Customers often ask us what they can do for their problematic dry, itchy skin. Aside from the obvious response of “drink plenty of water, and use all natural lotions, soaps, and butters,” we also tell them of a little known (or thought of) process that works absolute wonders… Exfoliate. Often.
There are many different product you can use to exfoliate, from common things found in your pantry to accessories found in bath stores and online. To get you started we have included a DIY All Natural Body Sugar Scrub Recipe at the end of this post using ingredients most people have around the house so make sure to try it! Now read on on why you should exfoliate regularly (or skip to the 10 Benefits below):
How Our Outer Skin Works (WARNING - Nerd Alert!)
If we were paying attention in school, most of us learned at some point that the outer layer of skin we show to the world is called the Epidermis. What most of us don't know is that the top 10% of that epidermal layer is called the Stratum Corneum (say that 10 times fast), a 10-micron thick (0.0004 inch) section, composed of 15-20 layers of completely dead skin cells. Yes, I said dead.
Now. We naturally slough millions of these dead cells every single day which allow the newer cells underneath to take their place, and even though this sounds kind of gross it is necessary. Just think for a moment about the abuse we put our skin through. Sun damage, poor eating habits, medications, chemicals and carcinogens from pollution and unhealthy products - the list goes on and on. The Stratum Corneum helps protect the delicate, deeper layers of skin from dehydration, infection, and stress. So then, why should we exfoliate, you ask? Good question!
The Overall Benefits of Exfoliation (Nerd alert continued…)
The whole process of our Stratum Corneum sloughing through its full 15-20 layers normally takes about 30 days, but aging, medications/illnesses, pollutants, tanning/sun damage, seasonal changes, etc. can slow this process significantly. When the sloughing process is slowed, the dead skin layers build up, which not only dulls beautiful skin but can lead to all kinds of nasty or undesired problems. So without further ado, here are the benefits of exfoliating regularly.
The 10 Benefits of Exfoliation:
- Exfoliation brightens the complexion and improves skin smoothness, softness and texture: Removing a buildup of dead skin is always key for brighter looking skin, especially when the exfoliant is packed with skin loving nutrients and/or detoxifying clays.
- Exfoliation eliminates fine lines and keeps wrinkles in check: We tend to be more aware of this problem on our face, and yes, it needs exfoliation, too! Unlike the rest of the body’s skin which is tougher and can be exfoliated daily, facial skin is more delicate and benefits most from exfoliation done 1-2 times per week. This gives the facial skin more time to regenerate. NEVER exfoliate around the eyes as the skin is too fragile, and use a fine grain organic sugar-based product or ramie facial pad to simply “polish” the skin. You don’t have to get all abrasive to be effective.
- Exfoliation helps skin to absorb moisture and products better: As mentioned previously in the nerd section, when you get rid of dead skin buildup it allows your skin products and any moisture to penetrate the skin better. Moisture and nutrient absorption help you to maintain healthy, youthful-looking skin.
- Exfoliation detoxifies your body by stimulating the lymph system: This is especially true when dry brushing. What is dry brushing?? Glad you asked. Dry brushing is a fantastic daily routine where you use a body brush at stimulate and wake up your skin before showering or bathing. You start at your feet and brush upwards in long strokes towards the heart. You repeat this motion on your arms and torso, always brushing towards the heart. The resulting stimulated lymph system helps aid your body in properly discarding toxins and waste. The result is smoothness and better skin texture. And, it feels great!
- Exfoliation reduces the appearance of cellulite: Depending upon the products you use, a strong routine in exfoliation can help to smooth things out, thus reducing the appearance of problematic cellulite. Best results are often found with daily dry brushing followed by coffee or clay scrubs.
- Exfoliation helps you get a closer shave: This goes for men and women! Removing some dead skin before shaving helps the razor to get down further on the hair shaft providing a “better, closer shave.” This can be accomplished for men with a badger hair brush or women with a body scrub, loofah, or exfoliating soap. SIDE NOTE: ever wonder why men seem to age a bit more gracefully than women? Many believe it is because they shave so often which exfoliates their face.I am not promoting shaving your face, Ladies. Just exfoliating.
- Exfoliating keeps pores from clogging, thus reducing or eliminating acne and blackheads: Exfoliating acne-prone areas with gentle products can help to unclog pours without inflaming angry skin. It is important to look for skin care products that are not drying or abrasive as this can overstimulate acne prone areas and cause more lesions.
- Exfoliating stops itchiness: This may seem obvious, but removing excess layers of dead skin through exfoliation can go a long way to controlling infuriating itchiness as it lets moisture get to the healthier layers underneath. Make sure to choose a beneficial moisturize after exfoliating to lock in that moisture for longer benefits. Also remember to drink a lot of water throughout the day and lay off the caffeine!
- Exfoliation helps to even out skin tone: This one may surprise you, but when you exfoliate you are increasing circulation to all areas of the face or body which allows equal benefits such as nutrients and oxygen to be distributed. Exfoliation can even out the skin tone when all areas are being treated through gentle stimulation.
- Exfoliation helps makeup apply more evenly: When your face looks like the Sahara Desert, it is difficult for even the best makeup to make you look good. Exfoliating that face frequently makes for a healthier, smoother palette to put your makeup on. And, you won’t have to worry as much about dry patches and deep wrinkles!
So, there you have it. All the fantastic reasons to start exfoliating today. Make sure to check out all of the fantastic Exfoliation Products we offer to get you on your way! We have also included an easy DIY Body Sugar Scrub Recipe for you to try at home, using easy to find ingredients at your local grocery store. Enjoy!
Easy DIY All-Natural Hand, Foot & Body Scrub Recipe
This is a fun, nut-free recipe to make with a bunch of friends. You can each try different scent combinations and take a little of each home. Just remember to bring several containers!
1-1/2 c. Organic Sugar
6 T. Grapeseed Oil
6T. Olive Oil
3 drops Vitamin E (optional)
90 drops Total of favorite essential oils (2.5% concentration)
DIRECTIONS: Add first 3 ingredients together in a metal or ceramic bowl, using a plastic rubber scraper. Once thoroughly mixed, add Vitamin E and essential oil blend. Place in air tight container. To use, simply mix scrub, pinch out 1-2 tablespoons and gently scrub in a circular motion on desired area of exfoliation. Rinse to dissolve sugar and rub in remaining oils as lotion. Blot off any excess oil with a dry towel. Refrigerate after each use. Should be used withing 1 week to prevent spoilage.
Do you have a favorite scrub recipe to share? Please add it to the comments section!