The time is nigh’ to exfoliate. Why? The environmental changes of winter, along with heating, causes our skin to become more dehydrated, explains Kristy Hines, Director of Mineral Lifestyle in Paddington, Sydney. “When the skin is dehydrated it can slow down the natural shedding and cell turn-over of the skin, resulting in skin that feels and looks dry.” By sloughing off old skin cells that are happily sitting on the surface, you will reveal a fresher complexion and smoother body skin.
This manual exfoliation process can also work to kick-start cellular turnover, so that dehydration and dryness doesn’t have as good a chance to take hold. Lastly, all the gorgeous scented scrubs and body butters that buff and polish the skin will leave it sublimely scented, and ready for those shorter skirts…
Step One: Set aside 30 minutes, lock the bathroom door and take a warm bath to soften skin. The focus here is to really loosen dry surface skin, so take your time and really soak it out. Add a natural body oil like jojoba to aid the process.
Step Two: Once you’ve soaked for a while – at least ten minutes – grab a body brush, loofah or exfoliating gloves and from the feet upwards, in large circular motions, work your way upwards brushing the skin. Do this slowly as some skin areas can be more stubborn than others, so pay particular attention to heels, toes, knees, buttocks, shoulders, back and elbows. This should be a lovely process as you languish in your scented bath. Turn on some tunes and take your time.
Step Three: Once done, rinse off in the shower. This process is about saying adios to the dryness as it heads down the drain. So in the shower, you can use a face-washer to gently sweep downwards so that all the lifted skin will disappear.
Next, pat the skin dry with a – preferably heated – towel. By patting – not scrubbing – you are trapping some of the moisture in the skin, which will help to fire up the body butters and balms to come.
Step Four: You’re not there yet. The true exfoliation is about to begin. Grab a dry body brush and do a ‘dry brush’ upwards again in sweeping – not circular – motions. Pay particular attention to areas that store fat, like the buttocks, hips and tummy as this process also fires up the elimination of toxins and brings healthy circulation to the surface. For heels, give them a good rub with pumice and the back may benefit from exfoliating gloves so you can get into all the invisible grooves.
Step Five: Take another quick shower. Start with warm water to really open the pores on the body and – if you can take it – blast the body with cooler-to-cold water to really stimulate the surface and create the perfect canvas for what’s to come…
Step Six: Pat yourself dry. All the pesky, pale and flaky skin should be a thing of the past. We’re feeling smoother, more vibrant and dry, right? Now, grab your favourite body oil or body butter – the more indulgent the better – and apply liberally to the entire body. Keep it thick and creamy, and keep clothes at bay for a bit. Instead, drape yourself in a robe and put your feet up whilst the moisturizer soaks into your newly revealed, more vibrant skin.
Tanning? Tackle that tomorrow…