Is Skin Exfoliation on the Body Recommended?
If you’re a skin care aficionado, you probably are already familiar with the importance of regular exfoliation. But what can exfoliation do for the rest of the body, not just the face? Here are some of the biggest reasons you might consider exfoliation and how to exfoliate properly so you help – not hurt – the skin.
Benefits of Exfoliating the Skin
Whether it be during your at-home daily skin care routine or during a facial you receive from a professional, there are countless benefits of exfoliating the skin on a regular basis. First, exfoliation effectively removes the surface level of skin, which usually consists of dead skin cells. When these skin cells mix with sweat, dirt, bacteria, and oil, they can clog pores, leading to acne breakouts.
Additionally, regular exfoliation can help reduce dark spots caused by the aging process or excess sun exposure. And removing the dead skin reveals fresh layers of skin underneath, promoting collagen production, which helps keep skin looking firmer and younger. With this increased collagen and cell turnover, scarring can diminish in appearance as well.
Plus, exfoliation helps even out skin tone, so if you find your skin looks dull, tired, or blotchy, this is a good route to take. Makeup will go on smoother and products will be able to penetrate more deeply and effectively without a layer of dead skin on the surface.
Types of Exfoliants
Manual exfoliants like microdermabrasion – which uses a scrub or mildly abrasive tool to slough off dead skin cells – are very popular and can be an effective means of exfoliation. There are also chemical exfoliants, which may work at a deeper level within the skin, depending on the depth of peel you receive. Chemical peels are often used to remove multiple layers of skin and work a bit more intensely on stubborn issues like advanced signs of aging or scarring.
Be careful not to choose a product that will damage the skin. Exfoliants that contain jagged or fragmented pieces like crushed up apricot pits can actually cause micro-tears in the skin. Not only can these be painful, they can cause the skin to look swollen and red and can potentially get infected. For at-home exfoliation, opt for products with smooth, spherical microbeads. Many companies make microbeads that are water-soluble and eco-friendly vs. using plastic materials.
How to Exfoliate Skin
For physical (or granular) exfoliation, consider getting a body scrub you can use in the shower once or twice a week. You can also look for bar soaps with exfoliating beads in them, or use an exfoliating tool like a loofah or textured glove.
If you’re interested in giving dry brushing a try – which can exfoliate the skin as well as moving lymph and increasing circulation – you can do that before your shower. Starting at your feet, move the dry brush up your body in small strokes, working on one area at a time. Always move in circular motions toward the heart, and be careful not to use too much pressure.
Finally, don’t overdo it. Exfoliation is one of those skin care techniques that is extremely beneficial when done regularly, but it can cause irritation if done too much. Keep an eye out for redness or painful exfoliation, especially if you have particularly sensitive skin, and ease off your routine if you notice these issues. Even for the most oily or acne-prone skin, exfoliating three times a week should be plenty.
Contact Louisiana Dermatology Associates
If you’re in Baton Rouge or the surrounding areas and want to learn more about exfoliation treatments or try a chemical peel, contact Louisiana Dermatology Associates today for an appointment with one of our board-certified specialists.