In the previous article, we talked about the benefits of exfoliating your face, how it should be done and physical versus chemical exfoliation. Here, we’ll be talking about the benefits of exfoliating other parts of your body.
Many people fall victim to dry, chapped lips. This can happen for obvious reasons if you live in colder climates with not much humidity, but also due to overexposure to the sun and licking your lips too frequently. A lip scrub is a great way to combat this. You can make one at home by mixing brown sugar (gentler on your lips as they tend to be quite sensitive) with honey. If you’re allergic to either of those ingredients, you can substitute the sugar with coffee grounds and honey with glycerin or shea butter. You can also add other ingredients to the scrub like essential oils and maple syrup, but be cautious about adding any type of citrus fruit (e.g. lemon) to the lip scrub. This is because citrus fruits tend to be much more acidic than your skin, which can disrupt your skin barrier, resulting in irritated skin (and in severe cases, chemical burns when exposed to sunlight). If you really want a citrus-based lip scrub (or any other type of skincare involving citrus), I’d highly recommend going with a store-bought product, where the citrus will be incorporated in a way that will allow it to work its benefits on your skin without permanently damaging your skin. A great example of this is the orange and chocolate lip scrub by LUSH. Don’t forget to apply a lip balm after scrubbing your lips to minimize irritation and achieve the smooth, uncracked lips of your dreams.
Exfoliating your scalp can remove dead skin cells, reduce dandruff, balance oiliness/dryness and promote hair growth. However, be very gentle when exfoliating your scalp and don’t tug too hard on your hair, as over-exfoliation can lead to hair loss. Also, those with skin conditions like eczema should stay away from exfoliating the scalp at all costs as doing so can aggravate such conditions (same goes for those who have any cuts on their scalp). You can use a physical scrub (like this one from The Body Shop) or make your own chemical exfoliant by mixing apple cider vinegar with water (ratio of roughly 1:8, or about 1:10 if your skin is sensitive). If you think these exfoliants are too harsh for your scalp, you can always go in with a scalp massager when shampooing, like this one from Vanity Planet.
Fuji Green Tea Refreshingly Purifying Cleansing Hair Scrub by The Body Shop (Image: The Body Shop)
Groove Rejuvenating Scalp Massager by Vanity Planet (Image: Rakuten)
Finally, we come to exfoliating your body. Exfoliating your body can reduce the appearance of stretch marks and cellulite, stimulate the shedding of old skin cells, make your skin glowy and smooth and even reduce body acne (which tends to appear on the upper arms, back, neck and chest). You can exfoliate your body by using a body scrub once a week (like this budget-friendly option from Shea Moisture). Since the skin on my body is both slightly dry and sensitive, I first put some body lotion on in the shower and then apply a facial scrub on my body (since facial scrubs tend to use finer grains and contain less harmful ingredients), mixing the 2 together before rinsing off. I would recommend following this up with another body lotion after your shower if your skin is very dry or you live in a cold climate (personally, I don’t do this because Singapore is really humid).
Lavender and Wild Orchid Hand and Body Scrub by Shea Moisture (Image: Shea Moisture)
All in all, the same general rules apply to exfoliating your lips, scalp and body - don’t do it more than 1-2 times a week and be very gentle. Also, follow up with a moisturiser as needed! That’s it for now on exfoliation :-)
Til next time,