What are the Different Types of Body Exfoliation Treatments?

Diane Goettel
Diane Goettel

There are a number of body exfoliation treatments that can be used to help slough off dead skin cells and keep the skin healthy and looking beautiful. Exfoliation products can be divided into three basic categories. There are body exfoliation products which can be used pretty much everywhere between the neck and the toes. There are also special products for exfoliating the feet, the part of the body most prone to rough skin and callouses. There are also products specifically for facial exfoliation, which are gentler than the other two.

A body scrub.
A body scrub.

Our skin is our largest organ. It protects us from the elements and is the first line of defense against dozens of things that we come into contact with on a daily basis. As such, skin needs some tender loving care from time to time. The skin regularly grows new skin cells and sheds dead skin cells. Unlike snakes, we do not simply slither out of our dead skin on a regular basis and sneak away with brand new, glowing skin. Instead, we have to exfoliate.

Lavender is a common addition to bath products.
Lavender is a common addition to bath products.

Body exfoliation products are commonly made with salt crystals or sugar crystals that are packed in some kind of skin-friendly oil such as olive oil or jojoba oil. These products also often include essential oils extracted from plants such as lavender or lemongrass. When the product is rubbed over the body, it helps to loosen and cleanse away dead skin cells, leaving behind fresh, healthy skin. These products can be used in the bath or shower and are safe for plumbing systems as their primary ingredients are soluble in water.

Salt, combined with olive oil, is a simple and effective exfoliation treatment that can be made at home.
Salt, combined with olive oil, is a simple and effective exfoliation treatment that can be made at home.

There are also spa treatments that include body exfoliation. In these treatments, the skin from the neck to the feet is scrubbed with an exfoliant, rinsed clean, and may also be treated with a body masque. These treatments, which can be very indulgent, relaxing, and effective at exfoliation, can also be quite pricey. Using a body exfoliation at home can be just as effective as long as you have and loofah with a long handle that you can use to get to the hard-to-reach areas.

Many body scrubs utilize sugar for exfoliating dry skin patches.
Many body scrubs utilize sugar for exfoliating dry skin patches.

It is simple to make a body-exfoliation product just with ingredients found in most kitchens. Mix equal parts of olive oil with either salt or refined sugar, add a few drops of your favorite essential oil, and enjoy a good scrub. Note that it is best to use sugar if you have recently shaved your legs as the salt may sting. Do not use any sort of exfoliant on broken or irritated skin.

Soaps that incorporate exfoliants can help rub away dry skin.
Soaps that incorporate exfoliants can help rub away dry skin.
Sugar and oil is a good exfoliation treatment for recently-shaved legs.
Sugar and oil is a good exfoliation treatment for recently-shaved legs.
Diane Goettel
Diane Goettel

In addition to her work as a freelance writer for wiseGEEK, Diane is the executive editor of Black Lawrence Press, an independent publishing company based in upstate New York. She has also edited several anthologies, the e-newsletter Sapling, and The Adirondack Review. Diane has a B.A. from Sarah Lawrence College and an M.A. from Brooklyn College.

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Discussion Comments

fBoyle

An exfoliating body mask sounds interesting. I had never heard of such a thing before But I don't use a body exfoliator, I just use a pumice stone to exfoliate my feet.

ysmina

@SarahGen-- I think you're talking about keratosis pilaris. The skin on your arms looks like chicken skin right?

I have this condition too. It's when the skin produces too much of a protein called keratin. Keratin prevents hair from breaking through the skin because the skin becomes very thick. It results in those bumps you're seeing.

You need an abrasive exfoliating treatment on those areas. I recommend getting an exfoliating body scrub or adding some sea salt or coarse sugar into your body wash. You can also use a loofah to get rid of the dead skin. You should exfoliate those areas three times a week.

But don't use the same abrasive treatments elsewhere because the skin on other parts of your body is going to be thinner and more sensitive.

SarahGen

The skin on my arms is very thick and has little bumps everywhere. It almost looks like ingrown hairs. I exfoliate my skin every other day in the shower with my shower gel and a washcloth but it's not working very well. The bumps on my arms are still there. It looks so bad.

What type of exfoliation treatment do I need for this?

Does anyone know what I'm talking about?

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