There is nothing more invigorating than removing an old layer of dry, damaged skin cells and revealing that baby soft, fresh glow tucked beneath. If the thought of scrubbing away the top layer of your epidermis freaks you out, than either you have never experienced just how lit a great exfoliation session can be, or you've had a not so pleasant scrub or two. If you're cringing due to the latter, trust that you are not the only one honey. Most of us have had at least one experience with exfoliation that left our skin raw, red and irritated. For the more sensitive skin types often this is unavoidable and a little tricky, but for the most part if you follow a few simple Do's & Don'ts you should have very few issues with with tapping into that natural glow.
DON'T exfoliate dry skin
Exfoliants are often very abrasive, as they are intended to flake off dry damaged skin. If you scrub without any sort of lubricant, the excess friction will cause your skin to tear and in turn become irritated. Warm, moist skin provides the best canvas for this process, as warm water opens the pores and softens the skin, allowing dirt and old cells to slough off easily. The ultimate prep for great exfoliation is to either sweat out your pores with a steam room, or holding your face over a bowl of steaming water. If you're looking for something that requires a little less, work exfoliate mid-shower or give your face a quick splash before you go at it. Be sure that after you scrub, your rinse off is with COOL water. Exfoliation leaves your pores wide open so all the dirt and grime can drag out. Cool water closes them back up to prevent clogging or infection.
DON'T over exfoliate
I know it can be exciting to use your scrubs. They smell great, they leave your skin feeling smooth and soft, and in the case of the Black Soap Rejuvenation Scrub they can virtually eliminate, acne, scars and dark spots, but too much of a good thing is always a bad thing.Exfoliation can be stressful on the skin and you have to give your cells a chance to regenerate before putting them through that stress again. Now I know of many people who exfoliate daily and have beautiful skin to show for it. I personally have rather dry skin and once a week is plenty, so you have to find your unique formula.
Watch for signs of over exfoliation such as:
Dry tight skin
Over sensitive, red irritated skin
Skin that's dry and crepe
DO follow with a moisturizer
Like I said before, exfoliation can be stressful on your skin so afterwards be sure to nourish skin with a yummy moisturizer. We go for the natural stuff around here, so I suggest a gentle natural oil such as coconut or jojoba. Even if you have oily skin on you face you literally only need a pea sized amount. Just enough to restore some of the oils you stripped away and balance skin back out. Aini's Botanical Skin Conditioner offers the perfect combination of oils to gently nourish and calm skin post-scrub and the tea tree oil infusion will prevent future break outs as well. A lot of people like to use a moisturizing toner, which is also a great way to balance and moisturize skin. Just make sure that if it does not have any moisturizing properties, then you will still need to use some sort of moisturizer or you may still be faced with some irritation.
DO choose your tools wisely
Exfoliation is much more effective when the proper utensils are used. For the body I suggest a loofah or an exfoliation brush. Body skin is much tougher than the face abrasive tools create best results. You want to use gentle tools on the face such as washcloths or exfoliation gloves. All tools should be cleaned and sterilized after each use to prevent re-infection. But if all else fails your plain old hand will most definitely get the job done.