We often think of exfoliation as being just for the face, but the rest of your body needs exfoliation, too. The question is what to use: Is body Exfoliate scrub the answer? A loofah? A body brush? We go over the do’s and don’ts of body exfoliation, and explain why the best body exfoliator is one you leave on your skin.
Benefits of Body Exfoliation
You might be wondering why we should exfoliate. With age, accumulated sun damage, and certain skin issues, skin’s natural ability to invisibly shed dead surface cells becomes faulty—sometimes stopping altogether. The result is a buildup of dry, ashen-looking skin that can make your arms, elbows, legs—pretty much everywhere—look dull, uneven, and older than they really are.
The Best Body Exfoliation Products
The cosmetics industry traditionally offers one type of product as a solution: body scrubs. You’ll find scrubs that contain different types of exfoliating ingredients, from polyethylene (also known as plastic microbeads, which are being phased out due to environmental concerns) to walnut shells, pumice, volcanic ash, sugar, and sea salt. Which scrub is best? Surprisingly, none of them! The best body scrubs are the ones you don’t use.
Why avoid body scrubs? Two reasons:
- With very few exceptions, almost all body scrubs are too abrasive. They exfoliate at the expense of causing tiny micro-tears, which gradually erode your skin’s protective barrier, leading to dryness, sensitivity, and other problems.
- Body scrubs also are often highly fragranced, including with essential oils, and these cause further issues that can trigger irritation (although they do smell good, which does make them tempting).
Loofahs and dry body brushes are no better; in fact, their rough, too-firm textures and mode of use can make them even worse than scrubs, leaving skin redder and rougher than it was before.