Polish off your summer bod with one of these derm-approved exfoliators.
Here’s a fun fact: We lose around 50 million skin cells a day, says Mona Gohara, MD, an associate clinical professor of dermatology at Yale University. But don’t be alarmed—it’s actually a good thing! Our body naturally removes cells so it can regenerate and produce fresh new ones. But if you have ever had dry, flaky skin before, you already know that dead skin tends to linger and sometimes a good scrubbing is in order—especially if you want to brighten dullness and allow your skin to soak up other products, says Dr. Gohara. And we’re not just talking about your face here.
It’s pretty ironic how, when it comes to skincare, we focus most of our efforts and money pampering our faces, when in reality, that only accounts for 10% (or less!) of the entire epidermis—it’s no doubt that skin below the neck tends to get the short end of the stick. But all skin is skin, and even your rear needs a little lovin’.
With summer upon us, it’s ever so important to turn the attention to your body and treat it with proper exfoliation twice a week, says Jessica Weiser, MD, a dermatologist at New York Dermatology Group in New York City. "Thick skin can generally tolerate exfoliation 2-3 times a week,” she says. "Whereas sensitive, easily-irritated, or dry skin may not be able to tolerate exfoliation, or just once a week." If you have eczema or are prone to sensitivity, pay special attention to what you exfoliate with—some formulas can cause burning, irritation, and potentially exacerbate your situation. Here, a body scrub for all of your skin concerns.
Herbivore Botanicals Coco Rose Coconut Oil Body Polish
"Sensitive skin should avoid chemical exfoliants and opt for fine powders (instead of grainy scrubs) like this one, which contains very fine sugar granules," says Dr. Weiser. It also contains rose, which soothes skin while coconut oil hydrates to balance any irritation that may occur from the physical exfoliation.
Dove Body Polish Crushed Macadamia & Rice Milk
Remember when exfoliators used to be packed with those plastic-like microbeads? Turns out, those particles not only hurt the environment, but your skin too. "This hydrating option uses hydrated silica derived from natural sources,” says Dr. Chwalek. “It exfoliates skin without drying it and it’s enriched with shea butter and macadamia seed oil, which helps moisturize.” The best part? The gentle formula is great for all skin types.
Cane + Austin Face & Body Retexture Scrub
Frank Body Original Coffee Scrub
“Coffee scrubs help improve blood circulation and the appearance of cellulite,” says Jennifer Chwalek, MD, a dermatologist at Union Square Laser Dermatology in New York City. What’s more, this one is also packed with almond oil to soothe and hydrate the skin surface, adds Dr. Weiser. Disclaimer: It falls on the scrubbier side, making it best for skin that can tolerate some tough exfoliation, especially for people with keratosis pilaris or excessively dry skin.