If there is one thing (other than SPF protection) that you can do for your skin, to make to keep it looking younger, longer- I truly believe that it has to be- exfoliation. I am sure most of you know what exfoliation is all about (and I fully intend on writing a whole post dedicated to the benefits of exfoliating your skin), but for now, I will simply say that it is one of the easiest things you can do today to give your skin an instant and noticeable glow and refined texture.
Physical exfoliation is literally the process of taking an abrasive ingredient and rubbing it onto your skin in order to buff away the surface layer of skin to reveal younger, fresher skin (think about how your feet feel after a day of walking on sand at the beach). When you exfoliate, you will instantly notice how much softer and smoother your skin is- that’s why people often turn to it in the summer to give them awesome beach-worthy skin, but often neglect the whole process altogether in the winter, as we tend to curl up and hibernate in sweaters and pants. Well, I am here to put an end to all this neglect! Let this post inspire you to let this be your first fall/winter season dedicated to pampering your skin at least once a week, because there is nothing better than feeling comfortable in one’s own skin.
Although there are hundreds of different physical exfoliants on the market, some pricy, some cheap- I find that some of the best ones are those in my very own kitchen; they give awesome results, at a fraction of the price. Below are the two ingredients that are by no means glamorous, but that I believe keep your entire body, head to toe, looking soft and smooth, all year long.
The skin on your face is more delicate and sensitive than the skin on your body, so you want to always make sure that you are using a gentle exfoliant that isn’t too rough- and please, pretty please, repeat after me: I will never exfoliate with a product that is meant for my body. The ingredients in products meant for the body usually consist of much stronger abrasives which can literally make small cuts on your face- not pretty! That’s why Baking Soda is one of my favorite and most accessible ingredients to use. I may not like baking soda for the teeth as it rips off the enamel (as my previous post mentioned), but I love it for facial skin because of its super fine grained texture, so you won’t have to worry about damaging ultra-sensitive skin. It is probably one of the gentlest physical ingredients that you can use. Simply mix half a teaspoon of the powdery stuff into your daily cleanser, a couple times a week, and BAAMMM ! You have just amped up your standard cleanser into a super skin smoothing product.
Here are just a few of the benefits of adding baking soda into your cleanser, on a weekly basis:
- Helps to clear up minor acne (including blackheads!)
- Helps to reduce post acne marks
- Helps reduce fine lines
- Helps your other products to penetrate better into your skin, making them all more effective!
In order to properly exfoliate the body, I think its best to use a slightly more abrasive ingredient to really help clear up dead skin cells from the skin’s surface. My ingredient of choice is definitely one that is readily available- its simple, standard, table salt or fine sea salt. Salt is a little rougher in texture than baking soda, making it ideal for working on dry/rough elbows, knees etc. I like to mix 2 tbsp of salt with 1/2 cup of Extra Virgin Olive Oil (you really can use any oil you want) and then rub it all over from the neck down, in circular motions, really working on the rougher areas. This is a great treatment to do before any sort of self tanner or before you shave (whatever you do, don’t shave right before exfoliating or you will be left with extremely irritated skin). When you get out of the shower, just pat yourself dry- you probably won’t even need to moisturize. Just make sure you don’t slip in the tub!
Here are just a few of the benefits of adding a salt/olive oil exfoliation to your routine, on a weekly basis:
- Helps with body acne
- Helps moisturizer to sink into skin
- Helps self-tanner go on more evenly
- Helps to prevent dry skin
- Helps to prevent in-grown hairs
And there you have it! Glow girl, glow!