Whether you're suiting up for a socially distant beach trip or rocking shorts on the golf course, you'll want to be ready to bare your skin with confidence.
Exfoliation is a great way to give your body that summer glow you've been craving. Read on to learn about why exfoliating is so important, plus our favorite body scrubs to smooth and polish skin.
Three reasons why body exfoliation is important:
Most are well aware of the benefits of exfoliating when it comes to the face. It removes dead cells from the skin’s surface that can lead to clogged pores and a dull complexion. The bottom line? You won’t have glowing skin if you’re not regularly exfoliating. The same goes for your body! If its gorgeous gams you’re after, exfoliate in the shower before you shave. Here’s why:
Reason #1: It prevents “strawberry legs.”
Ever noticed small, dark spots on your legs? They aren’t spots at all, but rather open pores on the skin’s surface clogged with dirt, oil and bacteria. These impurities then mix with air and melanin, causing them to oxidize and appear dark, like the seeds on the outside of a strawberry. Regular exfoliation of the legs prior to shaving minimizes them.
Reason #2: It promotes circulation and reduces the appearance of cellulite.
Exfoliation also promotes younger-looking skin by increasing circulation and delivering vital oxygen to nourish skin cells. Additionally, exfoliation can help minimize the look of cellulite by removing the top layer of dead skin and promoting smoother texture.
Reason #3: It minimizes ingrown hair.
Ingrown hairs can be painful, but regular exfoliation does help prevent them. By sloughing away the debris that clogs hair follicles, pores open, releasing the trapped hair. Body hair is then in prime condition to be shaved and has a better chance of growing back normally post-shave.
“Ingrown hair ranges from small and unnoticeable to large, red and quite painful," says board-certified dermatologist and LovelySkin CEO Dr. Joel Schlessinger. "Don’t pick it or try to tweeze it out, as that will only make it worse and likely leave it infected." Instead, Dr. Schlessinger recommends applying Polysporin (not Neosporin, which is more likely to cause allergic reactions). For an ingrown hair that seems infected or just won't go away, he recommends scheduling an appointment with a board-certified dermatologist to have it checked out.
The best body scrubs to try:
If you want to benefit from exfoliation fast, use a body scrub with physical exfoliators. These typically contain microbeads (ideally plastic-free and biodegradable), sugar or crushed plant matter as the key exfoliating ingredients. Try one of our favorites:
Pure sugar cane crystals are the star of this scrub, as they gently and effectively slough away dead skin cells and reveal the fresh skin underneath. Cold-pressed coconut oil and sweet almond oil ensure skin feels soft and supple. This deliciously scented scrub is available in eleven unique aromas, from lavender to coffee and just about everything in between.
This body scrub uses crushed grape seeds to polish rough skin on the body. It contains honey and brown sugar to soften and condition, grape seed oil infuses skin with protective antioxidants and lemongrass and rosemary essential oils tone and firm skin.
Indulge in a multi-sensory body care ritual with polishing scrub that features an invigorating blend of orange peel, cedarwood and patchouli. It promotes toxin elimination to encourage a slimmer silhouette and dislodges surface impurities with finely milled Amazonian cupuaçu seeds. Abyssinian oil and shea butter replenish skin’s moisture.
This body scrub contains raw sugar cane, a natural alpha hydroxy acid, to provide both a physical and chemical exfoliation. Formulated with coconut oil, coconut pulp, coconut milk and coconut water, this body treatment whisks you away to your favorite tropical locale with every use. Botanical-based antioxidants protect skin from free radical damage, revealing more radiant skin.
Pro Tip: If you plan to shave, don’t exfoliate as soon as you step into the shower. Allow your skin and body hair to soften a bit. Why? Softer hair and skin decreases friction while shaving, minimizing irritation and bumps. About midway through your shower, apply your exfoliator of choice using gentle circular motion and rinse. Additionally, only exfoliate once or twice a week to avoid increased dryness.
Now that your skin is effectively exfoliated, it's time to learn how to get the closest shave possible.