One of the best ways to treat dry skin – particularly when it’s the result of cold, dry air in the wintertime – is to exfoliate and moisturize. If you’re unfamiliar, exfoliation refers to the intentional removal of skin cells.
Our bodies shed around 40,000 skin cells a day in normal circumstances, but skin can flake away even more when it’s irritated or dry. This can often lead to visible white flakes, a wrinkled appearance, and itching.
Fortunately, it’s actually healthy to remove these flaky external skin cell layers if you know how to do so without damaging the skin. Here are four safe, dry skin removal methods.
Use a Natural Scrub or Exfoliant
One of the best ways to remove dead skin is to simply scrape it off – gently! You can easily achieve this result by mixing fine sugar from your cabinet with olive oil until you have a consistency that’s at once gritty and spreadable.
Apply the substance to your affected skin region and gently rub it over the skin. The grit from the sugar will pick up dead skin cells just like low grit sandpaper. Wash and moisturize, and you’re pretty much good to go!
However, if you don’t like the feel of this or lack the right ingredients, you can always choose a product that offers the same potential benefits, with extra nourishment for your skin.
Here are a few recommendations:
Still too abrasive for you? You could also choose to use masks and creams that use gentle natural acids to dissolve dead skin cells that you can then simply wash away.
In this category, try these recommendations:
Use a Pumice Stone
Pumice stones are often made of volcanic rock that’s porous, finely but roughly textured, very strong, and light in hand. When moistened with water and lathered with soap, pumice stones can rub away dead skin and even calluses. We recommend that you confine this exfoliation method to tough skin because of the rougher texture, like what is found on the feet. Soak your feet in warm water beforehand for best results.
Brush the Skin Away
Exfoliating brushes are available at your nearest bath and body store or online. These will feature a large brush head with a wide surface area covered with natural bristles. The bristles will be just strong enough to brush away dead skin but not so rigid as to cause irritation with gentle use.
Brush your body before or during a shower, but we would not recommend the practice for facial exfoliation except with the gentlest of products designed specially for that purpose.
A Simple Face Wash
For many people who want to exfoliate facial skin, washing with gentle soap and water, followed by a light drying with a clean towel, will be enough to achieve good outcomes.
Focus your washing on problem areas such as the forehead and around the nose. Don’t scrub vigorously, but give each area enough attention to wash away dead skin and invigorate the living skin beneath. Gently pat your face dry afterward and admire your healthy glow in the mirror.
There are many ways to exfoliate, but these are some of the gentlest and most accessible. Start now and watch your skin improve, even before the weather warms up.