REVEAL YOUR SOFTER SIDE
The process of shedding an outer layer of skin is a critical part of the life cycle of many animal species. Exfoliation can bring a similar sense of renewal for people, too, both physically and mentally.
“The skin cells on the body are hardier than those on our face and don’t renew on their own as easily,” says New York-based dermatologist Dr Julie Russak. So we need to pitch in and scrub from the neck down more than we do from the neck up.
There are many ways to exfoliate, but the mechanical route is the best for your mood. The reason: it requires actual physical scrubbing and interaction with your bod, unlike a chemical exfoliator, which uses acids (think glycolic or lactic) to do the job.
Sugar- or salt-dosed body scrubs smooth and hydrate simultaneously (many also now come with a dose of mind-boosting aromatherapy). But you might also want to enlist an exfoliating tool. Textured body mitts rely on nothing but brisk buffing once or twice a week to eliminate dead skin cells on tough areas such as the feet, elbows and knees. Then there’s dry body brushing – the Ayurvedic practice of sweeping a vegetable-bristle brush from the toes to the neck.
“The upward motion revs blood circulation and also helps with lymphatic drainage too,” explains Russak.