Happiness is a long shower with a really thorough body scrub. It’s not just the exfoliation — and we all know the benefits of that. It’s that squeaky clean, silky smooth, super kinis feeling. IF you love this as much as we do, then this article’s for you: how to get the most out of your body scrub.
1. Salt versus sugar scrubs
Salt has natural detoxifying and healing properties, so this is great if you’ve got a scratch or dealing with an allergic rash or irritation. They’re also perfect for elbows, knees and definitely the feet! “Salt also has many healing and antiseptic properties, which can kill bacteria and reduce inflammation,” Dr. Marina Peredo, clinical professor of dermatology at Mount Sinai Hospital. Bye bye, itchy and stinky feet!
But if you have dry or sensitive skin, go for a sugar scrub. The smaller particles aren’t as abrasive and can gently slough off dead skin cells.
2. Bathe with lukewarm water
This helps soften the skin and prepare it for exfoliation. But don’t apply body scrub to dripping wet skin, because it’ll just slide off and end up on the floor. Pat off the excess water until your skin is just damp.
3. Rub it in circular motions
Wear one of those bath gloves and grab a big handful of body scrub. Apply in circular motions, working through every part of your body before getting more product. If you just slather it all over without rubbing, the grains just melt in the water or slide off your skin. What a waste!
4. Get a small stool
You can find a small plastic stool (i.e. bangko) in any department store or market. (It’s usually right next to the tabos.) It should be small enough to fit into your shower, and low enough so you can comfortably reach your feet while sitting on it. With this really cheap chair, you can comfortably scrub your footsies to your heart’s content. Rub that body scrub on the soles of your feet, and around your nails.
Since your skin’s already soft, this is also a good time to push down cuticles with a wooden stick or a nail brush. You can also get a pumice stone and brush for some heavy duty foot spa action.
5. Use a body oil
After a good rinse, your newly exfoliated skin is ready for moisturization. Even if you usually use lotion, apply body oil whenever you do a body scrub. The pores are open, your blood circulation is at its peak. Body oil penetrates deeper, and can also seal in the moisture from your shower.
6. If you’re prone to ingrown hairs, use body scrubs more often
Yup that applies to the bikini area too! Just pick a fine sugar scrub (that’s a sensitive area, obvs). If regular body scrubs is way too time consuming, try dry brushing with a body brush. Just remember to use circular motions to free the ingrown hairs. Rubbing back and forth is more irritating and won’t solve the problem.
7. If you have backne, don’t use moisturizing scrubs
Body scrubs can help prevent backne, but stay clear of any product that already contains oils or moisturizing creams. This can clog up the pores and make it worse! Pick a simple, grainy formula and rely on your usual body moisturizers for that area. (Read: 7 tips for fighting back acne)
Don’t exfoliate an area that has existing cystic acne. As dermatologists says, evaluate before your exfoliate. It’s best to treat the acne, or have it checked by a skin expert, before applying anything abrasive.
8. Step back if skin becomes red or dryfee
Our skin’s needs can change. Sometimes we need more exfoliation, sometimes our skin needs less. While most experts recommend using a body scrub twice a week, tailor it to whatever you’re going through right now. You can also switch to a body scrub with finer grains, or just focus on feet and rough spots like elbows and knees. You know your body best!
9. You can use body scrubs as emergency nail scrubs
No time for a mani pedi? Soak your hands and/or feet in a basin of warm water, then grab a handful of your favorite body scrub and rub against your cuticles. They’ll look smoother, and you can rub off the tough and jagged edges.
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