How exfoliation helps your skin

Exfoliation makes your skin glow and may even help to prevent wrinkles. Learn how to do it best, plus get our recipe for homemade body scrub

How exfoliation helps your skin

Source: Best Health Magazine, May 2009

Many of us know the benefits of exfoliation in whisking away complexion-dulling dead skin cells. But it does more than that, says Holly Sherrard, education manager for Dermalogica Canada. ‘Exfoliating increases cell turnover to reveal newer, healthier skin cells, plus it decreases blackheads, minimizes hyperpigmentation and fine lines, and imparts an all-over healthy glow.’ It also helps with hydration. ‘Cells transitioning from below the skin’s surface to the topmost layer bring with them essential lipids and moisture,’ she says.

That’s good news for your face. And what better time than spring to bust out the exfoliants for the body and feet, too? If you’re planning on using a self-tanner, you need to exfoliate to avoid uneven patches (although simply shaving your legs will also exfoliate them).

Whatever you do, don’t take the word ‘scrub’ too literally’especially on the face’because over-exfoliating will result in red, irritated, flaking skin. ‘Gently massage exfoliants into skin using light pressure,’ advises Sherrard.

The beauty aisles tempt us with scrubs laced with essential oils, boosted with moisturizers, and using everything from natural pumice to jojoba microbeads to pulverized grapeseed for refining your skin.

But you can always go back to buffing basics and save some bucks in the process by exfoliating with a humble washcloth or a loofah. Mixing up an easy homemade recipe (like the one below) for skin-softening salt or sugar body scrubs will give you a little spa-at-home moment. And rubbing sand and oil onto your bod the way Brazilians do is about as natural as it gets.

Homemade body scrub

Blend 1/3 cup (75 mL) brown sugar with 1/2 cup (125 mL) oil, such as sweet almond or grapeseed (canola will do in a pinch). Add a few drops of essential oil, such as lavender for calming or lemongrass for energizing. Or, instead of essential oil, add minced ginger, which stimulates circulation, and a drop or two of vanilla extract.

This article was originally titled "Spring-Clean Your Skin," in the May 2009 issue of Best Health. Subscribe today to get the full Best Health experience’and never miss an issue!’and make sure to check out what’s new in the latest issue of Best Health.

Related content:

Secrets to Staying Healthy & Happy

Nutty-and-Saucy---Mango-Peanut-Salsa

Mango Peanut Salsa

Use this mango peanut salsa as a topping for your favourite meat or fish, or toss together with salad greens and tofu for a healthy, tasty salad.

oxfam

Oxfam Trailwalker: The most challenging charity event ever?

  Could you walk 100 km in 48 hours or less, on moderately challenging hiking trails in the middle of summer? For most of us, the answer is no’not, at least, without a lot of training. I gave it a shot this past weekend with a team of women working in media and none of […]

beans_3

4 lower-salt food swaps

77 percent of the sodium we consume comes from prepared and processed foods. Here are four food switches to help slash some sodium from your diet

medical1_18

Hysterectomy

A hysterectomy is the surgical removal of the womb (uterus). It can be a psychological as well as a physical trauma, as it means that a woman is no longer fertile and may feel unattractive and less feminine. For these reasons counselling is usually offered before and after the operation.