How to Properly Exfoliate Your Skin

How to Properly Exfoliate Your Skin

When you exfoliate your skin, you more effectively get rid of the dead skin cells than you can with a sponge or washcloth. Brushing away the dead skin cells leaves your skin softer, smoother and less clogged, leading to fewer wrinkles, moister skin and a healthier appearance over time. However, you should be able to notice a glow even after the first time you've exfoliated. Just be aware that some skin types are more sensitive to the process than others, and you shouldn't need to perform the process daily. One to two times per week is ideal.

Tools You'll Need

In order to exfoliate your skin, you'll need the following:

  • A loofah, exfoliating gloves or a body brush for body; exfoliating gloves or a facial brush for face
  • A pumice stone
  • An exfoliating cleanser for body and another for the face
  • A moisture-rich lotion or cream, particularly one with hydroxy acids, for the body and another for the face

Brush the Skin

Exfoliation is easiest during or right after a shower or bath. However, before you get your skin wet, you should prep your skin for exfoliation by rubbing the loofah, exfoliating gloves or body brush across the dry skin on your body, beginning with your feet and moving upwards. Likewise, run the facial brush or exfoliating gloves across the dry skin on your face. This will remove the dry, dead skin cells that are already loose.

Wet the Skin

The next step for exfoliation is getting the skin wet and washing away makeup, sunscreen, perfumes, creams and lotions. You should exfoliate your body skin in the shower (to make it easier to rinse once you're done), but you may perform facial skin exfoliation after washing your face at a sink.

Pumice the Bottom of Your Feet

Use the pumice stone on the soles of your feet to soften tough patches of skin and calluses. Gently work the stone in circular motions. Do not press too hard.

Exfoliating the Skin

When exfoliating, avoid skin with wounds, irritations or sunburn. Apply the exfoliating cleanser to your loofah, gloves or brush and rub the skin in circular motions, beginning with your feet and working up. Be gentle around sensitive areas of your skin, such as the bikini line.

Do not use the loofah or brush made for the body on your face, which requires a gentler brush or scrub. Likewise, choose a different exfoliating cleanser for your face, which should be more gently formulated so as not to cause skin irritations on the face. Be careful to avoid the area around the eyes and lips when exfoliating the face. After you've finished exfoliating, your skin may be tender. This is normal. However, you should not be bleeding or overly red. If you are, be careful not to repeat the amount of pressure you gave your skin in the future and treat the areas with antibiotic ointment.

Proper Rinsing

Rinse your skin of the cleanser with warm water, followed by cold water. The cold water should be fairly cold, but not so cold as to make you feel overly uncomfortable. This will help close your pores. Keep a towel on hand so you can quickly warm up.

Apply Lotion or Cream

Your skin will be tender and dry after you exfoliate, so it's important that you replenish lost moisture by applying moisturizer liberally. The moisturizer you use on your face should be differently formulated for your individual skin type.