If you aren’t exfoliating regularly, your skin’s potential is completely untapped. Exfoliating (the right way) is an absolutely essential part of maintaining glowy, beautiful skin. It’s important during winter, it’s important during summer, it’s just plain important. From your approach to your products, exfoliating is a game that everyone can play, and half the fun is figuring out and personalizing your own routine.
How much is TOO much?
Word to the wise, exfoliating has its limits. Scrubbing your skin too hard can cause irritation, scarring, and can totally derail your dewy, glowy summer skin. How often you exfoliate totally depends on what type of skin you have. If you have super-sensitive skin, stick to around twice a week. But, if you have oily skin that doesn’t irritate easily, you can have a go at it more often than that. If you’re new to the exfoliation game, test it out. Your skin will tell you when enough is enough, and erring on the side of under-doing it is a great approach in the beginning. For those of you who are veteran exfoliators, you know what to do.
What do I exfoliate WITH?
From coffee to sea salt, turmeric to baking soda, homemade to store-bought, the options are limitless. And, truly, what works for me isn’t necessarily going to work for you. I have oily skin and live in an almost-constantly frigid climate in Minnesota (save for summer, when our world is turned into a sunny, hot, humid ecosystem). If you live in LA, if you live in Texas, if you live in New York, your environment and your skin type are going to play a major part in what you choose to exfoliate with.
As someone with skin so sensitive I can barely wear perfume or store-bought lotions, I’ve got the all-natural product world in the palm of my hand. Not only do I think eco-friendly and all-natural products are better for our water systems, our bodies, and just way better in general, I also think companies moving toward all-natural products is awesome, and here are some of the BEST exfoliants and exfoliating tools I’ve found (and ACTUALLY used) that I think you need. Seriously, need.
Frank Body Scrub
Okay, if you have an Instagram account, you’ve seen someone toting a product like this. I bought Frank a few years ago when my skin started getting super irritated in the winter by my then-exfoliating body wash. The scrub is essentially coffee grounds and oils (from tea tree to coconut) and you can choose which combo they sell works best for your type of skin and will give your preferred results. It leaves your skin feeling silky smooth, and you can use it all over. Despite the fact that it makes your shower look like a coffee-explosion (it’s honestly very easy to clean, so don’t freak out) this is the BEST coffee scrub out there.
Artnaturals Himalayan Sea Salt Scrub
This sea salt scrub is glorious. I use it a few times a week, and a little goes a long way. It doesn’t leave a mess the way the coffee scrubs do, and it works great to exfoliate before you shave your legs (which you SHOULD be doing!). Himalayan sea salt is having a moment right now, and for good reason. You don’t need to feel bad about this all-natural scrub washing down your drains. It’s all good, girl.
Baking Soda + Lemon Juice
If you tend to lean the more budget-friendly, DIY way, you’re an exfoliator after my own heart. I’ve tried a MILLION homemade concoctions, and by far the best one I’ve ever used is baking soda and lemon juice. You can go make this right now, (because what lunatic doesn’t have both of those things on hand all the time?) by pouring some baking soda into a little bowl, followed by some lemon juice. Mix it together and scrub it on. Do this LIGHTLY at first, because it’s so much more effective than you think, and only 1-2 times a week regardless of your skin type. My skin GLOWS when I do this. Lemon juice naturally reduces redness and discoloration and the baking soda acts as an awesome DIY exfoliator.
I’ve owned exfoliating gloves as long as I can remember. These gloves from The Body Shop are exactly what I have, and they are amazing. Use them to buff and polish your skin in place of a loofa (do people seriously still own loofas?) while you lounge in the bath or in the shower. You can use them with body wash or pair them with a scrub for a little extra oomf. Bonus? They’re literally $5.
If you haven’t heard about dry brushing, that’s probably because it seems super weird. But, it’s exactly what it sounds like. You buy a brush, and literally brush yourself. At first it feels very strange, as if you’re treating yourself like a pony from your childhood. BUT, seriously, do it. Dry brushing is an awesome way to exfoliate that top layer of dead skin but can also boost circulation and reduce cellulite. Triple threat for $20? I was sold, too.
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The Good, the Bad, & the Ugly of Exfoliating Scrubs: Featured image courtesy of frankbody.com