Spring is on its way and it’s about time we stop hiding under charleston trousers and long skirts! Dry and flaky leg skin has caused us so much distress that we have to put an end it completely. Little do a lot of women know that the solution is simpler than they perceive it.
Throughout this tutorial, I will attempt to answer various questions on how to exfoliate legs and other body parts using several exfoliation techniques and products to fit all skin types. If you’ve been wondering about what tools to purchase and what DIY recipes to follow, you’ve come to the right place.
- Before Getting Started
- The Tutorial
- Pro Tips
Before Getting Started
What does “exfoliate” mean?
Exfoliation is the method of eliminating dead skin cells either manually by scrubbing the skin (scrubs are typically made with granules of salt, sugar, coffee or oatmeal along with essential oils as its base) or chemically (also known as chemical peeling). Exfoliation stimulates the blood flow and helps in retrieving a healthier-looking complexion. Regular exfoliation can heavily reduce the appearance of annoying acne scars, ingrown hairs, and dark spots.
What would a full body exfoliation do for you?
Our skin tends to accumulate dirt which in return clog our pores and make hair removal an undesired hassle (more than it already is!).
We owe our bodies exfoliation for various reasons: for starters, getting rid of the annoying ingrown hairs. Having an exfoliation routine within your skincare regimen reduces the development of ingrown hair (hairs growing inwards and sideways rather than on the skin surface). Also, exfoliation aides with improving chicken skin, or keratosis pilaris.
Moreover, it facilitates unwanted hair removal, as well as maintains a soft skin. This means that your skin will be more absorbent to moisturization products. Regular exfoliation helps improve the overall complexion and restoring a younger-looking, elastic skin.
How to exfoliate skin naturally? And who should do it?
Exfoliation is flexible and having an exfoliation routine can be customized to each person. The best way to find out your most preferred method is by being very experimental. Whether you’re teaming with dry or wet exfoliation, brushes, loofahs, or homemade scrubs, trust that exfoliation will become your best buddy in no time!
Throughout this tutorial, I’m going to recommend several bestselling products and homemade body scrubs to exfoliate the skin, along with tips on how to properly shave your legs and arms!
In the shower:
Ideally, you should exfoliate your skin 1-2 days before epilation or shaving. Avoid exfoliating after hair removal at all cost as it can irritate your skin and cause bumps or redness.
Remember to exfoliate your skin gently or else you might wake up to annoying scratches!
Exfoliation prior to hair removal eliminates any bacteria build-up and dead skin cells. It also allows the ingrown hairs to rise on the skin surface.
Scrubbing stimulates the blood flow, therefore, brings out a healthier skin glow. Get your short skirts ready, girls! Start from your feet up.
Apply gentle pressure on your skin for up to 90 seconds per area. It is better to gently scrub for a longer period of time than to rub your skin vigorously for 20 to 30 seconds.
A perfect timing for manual exfoliation would be towards the end of your shower or bath, it's when your skin is moistened and the steam has opened up your pores.
How to exfoliate your skin?
You can use one of the following tools to exfoliate, I, personally, like to mix between them according to the area I’m scrubbing.
Using Body Scrubs:
Looking for an all-natural, efficient body scrub? You should give this one a try.
Majestic Pure Himalayan Salt Body Scrub with Lychee Essential Oil, All Natural Scrub to Exfoliate & Moisturize Skin, 12 oz
This scrub is rich in calcium, magnesium, potassium, copper & iron; suitable for men and women. These nutrients effectively detoxify your body and moisturize it deeply. The lychee essential oil is a great source of vitamin C and high in antioxidants. It smells heavenly, too!
Homemade Body Scrubs To Exfoliate The Skin:
Usually made with over-the-counter products: salt (sea salt or Epsom), sugar (brown or white), coffee or oatmeal, carrier oils (coconut, olive oil, jojoba oil) and essential oils (
Lemon, lavender, tea tree).
- 1Lemon Sugar Oil Scrub:
Combine 1 cup of white sugar with ¼ of a cup of coconut oil. You can alter coconut oil with almond, jojoba, or grapeseed oil. Add the juice of one lemon or around 15 drops of lemon essential oil. Store in a mason jar and use 1-2 times per week for optimal results.
- 2Coffee Sugar Body Scrub:
Mix 1 cup of organic coffee grounds with 1 cup of sugar (brown or white) then slowly add ½ a cup of coconut oil. You can also add a couple of drops of vanilla extract for a refreshing scent.
- 3Oatmeal Body Scrub:
I absolutely love this recipe from easy-aromatherapy-recipes.com, Mix ¼ of a cup of finely-ground rolled oats and the same amount of ground almonds with ¼ of a cup of cornmeal. Add 1 tablespoon of sweet almond oil, 9 drops of palmarosa essential oil, 2 of geranium and another 2 of chamomile essential oil.
Dry brushing is one of the hottest trends in skincare today. According to Margo Marrone, a London-based apothecary’s founder: “Dry brushing can stimulate the lymphatic system as it stimulates and invigorates the skin.”
The reasons behind dry brushing popularity is that it is an affordable alternative to body scrubs and creams. It’s perfect for your leg, thigh and buttocks exfoliation. Oureverydaylife.com advises to always brush toward the heart. Dry brushing can be done multiple times a week. And the best thing is, you can noticeably see skin improvement and smoothness after the first use.
Chemical exfoliation is strongly advised for sensitive body parts like the bikini area and also for your face and neck. Dermatologists recommend that people with sensitive skin try out gentle peeling lotions such as glycolic acids lotions as manual exfoliation is bind to irritate their skin.
If you attempt to mix the best of both worlds - lotions and manual exfoliation- pay extra care not to apply heavy pressure on your legs when manually scrubbing as the skin can get very sensitive after the application of chemical products.
How to shave your legs
Although shaving is one of the easiest and most painless methods of hair removal, having it done improperly can be disastrous.
Wrong shaving will most definitely lead to skin irritation, formulation of perky razor bumps and cuts, as well as the development of ingrown hairs. The best way to successfully shave your legs is by preparing your skin.
One to two days before your shaving session, pamper yourself with at-home exfoliation during your bath or shower. When you’re getting towards the end of your shower, scrub your legs from the ankles upward. Use one of the tools I’ve mentioned above. Pat your legs dry and apply a moisturizing lotion.
Shaving is most convenient when showering. Prepare a 3-5 minute hot shower; the steam will open up our pores and soften the hair follicles which would facilitate the shaving experience.
Take short, gentle strokes with your razor starting with the area around the ankle. Go in the direction of the hair growth to avoid razor bumps and the development of ingrown hairs. Wash the razor after every stroke to avoid bacteria build-up and don’t pass over the same area more than twice or you can irritate your skin. Moisturize after shaving to keep your skin smooth the longest!
Experimentation is essential
There is no easier way to discovering how to use body scrubs effectively (or your favorite scrub routine) without experimentation.
Try out different methods and products as long as you’re not allergic to their ingredients. Remember to always do a test patch and monitor your skin reaction.
Online product reviews
When in doubt, check the online product reviews before attempting to make a purchase. Users are typically keen on sharing their product satisfaction as well as negative experiences.
Their feedback can help you determine the quality of the exfoliator you’re buying. You can also check the side effects and possible skin reactions for each product.
Avoidance can be healthy
As mentioned before, avoid scrubbing directly after shaving to prevent skin irritation. Avoid dry scrubbing over sunburn, skin abrasions and conditions and infections.
Last but not least, avoid manual scrubbing after applying a chemical exfoliation solution or cream.
Exfoliate against hair grain
Scrubbing from your ankles upwards is the best way to exfoliate legs as it also acts as a lymphatic massage and stimulates your blood flow.
Moisturization is key
Hot showers and epilation can strip your skin of its natural oils and leave your skin dry and flaky. There is no better way to seal a great exfoliation session that by moisturizing instantly after drying your skin.
It is advised to moisturize within 1-2 minutes after showering (while your pores are still open).
Do you still have questions on the right way to shave or exfoliate your legs? Share your inquiries in the comments section below. If this tutorial has encouraged you to try out any DIY recipe we shared above, go ahead and do it! Feeling too lazy? No problem.
You can try out Majestic Pure Himalayan Salt Body Scrub with Lychee Essential Oil, All Natural Scrub to Exfoliate & Moisturize Skin, 12 oz. Share your personal experiences with manual or chemical exfoliation and enlighten others! And remember to shave, exfoliate, and moisturize correctly to nurture your skin before beach season. Happy exfoliation, folks!