What is exfoliation?
Exfoliation is the removal of the dead skin cells that sit on the outer layer of your skin. This skin care ritual is performed to get rid of dulling skin cells and reveal a fresh layer of glowing skin. We turn to a skin and body care professional to guide us through the benefits of exfoliating, the skin science behind the results and how to choose the perfect whole body scrub.
Why scrubs are my favorite whole body treatment
“When it comes to overall beneficial spa treatment options, natural exfoliating body scrubs are at the top of my list. Having spent years creating and performing services that tailor spa amenities to guest needs, I can attest to the many touch points that organic exfoliants offer.
Energizing yet calming body scrubs bestow that feel-good quality by stimulating the nervous system and improving circulation and lymphatic flow. This makes exfoliation an ideal service to hasten whole body healing while its skin boosting benefits pave the way for better product absorption and a healthy glow.
Long revered as a means of beautification and improved health, the benefits of exfoliation have been extolled by the Egyptians and almost every culture throughout the ages. So, keep reading as I cover some things you should know, expect and avoid when beginning an exfoliating regimen.”
The science behind the benefits of exfoliating
“Along with being a gauge for our overall health, the importance of our outermost and largest organ goes way beyond its appearance. Skin provides these important functions:
- Protection from microorganisms, dehydration, ultraviolet light, chemical and mechanical damage.
- Insulation from heat, cold and temperature loss via thermal regulation, sweating.
- Sensation of pain, temperature, touch, and pressure.
- Stimulation of hormone release, Vitamin D and sebum production.
- Excretion of bodily waste through sweating which eliminates water, salts, urea.
Skin cells have a multifunctional life as they push their way up through 5 layers morphing, changing and filling with keratin as they finally land on the top layer of skin called the stratum corneum. After a skin cell performs all its functions, it dies and is shed by flaking off or washing. The average time it takes for skin cells to rejuvenate varies depending upon age, hormones, nutrition, sun exposure, illness and stress.
As the skin rejuvenation process slows, cells accumulate on the surface of skin causing sagging and collapse of their structure or what we see as fine lines and wrinkles. No matter your age, bacteria can become trapped in spent skin cells leading to blemishes and breakouts. Trapped damaged skin cells cause discoloration and sometimes more serious skin conditions.
The table below summarizes the profound differences in the skin cell rejuvenation cycle.”
How and why to exfoliate
“Simply put, you should be exfoliating because exfoliation promotes forced skin cell turnover, allowing old dead keratinocytes to shed and new healthy skin to come toward the surface. Exfoliation can smooth rough patches and fade acne scars / dark spots—but that’s not all. It can also reduce redness and brighten your complexion. Your dead cells re-accumulate every day, which means you should be exfoliating on the regular.
If you have sensitive skin, start off by doing a skin patch on the inner part of your arm and watch this area for any reaction for at least 24 hours. For optimal results, it’s best to begin an exfoliating scrub once a week for a few weeks, slowly working your way up to 3 to 4 times per week.
Full body scrubbing should begin at the end of your extremities and work in a sweeping and circular motion toward the heart to aid circulation and lymphatic drainage. It’s best to work scrubs into your hands before applying them, thoroughly mixing the ingredients together. Having a light hand is the key to exfoliation. Protect the barrier function of your skin by avoiding overworking any area which could cause inflammation, irritation and permanent damage to your skin and capillaries.”
How to choose the perfect body scrub
“The most traditional type of scrubs provide physical or mechanical exfoliation which gently sloughs away dead skin cells from skin’s surface through motion rather than by employing the use of chemicals (for example acid). Mechanical exfoliation works by physically shearing or loosening skin cells. Using small granules in an oil, lotion or soap base, scrubs can be used on the body and/or face.
Many exfoliants use synthetic microbeads as a “scrubbing” medium, while other natural and organic scrubs are made with sugar or salt. Compared to microbeads, salt and sugar offer additional humectant and antibacterial properties AND because they are biodegradable, these types of scrubs are much kinder to the earth and your plumbing pipes.
Using organic brown sugar or sea salt to exfoliate in combination with a skin healing oil (such cold pressed organic coconut oil) leaves your skin smooth, hydrated and luminous. The addition of organic essential oils make at-home exfoliating body scrubs a decadent experience.
While DIY skin scrub recipes are plenty, sourcing optimal ingredients can be difficult, especially during the pandemic. Homemade exfoliators can also be messy to make. Organic Fiji’s collection of USDA certified organic, island inspired natural body scrubs make your exfoliating skincare regime easy. Made with just three or less plant based ingredients that work synergically, these coconut oil based exfoliators offer a truly evocative tropical escape.
Organic Fiji body scrubs come in various essential oil based aromas: Fragrance Free for sensitive skin, Lemongrass Tangerine, Lavender, Coconut Lime, Pineapple Coconut or Peppermint. All variations are certified USDA Organic by Oregon Tilth, as well as being vegan, cruelty free, gluten free and ethically sourced.”
Different types of body scrub experiences
“Whether you’re looking for a sugar scrub for acne, a salt scrub for your feet, a gentle body scrub for sensitive skin, a healing body scrub for keratosis pilaris, a smoothing body scrub for psoriasis or a moisturizing body scrub for dry skin patches – there’s something for everyone!
For those who are feeling the effects of increased hand washing, a natural hand scrub is the perfect compliment to your moisturizer and its polishing action will help with skin healing, cracked cuticles and will hydrate nails elevating home manicures. The less cracks there are for germs to hide, the safer the surface of your hands!
Taking the time to do full body scrubs goes beyond surface level action and adds a bit of decadence to bathing. It is also just as important for a flawless self tanner application as it is for extending the life of your tan. Traditional rituals such as Turkish baths include a body scrub to enhance the health of the skin’s foundational layer before soaking in the sun rays.
Personally, I love foot baths that incorporate scrubs. Their simple yet luxurious spa-level feel encourages relaxation on every level.”
“Importance of self care: Allowing time to relax and improve your quality of life is important during times of stress. This is what creating a spa-at-home experience is all about. Using products that are formulated with clean organic ingredients, ups the feel good factor. Enjoy an island escape while stimulating your skin and your senses with routine body polishing. Be sure to check back for more wellness tips and ways you can turn your self care routines into pampering rituals.”
Integrating coconut oil body products into your natural skin care routine is more than a product choice, it’s an ancient ritual steeped in deep, island history. Learn more about exfoliating with coconut oil infused organic scrubs.
Organic Fiji is a female and Pacific Islander owned boutique brand that creates organic body care products, based in California.
Organic Fiji’s artisan products have been USDA Certified Organic by Oregon Tilth since 2007 and are vegan, cruelty-free, eco-friendly and ethically created. You can also be assured that Organic Fiji products are free of GMOs, PEGs, parabens, phthalates, sulfates, artificial colors, synthetic fragrances, harsh ingredients or toxic chemicals.
A brand that believes in product transparency over ‘green-washing’ and are real people on the other end of the phone and email. Click here to contact Organic Fiji.