Scrub-a-Dub-Dub: Tips to Softer Skin
Now that the weather is getting warmer, we’d all like to show a little more skin. Our skin needs some TLC after wearing all those layers in the colder temperatures of winter, and we’ll achieve this by using body scrubs and following up with moisturizer.
First things first, we need to exfoliate. That just means we need to scrub off the dead skin cells and polish the fresh, healthy skin underneath. There’s a ton of exfoliants on the market, but not all of them are beneficial for your skin-or the environment. Plus, it’s so easy to make a scrub at home using ingredients you already have in the kitchen, or you can get fancy and add fresh or dried herbs, essential oils, and different scrubbing agents.
There are chemical and mechanical exfoliants, but we’re going for the natural kind without harsh chemicals. (PSA: Avoid those nasty little microbeads! They are terrible for the environment since they don’t dissolve, and they’re wreaking havoc in the oceans. They will be outlawed by July 2017. I’m glad I got that out of the way). You may want to switch up your exfoliant based on your skin type, or the area you’re planning on exfoliating. Be extra gentle around your face. Keep away from large particles like pieces of walnut shells, as well as harsh chemicals. Don’t use your body scrub on your face unless it’s made with tiny, gentle granules.
For dry or sensitive skin: A light, natural fruit enzyme (lookin’ at you, pineapple) works as a safe chemical peel, with the assistance of a gentle washcloth. Follow up with a light moisturizer for dry skin.
For oily skin: a clay mask will help absorb excess oil, and once it dries, gently scrub your face while you rinse it off
For normal skin: baking soda. Make a paste, apply to wet skin and gently scrub while you rinse it off
Bonus: Lips!: use a toothbrush to slough off dry skin on your lips, or use a sugar scrub. Follow up with your favorite lip balm
To start, you can use a loofah or body brush to exfoliate your skin while dry-before hopping in the shower. This will help remove dead cells and prepare your skin for the full exfoliating process.
Next, get in the shower and let the water run all over you. Grab the scrub and apply section by section, in a circular motion. Be gentle around the bikini area, since the skin there is very sensitive. For hard to reach areas, like your back, use a loofah or body brush. Rinse your body with lukewarm water, and try a cold rinse if you can stand it! Do this 2-3 times a week. Make sure to apply a rich moisturizing lotion or body butter daily-especially after exfoliating.
You’re only limited by your imagination when it comes to body scrubs. Well, that and to make sure you stay away from ingredients that may be toxic to skin.
Base: salt vs sugar.
It’s really up to you! Sea salt contains minerals that purify the skin and help unclog pores. It brightens and tightens the skin and promotes better circulation. Look for Himalayan, Dead Sea, or Hawaiian. Sea salt is more coarse than sugar, so it’s more abrasive to the skin. This is great for post-winter polishing, but only use it once a week. It’s also great for a soak in the tub! Your skin will have more time to absorb the minerals and benefits of sea salt.
Sugar granules are smaller so it’s more gentle on the skin. It’s great for sensitive skin-including the face. Choose from coarse, medium, or fine, depending on the area/sensitivity of the skin to be exfoliated. Sugar contains glycolic acid which helps to moisturize and protect skin from toxins. Sugar is a humectant, so it draws moisture from the air into your skin.
Mojito Sugar Scrub
½ cup solid coconut oil
1 cup of sugar
½ tsp peppermint essential oil
1 lime, zested
Whip the coconut oil with a hand mixer. Add remaining ingredients and mix until combined.
Brown sugar face scrub
1 cup of brown sugar
¼-½ cup of oil (sweet almond or jojoba are best, they don’t clog pores)
1-2 tsp vanilla or 4 drops of essential oil
Mix the sugar and oil, then stir in vanilla or essential oil
Pineapple Yogurt Mask
¼ a pineapple, cubed
Use a blender to puree the pineapple, pour into a bowl. Apply to your face with a (paint or makeup) brush for precision. Leave on for 5-20 minutes- less time if your skin is sensitive. Rinse off, then apply some greek yogurt to your face, for the healthy fats to lock in moisture as well as soothe your skin. Leave this on for 5-10 minutes, then rise. Enjoy your super soft skin!
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