The Best Ways to Exfoliate From Head to Toe

How to Get Soft Skin All Over

Proper exfoliation is super important for all parts of the body. Not only does it get rid of dead skin cells, but it can also promote better circulation. However, not all parts of the body can be exfoliated the same. Some areas are more sensitive than others and require a gentler exfoliation product and process. It may sound complicated, but we've broken it down for you to make things a little easier.

Updated by Hanah Tetro

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Exfoliating Your Scalp

Even if you are someone who regularly exfoliates their body, you might not have ever thought about exfoliating your scalp. If you have dry scalp or dandruff, exfoliating your scalp can help minimize flakes and make you feel more comfortable, too. Exfoliating your scalp helps rid it of any dead skin or product residue, which means less itching and dry skin. 

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

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  flaky 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. 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 build up and cause clogged pores and acne. Every time you exfoliate, you help to bring fresh new skin cells to the surface of your skin, making your skin softer and smoother.

The product you use for exfoliating your face varies according to your skin type. Here are some of our favorites: 

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Exfoliating Your Lips

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. Our lips easily dry out which makes exfoliating a must.

There are products you can buy to exfoliate your lips (like bubble gum or vanilla bean flavored ones), 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 that it stimulates blood flow, which brings out the natural color of 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.

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Exfoliating Your Hands

Hands show age the fastest, mainly because the skin there is thin. To keep your skin looking young, 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, they'll also show age.

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 it by the sink for a bit of pampering. We love the L'Occitane Shea Oil One Minute Hand Scrub for a super luxurious feel or the Shea Moisture Olive & Green Tea Hand and Body Scrub for a scrub that does double duty. 

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.

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Exfoliating Your Body

Your body sheds dead skin cells super fast and just washing with soap doesn't remove the majority of them. 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, customizing it to any scent you want—Cinnamon Coffee, anyone? 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, too. 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. 

Some of our favorite brands, like Alba and Philosophy, also make affordable and luxurious scrubs, too. 

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

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Exfoliating Your Feet

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 three to four times a week 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 to keep your feet looking and feeling great. There are also foot peels that remove all the dead skin on your feet.

The most important thing to remember is to apply a thick, hydrating foot cream, like Curel's Deep Penetrating Foot Cream, to your feet after exfoliating in order to keep your feet as smooth as possible for as long as possible.