When we hop in the shower, most of us have a variety of hair and skin care products lined up along the ledge—everything from moisturizing shampoos to soothing shaving creams. But among all of those options, do you have a good body scrub? An essential for maintaining healthy, smooth skin. The combination of cleansing, exfoliation and massage provides benefits that go beyond what a bar of soap can do.
The skin is the largest organ on the body. The cells on your skin, head to toe, shed daily to reveal new, healthier skin underneath. Many of these cells drop of, but many more remain attached to your skin, building up to create dry, flaky skin.
To assist your skin to slough off these old cells and to help keep the skin clean and rejuvenated, use scrubs suitable to the requirement e.g. softer scrub for your face, circulation boosting for problem areas like thighs and upper arms and an general scrub to exfoliate as well as moisturise.
A scrub works in a few ways: As you massage it over your body, the exfoliating granules help to slough off dead skin and the rubbing action itself boosts circulation and helps drain your lymph nodes, by increasing blood flow to the skin’s surface. Plus, after all that deep cleansing work in the shower, your post-wash moisturizer will be better able to soothe and hydrate your skin easier.
Types of Body Scrubs
Typically, a body scrub has larger exfoliating particles than a facial scrub as the skin on your body isn’t as delicate. Common ingredients in scrubs are salt, fine or rougher sugar, plant fibres and crushed nut shells.
Salt scrub can generally be used as an all-over, head to toe scrub as the granules will provide exfoliation, but are not too rough. As salt may sting, you should however not leave the scrub on your skin after exfoliating.
Sugar scrubs tend to be used for both exfoliation and to boost circulation. This assists the body to eliminate toxins by encouraging more blood to the surface of the skin.
How to Use a Body Scrub
If your skin is healthy and firm and without blemishes or rashes, you can use a shower scrub up to three times a week. But if you have sensitive or thinner skin, limit a good buffing to once a week. More is not always better.
Hold off on running the water in the shower and spend a few minutes using your hands to rub your scrub in circular motions onto dry skin. If you are exfoliating your body, start at your feet and work upwards till you reach your shoulder area.
If you are exfoliating your face, be gentle. The skin on the face is thinner than the rest of the body and generally more sensitive to, so don’t be rough. Use a scrub designed to be used on the face.
Turn on the water and rinse, using your hands to help remove any remaining granules. If you’re short on time, massage the scrub all over your body and rinse during your normal shower routine.
Be careful not to over scrub. Though your body skin is heartier than the skin on your face, it is susceptible to irritation. Always moisturize after you’ve dried off for smooth, nourished skin.
Do you use a self-tanner? Try a non-oily body scrub before applying any tanning lotion to guarantee an even application. By removing the dead skin cells, you’ll avoid splotches and dark spots, especially around your knees and elbows. Body scrubs are also great for removing self-tanner from your body.
When Not to Use a Body Scrub
If you have a sunburn or are experiencing a rash or other skin condition, give the body scrub a rest. Some of the ingredients—and the actual rubbing—could further irritate your skin. You’ll also want to skip it after shaving if your scrub contains salt.
The right Scrub for you