Getting rid of dead, dry skin might seem like an obvious step that doesn’t need a tutorial. But the truth is, not everyone is getting the exfoliation process down correctly – especially in the shower. So, even if you feel you’re an exfoliating pro, there’s nothing wrong with checking and making sure that your body care routine is up to par. We’re sharing some smart tips on how to use exfoliating gloves to make sure that you exfoliate properly.
Hop in the Shower
Assuming that you’ve found the right exfoliating glove, mitt, or towel that works for you, it’s time to get down to business. Always start by getting in the shower. While some gloves can also be used dry or on dry skin, it’s usually best to start by actually showering so that your body is wet. And for people with sensitive skin, dry exfoliation might be too intense.
Depending on the gloves, you can use them on just wet skin, or you can also incorporate your favorite soap or cleansing body wash. But don’t forget to put your gloves on and properly soak them so that they’re also wet.
Pick a Gentle Soap or Body Wash (Optional)
Again, since we did include an exfoliating mitt in our roundup for the best exfoliating gloves that isn’t intended to be used with soaps or cleansers, it’s best to check the packaging on your preferred gloves before you hop in the shower. Most traditional gloves and exfoliators are designed to be used with a cleanser. But we recommend picking something gentle that won’t strip the skin of essential moisture.
Keep in mind that you’re going to be exfoliating with a rough material to loosen and remove dead skin. So, it’s unnecessary and can be counterproductive to use a cleanser or soap that’s drying or harsh. Likewise, if you’re inexperienced, you might want to skip using an exfoliating scrub with these gloves. While it can be effective at banishing dead skin, if you use too much pressure, you can encourage irritation.
And along the same lines, it’s unnecessary to scrub at your body like you’re scouring a pan covered in baked-on food. Instead, be gentle and work in circular motions from your shoulders down to your toes. Make sure you thoroughly massage every area of your skin but don’t get stuck scrubbing too long at one area to avoid causing irritations.
Shoulders to Toes
While no rule says you have to start at your shoulders, you might not want to start at your feet and work your way up to your shoulders. Along the way, your knees, elbows, and even the heels and bottom of your feet might need some extra attention since these areas are more prone to rough, dry skin than other parts of your body. Most importantly, exfoliating gloves, mitts, and towels are usually too rough to use on your face and neck, which have more delicate skin.
Once you’re done exfoliating, it’s time to hop out of the shower and gently towel-dry your body. Instead of vigorously rubbing your body, gently pat each area dry. For people with eczema, it’s okay to leave your skin a little damp rather than trying to ensure that it’s bone dry.
More importantly, you want to moisturize immediately after you finish drying off. Along with keeping your skin soft, immediately moisturizing can also help to give your newly exposed skin cells an added protective barrier.
Hang Your Gloves to Dry
This is probably one of the most important steps, making sure that your gloves thoroughly dry between uses. While it’s tempting to hang them somewhere in the shower, you might want to avoid doing this. Showers are naturally moist areas that can make it harder for cloth and other materials to dry properly. And that means that you could be encouraging mildew and bacterial growth. Ideally, hang your gloves somewhere with good airflow so that they dry fairly quickly.
Replace Gloves Frequently
Most exfoliating gloves aren’t designed to be used indefinitely. Experts usually recommend that you replace them every three to four weeks, especially if you exfoliate often.
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