How to Exfoliate Skin

Five Methods:Body ExfoliationFacial Exfoliation for Sensitive SkinFacial Exfoliation for Normal SkinFacial Exfoliation for Oily SkinMedical Exfoliation Methods

Exfoliation is the cosmetic practice of removing dead skin cells from the epidermis, the top layer of the skin. Your skin can shed 30,000 to 40,000 dead cells per minute naturally; however, many people need exfoliation products to help reduce acne and get smooth skin. Exfoliation practices differ for the body and the face. Find out how to exfoliate skin.

Method 1
Body Exfoliation

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    Buy a natural bristled brush. If you want to exfoliate outside of the shower, you can use circular motions with a long-handled, natural bristled brush.
    • This brush is available in the cosmetics section of most box stores, like Target and Walmart, as well as in natural food stores.
    • Start with your legs and move slowly up your body. Always brush in a circular motion in a small area before moving onto the next area. Work up toward your chest, then brush your back and arms.
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    Buy a loofah or exfoliating glove from a drugstore. These products are made with natural sponge and help to exfoliate the skin in the shower.
    • These products are not suggested for use on the face.
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    Buy an exfoliation scrub that contains beads, pits, sugar, salt or another natural exfoliating substance. It should say "body scrub" or "cleansing scrub."
    • Allow the shower to run over your skin for a few minutes, if you are using an exfoliating scrub or a loofah. Choose warm, not hot, water. Water that is too hot will dry the skin.
    • Rub the loofah or the scrub over your moist skin in a circular motion. Rinse well. Perform this exfoliation process every 3 to 7 days, depending upon your skin's sensitivity.

Method 2
Facial Exfoliation for Sensitive Skin

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    Find a gentle, every-day cleanser that does not irritate your skin. Sensitive skin does not respond well to scrubs or acidic cleansers.
    • People with sensitive skin should try the product on 1 small area of the face and use it only if it does not produce irritation.
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    Wet your skin with warm water.
    • Place a soft terry cloth washcloth under a warm tap. Squeeze the washcloth and place it on your face for 1 to 2 minutes. Warm water will open the pores, making it easier to exfoliate.
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    Squeeze a small amount of cleanser on the surface of the washcloth. Rub the soap on the middle portion of the cloth.
    • Depending upon the cleanser, this may or may not produce a lather.
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    Rub the washcloth on your face in circular motions. Start at the nose, move to the forehead and continue around the rest of your face.
    • Use a gentle touch. Exfoliation does not require hard scrubbing.
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    Rinse your face with warm water. Pat it dry.
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    Apply a moisturizing cream immediately after exfoliation.
    • This process may produce some redness, which will go away within a few hours. People who are prone to redness should exfoliate at night, giving their skin time to calm while they sleep.
    • If you have extremely dry skin, apply a thin coat of moisturizing oil 5 minutes prior to exfoliation.

Method 3
Facial Exfoliation for Normal Skin

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    Buy a mild facial scrub. Use it on the skin at night every 7 days.
    • Some dermatologists caution against scrubs that use pits or seeds for the exfoliating agent. They recommend jojoba beads or sugar.
    • Apply the scrub to your face in a similar way as you would exfoliate your body. However, you should use a more gentle touch and smaller circular motions.
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    Consider investing in a skin care brush. These oscillating brushes are available at cosmetics counters and some cosmetic sections in chain stores.
    • Use the brush every 7 days with a gentle cleansing soap. Read directions carefully before using, and use the brush infrequently if it causes redness.
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    Buy a glycolic mask. A glycolic mask can exfoliate skin with mild acids, such as alpha-hydroxy acid and beta-hydroxy acid. Apply every 7 days according to package directions.
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    Use a moisturizer after any exfoliation to reduce future dead skin cells, redness and drying.

Method 4
Facial Exfoliation for Oily Skin

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    Use a facial scrub or skin care brush daily, at night. Oily skin can usually handle a gentle exfoliation every day.
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    Remove excess oil with glycolic pads. These gentle acid pads are available in drugstores. They help to remove acid and exfoliate with acids, such as salicylic acid (beta-hydroxy acid).
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    Apply a moisturizer and sunscreen after using glycolic pads. These acids produce sun sensitivity.

Method 5
Medical Exfoliation Methods

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    Make an appointment with a dermatologist if you have severe acne or problems with dead cell build up. The doctor can perform several treatments to remove skin cells.
    • Your doctor may use microdermabrasion, which uses a mechanical device to remove skins cells. These may include salt crystals or wire brushes.
    • Your doctor may also suggest chemical peels. These peels use stronger acids that are useful when treating acne. They are not for use with all skin types.

Things You'll Need

  • Loofah
  • Body scrub
  • Natural bristled brush
  • Shower
  • Washcloth
  • Mild cleanser
  • Moisturizing oil
  • Cleansing brush
  • Facial scrub
  • Glycolic mask
  • Glycolic pads
  • Sunscreen
  • Dermatologist
  • Microdermabrasion
  • Chemical peels

Article Info

Categories: Personal Care and Style