From scrubs and exfoliating cleansers to hand-held microdermabrasion devices, facial exfoliating has become a must for beauty-conscious gals wanting smooth, even toned skin. But it doesn’t end there — products specifically for the body are coming out in masses. But before we get behind this new craze, we decided to speak with dermatologist Dr. Neal Schultz, the unofficial exfoliant spokesperson, to answer some of our burning questions, like if it’s even essential. And should we exfoliate our scalp? And what about dry winter skin?
DO Exfoliate Your Body: You should exfoliate the skin below your neck for same reasons you exfoliate your face — to smooth the surface, to prevent breakouts and to help downplay brown spots and pores. Exfoliating your body also helps your moisturizer penetrate better and your self-tanner apply more evenly, since the process removes dead cells that make skin’s surface rough.
DON’T Exfoliate Your Lips: Step away from exfoliating lip products. As a mucus membrane, lips only have a thin top layer of skin cells that is naturally smooth and sensitive. “Exfoliating causes damage and chapped lips, even if using a physical exfoliant like a toothbrush. Instead, stick to lip sunscreens and moisturizers,” Dr. Schultz says.
DO Exfoliate Daily: Dr. Schultz recommends exfoliating your body every day to eliminate build-up.
DON’T Exfoliate Your Scalp: Because your hair covers your scalp, you don’t have to routinely exfoliate. Instead, use a glycogenic acid shampoo, such as Neutrogena T/Sal Therapeutic Shampoo – Scalp Build-Up Control ($4.99, Neutrogena.com), only if you have dandruff, oily skin on the scalp or any product build-up.
DO Exfoliate Dry Skin: While parched skin may feel sensitized, it’s actually a good idea to exfoliate. “Glycolic acid removes cells on the surface that prevent water from absorbing into the skin,” Dr. Schultz told us. Make sure to apply a strong moisturizer after exfoliating to lock in hydration.
Products To Try:
1. Glō•therapeutics Therapeutic Body Exfoliant ($38, gloprofessional.com) is a natural exfoliant has powdered bamboo stem extract to remove dead skin cells gently.
2. Glytone Retexturize Exfoliating Body Wash ($28, glytone-usa.com) cleanses and exfoliates with glycolic acid in one quick step.
3. Beauty RX Skincare by Dr. Schultz Advanced Exfoliating Therapy Pads ($70, beautyrx.com) has 10% glycolic acid and removes the top of dead skin with one swipe.
Read more: Quick Fixes For Instantly Prettier Skin