Exfoliating from Head to Toe: A Step-by-step Guide

full body exfoliation at home

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Exfoliating is a good way of keeping your skin healthy and fresh. It refers to the process of sloughing off dead skin cells, oil buildup, dirt and residue from the surface so that fresh, young skin shines through. It’s not just something you do for your face – exfoliating other parts of your body can be extremely beneficial. Exfoliation helps promote blood circulation and aids in cell renewal.

However, not all exfoliants and exfoliators are made equal. Certain areas require more specialized care than others. Below is our ultimate head-to-toe guide to exfoliation and the different types of exfoliators you should use for each body part.

Scalp

Exfoliating can do a world of good for those who have dry, itchy scalp or those who have been suffering from dandruff. Reduce the flakes and refresh your scalp with products that contain Epsom salts or salicylic acids. Alternatively, you can also use clarifying shampoo, which can help remove sebum deposits and dirt. Exfoliating the scalp helps clear the hair follicle and shaft from waxy buildup, leaving you with a head that feels much lighter.

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Face

Whether you choose to go with physical or chemical exfoliants, integrating exfoliation into your routine is key to maintaining a flawless complexion. Not only does exfoliating keep your skin renewed, it also helps you make the most out of the rest of your skincare products by prepping your skin to absorb active ingredients better.

Make sure that you take your skin type into consideration before choosing an exfoliant for your face. Those with oily skin may want to opt for products that control sebum production and reduce shine, while those suffering from breakouts may want to seek skin-friendly acids to deep-cleanse pores. Meanwhile, those with dry skin may want to limit exfoliation to days when they feel they look a bit duller than usual. It’s best for them to go with gentle physical exfoliants that slough off the surface layer to reveal clean, fresh skin beneath.

Lips

If you want your favorite liquid lipstick to stay on, you need to make a habit of exfoliating and hydrating your lips. Exfoliating gets rid of the surface layer of your lips that may be chapped or peeling. It also reveals your natural lip color by removing darkened, dead cells and encouraging blood flow. You can use a gentle sugar scrub. You can also simply rub the surface with a toothbrush with soft bristles and some petroleum jelly. Then, pack on the moisture with your favorite moisturizing lip balm or lip essence. You can also apply a lip mask before you go to bed and wipe off the residue in the morning when you wake up.

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Hands

All the anti-aging products in the world won’t make a difference if someone can tell the number of years you’ve lived based on the way your hands look and feel. Exfoliating your hands is a simple step you can incorporate into your shower routine, and you can do it while applying the same scrub you use for your body. Keeping a hand scrub or loofah in your shower is also an option. Afterwards, treat your palms and fingers with a moisturizing lotion that contains SPF to protect it from harmful UV rays.

The rest of the body

Nothing beats the feeling of having soft, smooth skin all over. Soaping down on the regular just won’t cut it; if you want baby-soft texture, exfoliate while taking a shower. The skin on your body is not as delicate or as thin as your facial skin, so you have a myriad of options: scrubs made with fresh fruit, coffee, or brown sugar will all work well and leave you smelling downright delicious. Keep in mind that certain areas of the body will need some extra care: your elbows and knees are prone to drying and therefore would benefit the most from an extended pampering.

Feet

As the part of your body that takes the majority of the beating, your feet deserve extra attention and a bit of pampering. Give yourself a foot spa and slough off dry, peeling skin using warm water and your favorite body scrub. You can also opt to use a pumice stone or a similar exfoliation tool to keep rough spots at bay and keep your feet soft.

For best results, it’s recommended to exfoliate your feet at least 3 to 4 times a week after letting them soak for a while in a warm water Epsom salt solution. For a more extreme solution, check out a variety of foot peeling masks. These disposable sock-like masks are filled with a chemical solution that loosens the surface of the skin on your feet – also known as the part that takes the most damage. This allows the skin to peel off naturally, revealing the softer skin underneath.

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