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The DO’s And DONT’s Of Exfoliation

how to properly use body scrub

Healthy Skin And Hair

The DO’s And DONT’s Of Exfoliation

Hello tennis peeps! Well, it’s only the first week in June, and already I’m needing to exfoliate my bod regularly (about once a week). It’s amazing how fast our bodies shed dead skins cells – especially if you’re constantly out in the sun and/or workin’ up a sweat.

How’s this for a fun factoid: In one day, the average human naturally (without scrubbing) sheds about TEN BILLION skin flakes, or about 1.5 pounds per year. They fall off randomly in your clothes, in your car, on your furniture, in your bed… Eeeeeeeewww!! Am I right?!

So, rather than waiting for DNA to sprinkling itself about, be proactive and exfoliate. Most people use soap with a washcloth or loofah, or maybe even a textured glove, but what really kicks dead skin ass, is a good face and body scrub.

Yeah, I know… body scrubs are more messy to use, which is why some people avoid them. But I’m telling you, nothing works better at removing the old dermal layer, while simultaneously softening the new one underneath.

One of the greatest unsolved mysteries of all time is this: Why do beauty product companies charge such ridiculous prices for salt and sugar scrubs? It’s truly mind-boggling, isn’t it? A quick internet search just turned up six products ranging in price from $31 to $39.99 for basically, 14 ounces of sea salt or sugar mixed with oil and fragrance. Pffffft! That’s just nuts! I highly recommend saving your hard earned money and making your own face and body scrubs.

All it takes is about a teaspoon of scrub for your face, and a good-sized handful (about 1/4 – 1/2 cup) for your entire body. And because many of us who scrub don’t get as much out of it as we should, here are some great tips on how to, and how NOT to do it:

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DO scrub before you go to bed. If you do it right, your skin will be red from all the scrubbing – especially if you have fair skin. So it’s best to not have any plans directly afterwards.

DO keep your hair pulled up and back from your face through the whole process. Otherwise you might wake up with remaining scrub in your hair. Oops…

DO use a mirror. Near your tub or in the shower, have a mirror handy so that you can easily scrub your face without getting any in your eyes or mouth. Lesson learned the hard way.

DO scrub small areas at a time, starting with your feet and work your way up, paying special attention to your knees and elbows, as the skin is thicker there.

DO use a scrub for your face that is specifically formulated for the face. gentler than products designed to be used on the body.

DO scrub on days that you will normally clean your shower or tub. The oils in the scrub leave behind a slightly slippery residue which might cause a fall.

DO use a good sunscreen. Exfoliation can make your skin more sensitive to the sun.

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DO shave after you scrub. Exfoliating removes the top layer of dead skin cells and additional toxins away, it gives your razor and shaving cream the cleanest slate possible from which to remove hair.

DO have fun, get dirty and scrub with your significant other. You’ll be able exfoliate the hard to reach places, and get a back rub out of it. Single? Reach your back by putting the scrub on a shower back scrubber. It works like a charm!

DON’T just exfoliate your face. Dead skin isn’t limited to the neck and above.

DON’T use scrub on dry skin. The scrub will be more difficult to spread around and will cause more irritation.

DON’T scrub the bikini area too hard, as the skin there is very thin and sensitive.

DON’T exfoliate when you’re sunburned or have any open cuts or sores. OUCH!

DON’T forget your hands and feet. These are the two parts you’ll want to spend extra time exfoliating because they get the hardest to do. For feet that need extra care, add a pedicure block to help scrub your calluses.

DON’T leave the tub or shower without rinsing thoroughly. This is M – E – S – S – Y, but easy to wash down the drain. Otherwise, you’ll be scrambling to sweep the bathroom floor before your significant other get home.

DON’T exfoliate more than 2 – 3 times per week. Exfoliation is considered a deep cleaning, and can cause redness and irritation if done too much.

4.5 USTA rated/open champion level tennis player, vegan, fitness freak, animal lover, and smart ass who firmly believes that champagne is anathema for all ills. Right now I'm either up to my eyeballs in paint swatches and fabric samples, or kicking some butt on a tennis court (hopefully the latter).

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