Dead skin is a problem that everyone inevitably has to deal with. In fact, most people produce a million dead skin cells per day. However, if your dead skin has gone beyond normal limits, especially on your face and feet (the two most problematic areas), there are a number of remedies you can try. By exfoliating and taking steps to prevent dead skin from forming, you can have smooth, fresh, healthy and glowing skin in the long run.
Soak a towel in warm water. Place it gently on your face and leave it on for 1-2 minutes. A warm towel will open the pores and prepare the skin for exfoliation. Exfoliating is one of the most effective ways to get rid of dead skin.
Wash your face with a gentle cleanser. After using a warm towel, the next step is to use a gentle cleanser, the same one you use every day as part of a good skin care regimen. Cleansing your skin will further help open your pores and prepare your skin for effective exfoliation.
Once the skin is cleaned, pat it dry with a dry towel. Do it gently and don’t rub too hard to avoid damaging the skin.
Try physical exfoliation. There are two types of exfoliation, namely physical and chemical. Physical exfoliation is done physically using products that exfoliate dead skin cells with pressure. Examples of physical exfoliants include exfoliating pads and microdermabrasion kits.
Skin care manufacturers such as L’oreal, Ponds, and Neutrogena are now producing microdermabrasion kits for home use.
Usually a microdermabrasion kit consists of an abrasive cream or scrub with a special tool for application.
Some products are also equipped with a microdermabrasion cloth with coarser-than-normal fibers that aim to remove dead skin cells.
An example is the Olay Regenerist Microdermabrasion & Peel System.
Try a chemical exfoliation. There are a variety of chemical exfoliants that can be used, so it’s best to consult an esthetician or dermatologist for advice on the right product. However, if you don’t have the budget to consult a professional, read product labels carefully and choose one that suits your skin type.
After gently washing and drying your face, apply chemical exfoliants carefully. Make sure the product is spread evenly on your face.
Gently massage chemical exfoliants. Do this in slow circular motions using your fingers. Do not rub too hard to avoid accidental skin damage.
Many people also exfoliate the neck after they are done with the face. You can also scrub your neck with an exfoliating agent.
Some examples of chemical exfoliants also contain glycolic acid peels or lactic acid peels . The nature of the acid is one of the determinants that make exfoliation so effective.
Chemical exfoliants tend to work better than physical exfoliants (especially for long-term results) because they can access the deeper layers of the skin. Chemical exfoliants work by breaking down chemical bonds which in turn release dead skin cells so they can be shed more easily.
Wash your face with water after exfoliating. Then, gently pat dry. Leave it on for about 5 minutes to dry and finish by applying a moisturizing lotion.
Applying moisturizing lotion is recommended as a general part of skin care. Moisturizer helps avoid the early signs of aging and gives skin a healthy glow.
Understand that you can also exfoliate other areas of your body. Basically, all parts of the body can follow the same exfoliation process (besides sensitive areas and mucous membranes). However, the most exfoliated areas are the face and/or neck. This is because the area is the most visible to the public and is the biggest problem for most people.
Try natural remedies using home ingredients. Not all exfoliants are products that can only be purchased commercially. In fact, you can easily make exfoliating creams, peels , and scrubs if you prefer a natural approach. Here are two easy recipes you can try:
Oil and sugar scrub : Mix equal amounts of brown sugar and oil (such as olive oil, grapeseed oil, etc.) to make an economical and highly effective skin scrub . Rub the mixture into the skin, then clean the skin with soap and water. Add a tablespoon of honey and a few drops of lemon for extra nutrition.
Papaya enzyme and greek yogurt face mask: Mix 300 grams of greek yogurt and three tablespoons of mashed papaya. Apply it on your face or body and let it sit for 15–30 minutes. Remove the mask and clean the skin when finished.
Start by soaking your feet. Take a basin of warm or hot water and put your feet in it. Let your feet soak for 5-10 minutes before exfoliating. This will soften the crust and prepare the skin for the best results.
You can add extra virgin olive oil to the water to make it softer.
After the feet are finished soaking, dry them with a towel.
Try a physical exfoliating brush. Take a foot brush (available at cosmetic stores) and rub it in gentle circular motions along the soles of your feet. Mainly focus on the heels and other areas with hardened skin. This method is effective for removing loose and/or dead skin.
An alternative to a foot brush is a foot file or Ped Egg, which are popular online as an effective way to physically exfoliate your feet. You can also try an exfoliating cream specifically made for the feet.
Use a pumice stone. If there are particularly hard areas on the feet, such as the risa, an efficient way to soften and remove dead skin is to use a pumice stone.
Make sure you wash the pumice stone after use and allow it to dry before your next use.
Finish by moisturizing the skin on the soles of your feet. After exfoliating, a moisturizer can help ensure optimal protection for new skin and keep it healthy for longer. Wear socks after applying moisturizer so you don’t slip when walking.
Prevents Dead Skin
Use as much moisturizer as you like. Normally, the skin produces natural oils to keep it soft, healthy and moisturized. However, if there are ingredients that erode the oil or interfere with its production, the skin will become dry, flaky, and cracked. To soften dry skin, apply a moisturizing lotion or balm as often as possible. Moisturizers work by holding moisture to the skin with a single layer of oil or grease. If your skin is very dry, you need to make lotion a part of your daily routine. For example, you can put a bottle of hand lotion in all the sinks in your home, such as the kitchen and bathroom, so you can use it every time you wash your hands.
In essence, a moisturizer with a thick concentration will better help the skin retain moisture. As such, heavy creams, balms , and butters are usually more effective than light lotions. However, thick moisturizers sometimes leave a greasy feeling. Try several options to determine which one is best for you.
Protect skin with adequate clothing in cold weather. In some parts of the world, winter means cold, dry air outside and hot (from heating) and dry air inside. The combination of these two conditions is very harsh on the skin, leaving the skin dry, cracked, and irritated. One of the best ways to take care of your skin in cold weather is to wear clothes with long sleeves and other accessories that cover the skin. The less your skin is exposed to biting dry air, the less dehydrated skin you’ll have to deal with.
Avoid excessive use of harsh abrasives. Stronger abrasives (such as pumice stone and stiff brushes) can remove hard, accumulated dead skin. However, if used too often (or if used on sensitive skin), these abrasives can make the skin red and irritated, making it more susceptible to dryness and irritation in the long run. If you notice pain or redness after exfoliating, stop scrubbing for a few days and switch to a milder abrasive.
For example, if your usual stiff-bristled bath brush irritates your skin, try replacing it with a soft washcloth that should exfoliate your skin in a more tolerable way.
Avoid long hot showers. While relaxing, hot water can strip essential oils from the skin, which in turn will dry out the skin. To avoid this, take warm, not hot showers, and limit baths to just a few minutes, about 10 minutes or less. The colder your shower water (and the faster it goes), the less likely it is that your skin will dry out.
The same principle applies to bathing—the cooler and shorter, the better. You should also avoid soaking in soapy water (even if the ads are “moisturizing”), as soap can also strip your skin of natural oils.
Pat (not scrub) your skin after showering until it’s dry. The friction of the towel can erode the skin’s natural oils that have been released by warm water and irritate fragile skin.
Consider changing the soap. Some soaps and skin cleansing products contain chemicals that can dry out sensitive skin and strip away its natural protective oils. The type of soap that does the worst is alcohol-based. While it’s great for killing germs, alcohol can seriously dehydrate your skin. While hand hygiene is important to prevent the spread of disease, you don’t have to spoil the softness of your skin with harsh soaps, so replace your soap with a milder one or one labeled “moisturizing” to avoid dry, chapped skin.
Try a light steam bath. For some, a few minutes of steam or sauna can help soften dry skin, clear pores, and most importantly, feel comfortable. If you have access to a professional-quality steam room, consider taking a steam bath for a few minutes to half an hour as part of your weekly routine.
Use the sauna or steam room wisely, never exceed the time that is comfortable for you, never increase the temperature so much that it is difficult for you to breathe or stay awake, and most importantly, never combine sauna and alcohol.