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Hopefully your skin doesn’t look as dry as the parched and hardened land to the right, but sometimes my skin sure feels like it. I can see the cracks starting to develop on my hands right now that tell me it’s time to exfoliate and moisturize.
Most of the time, I use some of the salt and sugar scrubs that I make, but there is more than one way to scrub away your dry skin. Depending on how much time you have and how you feel, you should always use a few different methods for the best results. You don’t have to do them all in the same day. You can spread them out as you see fit.
What will exfoliating do? Scrubs remove that outer layer of dry, dead skin to reveal the healthy skin below. The scrubbing action also stimulates blood flow at the surface to produce a healthy skin tone. When the scrub is coupled with a moisturizing oil, it does double duty and moisturizes as well.
What cautions do I need to take? Be careful if you have sensitive skin, thin skin or rashes or other skin conditions. It is too easy to damage the skin. It may even make your skin look better, but down the road actually cause more problems. If you are seeing a dermatologist, follow his recommendations.
Method 1: Using an exfoliating “tool” like a loufa, body pouf or washcloth. Simply add soap or body wash and scrub lightly. Don’t press too hard the first time. You don’t want to rub your skin raw, just gently take off that layer of dry, dead skin on the top. Play with it a little to see what works for you. If you have very thin or sensitive skin, you will want to go very lightly or use a softer, less abrasive “tool” like a soft washcloth. First use what you have on hand. Some washcloths are too soft to do a good job, but they will still be better than nothing. And don’t limit yourself to only using these with body washes. They work great with handmade soaps as well.
Method 2: Use a scrub. I have talked before about making simple scrubs with olive oil and sugar or salt. These won’t feel as good (or smell as nice) as the commercial ones with specialty oils and fragrances, but they will work. To use these types of scrubs, moisten your skin and rub the scrub gently in circles. These have the added benefit of moisturizing and sometimes repairing the damaged skin depending on the ingredients. They will make your tub or shower slippery so use carefully and always rinse or clean so you don’t surprise the next person in the shower. I like to sprinkle baking soda on the shower floor for a quick easy clean-up.
Method 3: Buy an exfoliating soap or body wash. This is probably the fastest and easiest of the three but can produce mixed results. A lot depends on what has been added to the soap to help with the exfoliation. Coffee, poppyseeds and oatmeal can be a little too hard for some people while other people love them. I have also seen loufa, ground nuts and salts added to soap. Body washes may have jojoba beads, which also provide some added color to the wash.
I hope that you have fun trying these methods. Do you have a favorite that you use?