Let's Exfoliate! This week I’m breaking down the importance of exfoliation, my favorite types of exfoliants, and which ones are best for all of your bits and pieces!

Why is exfoliation important you ask?  Your skin lives in a cycle of shedding cells and regenerating cells, renewing and replenishing, approximately every 27 days. Even though this process happens naturally, it’s still really important to assist in sloughing off that top layer of dead skin. This helps evenly regenerate all of your skin cells, which in turn, allows products to easily absorb into your skin, and helps speed up the regeneration process a little bit faster, especially as we get older and .... well... things just aren’t moving as quickly.

It is also important to know just how much to exfoliate. Normally once a week is a good place to start, for the face. There is definitely a place for exfoliating more than once a week. Using different types of exfoliants throughout the week, like masks and peels, can help with certain skin conditions. Over exfoliation however, can be harmful to the skin, so make sure to follow the guidelines from your dermatologist or aesthetician. As far as how often to exfoliate your larger bits and pieces, well that’s a personal choice. I always find that a good scrub on my legs, right before I shave, always gives me smoother skin, and a shave that lasts longer than just a couple days!  If you’re a waxer, you should always give a good scrub the day before your appointment. Exfoliating your arms and legs a little bit more during the winter time will also help your body better absorb moisturizers and lotions, which will help combat that winter cracked skin. Again, always be careful not to over exfoliate, especially if you have sensitive skin.

So what do we use? With so many exfoliants on the market, how do you know which one is going to be the best for you?

When it comes to the face, of course I always recommend going to see your local aesthetician. They will be able to prescribe the perfect exfoliants to help renew and replenish, and keep you looking young and fresh. Here’s a little breakdown of some of the most popular exfoliants on the market, and what bits and pieces to best use them on.

Physical or mechanical exfoliants can be anything from a washcloth or a brush, to herbal powders and clays. Chemical exfoliation is anything that uses fruit acids, enzymes, or chemical acids, to help slough off that dead skin. Chemical exfoliants are primarily for the face. You can probably find these over the counter… however, if you’re going to use one of these, I would definitely get a recommendation from a dermatologist or aesthetician. 

Wash cloth and brushes- if you can believe it, these actually can be a little bit harsher then other types of exfoliants. Always try to find the softest materials and limit the brush on your face. Over using a brush on your face can actually expand your pores over time.

Sugar And Salt- Sugar scrubs are my absolute favorite! These are more of a polish for your body, as most sugar scrubs use a fine sugar. The Bella Vita Apothecary Sugar Foaming Body Polish is one of our bestsellers! I choose to use an high quality, organic super fine unrefined sugar, which always leaves your skin feeling silky smooth. You can use sugar polishes for the face, but I prefer other exfoliants as there are so many other options for that part of the body.  Salt scrubs are going to be more coarse than sugar, and are great for knees, elbows, feet and for those who have a tough or thick skin. For a great and easy to use salt scrub, try our Hawaiian Coconut Salt Bars! Coarse Hawaiian sea salt and freshly dried coconut have been paired to target those tough skinned areas. I don't personally recommend salt for the face.

Herbal powders, Fruit seeds and Flours- Nice and gentle, these natural exfoliants are great for your face. They can be from anything from berry seeds to honey powder or rice flour. Because of the finer texture of these exfoliants, they really aren’t going to do much for the thicker skin layers on your larger body parts. But for those delicate bits, these are the perfect match! Right now, our number one selling product, is our Bamboo and Acai Facial Scrub. Bamboo powder works as the exfoliant, and its silky fine texture and gentle nature, are perfect for even the most sensitive skin. 

Clays- The wonderful category of clays! Clays have been used for centuries not only to exfoliate the skin, but to also add color to cosmetics. They are considered the most gentle of the exfoliants. Usually activated with  water, oil, or coconut milk, they create a paste, that will not only exfoliate, but detox the skin. There are a lot of different clays on the market, so it’s easy to find one to suit your skin type. Clays are a wonderful addition to any skin care regimen and can be used from head to toe. Because rose clay is great for dry, mature and sensitive skin, I have selected to pair it with Camellia seed oil and chamomile extract, in our Rose and Camellia Mask. Soothing and brightening, leaving your skin with a glow. I paired the gentle oil absorbing french green clay with seaweed and kelp in our Wakame Detoxifying Mask, to soothe and detox oily and combination skin. 

There are so many other natural exfoliants, but these are just a few of my favorite. 

Which exfoliates have you tried? Do you have a Favorite? Leave a comment below!  I would love to know what you are using!

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