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You wash your face, generously apply moisturizer, and sometimes even refresh your skin with a facial spray mid-day, but you still think your skin’s appearance has some room to improve. Well, it might have something to do with the face scrub discarded somewhere under your bathroom sink. Your skin may look less than flawless if you skipping out on even just one important skin care habit, like exfoliating. Yep, whether you have dry skin, oily skin, or combination skin, exfoliation should be a key part of your skin care routine to help maintain a beautiful, glow-y complexion. Keep reading to find out what the benefits of exfoliation are and how you can incorporate this step into your skin care routine—for your face and body.
Exfoliation is the process of sloughing off dead skin cells from the surface of your skin. But it’s not as simple as that. There are actually two kinds of exfoliation: mechanical and chemical. Mechanical exfoliation involves physically scrubbing your skin’s surface with a scrub or a dry brush. Chemical exfoliation, on the other hand, involves the use of salicylic acid, alpha hydroxy acids (like glycolic acid), or enzymes to chemically break down the surface buildup.
Whether you implement mechanical or chemical exfoliation into your skin care routine, the main purpose of exfoliating is to slough off the buildup of dead skin cells from the surface. And that’s important, since your skin’s natural ability to shed dead skin cells slows down as you age, which can lead to duller-looking skin. What’s more, regularly exfoliating can also help to make your other products work better, since they won’t just be sitting on top of lots of buildup.
The jury’s still out on this one. While exfoliation is an important skin care step, how often you should engage in it varies from person to person. Some people’s skin can only handle exfoliating once a week, while others are able to do it a few times a week. Pay attention to how your skin responds after exfoliating to help determine what’s best for you and your skin.
Follow these tips to exfoliate your face for a smoother, more radiant complexion.
Step 1: Pick the right product. Have your pick from the following three face scrubs: The L’Oréal Paris Pure-Sugar Nourish & Soften Face Scrub is formulated with cocoa, the L’Oréal Paris Pure-Sugar Smooth & Glow Face Scrub is formulated with grapeseed, and the L’Oréal Paris Pure-Sugar Purify & Unclog Face Scrub is formulated with kiwi.
Step 2: Apply to dry skin. With dry fingers, apply your face scrub of choice to clean, dry skin. Avoid the eye area—that’s one place you don’t need to exfoliate.
Step 3: Massage with wet fingers. Wet your fingers, then massage the face scrub into your skin.
Step 4: Rinse. Use warm water to rinse off completely.
Step 5: Finish with moisturizer. Exfoliating is always cause for moisturizing. While your skin is still wet, go ahead and slather your skin with your favorite face cream. Try the L’Oréal Paris Hydra Genius Daily Liquid Care – Normal/Oily Skin, L’Oréal Paris Hydra Genius Daily Liquid Care – Normal/Dry Skin, or L’Oréal Paris Hydra Genius Daily Liquid Care – Extra Dry Skin.
Follow these tips to exfoliate your lips for the perfect pout.
Step 1: Utilize your face scrub. If your lips need a gentle scrub session, the good news is you won’t have to purchase any new products. Our Pure-Sugar face scrubs can also be used on your lips! Choose your favorite and you’re free to start scrubbing.
Step 2: Apply to dry lips. Taking only a small amount of the scrub, apply it to dry lips.
Step 3: Massage with wet fingers. Taking care not to be too harsh, use wet fingers to massage the scrub into your lips.
Step 4: Rinse. You know how it goes!
Step 5: Use lip balm. To hydrate your lips and lock in that super-smooth feeling, apply a coat of a nourishing lip balm.
Follow these tips to exfoliate your body for softer-feeling skin all over.
Step 1: Begin with dry skin. Before you even hop in the shower, put on a pair of exfoliating gloves or grab your loofah and gently rub your skin in circular motions to begin the dead skin cell shedding process.
Step 2: Get in the shower. After you’ve scrubbed your dry skin from head to toe, let the water run down your body to start the next step of exfoliation goodness.
Step 3: Use an exfoliating cleanser. Just like you did with your dry skin, you’ll want to exfoliate in circular motions, only this time with the addition of a gentle exfoliating body wash.
Step 4: Give your elbows, feet, and knees extra TLC. Be sure to pay more attention to these areas because they’re especially prone to dryness.
Step 5: Don’t skip your back. Although you can’t reach it easily, make sure not to neglect your back. Instead, grab a back brush to exfoliate hard-to-reach places.
Step 6: Rinse. After you’ve exfoliated like a pro, rinse off with lukewarm water.
Step 7: Apply moisturizer. Directly after hopping out of the shower and patting yourself mostly dry, apply your favorite hydrating moisturizer everywhere you just exfoliated.
Step 8 (optional): Apply self-tanner. Now that you’ve scrubbed every inch of your skin, it’s the prime time to get sun-kissed skin. Instead of stepping foot under the sun, use a gradual self-tanner. Smooth the L’Oréal Paris Sublime Bronze™ Hydrating Self-Tanning Milk Medium evenly over your skin, being sure to allow it to dry completely before dressing.
Next, find out How to Cleanse Your Skin from Head to Toe and How to Use Moisturizer From Head to Toe.