In most of the country, the weather’s turned cooler by now, meaning the heat’s cranking up inside, billowing out the hot, dryish air, and that can’t lead anywhere good where your skin’s concerned. It’s going to be needing moisturizer, and lots of it, but first you’ll have to find a way to chisel off all those dead skin cells on the surface so your moisturizer do its job on the pretty new skin underneath.
Here’s a little rundown of my favorite exfoliation products and rituals.
Now, back when I was a single woman, gainfully employed with no one to spend money on but my own little vain, pampered self, and would find said self in need of a good exfoliation, why I’d just hie me hither to the local day spa and order up a 90 minute body scrub and a massage, and leave that place as fresh, smooth and soft as a newborn babe.
But now I’m married. To a man. A frugal man. And nothing chaps the hide of a fiscally conservative man like shelling out upwards of two-hundred smackers to have a stranger with a soothing voice basically salt-cure his wife as they listen to new age music and inhale gently diffused lavender and eucalyptus oils together in a dark, steamy tile room.
So, I have had to learn to make my own way, alone in the world of exfoliation, and after buying many expensive-ish scrubs, masks and other concoctions, I’ve arrived at a simple combination that takes very little time, doesn’t create a huge mess in my shower or tub, and leaves me feeling every bit as smooth and slinky as my beloved spa treatment, if perhaps a little less spoiled. Sigh.
Both of these simple, inexpensive, widely-available remedies stay in my shower year-round, and I use them about twice a week in the harsh mid-Western winter and once a week the remaining 3 and a half weeks of the year. The Buf-Puf gets used on my face as well, maybe every other day or so, just to keep my skin extra clean and shiny (I LIKE SHINY), but when it’s time for full-body exfoliation, I squirt a nice quarter-sized blob of the St. Ives Apricot Scrub (I use the Blemish and Blackhead Control Formula) on my Buf-Puf and gently scrub my arms, legs, chest and back, concentrating my efforts a bit on my knees, elbows and ankles, where the drybies tend to build up. A quick rinse afterwards and I’m all pink and glowing and my skin is ready to drink in a good dose of my favorite moisturizer as soon as I hop out of the shower.
Not only do I find that this particular routine keeps my skin looking and feeling pretty darned supple for a forty-something-year old, it’s also solved the problem of those pesky little white bumps that used to appear on the backs of my arms. And doing this once or twice a week is a great way to prepare my skin for the application of my favorite winter lotion, which I’m going to tell you about next week.
So get out there and molt your dead, dry skin, people. We’ve got moisturizing to do.