There are a variety of exfoliating tools on the market, but you need to pick the right one for your skin. Here's a head-to-toe rundown on the tools you can use.
The best tool for your face is either a micro-exfoliating cloth or a pair of soft exfoliating gloves. Pouches are also a good idea, but they may be too gentle to exfoliate as well as a cloth or gloves. The electric face brush is another option, but its effectiveness depends on bristle type, pressure applied, and type of cleanser -- just like a toothbrush [source: Pack].
For larger parts of your body, such as your torso, use a loofah or mesh sponge because they're more abrasive -- but be sure to keep your loofahs and sponges clean and germ-free by air-drying them after each use [source: MSNBC]. You may have to get a pumice stone for the really thick skin on your elbows, knees and feet. Pumice is lava that's hardened into porous rock, and it works like sandpaper on really rough skin. For tough calluses on your feet, soak your feet in warm water to soften the skin and then exfoliate several times to reach that fresh, soft skin.
Now that you're armed with information on the proper exfoliating tools, you can buff and scrub your way to smooth skin without risking skin damage. For more helpful hints on exfoliating tools and how to use them, visit the links on the following page.
Related HowStuffWorks Articles
- Elle. "Micro-Exfoliation Cloths: A Gentler, Environmentally Friendly Way to Scrub Your Face." (Accessed 8/22/09). http://www.elle.com/Beauty/Makeup-Skin-Care/Micro-Exfoliation-Cloths
- Goins, Liesa. "Make Yourself Beautiful on a Budget." (Accessed 9/14/09)http://www.webmd.com/skin-beauty/features/make-yourself-beautiful-on-a-budget
- Health.com. "Exfoliating 101: How to Let Fresh, Radiant Skin Shine Through." (Accessed 8/30/09).http://living.health.com/2008/02/22/exfoliating-101/
- MedicineNet. "Definition of Stratum corneum." (Accessed 8/22/09).http://www.medterms.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=9550
- MSNBC. "Win the War on Germs: Tips for Clean Living in Your Own Home." (Accessed 8/22/09)http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/3077037/
- Pack, Peggy. "Dermatologists Offer Advice on Cleansing Face." (Accessed 8/22/09).http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,148399,00.html
- Parker, Hilary. "Psoriasis: Treatments and TipsDuring the Holidays." WebMD. (Accessed 8/31/2009) http://www.webmd.com/skin-problems-and-treatments/psoriasis-8/treatment-tips-holidays?page=2
- Rubin, Mark G. Chemical Peels. Elsevier Health Services, 2006. (Accessed 8/22/09).http://books.google.com/books?id=moHtKTDJ34C&printsec=frontcover&dq=chemical+peels#v=onepage&q=&f=false
- WebMD. "Cosmetic Procedures: Chemical Peel Treatments." (Accessed 8/30/09).http://www.webmd.com/skin-beauty/guide/cosmetic-procedures-chemical-peel-treatments
- WebMD. "Women's Skin Care for Your Face." (Accessed 8/30/09).http://www.webmd.com/skin-beauty/advances-skin-care-9/women-face-skin-care
- Wellsphere. "The Problem With Dead Skin." (Accessed 8/30/09).http://stanford.wellsphere.com/skin-beauty-article/the-problem-with-dead-skin/581985