Why Exfoliating Is Important and the Best Ways to Do It
Skin Is Your Largest Organ
The skin is the largest and heaviest organ in and on the body. An organ is defined as a group of cells that work together to perform a specific function in an organism. It's easy to see how our skin is working all the time for us. So we should take good care of it. And part of doing so is exfoliating dead cells off.
The skin has more functions than you may have thought about. It protects our bodies (besides the obvious like other organs, bones, etc) from the outside world. It's waterproof! It's constantly changing and regenerating. It keeps our internal temperature regulated, and it's a giant communication device full of millions of nerve endings that tell our brain about stimuli outside of our bodies, what is safe, and more importantly, what is not.
So besides wanting great-looking skin, beauty is more than one reason to make an effort to take care of it.
How Often Do We Shed Skin and Where Does It Go?
Stay with me here, don't get too grossed out. On average, between 30,000 and 40,000 skin cells fall off your body every hour. Every hour! How amazing is that? Over a 24-hour period, you lose almost a million skin cells. And that's not from doing anything special. That's just from walking around existing! Blech!
So where is it going?
Well, that dust that has collected on your tables, furniture, TV, windowsills and all your other stuff is made mostly from dead human skin cells. Basically, your house is filled with former bits of you. In one year, you'll shed more than 8 pounds of dead skin. Eight pounds! Besides being gross and a never-ending dusting chore, it's pretty amazing!
Ready to barf yet? If not, this ought-ta do it...your house is also filled with a lot of microscopic life forms called dust mites that eat your old dead skin. Yummy. Hey? We all gotta live.
Yuck! Well...at least the ecosystem planned using that dead skin for something. Food.
Does My Skin Need to Be Exfoliated?
Some of the things you may notice from skin that would benefit from exfoliation are:
- Rough appearance or texture
- Acne or other breakouts
- Uneven texture, tone
- Sun and age spots
- Having dry, flaky, irritated skin
Why Is Exfoliation Important?
- Regular exfoliation helps ward off the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles
- Exfoliation keeps your skin soft, smooth and glowing!
- It helps keep pores clean and prevent clogging
- It helps your skin absorb moisture and retain it
- It helps prevent ingrown hairs
- Exfoliation helps your largest organ renew faster by removing the dead wasted skin cells. Age, sun damage, and hormonal changes slow down your body's natural shedding process. Exfoliating helps you shed the dead skin cells faster
- It helps reduce and prevent acne by removing bacteria that may be on your skin
- It helps reduce the chore of dusting since you'll have less dead skin floating around your house. Just kidding! I don't know...but it seems legit!
The Absolute Best Ways to Exfoliate
I'm a big nut when it comes to skincare and trying natural things to fight aging. I also happen to be a big-time cheapskate and will not spend thousands of dollars on things that do not work. I believe 100% that I have found the best ways to exfoliate dead skin cells from my body and face effectively, and with my budget in mind.
This all started when I began epilating and ingrown hairs were an issue. Since then though, I've come to realize I love to exfoliate my skin and have added this routine to my ever-changing fight against father time.
- Homemade body scrub—Find a jar (usually 1-2 cups in size is perfect) and mix equal parts of your favorite oil (I use Coconut Oil, but Jojoba is great too) with your favorite sugar or salt. You can use white sugar or brown, table salt, or sea salt. Although, some sea salt will be more coarse and abrasive. Slather this on your body 2-4 times a week and gently, but vigorously scrub while you are in the shower. Add essential oils to the mix for a really great "spa" experience at home! Check out the cost of pre-made skin scrubs at places like Mustard Seed Market, or Earth Fare, you'd be in a stupor at how much retailers charge for this simple stuff!
- Body poofs—Go to Walmart, Bed Bath and Beyond, or other similar retailer and buy yourself a body poof, they are those netted looking scrubby things for when you shower. Choose the one labeled for exfoliation, they are $1-2, usually are larger, and feel more abrasive. Use this daily on your entire body with your favorite body wash or bar soap or even with plain water, it really doesn't matter. Make sure to replace these every other month because of bacteria that can accumulate.
- Buy yourself a Le'Edge Body Exfoliator—These are anywhere from $10-$15. They can be sterilized for endless use and are absolutely flipping amazing! They are such a simple idea, I wish I would have invented them. Duh! Anyhow, I use mine daily on my entire body and face. It is especially wonderful for my legs during the winter when the dry air makes my skin irritated and flaky. But it's great on my arms, back, belly, face, anywhere I can reach using it. All you have to do is glide it over your skin like you would any shaving razor.
- Pumice stone—A great pumice stone can be found at your local Dollar Tree, and that is all you need for rough dry feet, elbows or knees.
- Drink plenty of good quality water—Since our bodies are roughly 50-65% water, the importance of having enough of it is obvious. Water is vital for our bodies, it keeps us hydrated (which adds to the youthful glow) and keeps our cells nice and plump.
More Extreme Options...
If you're really adventurous you can try these items too. But you probably won't need them if you use the other suggestions above.
- Body brushes
- Microdermabrasion machines
- Microdermabrasion crystals
- Microneedle rollers
- Home chemical peels (can be very dangerous! Proceed with extreme caution)
That's it. That is all you need and have to do to give yourself fresh, glowing, radiant, acne free, wrinkle free, skin!
Such easy and inexpensive things to do to give you the skin you're meant to be in.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2013 Rebecca