When you hear of someone shedding skin, what comes to mind is a slimy, slithery reptile, emerging from old, dried up skin. But did you know that as humans, we also shed? No, you’re not going to turn into your dog! Although the ensuing dryness and roughness can make you feel like a snake, it’s nothing some good, natural exfoliation can’t manage!
Why is Exfoliation necessary?
Human skin is a living creature in its own right, and keeps renewing itself by shedding dead skin cells and making way for new ones. But this shedding doesn’t happen the way animals shed their fur, most of the skin cells stay back, sticking to the surface of skin and eventually blocking our pores, which in turn leads to a host of problems.
Un-exfoliated skin has a distinct rough and dry texture, and no amount of slathering creams or lotions will work, simply because it won’t go beyond the layer of dead skin cells. For any skin care product to have its intended effect, it needs to penetrate the layers of the skin. Exfoliation also helps in clearing blemished or tanned skin as well as making skin soft and more receptive to hair removal.
For exfoliation, generally products with a slight abrasiveness are used, so that they can have a scrubbing effect on the dead skin cells that have built up over time. For this reason too, it is not advised to exfoliate every single day, but about once or twice a week, depending upon your skin type. Here are some ways to exfoliate your body naturally.
How to Exfoliate your Body Naturally – 5 Natural Scrubs to Exfoliate your Body
1. Banana Brown Sugar Scrub
This is a great moisturizing scrub which is also oil free. Mash up 3 overripe bananas and mix in 1 cup brown sugar and mix it well. Use a small spatula to apply the scrub all over.
2. Coffee Coconut Oil Sugar Scrub
Coconut has superb moisturizing properties, and coffee is known to help reduce cellulite by promoting collagen production in the skin. For this scrub, mix together ½ cup sugar, ½ cup coffee grounds and a cup of coconut oil. Use a spatula and apply all over the body.
3. Lemon Lavender Salt Scrub
This is a great scrub with an invigorating feel. Also, the lemon helps to brighten skin. Mix together 1 cup salt, zest of 1 lemon, 2 tsp lavender in a bowl. Pour over ½ cup of almond or olive oil and stir.
4. Vanilla Coconut Sugar Scrub
This one smells so good, you’ll have to keep yourself from eating it! Mix ½ a cup of coconut oil and brown sugar each along with ½ a tsp of vanilla. Use a spoon to apply all over the body.
5. Citrus Olive Oil Scrub
Just the smell of citrus feels very refreshing and along with the olive oil, it makes for a rejuvenating combo. Mix together 1 tsp of orange and lemon extracts each, along with a little zest with a cup of sugar and ½ a cup of olive oil.
In all the above scrubs, adding some sea salt will help increase its shelf life. Besides these, another natural and simple method of exfoliation includes brushing – both wet and dry. For wet exfoliation, you can use a brush with a generous dollop of shower gel in the shower. For dry exfoliation, use a dry brush outside the shower. For both, the technique is the same: start from the extremities and brush your way towards your heart in wide circular motions.
Follow up your exfoliation with a good nourishing body lotion. Remember that these methods are for body exfoliation; they are not suitable for facial skin. The skin on your face is thinner than the rest of the body and thus more prone to damage. With body scrubs, avoid the delicate skin on the neck and breasts. Similarly, avoid areas with any kind of cuts, bruises, lesions or swelling. Remember that exfoliation is not cleansing, so this is not an alternative to bathing and staying clean!