Body Scrubs, Decoded
Most people use scrubs because they want silky soft skin, which makes sense. But that's not all they do: scrubbing the skin helps to remove dead cells that would otherwise build up and suffocate the skin. A good scrub also refines the skin's texture, evens out its tone, improves elasticity, stimulates circulation and boosts capillary action. Plus, as an added bonus, freshly exfoliated skin will better absorb any lotions and treatments you apply afterwards.
Exfoliating scrubs are either mechanical or chemical and are available as creams, gels or mousses. The first type, mechanical scrubs, contain small grains; usually sand, salt, or ground nut shells; to buff and polish the skin by scraping off dead cells. Chemical scrubs are made up of AHA and BHAs (glycolic acid, lactic acid and salicylic acid) are better suited to sensitive skin and work by, essentially, eating up your dead skin cells. Conveniently, most chemical exfoliants for the body are contained within lotions and creams, which means that you can moisturise while getting smooth skin at the same time. Bonus!
For best results, apply a grainy (mechanical) scrub to slightly damp skin using circular movements to stimulate blood flow. This is even more important if you want to get rid of cellulite as the motion will really help to drain any toxins that have accumulated. That said, if you rub too hard you'll damage the skin's barrier; you want it to feel like you're doing something, but it shouldn't be painful in the slightest. Remember to go easy on your dé colletage as the skin is very fragile here. Rinse your body scrub off in the shower (it's not pleasant to get dressed and have tiny grains scratching at your skin!) and then behold your silky smooth skin!
For best results, exfoliate on a regular basis: once a week for dry or sensitive skin and twice a week for normal to oily skin. Remember to avoid scrubs if your skin shows any signs of sunburn; your skin needs a chance to heal and you don't want to cause any further irritation. Don't forget to finish your scrubbing session with a moisturising cream; this will now absorb into the skin better and form a protective barrier against moisture loss.