Full Body Guide to Exfoliating

Jan 18th 2023

I know, you know the benefits of exfoliation by now: it removes the buildup of dead skin from the epidermis, increases cell turnover rate, helps prevent clogged pores, brightens the complexion, improves hyperpigmentation, and helps your products penetrate deeper.

While exfoliating is the crux of the Dame Glowing Skin Method, it’s one of those things, that if you don’t do it the right way, you may end up doing more harm than good. So a big question is how often should you exfoliate? It’s not so straightforward; but factors including the area of the body, your skin type, and your chosen exfoliant should be taken into consideration.

The Face
The first thing to know about exfoliating the face, is to start easy.

If you’re a beginner Dame to the scrub game or easing back into the swing of things, exfoliating once a week and increasing is a good rule of thumb. Try this for two to three weeks to see if there’s any kind of reaction like red, irritated, or itchy skin. Those are signs of too much exfoliation. But once your skin is used to the exfoliation, then you can do it a few times a week, provided you’re not using an overly-harsh scrub.

When it comes to types of exfoliants, there are two: Physical (or manual) and chemical. Physical exfoliants usually consist of small particles or granules that physically exfoliate your skin. Mechanical exfoliation using scrubs, brushes, sponges, or gloves to physically remove dirt, impurities, and dead skin from your body. The particles are literally scrubbing your skin. Look for more smooth exfoliants, with physical exfoliation limited two to three times per week. Dame Facial Scrubs exfoliants are extraordinarily fine, to be effective at buffing away dead skin and treating target areas and yet gentle on the skin.

On the other hand, chemical exfoliation is the process of using acids or chemical reactions to remove layers of skin and impurities. Most chemical exfoliators are usually alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs good for improving the appearance and brightness of your skin) and beta hydroxy acids (BHAs better for oily, acne-prone skin) to slough off dead skin cells, and anything else attached to them. Dame Sannae's Botanical Facial Cleansers with glycolic, lactic, and salicylic acids are an example of a chemical exfoliant that gently removes dead surface cells.

Topical salicylic acid in our Black Magic Collection with activated charcoal face wash treats acne by reducing swelling and redness and unplugging blocked skin pores to allow pimples to shrink. It treats other skin conditions by softening and loosening dry, scaly, or thickened skin so that it falls off or can be removed easily.

The Dame Ageless Collection with lactic acid rapidly exfoliates and boosts naturally youthful radiance, while visibly reducing the look of lines, wrinkles, and dark spots. High potency, purified grade lactic acid exfoliates dull, pore-clogging dead skin cells, to instantly clarify and reveal smoother, clearer skin. 

Those with sensitive skin should stick to chemical exfoliation when it comes to the face. These skin types may not be able to handle a physical exfoliant as it can feel harsh and contribute to sensitivity. Sensitive complexions can usually use chemical exfoliants two times per week, whereas normal can use them daily, though three times per week should be sufficient.

A general rule is that normal skin can tolerate stronger exfoliants and can tolerate exfoliation more often than those with sensitive skin. If you’re oily due to sebum production, exfoliation helps. Try two to three times per week if you have oily skin and see how skin reacts and adjust from there. If you’re unsure or can’t find a sweet spot, I advise consulting a professional skin expert like Dame Sannae, to guide you.

As for the order that exfoliating should take in your cleaning routine, it should be done after you cleanse and before you tone your face followed with a moisturizer.

The Body
Usually, when we think of exfoliating, most of us automatically think of the skin on our faces, So many of us spend so much money on and attention to our faces, they are our money makers, I know! But exfoliating the rest of your body is just as important as your face. It might not be as obvious on the rest of your body as what type of skin you have, but you can exfoliate your neck, arms, chest, abdomen, and legs as you do your face.

In general, you can exfoliate the body every day to every couple of days. Our skin sheds old dead skin, dirt, oil, hair, bacteria every day. If left on the surface, it can create a thin translucent film along the top layer of the skin. Making skin rough, dry, patchy, and hard to penetrate through. So no matter what you seem to put on your skin, it's unable to absorb and hold on to moisture. Keeps your beauty skin cell factory open and active boosting regenerative cell turnover keeping fresh healthy cells constantly flowing to the surface.

Tools such as a dry brush (before showering) and washcloth, body gloves, korean mitts, mesh or ayate cloths (in the shower) work well to slough dry cells away. Using a moisturizing soap that removes dirt and impurities without drying the skin along with your exfoliating cloth counts as exfoliating twice a day.

*Remember to change them out and or launder them often as they hoard bacteria. Certain problem areas, places with thick skin like the elbows and heels — can be exfoliated more often. This is where my love for using a chemical exfoliant for these spots with body scrubs comes in.

Dame Body Scrubs combine the removal of dead skin with ultra moisturizing butters and oils that penetrate and seal in moisture protecting the fresh skin barrier. They are excellent for smoothing out dry patches, lightening unwanted pigmentation, improving circulation of blood and lymph nodes, reducing cellulite, getting rid of toxins and waste. The thorough exfoliation leaves skin feeling amazingly soft and squeaky clean. For a winter soothing scrub, try the Dame Vanilla Honey Bean Body Scrub, which uses acids, coconut sugar, and manuka honey powder beads to remove impurities and dead skin gently.

Remember to avoid exfoliating abrasively if you have very dry cracked, or eczema-flared skin. Get back to it once the area is completely healed. Use our antioxidant and antiinflammatory rich, soothing unscented butter or Eczema butter blend to replenish and restore the skin.

Exfoliating the pubic area should be done once or twice per week, as it can help remove or prevent ingrown hairs. But avoid using harsh exfoliants or overly scented scrubs in this area, as it tends to be more sensitive. And stay near the bikini line — it’s not literally about exfoliating the vagina.

Bodily exfoliation should be followed by moisturizing products. Choosing a body scrub rich in moisturizing emollients like Dame Body Scrub's signature butter blend of shea, mango, cocoa, and kokum butter leaves your skin feeling so nourished, hydrated, and silky smooth, that most Dames don't need to follow up with additional moisturizer. But your Dame Moisturising Body Butter or Nourishing Body Oil are the best to use after exfoliating, even with just your wash and exfoliating cloth.

Can body scrubs can be used as face scrubs?

While it might be tempting to rub your new wonderful feeling body scrub all over your face, hold off. The intensity in which we scrub our bodies vs. our faces vary. You can take a more intense approach below your chin, as the skin on your body is thicker. Because the skin that's on your face has smaller pores and is thinner, products you use on your body will typically be harsher and can cause skin damage to your face.

For facial scrubs, you want to

Use a product with extraordinary fine, powder-like texture specially formulated with granules, oils, and active ingredients gentle enough for your face.