How to Exfoliate the Body – Effective Ways to Free Your Skin

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The skin sheds old skin cells every day and these dead skin cells remain on the body except they are scrubbed off. Exfoliation is the process of removing dead skin cells from the surface of the skin. Therefore, it is important to learn how to exfoliate the body. 

Exfoliation works like magic to turn dull-looking skin into smooth and radiant. It will not just remove dry and dead skin cells, it will also help blood flow. In addition, it brightens up the skin to improve its overall appearance. 

You can exfoliate your body in two different ways – chemical exfoliation and physical exfoliation. Chemical exfoliation involves the use of chemicals such as AHAs and BHAs. While physical exfoliation involves the use of scrub, brush, loofah, and so on. 

Read ahead to find out how to exfoliate your body using different exfoliators.

How to Exfoliate the Body With Scrub

A body scrub is a physical exfoliant that helps to remove dead skin cells from the surface of the skin with rough ingredients like sugar and salt. This will help to enhance the development of new skin cells to promote smoother, brighter skin.

How to use it: 

  • Rinse your skin with warm water (this will help to open up your pores and soften the dead skin)
  • Squeeze or pour out a little amount of the body scrub on your palm
  • Apply it on your skin gently 
  • Use your hand to rub it delicately in a circular motion
  • Do this for about a minute
  • Rinse the scrub off your skin using clean lukewarm water
  • Pat your skin dry with a towel

After exfoliating your skin, ensure that you apply a moisturizer to help restore hydration to your skin. This is because body scrubs may mess up your skin’s barrier and cause dryness. Also, the general usage frequency of body scrubs is once or twice weekly.

How to Exfoliate the Body With Brush

Using a gentle brush is another way to exfoliate your body. An exfoliating brush is a long wooden tool with soft bristles. Using it to scrub or massage your body can help to relieve tension, enhance cell regeneration, boost blood circulation, and so on. 

It also helps to remove dead skin cells and other debris from the surface of the skin. There are two different ways you can use the brush to exfoliate your skin. You can use it to dry-brush your skin and you can also use it to apply your cleanse in the shower.

To dry-brush your skin:

  • Get into the shower without turning the water on
  • Start brushing your skin from your feet and toes up to your thighs
  • Move the brush swiftly and shortly
  • Go over the areas again slowly in circular motions
  • Keep moving up till you get to your arms
  • Brush from your fingertips up to your shoulders
  • Once you are done, rinse your body with warm water and dry it with a towel.

How to use it on damp skin:

  • Get in the shower and turn the water on
  • Use the brush to apply your cleanser all over your body
  • Brush all parts of your body gently in circular motions
  • Once done, rinse the brush and your body with lukewarm water
  • Use a towel to dry your skin and apply a moisturizer

How to Exfoliate the Body With AHAs or BHAs

AHAs and BHAs are chemical exfoliants that also work to remove dead skin cells from the skin. An AHA exfoliant work is the best option for dry skin, as it helps to improve and maintain the skin’s moisture level. While BHA is best for sensitive and oily skin types. 

BHA contains anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties that can help to soothe irritation on the skin and reduce acne breakouts.

How to use them:

  • Start your skincare routine by ensuring that your skin is clean
  • Do this by washing your skin with a gentle cleanser
  • After cleansing your skin, use a toner that works for your skin type
  • Apply your AHA or BHA exfoliant after toner
  • To apply a liquid chemical exfoliant, use a cotton pad
  • If it is a gel, apply it with your fingers
  • Avoid your eyelids and undereye 
  • Apply your other skincare products immediately after

Only use this exfoliate twice a week to avoid irritation or over-exfoliation. Your skin type and concerns also determine how often you get to exfoliate your skin chemically. 

How to Exfoliate the Body With Loofah

Dry skin cells leave the surface of your skin rough, dull, and clogged. Exfoliating with a loofah will help to get rid of the old skin cells to create a softer and smoother surface. 

A loofah is a bathing sponge that helps to exfoliate your skin smoothly. You can use this gentle exfoliator to reveal the fresh skin under the old skin cells. 

How to use it:

  • Get in the shower and dampen both the loofah and your skin with warm water
  • Apply ⅓ amount of body wash to the loofah
  • Use your hands to spread the body wash all over the loofah to create a lather
  • Scrub your body using the lathered loofah 
  • Do this gently and in a circular motion
  • Once you are done, rinse your body and the loofah with clean water

How to Exfoliate the Body With Gloves

You can also exfoliate your body using an exfoliating glove. Exfoliating gloves are two-sided gloves that have a similar texture to loofah and dry brush. Wear them on your hands and use them to remove dead skin cells from your skin.

How to use it:

  • Get in the shower and turn the water on
  • Allow the warm water to soften your skin as this will help to loosen the dead skin cells 
  • Wear the exfoliating glove and lather it with a beauty bar or a dollop of body wash
  • Start scrubbing your body with it
  • Begin at your shoulders and move down gradually to the rest of your body
  • Do this in circular motions
  • Avoid the delicate parts of your body, such as your inner thigh
  • Do this till you have scrubbed all parts of your body
  • Rinse your body with clean water
  • Dry your skin with a towel
  • Moisturize using your favorite non-comedogenic moisturizer

How to Exfoliate the Body With Washcloths

A washcloth is a commonly used exfoliator. It is quite easy to use and can also help to exfoliate the body. All you need for this is a good cleanser and a washcloth.

How to use it:

  • Start by wetting the cloth with water 
  • Apply a cleanser or soap on the washcloth
  • Get in the shower and turn the warm water on
  • Avoid using cold water as it may be too harsh for your skin
  • Using lukewarm water is good enough to open up your pores without causing damage to your skin
  • Use the washcloth to apply the cleanser on your skin
  • Gently scrub away dirt and dead skin cells from your skin in circular motions
  • Doing that will help to avoid tearing your skin
  • Avoid scrubbing your skin too hard as that can cause redness on your skin
  • Focus on areas that need to be exfoliated more. This includes your elbows, ankles, knees, feet, and so on
  • Rinse your skin with clean water
  • Use a soft cotton towel to remove water from your skin 
  • Use a gentle moisturizer to keep your skin moisturized

How Often Should You Exfoliate Your Body?

Your skin type determines the number of times you should exfoliate your skin. You can start by exfoliating your skin just once weekly. You can move on to a higher frequency as time goes on. 

This is because exfoliating too often can mess up your skin barrier and can remove the skin’s natural oil. This may cause the skin to get dry and irritated. 

For normal skin, exfoliating only two to three times weekly is ideal for starters. Once your skin becomes okay and familiar with exfoliation, you can upgrade and do it more often.

For oily skin, you can exfoliate as often as you want if your skin can tolerate it. You can exfoliate as much as once every day 

For sensitive skin, only exfoliate your skin once per week. This is because exfoliation has to be with exfoliants that can irritate sensitive skin. Only exfoliate once a week or you can avoid it totally.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you use body wash to exfoliate?

Yes, you can. You can use a body wash to exfoliate your skin. 

Some body wash contains gentle granules that can gently remove dead skin cells from the surface of the skin. This is a cost-effective way to cleanse and exfoliate your skin with one product.

Should you use a body scrub to exfoliate before bathing?

No, you shouldn’t. You shouldn’t use your scrub before bathing.

The first step to an exfoliation routine is to take a warm shower. Using warm water to wash your skin will help to open up your pores and loosen the dead skin cells lingering on your skin. After washing and bathing, you can go ahead to exfoliate your skin with the scrub.

Does body scrub remove dead skin cells?

Yes, it does. Body scrub helps to remove dead skin cells from the surface of the skin.

Body scrubs are made with abrasive ingredients like Epsom salt, sugar, and so on. These rough ingredients can help to peel off dead skin cells from the skin.


Exfoliation is one of the most effective ways to transform dull-looking skin into smooth, radiant skin. This is because it helps to slough off dead skin cells and dirt from the surface of the skin. It also helps to stimulate blood flow to enhance skin cell regeneration.

Using the right exfoliant for your skin type with the right usage frequency will help to glow up your skin and reduce dullness. If you have sensitive skin, ensure that the exfoliant you use works well for your skin without irritating it.

Thanks for reading. 

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