Exfoliation DIY: Get Smooth Skin Instantly
Spring is here, and summer is around the corner. Strappy shirts and short shorts are coming out of the closet, but is your skin ready? Did you know that exfoliated skin always looks the best? Yep, it glows, has a dewy youthful luster, and it's soooo soft to the touch. I'm not just talking about the rough elbows or knees; I'm talking about all your skin. Especially your forearms, shoulders, and lower leg skin, all of which go on public display when the weather warms up. Be proud of how your skin looks, get rid of the dry-looking flakes, and old, crepey texture when you exfoliate and hydrate it. It's so easy to do and the results are almost instant! How does exfoliation work to make your skin look so much better? Exfoliation removes the dull, dead cells that build up on the outermost portion of your skin. This is where the dead cells on the top are loose and flaky; they look dry, and they don't reflect light well. When you exfoliate, you're removing these outer cells and getting down to a tighter layer of cells. They reflect light better, have a more dewy character, are softer, and are just plain prettier. They also form a better base for an even application of self-tanner. The easiest way to exfoliate is with a rough shower cloth or sponge and your normal foaming soap or skin cleanser. This is physical exfoliation because you are physically removing the cells. My favorite product to physically exfoliate skin is the Japanese Salux Cloth, which has just the right texture for the perfect exfoliation. I love it when it's used with the Glytone Body Wash in the kit below because the body wash has just the right amount of foaming for exfoliation. You could also use a gritty body scrub, but some work better than others since some actually make little scratches in the skin. Again, I prefer the Salux Cloth. After exfoliating, you always want to moisturize your skin and this has to happen pronto! Yep, before combing your hair, talking to your partner, or doing anything else, you need to slap that moisturizer on to lock in the water from bathing. Did you know that the softest, dewiest, smoothest skin happens when you combine the two ways to exfoliate - physical and chemical exfoliation? Yep, and it's easy! To do this, use the shower cloth and a foaming skin cleanser in the shower to physically exfoliate; then, apply a moisturizer with high levels of exfoliating AHA (alpha hydroxy acid) pronto when you towel dry. It's really that easy - and what it can do for your skin is almost magic! My favorite AHA body moisturizer is Glytone Body Lotion. I've used it for almost 20 years. You can alternatively use AmLactin which is available over the counter in retail pharmacies. These strong AHA moisturizers can be used as little as twice a week, alternated with your favorite moisturizer, but be sure to moisturize at least your arms, lower legs, and shoulders every day. If you do this, your skin will look wonderful. In the exam room, I can always tell when my patients are on the moisturizing "band wagon" and when they have fallen off. My job as their skin wellness "cheerleader" is to nudge them back on the wagon. Spring is the perfect time for that, so I'm nudging. Got a crusty foot problem that needs the same exfoliation TLC? I've got that all figured out because we "need" to wear good looking sandals when the weather warms up. (My patients will tell you about my little cute shoe "issue.") My Rough Foot Skin Kit will whip your (our) feet into sandal-ready/public-display shape ASAP. Be proud of your feet this year. Do you have what you need to spring clean those dead cells? If not, stock up, those shorts and sandals have your name on them! I've got turnkey kits that have everything you need because I'm an exfoliation skin geek. My patients and I have tested these over the years and have pretty much created these by putting our heads and experience together. I found the Glytone, a patient who lives part time in Hawaii found the Salux Cloth, and another who gives pedicures found the foot files and stone. My nurse Hattie created the foot care directions. It takes a village, and I'm lucky to live in one with such lovely people who are fun to work with and have such great ideas. Remember, exfoliated skin is theoretically more vulnerable to sun damage, so don't forget to sun protect during the daytime! Click here to see the sunscreens and hats that I use in my dermatology practice.