THUNDER BAY – Health – Ever go to put your foundation on only to find that it has shown you ever single dry flake of skin you have?
Or tried to put on a pair of socks or stockings and get the fear the you might of ripped them on the hard callouses on your feet?
Maybe it’s time to exfoliate!
Exfoliation is the sloughing off dead skin cells. You can do this in a number of ways. And trust me there are a million ways! Some quick, some lazy and some are better.
“I have felt the scratchy wrath of my husband’s feet late in the night, leaving long red marks on the top of my feet”
But first: did you know our skin replenishes itself a layer a day? (there are about 30 layers to the epidermis: the top layer of our skin)
As we age those layers get weaker and not as many are re grown as fast.
Exfoliating can help keep stimulating that regrow to keep a more youthful complexion. Men tend to stay more youthful looking because of their shaving habbits; the shaving takes that top layer off every time.
When it comes to our hands and feet exfoliation can help take away the dead skin that bacteria likes to attach to(making smelly feet) and helps keep them soft and smooth.
Callouses is the build up dead skin that creates a thick, rigid layer. In many cases we want to keep this thick layer as a form of protection for work. but once it becomes cracked and too thick it can hurt, trap bacteria, restrict blood flow and scratch yourself your clothes and your loved one. (I have felt the scratchy wrath of my husband’s feet late in the night, leaving long red marks on the top of my feet and legs).
My biggest resistance and questions about pedicures is ” you won’t take it off right? I need it for work.”
Regular manicures and pedicures can help with these issues and a proper esthetician will know from your consultation how much to take off.
The types of exfoliation
Well start with the improper ways first. I know many people are guilty of doing these with just our nails or a dry towel:
Scratching / Picking / Peeling / Hard Rubbing
If your skin is dry it most likely is also sensitive. Using your nails damages the skin more(can even cut yourself) and can spread more bacteria. Sensitive skin stay hurt and stay red longer.
What we should be doing for proper exfoliation:
- Using the appropriate type of scrub
- Loofhas/pumice stones
- Dry brushing
- Use creams for dry/sensitive/itchy skin
When looking into getting different types of scrubs look at the size and the ingredients.There are different sizes and depending on how much dry skin and how sensitive it is you’ll need to gauge what you need.
There are the simple scrubs, usually meant for the face. They used to have “microbeads” in them but those at least in Ontario have been banned as the microbeads don’t get filtered out and get put back into the water supply. For more information about microbead water contamination go to this cbc article. You can make your own at home using a variety of soft scrubbers like oats, honey, yogurt and fruit.
The next step up for scrubs are the sugar scrubs. I personally find the softer ones are made with brown sugar, but the ones with white or sugar crystals are in the medium category. This means that you can feel them actually scratch. My favorite of these sugar scrubs is made by CND. It is the Almond Sugar Scrub.
The boss level of scrubs are the salt scrubs, these have the biggest crystals and are best left for non-tickelish pedicure clients. They are very rough on the skin and I personally only really use this for a callous and heel treatment.
Loofahs and Pumice stones are more helpers than actual exfoliators. You can use the loofahs(a dried out husk from a cousin to the cucumber) in the bath with your body wash. You can use the brush you use for dry brushing as well instead. I would for sure use a different brush for dry brushing though. A dry brush is very soft bristles that are longer so they give more space to move around and not actually tear your skin. I have a nice little facial brush that is synthetic that I use to wash my face with that adds the same idea.(no not that one in the picture at the beginning of this post!)
A pumice is a type of volcanic rock(or a artificially made one) that has kind of sharp little holes all over it, and is meant pretty much only for your feet(sometimes your hands). I do not recommend that you use this anywhere else!
These 3 types of helpers are prone to catching bacteria, so I suggest that they should be replaced about every 6 months to a year.
Last is the best advice: use cream or aloe vera! There are a billion different types of creams that help calm down the itching if that is why you are looking for different scrubs. It’s better to soothe the problem that possibly make it worse. If it is a medical issue like eczema, exfoliating it won’t help because the issue is coming for deeper than your epidermis. I love my aloe vera, I use it on all my newer scars and on any contact dermatitis(eczema) spots.
If you have any questions or concerns post a comment or email me and I can help you out!