Let’s face it, we girls have plenty of things to think about when it comes to taking care of our hair, skin, and nails – and the exfoliation process does take a little bit of time to do properly. So why bother?
The fact is that exfoliation is one of the most important things we can do to look naturally beautiful. To prove it, let’s look at the science behind these beauty treatments.
You see, the lower layer of our skin is constantly producing new skin cells, which then push themselves up to the top layer of skin, the one that is visible. However, while many old, dead skin cells will shed naturally, some try to stick around.
This buildup of dead cells can lead to skin that looks dull and unhealthy – and it also blocks up the pores and makes an acne breakout more likely. Not to mention dead skin cells are the number one cause of ingrown hairs, the bane of every epilator user.
This happens as when we epilate the hair grows back finer and softer than before. It’s this fine hair that can have difficulty pushing through the upper layers of dead skin, resulting in ingrowing hairs.
I cannot stress enough just how vital exfoliating is to proper epilator technique.
There are some great ways to avoid this problem, however. Here are my routines for how best to exfoliate the legs, body, and face.
Exfoliating the Legs
Apart from keeping the skin soft and supple, learning how to exfoliate legs, in particular, has some real benefits. Firstly, if you have problems with things like varicose veins, you can help improve the situation by daily exfoliation. It can help with ingrown hairs as well. And as an added bonus, it can also help improve the appearance of cellulite – and who doesn’t struggle with that?
When I exfoliate my legs, I usually do it the day before I plan to epilate, since scrubbing down on the skin can irritate sensitive skin.
- To do it, I get in a warm (but not super hot) shower and stand under the water for 5-10 minutes to let my skin get soft.
- Then, starting at my ankles, I apply the scrub, rubbing it gently into the skin in a circular motion.
- When I reach the top of my legs, I simply step back under the water and rinse off, before epilating as normal, then applying a moisturising lotion when I get out.
- Finally, once I step out of the shower I apply a moisturising lotion to soothe the skin. This also helps prevent dirt particles from entering the freshly plucked pores which can cause unsightly red blemishes, post epilation.
How I Make my own Exfoliating Scrubs
When I make up my own leg (and body) exfoliant, I tend to use sugar instead of salt or baking soda and add this to the base oil before adding a few drops of my favourite essential oil to the mix. Again, I like lavender, but before a hot date, I sometimes will use oil of roses instead! The sugar is a little coarser than the salt or baking soda, and great for the legs and body but a little too coarse for the more delicate skin on the face.
Learning how to exfoliate legs is not difficult, but it can really pay off and when combined with the best epilator it can help make your legs look seriously gorgeous!
Exfoliating the Face
As I’ve got older, I’ve gotten into a general evening routine for taking care of my face. I have actually done this for so many years, that it has become a habit! If there is any habit worth getting into, then it’s exfoliation, particularly for us facial epilator users who are prone to ingrown hairs.
- First, I tie my hair up in a bun and because my hair is thick and curly, I usually put a bandana on over that, just to keep my curls from getting in the way!
- Next, I wash my face with tepid water (if it is too cold, the pores will close up and make your treatment less effective; if it is too hot, you risk drying out your skin).
- Then, while my face is still wet, I apply the exfoliant itself, rub it gently in a circular motion all over my face
- Lastly, I rinse it off and pat dry. That’s it.
I’m a DIY kind of girl – while I occasionally buy exfoliating products from the shops, I usually prefer to make them up myself. I start with either baking soda or fine-grained salt and mix it into an oil (I like jojoba or almond, but some people prefer heavier oils like coconut or olive oil and those work great as well) and then add a few drops of essential oil, usually lavender since it is so good for the skin.
I always follow this routine up by applying my daily moisturiser, with an SPF for the summer months. The exfoliation treatment, since it removes the dead skin cells, makes the moisturiser more effective as it can more easily sink into the skin.
Exfoliating the Body
While the face and legs are important areas to exfoliate, that’s not the end of the story. There are plenty of other problem areas –such as the elbows, the knees and the backs of the heels – that could also benefit from regular exfoliation to prevent them from becoming dry or even cracked and bloody.
For body exfoliation, I also will stand under a warm shower until my skin gets soft and apply the same sugar-oil mixture that I do to my legs before gently rubbing it on the skin. Again, I start at the ankles and work my way upwards and then stop just below my neck. And while it sometimes feels as though I am pulling time away from other aspects of my life, it has become an important part of my daily grooming routine. I usually use the same combination of sugar and oil that I use to exfoliate my legs, but sometimes I will also use an exfoliating glove or a shower brush to get the job done.
One thing I like about the full body exfoliation is that it can help increase circulation throughout the body. I know that, personally, when I go through this routine, I feel refreshed and energised – and I love how silky and soft my skin feels as a result.
As with my face, I always follow up the exfoliation session by rubbing myself down with a moisturising lotion. While I have tried several of these, the lotions with colloidal oatmeal seem to work best, particularly in the winter. Before I started this routine, I often had problems with patches of skin that were so dry that they would actually crack and bleed, especially on my elbows and heels. Since I started this routine, however, I find that this isn’t a problem anymore.
In short, I highly recommend an exfoliation routine for the legs, face, and body in general. Routinely removing dry, dead skin cells reveals the softer, younger-looking skin underneath and is vital to prevent ingrowing hairs. As an added bonus it can help with everything from acne to varicose veins and cellulite and leaves you feeling refreshed, energised, and ready to face the day.
The time you take to keep your skin looking young and beautiful is, in short, well worth it!