Exfoliating Your Body: Head to Toe

Getting Your Skin Soft and Smooth All Over

We all know how important exfoliation is for every part of our body.  We know we need to exfoliate the dead skin cells off of our body, but not all areas of your body should be treated the same. Your face can not be exfoliated with the same product you use on your feet and vice-versa. In this article we break down the body into 6 parts and explain how to exfoliate each area of your body safely and effectively.

Updated by Hanah Tetro

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Exfoliating Your Scalp

Side view of a woman scrubbing her hair
Stockbyte/Stockbyte/Getty Images

Even if you are someone who regularly exfoliates their body, you might not have ever thought about exfoliating your scalp, even if you do have some dry skin issues going on up there.  If you have dry scalp or dandruff, exfoliating your scalp can help minimize those embarrassing flakes and make you feel more comfortable too.  The better you exfoliate your scalp, the less itching you will have in that area.

We all have dry scalp issues from time to time and dry scalp is not dandruff, just dead skin cells.  There is no reason to be embarrassed by dry scalp; your scalp is just an extension of your skin.  Exfoliating also helps to get rid of oil and dirt that build up on your scalp from the use of hair products.  

You can definitely go the DIY route when it comes to exfoliating your scalp or buy a product that can do the job for you like epsom salts. There are many products that can help you exfoliate your scalp effectively.  Also look for shampoos with salicylic acid or urea in them like Neutrogena T/Sal Shampoo or Sebamed Extreme DRY Skin Relief Shampoo 5% Urea to effectively exfoliate that area of your body.

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Exfoliating Your Face

Exfoliate Your Face for Smooth, Fresh Skin
Exfoliate Your Face for Smooth, Fresh Skin. Photographers Choice/Getty Images

When it comes to your face, exfoliating is the key to good skin, no matter your skin type. If you have dry skin, exfoliating helps get rid of the flaky dry skin and in doing so, helps the hydrating products you apply work better because they do not have to work their way through dead skin cells to work. If you have oily skin or combination skin, exfoliating helps reduce breakouts and blackheads by clearing away dead skin cells and excess oil which can buildup in skin cells and cause clogged pores and acne.  Every time you exfoliate you help to bring fresh new skin cells to the surface of your skin, and your skin is softer and smoother.

The product you use for exfoliating your face varies according to your skin type.  Here are some product recommendations you can find on Amazon.com:

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Exfoliating Your Lips

Exfoliate Your Lips with a Toothbrush
Exfoliate Your Lips with a Toothbrush. Stockbyte/Getty Images

If you're constantly finding your lipstick flaking off or you just can't seem to keep your lips from peeling, there's one way to get those kissable lips back in order - exfoliating! (Step-by-step instructions). Our lips easily dry out which makes exfoliating them a must.

There are products you can buy in order to exfoliate your lips or you can simply use a soft toothbrush with some vaseline on it to gently scrub your lips. It is important to be gentle when exfoliating your lips. One added bonus from exfoliating is the natural color that will show on your lips from stimulating the blood flow to your lips. You can also make your own lip scrub easily if you prefer to exfoliate that way.

Like every area of your body, make sure to properly moisturize your lips after you exfoliate.

Check out a couple of our favorite lip scrubs on Amazon.com: 

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Exfoliating Your Hands

Your Hands Will Tell Your True Age
Your Hands Will Tell Your True Age. Digital Vision/Getty Images

If there is one anti-aging tip you take away from this site it would be that your hands (and your chest!) won't keep your age a secret if you don't start treating them the same way you treat the skin on your face. You can use all the anti-aging products you want on your face, but if you don't include your hands and chest, you won't be fooling anyone about your real age. (5 Top Tips for Younger Looking Hands.)

Exfoliate your hands just as you would your body a few times a week. You can do this in the shower with your body scrub or you can use a hand scrub and keep by your sink or in the shower for a bit of pampering.  Be sure to apply a rich hand cream after moisturizing in order to keep your hands looking young for longer.  During the day use a hand cream with SPF in it.

Check out a couple of our favorite hand scrubs on Amazon.com: 

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Exfoliating Your Body

Exfoliating your body is a must. Your body sheds dead skin cells at an alarming rate and simply washing your body with soap doesn't even make a dent in the removal of dead skin cells. (Dust much? See how much of the dust in your home is dead skin cells.)  In order to have soft and smooth skin on your body you need to exfoliate your body at least once a week.

Because most of  the skin on your body isn't as thin as the skin on your face, you can have some fun when it comes to exfoliating your body. You can use the dry brush method, buy a fun body scrub or make your own. (Cinnamon Swirl Coffee Scrub Recipe). Or, if you are looking for something easy and budget friendly, a palm full of sugar mixed with your body wash makes a perfect body scrub.  You can even use your leftover coffee grounds from your morning cup of coffee to exfoliate your body.  Just be warned that this is an effective but messy way to exfoliate!  Or even raid your kitchen cabinet and mix olive oil with salt to exfoliate.

When you exfoliate your body concentrate longer on areas such as your knees and elbows which are prone to dry skin.

Check out our favorite body scrubs available on Amazon.com: 

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Exfoliating Your Feet

Exfoliate your feet
Heidi Coppock-Beard/Stone/Getty Images

Exfoliating your feet is a must-do job!  Your feet take a beating each and every day, and they deserve to be pampered. Exfoliate them by giving yourself an at-home pedicure or simply do it in the shower with your body scrub or a pumice stone.

Because your feet are harder to exfoliate than your body, you can use a scrub on them 3 to 4 times a week or more depending on your results. You will get best results if you soak them for 15 minutes in Epsom Salts or another foot soak before removing the dead skin. To exfoliate, try our favorite foot scrub or make one of your own.  You can also use an exfoliating foot lotion like Theraplex Exfoliating Emollient Cream every day after showering in order to keep your feet looking and feeling great.  There are also foot peels that remove all the dead skin on your feet.  These foot peels are gross but effective.

The most important thing to remember is to apply a thick, hydrating foot cream, such as Curel's Deep Penetrating Foot Cream (read review) to your feet after exfoliating in order to keep your feet as smooth as possible for as long as possible. Buy on Amazon.com.