When we are young skin cell turnover is fast. The dead skin is replaced by new one without any problems. However, as we grow older this turnover slows down. After a certain age the dead skin needs some help to get removed and allow for the new cells to take their proper place. This removal also helps all the rest of the skincare products to work more effectively.
Men exfoliate their skin almost daily.
Shaving does that for them. For the ladies it’s a bit more complicated. Remember that most of them go through great trouble with laser and other treatments to remove any possibility of hair growing on their face or their body. So, unless they visit a cosmetic salon frequently to get a professional exfoliation, which would probably cost them rather highly in time and money, they need to be given a similar solution to exfoliating their skin, similar to men’s shaving.
Let’s begin with the tools
Somehow a shaving foam (or cream) and a rather sharp razor blade will not cut it for the ladies. They should also get rid of their loofahs which are too abrasive and in most likelihood bacteria-infested. Three are the proper tools for exfoliation:
A dry brush
A basic washcloth
It all begins with a good scrub
Just by the sound of a dry brush, some people may become worried. How can it be used to exfoliate the skin? Let’s discuss how it’s done.
Apply some oil on the skin. Then take the dry brush and brush the entire body from the feet up in short and light strokes.
Get into the shower and put on your exfoliating gloves. Apply some salt or sugar scrub beginning at the feet again and working upwards. There are quite a few salt and / or sugar scrub recipes available online so that you can create them at home, for a fraction of the cost of buying commercially available products.
Afterwards, rinse the skin off. Do not use warm or hot water. Use lukewarm.
Get a salicylic acid wash and apply to the skin paying special attention to the heels, the knees and the elbows. Should there be a case of butt or back acne, make sure that they are well treated.
Dry your skin by patting and not rubbing and while it is still damp apply your moisturizer.
Elbow and feet specials
A little trick to use to better exfoliate the elbows begins with cutting the toes off a pair of thick socks. Rub some Crisco on the elbows, slip the socks over the arms and sleep for 8 hours (or stay inside without doing anything at all).
For the feet it is very useful to use a pumice stone after each shower to rub each foot for about a minute. Do not forget the parts around the toes and the entire heel. This will work a lot better than a grown-out pedicure.
Exfoliating the face
The skin in the face and neck is thinner than the rest of the body. It is not recommended to use the same scrubs for the face than you use for the rest of the body. And since you are treating the face almost daily with makeup and other cosmetics, it is advisable to exfoliate the skin once a week in order to create a better base for them to work upon.
As shown by the relevant research, the skin gets repaired and regenerated during the night, so the best time in the day to take away the dead skin cells is in the morning. Using a mild product that does not have any granules to tear the skin for no more than 30 seconds will be fine. Remember to rinse with lukewarm water. A microdermabrasion system for home use can be used should you have oily skin or large pores or you are prone to acne.
To save time you can mix the scrub with the face cleanser and treat the face all at once. And here is where you get to use the washcloth mentioned above. Warm it up a bit in the microwave, use some peppermint oil and treat the face and the top of the neck. Remember not to do this more than once a week.
If you have not exfoliated the skin for quite some time you can use stronger products like alpha hydroxy pads, glycolic acid and retinoids. This is a topic for a further discussion at another article. Let’s conclude this one by saying that removing the dead skin cells is important. Never mind that using cosmetics on dead skin is just ugly. It’s important because it will keep the skin healthy, wrinkle and fine line free for much longer. And that’s the point of the exercise.