So, let’s start with the basics …
Now summer is here, lots of us are reaching for the fake tan after months in the shade or wanting to scrub off an existing tan, ready to get out in the sunshine. It’s also the months where we’re starting to be braver with getting our legs out in shorter dresses, so we want them to be as smooth as possible. The number one key to all of this is a great exfoliation regime. Exfoliation is the process of removing dead skin cells from the surface of your skin, using a granular or chemical treatment.
Most of us exfoliate our faces on a regular basis, but it’s easy to forget to treat the rest of your body, but the benefits are clear to see once you start incorporating it into your routine.
Why do I need a body exfoliator?
As we age, the body’s ability to shed dead skin cells slows right down or can even come to a complete stand-still. This can lead to dull, uneven and rough skin especially on areas like your knees and elbows and can make areas like this look older than they are (and nobody wants that!). When we exfoliate, we polish away these dry areas leaving skin that is smooth and radiant and that also gives the perfect base for applying fake tan that doesn’t look uneven and patchy.
What do I use to exfoliate?
There are lots of different ways to exfoliate, so it’s best to experiment and find the one that feels more comfortable for you. You may find you need to use different products in different areas as the skin condition and sensitivity can vary. Once you have a few great products in your kit, it’ll become an easy part of your weekly routine. Here are a few of the most popular exfoliating tools …
Body brush – the time-honoured process known as dry brushing is great for sorting out dry skin, it also has extra benefits like helping reduce cellulite and detoxing the skin by increasing blood circulation and promoting lymph flow and drainage. The trick is to not scrub with this too hard and to use circular motions from the ankles up.
Body scrub – this is known as a mechanical exfoliator and can use a variety of ingredients, from sugar to salt. These abrasive ingredients help encourage skin turn-over resulting in brighter, more radiant skin. To be a friend to the planet, avoid any scrubs that contain microbeads if possible as they can end up in the rivers, lakes and oceans and are known to have a damaging effect on marine life. Instead try and opt for natural ingredients that wash away cleanly and safely.
Chemical exfoliant – if you need to use a less abrasive form of exfoliant, reach for a chemical option. These gently dissolve the bonds that hold your dead skin to the surface and reveal the fresh and bump-free skin beneath.
Our top exfoliating tips
When you start your exfoliation process there are a few important things to remember so you end up with glowing healthy skin and no red bits! Here’s a few tips from our experts to make sure you’re getting it right.
- Always exfoliate in the bath or shower, this is important as the heat will open up your pores, making your skin ready for a deep cleansing.
- Pay particular attention to your elbows, heels and knees as these are the hot spots for dry skin
- If you’re using a sponge or loofah, make sure that the surface is not too scratchy and abrasive. If it feels like it’s causing any pain it might be best to switch for an exfoliating cloth.
- If you want to use a granular body scrub, you only need to do this a maximum of three times a week – any more than this can cause stress to your skin.
- Look out for body scrubs that incorporate an oily base – these will help moisturise your skin after the dead cells are removed.
- If you have sensitive skin, you should avoid using a scrub and instead go for the chemical exfoliators that can be gently applied and removed with a soft cloth
- Moisturise, moisturise, moisturise! This is absolutely crucial as it’ll help the skin recover from the process and look smooth and healthy.
The exfoliator must-haves
We’ve picked out some of our favourite exfoliators and accessories to help you get started, there’s a little bit of trial and error involved, so it’s probably best to start off gentle and then move onto more abrasive products if you find you’ve got problem areas that need a little more work.
This one and done set has got everything you need to exfoliate and prep your skin ready for tanning. It has a Tropical Rum, Coconut and Sea Salt body scrub that gently buffs away your dead skin cells and leaves a delicious beachy scent. It also includes a body wash that can remove residue post-exfoliation and add an extra layer of moisturising goodness. Lastly it has a body moisturiser containing jojoba and Vitamin E that gets straight to work making your skin smooth and supple. It’s our can’t-live-without kit this summer!
If you like a little luxe in your life, this is the dream exfoliator for you. The body polish contains AHAs, ceramides and antioxidants that slough away your dead skin cells and reveals smoother, softer texture that’s full of radiance. It also helps even your skin tone and texture and comes with a free buffing mitt. We recommend you use this three-times a week for maximum results.
If you’re looking to remove a fake tan, then this bundle has it all. You get a 3-in-1 scrub that removes all traces of your old tan and leaves your skin silky smooth. You can use this wet or dry depending on your skin sensitivity so it’s a great all-rounder. You also get a tan eraser that gets rid of any stubborn tan and is suitable even for sensitive skin and exfoliating gloves too.
Now you’ve got the rub on all things exfoliator, you’ll never have to cover up dry patchy legs again, time to crack those shorts out and enjoy the sunshine!