Using an exfoliant helps to remove dead skin cells, unclog pores and improve circulation to your skin. When done properly and as part of your normal skincare routine, exfoliation can help you achieve clear, healthy, younger-looking skin. While all exfoliants work by abrading the top layer of skin, their active ingredients can differ significantly. The Consumer Guide to Plastic Surgery recommends trying different products to decide which works best for your skin type.
Wet your skin in the shower or bathtub using warm water. Wash off any cosmetics or other skin-care products before exfoliating. The University of Iowa recommends against using hot water, as it increases skin dryness and can cause irritation.
Place a small amount of fine-grained exfoliant onto a loofah sponge, washcloth or exfoliating glove. Avoid using exfoliants with large grains, such as volcanic rock, as these products can tear your skin.
Massage the exfoliant into your skin using small, circular motions. Rewet your skin or add more exfoliant as needed. Use only gentle pressure, especially on more sensitive areas of your body, such as your neck, inner arms and face.
Rinse your skin well in warm water. Do not wash your skin after using an exfoliant unless the product specifically instructs you to do so. Make certain no product remains on your skin before leaving the tub or shower.
Apply a moisturizing lotion to all exfoliated areas. Exfoliating tends to be drying and irritating, and moisturizer will hydrate and soothe your skin.
Clean your sponge or glove with warm or hot water and then hang to dry.
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