With winter and the dry, unforgiving air that comes with it, it’s a great time to learn about the importance of exfoliation. And even more important, how to add exfoliation to your beauty routine. You don’t need fancy products or a salon to exfoliate properly, you just need some know-how. So here goes.
The Benefits of Exfoliation
Skin exfoliation is simply the removal of dead skin cells on the skin’s surface in order to bring younger, healthier skin cells front and center. The skin is often exfoliated during facials, microdermabrasion, and dry brushing. Just like cleansing, exfoliation should play an important role in your skincare routine. Benefits of exfoliation include:
- Skin rejuvenation
- Improve skin texture by bringing young skin cells to the surface
- Reduces the signs of aging
- Detoxifies the body
- Reduces hyperpigmentation
- Helps moisturizers penetrate deeper
How to Add Exfoliation to Your Skincare Routine
Use a gentle exfoliation product on your face once per week. Make sure not to over exfoliate your skin, which can cause facial redness and irritation. If you’re adding exfoliation to your facial routine, add it in as your third step. Start by cleansing, then add in a toner, and then exfoliate. After you exfoliate, moisturize or apply a facial serum or facial oil.
If you’re exfoliating the skin on the rest of your body, add an exfoliating scrub to your showering routine. After you’ve lathered up and rinsed off, use a sponge or shower brush to apply exfoliating scrub from top to bottom.
What About Dry Brushing?
Dry brushing is another form of exfoliation that you can do every day. It’s much gentler because it utilizes just a dry brush, rather than an exfoliation product, but it’s still very effective at skin rejuvenation. Other benefits include:
- Stimulates lymphatic drainage in the body
- Detoxifies the body
- Increases circulation
- Removes dry skin
- Reduces stress
- Energizes the skin’s surface
With so many benefits, why not give dry brushing a try? First off, purchase a brush made with natural, rather than synthetic, bristles. Each morning or evening before you get in the shower, take a few minutes to go through the process. Starting at the ankles, brush in long strokes, toward the heart. Move in a circular motion at the joints. Do the same thing at the arms, paying special attention at the armpits, where the lymph drains. Brush in a circular motion around the stomach.
The Best Exfoliation Products
Choose exfoliation products that are made with natural ingredients like this exfoliation scrub from Beauty By Earth ($18) and this facial wash by Christina Moss ($21). This kelp and coffee facial cleanser by NodicaLux ($6) is also worth a try. In terms of body exfoliants, try this Arabica Coffee Scrub by Eva Naturals ($14) or this Baebody Coconut Milk Scrub with Dead Sea Salt ($15)
The Best DIY Exfoliation Products
If you’re looking to save money or you just want to know exactly what’s in the products that you’re using, why not make them yourself?
Coffee Almond Scrub
Coffee rejuvenates your skin while brown sugar gently removes dead skin cells. You can also use white sugar as an exfoliant.
3 Tbsp. coffee grounds
1 Tbsp. almond oil (you can substitute olive or coconut oil here)
1 Tbsp. brown sugar
Mix all dry ingredients, then add oil. Based on the kind of scrub consistency you want, add more or less brown sugar.
Apply gently, massaging into the skin. Use long strokes on the limbs and circular motions around the joints. Once you’ve worked it into the skin, use a warm washcloth to remove it. Follow with a moisturizer.
Recipe: Don’t Waste the Crumbs
Baking Soda and Honey Mask
Baking soda is an inexpensive, natural exfoliant that combined with honey brightens the skin and makes it look vibrant in the winter time.
3 tsp. baking soda
1 Tbsp. honey
1. Combine the honey and baking soda to make a paste.
2. Gently apply the mask all over your face. Massage in a circular motion, being careful around the eyes.
3. Let stand for 20 minutes and allow it to dry.
4. Use a washcloth with warm water to remove the mask. Let the skin rest for a few minutes and then moisturize.
Do you exfoliate? If so, what are your favorite products? Do you ever make your own exfoliation products? We want to know! Drop us a line via Twitter @EcoSalon.