Women's Health Australia - - BEAUTY & STYLE -

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.

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