The Importance of Body Exfoliation

Shannon Farrell
body exfoliation

Image: Plesea Petre/ Getty

More than likely, facial exfoliation is already a key step in your skincare routine. Every few days you scrub your face to slough off dead skin and increase cell turnover, revealing radiant skin underneath. Right? But we bet that the rest of your body doesn’t get that kind of TLC. Focusing on your face is great, but the rest of our skin is made from the exact same cells, and it needs corresponding care!

“Body exfoliation is key, or we won’t see a positive change in our skin,” says celebrity aesthetician Joanna Vargas. “When we scrub the body on a regular basis it automatically signals the body to produce more collagen. It also ensures that your skincare products are penetrating properly.” A buildup of dead cells clogs pores, preventing body lotion from reaching below the dermis. So that explains our alligator legs.

There’s no better time to start than winter, when dry and flaky skin is more obvious, says Vargas. Start your body routine ASAP with her excellent beginner tips:

Start Slow.
“Scrubbing for even one minute twice a week will keep your skin fresh.” If you have super sensitive skin, only exfoliate once a week. She recommends leaving your exfoliator in the shower as a constant visual reminderthis way, you’ll never forget to use it!

Sensitive Skin, Beware!
When choosing an exfoliator, be mindful of your skin type. “A body wash tends to give a gentler, less coarse exfoliation, as opposed to a body scrub. I’ve been using the new Suave Professional Sea Mineral Exfoliating Body Wash ($2.99)which has dead sea minerals to exfoliate the skin.” For an even less harsh scrub, try & Other Stories Moroccan Tea Body Scrub ($15) that glides on smoothly and doesn’t include harsh beads or salts.

Add Dry Brushing.
Dry brushing also helps to remove dead skin cells, but Vargas recommends it highly for women with cellulite. “It stimulates cell turnover and thickens the skin, thus making cellulite less visible. It’s also key in keeping the lymphatic system working well so it’s de-puffing and slimming.”

Skip the Loofah.
“I don’t like loofahs and sponges because they are difficult to keep clean and tend to collect bacteria in the warm damp environment of the shower,” says Vargas. Instead, she recommends using a washcloth and tossing it in the laundry after every use. Bonus: washing and reusing washcloths is very eco-friendly!

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