Exfoliating is an important step in skin care. When we shower and wash our faces we we clean away dirt and grime, but we do not always get the layers of dead skin removed. By exfoliating you will remove the dead skin cells which will expose the healthier skin that is hiding beneath them. Exfoliating helps remove the dry skin of winter, but it is important to exfoliate all year round. Exfoliating buffs the skin and makes it smooth and shiny. Prefect for summertime too, when much of your skin is showing in swimsuits, tank tops and shorts.
Gloves and sponges
One of the most important tools in exfoliating are gloves or sponges that are made just to remove dead skin cells. They also make dry brushes that you can use when you want to exfoliate out of the shower. Exfoliating gloves are a pair of gloves that you put on your hands and use to clean your skin in a circular motion to remove dead skin. These gloves are made of a semi-rough material that is both gentle to your skin but does it’s job too. Just add your favorite wash and massage your skin, all over, in circular motions. You can also do this with the plastic sponges that they sell everywhere now. These sponges are made to remove dead skin cells.
A dry brush for sloughing of dead skin can be any brush with soft bristles. Use a hair brush or even a bath brush. For this type of exfoliating you need nothing but you, your skin and the brush. Again, you will want to massage in a circular pattern, these prevents scratching and abrasions of the skin. Dry exfoliating is perfect for any time your skin seems dry and dull but you just feel you do not need a shower, or do not have time for one. This is a good way to relieve itchy skin too, as you will be scratching the itch, gently, and you will be removing the dry skin that is making you itchy!
For manual exfoliating using your hands you can mix together special exfoliating scrubs (these are available pre-mixed in the store, but it is more pleasurable to make your own, and cheaper). These mixtures you will massage in, again, in a circular motion, then rinse them off with warm water. Be sure to rinse well. Exfoliating scrubs are best used after your other skin cleaning routines and can even be used for exfoliating the face. Following are some recipes for homemade exfoliating skin scrubs.
For a spicy and invigorating body polish that will refresh your skin while it removes the dead stuff you will need 2 tablespoons of brown sugar, 1 tablespoon of fine sugar, 4 tablespoons of honey, 2 teaspoons lemon juice, 1 teaspoon of ground ginger and a half teaspoon of ground cinnamon. Blend together and exfoliate. Honey is very healing and moisturizing. The granules of the sugars help to slough off the dead skin and the cinnamon and ginger help to invigorate the skin.
For a healing scrub that will ease the itch of super dry skin you can try an oat and cornmeal scrub. For this scrub you will mix a half cup oatmeal, a quarter cup cornmeal and 5 drops of lavender oil. The oatmeal and lavender essential oil are the healers. Oatmeal is very hydrating to the skin and helps to stop itch, just like lavender. The cornmeal gives the mixture a gritty texture to aid it in removing dead skin cells. The scent of the lavender essential oil is also very calming to the mind.
Scrub for acne prone skin
Another great exfoliating scrub is for those with acne prone skin, good for both teens and adults. This is also a wonderful scrub for those with sensitive skin. Mix a quarter cup oatmeal with one tablespoon of each of the following herbs, dried, lavender, thyme and rosemary. Add in about 5 drops of tea tree essential oil, which is used often in the treatment of acne conditions. This herbal scrub is gentle and cleansing and healing, all in one.
The Body Shop Body Care Manual, 2003Aromatherapy- A Complete Guide To The Healing Art by Kathi Keville and Mindy Green