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How to exfoliate like a skin care pro

Kori Ellis is an editor and writer based in San Antonio, TX, where she lives with her husband and four children. At SheKnows, she writes about parenting, fashion, beauty and other lifestyle topics. Additionally, Kori has been published i...

The must-know rules to exfoliating for smooth, glowing skin once and for all

Skincare can get pretty overwhelming. Everywhere you turn, another company is pushing a miracle cream, serum or mask — but the secret to perfecting your beauty regimen might actually lie in good old fashioned exfoliation.

Exfoliating — which is really just a fancy word for removing dead skin cells — helps expose the new and radiant skin underneath the surface. It's also an excellent way to prep your skin for the aforementioned creams and serums. The truth is, if you're looking to give yourself a natural glow, exfoliating from head to toe is one of the easiest ways to achieve it.

And when we say head to toe, we mean head to toe! We so often pamper our faces, but forget to do the same for the rest of our skin below the neck. Whether you are seeking to rejuvenate winter skin, trying to get bikini ready, or getting prepared to apply tanning products, proper exfoliation is key.

The must-know rules to exfoliating for smooth, glowing skin once and for all
Image: Tiffany Egbert/SheKnows

How to exfoliate

Supplies:

  • Exfoliating cleanser
  • Loofah, body brush or exfoliating gloves
  • Pumice stone
  • Body lotion

More: 5 Great reasons to exfoliate your face tonight

Instructions:

  1. Before stepping into the shower, brush your dry skin with your loofah, body brush or exfoliating gloves. This will help remove the loose skin and prepare your skin for the exfoliating process. Begin with the soles of your feet, working your way up your body.
  2. Get into the shower and wet your body from head to toe. Don't exfoliate your skin if you are sunburned or have any open cuts or wounds.
  3. Use a pumice stone on your feet to eliminate rough spots and calluses. If your feet are extremely rough, soak them in a basin of warm water mixed with a cup of milk for 30 minutes before getting into the shower.
  4. Apply your exfoliating cleanser to your loofah or gloves. Begin scrubbing your body in a circular motion starting with the bottoms of your feet and working your way up. When you reach the bikini area, don't scrub too hard because the skin is very sensitive.
  5. Use a body brush to exfoliate your back and other hard-to-reach places.
  6. Be gentle on your face, particularly around your eyes and mouth. Use an exfoliating product especially formulated for the face, which is gentler than products designed to be used on the body.
  7. Don't forget about your hands. You want them to look and feel soft and smooth too!
  8. Rinse your body with lukewarm water, and follow with the coldest water you can stand.
  9. After stepping out of the shower, apply a moisturizing body lotion all over. Body lotions and facial moisturizers containing alpha or beta hydroxy acids are ideal choices because these acids continue to remove dead skin cells.
  10. Use body moisturizer once a day. Exfoliation is drying to the skin, so you must keep your skin hydrated.

Next Up: Exfoliating products

Updated by Sarah Long on 11/29/16.

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