Friday, July 31, 2009

What’s scrub got to do, got to do with it?

There are two types of people in the world: those who don’t exfoliate, and those who over exfoliate. Both should keep reading and we will sort this all out. I’ll try not to rub you the wrong way. Ha! Get it?! Rub?! Wow. There’s more where that came from.

My Chemical Romance

Most people think of gritty scrubs to exfoliate. You may not realize it, but more commonly, people use a chemical to exfoliate. If you use an “anti-aging” product, it probably has AHAs.  AHAs, or Alpha Hydroxy Acids, are rapid exfoliates. The strengths vary, but most damage superficial layers of skin, forcing it to renew itself more quickly. AHAs can be used in anti-aging, anti-acne, and smoothing products. Glycolic acid is my favorite. It is an AHA with a molecular structure small enough to penetrate the skin, and therefore repair it from the bottom up. Who doesn’t like bottoms up?

AHAs are not for everybody. If you tan, have rosacea, broken capillaries, acne, or other conditions, consult with you esthetician or dermatologist. Also, if you are using skin care products with chemical exfoliates like AHAs, be careful about layering these. You want your results to be more Nicole Kidman and less Batman villain. Make sure you wear an SPF at all times and evaluate your skin’s health and appearance monthly.

 A Convenient Smooth

If you prefer a good old-fashioned rub down, which scrub you chose is important. Not important enough to get Al Gore involved, but still, something worth thinking through. Choose smaller grit for face and slightly larger for body. I recommend body exfoliation daily, but face scrubs only once or twice a week. Be careful with sugar scrubs for body, which can cause issues with your lady bits. Ewww.

For body.

Sally Hansen Pedicure In A Minute. The creamy base helps smooth and hydrate. I alternate this with a pumice stone. NO RAZORS PLEASE! When getting a pedicure, or doing your own, avoid the callous shaver. It is dangerous and icky and in the long run it will only make you calluses worse.

St Tropez Body Polisher. I love love love love this scrub scrub scrub! It can smooth anything! Use before self-tanning to ensure even application and lasting results. It is also great for butt bumps. Don’t even pretend you don’t know what I’m talking about.

 For Face

Clinique 7 Day Scrub Cream. Suitable for all skin types, this scrub is gentle and effective. Just remember to be gentle. Pretend you are washing a baby, not a skillet.

Baking Soda. I love this for very oily, clogged skin. Mix 1/4 teaspoon with 1-2 pumps of liquid facial cleanser. Apply gently to a very wet face. Scrub softly for 10-15 seconds and splash off. Moisturize immediately and thoroughly afterwards. This can be drying for some skin types, so do a test patch. I would recommend using this no more than 1-2 times a month. Please use a clean box, not your fridge box. Your facial products shouldn’t smell like ham.


DERMAdoctor KP Duty. Great for Keratosis Pilaris (KP) or “chicken skin”. My mom called them “sun bumps”. I call them “ those-hideous-disgusting-things-growing-on-my-upper-arms-making-me-feel-awful-about-tank-tops”. Po-tat-o, pot-a-to. KP Duty has glycolic acid and is a gentle chemical exfoliant and moisturizer in one.

Exfoliation is like ice cream. It should be indulgent and soothing and in moderation. It is however, not edible. Usually. We will cover that at a later date. 

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