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For the LOV of Scrub: Exfoliation 101

For the LOV of Scrub: Exfoliation 101

Exfoliation is the peeling off of our outer covering of skin, just as trees tend to shed their bark and leaves. Human skin has been equipped with the involuntary function of shedding dead skin cells from the epidermis, which is commonly recognized as our top layer of skin. New skin is constantly replacing old cells, but this process typically slows down as we age. Remaining well-hydrated and establishing a plant-based diet that is rich with super-food leafy greens, antioxidants, vitamins, A, C, and E, folic acid and essential fatty acids can significantly contribute to the health and longevity of our cells.

The human body has to be maintained in a way that assists in the removal of dead skin cells to counteract the risk of developing a dull, scaly and uneven complexion. Aggravating symptoms going unaddressed could, potentially, lead to uncomfortable skin conditions such as dermatitis, calluses, psoriasis and staph infection. While infection is a very serious, yet uncommon, result of improperly cleaning and exfoliating skin, it should be noted that it is a possible adversity in skin maintenance that should not be disregarded.

While there are many, many modalities of exfoliation that can be approached, I will extend attention to some of my all-time favorite body spa exfoliation techniques, tools and ingredients that remove dead cells, detoxify topically and optimize skin in a multitude of ways that satisfies even the most meticulous naturalist. Some options of exfoliation are approached, at best, as a dry (water and product-free) method while others enchant the skin as several of the most delectable, and often handcrafted, at-home spa preparations.

Dry brushing is a technique that is achieved by brushing skin with soft-to-medium intensity strokes using dry, natural bristles. Circular and downward strokes softly brush away dead skin. This prickly, yet heavenly method is best achieved when skin is not wet, as it diligently serves as a charming prerequisite to aromatherapy-infused showers and ancient body wrapping rituals, too. The bath brush is quite a nostalgic integration for me, as it is an extension of honeysuckle Moon: The Early Years in Spa…

Next, is a form of exfoliation that can be utilized either prior to or during bath time – exfoliation gloves. These gloves are versatile, effective and fairly inexpensive. Whether you are pouring on a bit of Black Tea Soap, our bubbly, herbal bathing elixir of plantain and cocoa pod or providing relief to address any congested pore activity of recently waxed skin, exfoliation gloves do well to remove skin excess. While the majority of the body receives these gloves as a sound cleansing option, they are not indicated for facial care, as they may be too rough for most skin types.

Exfoliation is, by far, the most indulgent when it comes in the form of the granular body scrub! I absolutely LOV these scrubs because they are the earthiest in texture and form. Theses scrubs are very much a hands-on therapeutic expression of some of the world’s most exclusive spa retreats. These are the same kinds of scrubs that I choose to handcraft for my diverse client base of seasoned naturalists and spa connoisseurs. They provide, by far, the most “dream it up and have it” caliber of customizable options with an endless bounty of herbs, grains, seeds, dried fruit, flowers, fatty botanicals and essential oils. I’ve made scrubs with everything from raw sugar cane, organic oats, dried chamomile and jasmine flowers, grated coconut, black sesame seed and Ethiopian coffee beans. As a customization artisan, I celebrate a growing portfolio of close to 200 recipes, with granular scrubs offering the widest creative range and exploration. I regard sea salt as the most favorable element in my healing kitchen. Not only does it feel and look like the epitome of what a “scrub” is supposed to be, but sea salt also lends itself as a vital detoxifying component that can be utilized for total body wellness. Salt is the precious gift of our oceans that functions as a crystalline mineral to purge and purify all that comes into contact with it. This is equally true for skin, as sea salt relieves tissues of any excessive toxic debris and/or skin impurities. Diabetics and recent hair removal treatment recipients should not exfoliate with salt. Oatmeal is a good plant-based skin care alternative to salt that can be used within hours of the post-epilation phase and will not cause skin irritation. Botanical oil blends and many essential oils can be combined with selected granules to nourish, rejuvenate and stimulate skin tissues. Make certain to be careful when adding essential oils to your scrubs and other home wellness preparations, as they often require dilution prior to topical use. After all exfoliation treatments, it is a good idea to take a few moments to lock moisture into skin with a favorite body butter, massaging oil or lotion.

It is wise to follow product instructions and take steps not to over-exfoliate skin, as it not necessary to use most exfoliation products daily. Two to three times weekly is a sufficient schedule for general body exfoliation regimens. Please note that each form of exfoliation that is referenced creates the way for an increase in blood circulation and cell oxygenation, which only elevates our temples’ wholistic potential. Infusions of my artisan scrub recipes can be perused via my online retailing gallery and apothecary at www.honeysucklemoon.artfire.com. Additional wellness commentary and ways to care for skin naturally can be found at www.iamhoneysucklemoon.com. Our interconnected wellbeing shall be what restores the goodness of the Earth.
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L’Angela “honeysuckle Moon” Lee is an Artist, Organic Spa Developer, Licensed Natural Skin Therapist and Product Developer of honeysuckle Moon Natural Skin Care. In her spare time, she exists in retreat as a writer, model and eco-artistic natural mystic. She is a Louisiana native and resides with her daughter in Atlanta, GA

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