now as it is in the summer: exfoliate. Read on to learn how to exfoliate your body.
Body Exfoliation Benefits
There are four primary reasons why we highly suggest a regular body exfoliation routine, especially in drier months.
- Benefit #1: By removing built-up layers of dead skin cells (keratin), body exfoliation leaves skin feeling softer and more comfortable. After a single exfoliation session, you will notice an undeniable improvement in skin texture. If you’ve been plagued by dry skin, you’ll typically find your skin feels less itchy.
- Benefit #2: Your skin will reclaim its glow. When dead cells build up, your skin appears dull and ashy. By removing it, skin appears renewed, with more even tone.
- Benefit #3: Skin function is improved. In response to exfoliation, which thins the skin’s keratin layer, the dermis layer of the skin thickens. This is beneficial for the skin’s overall health, as the dermis is where important skin functions occur. Exfoliation also clears pores, resulting in fewer breakouts on the body.
- Benefit #4: Skin care products can more easily penetrate the skin. After exfoliating, you’ll find that products like body lotion feel more effective. This is because the products no longer sit on top of hardened layers of keratin and are able to reach layers of healthy skin cells.
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Physical vs. Chemical Exfoliation
As is the case with facial exfoliation, there are two types of body exfoliation: physical exfoliation and chemical exfoliation. Physical exfoliation involves, as the name suggests, a physical process of manually moving an exfoliating tool or agent along the skin to remove thickened layers of keratin (hardened dead skin cells). Chemical exfoliation uses an acid, such as glycolic acid, to effectively dissolve these layers. While chemical exfoliation is preferred for the face due to the efficiency, accuracy and gentleness with which it works, it is rarely cost-effective for use on the body due to the amount of product that is needed. Regardless, for especially dry areas, such as elbows, knees and even feet, use of a properly formulated chemical exfoliant, like Lexli AloeGlyC, a glycolic acid exfoliator, is suggested.
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Methods of Physical Exfoliation for Body
There are several methods of physical exfoliation that are effective in removing dead skin cells from the body:
- Body Scrubs
One of the main things that body scrubs have going for them is their ease of use. It takes just a few minutes at the end of a shower to massage a body scrub onto the skin, leaving it feeling softer and more moisturized. Keep in mind, however, that it’s important to be careful with the type of body scrub that is used. Avoid products with harsh exfoliating agents that may cause microscopic tears and damage to skin tissue. Instead, use salt or sugar scrubs that dissolve as they are massaged onto the skin.
- Dry Brushing
Dry brushing has gotten a lot of attention over the past few years as celebrities and influencers have touted it as part of their beauty secrets. The process requires the use of a stiff bristled brush that is moved along the skin in long strokes on the limbs and in circular motions on the trunk. In addition to lightly exfoliating and leaving you feel invigorated, dry brushing is purported to assistant with lymphatic drainage.
- Korean Scrubbing Mitts
A favorite among Lexli staffers, Korean scrubbing mitts are rayon mittens with a rough texture. After a shower or soaking in a bath, the mitts are rubbed along the skin in a circular motion, lifting dry skin. Alternatively, a loofah or shower brush can be used. While this is an effective method of physical body exfoliation, some individuals find that spending too much time in the shower or a bath robs the skin of its natural oils, leading to increased dryness.
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Post-Exfoliation Skin Care
After exfoliating it is important to provide your skin with the care it needs to hold onto essential skin moisture. Utilize a body lotion formulated with a proper balance of humectants, occlusives and emollients to ensure that skin is hydrated, protected from moisture loss and encouraged to soften even further. Lexli Hand & Body Lotion foots the bill!
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