Expert Answers to Your Exfoliation Questions

Get Glowing: Exfoliation Products for Your Face and Body

Our head to toe guide to scrubs, peels, and lotions.

WebMD the Magazine – Feature

Is your skin feeling a little rough around the edges? Cosmetic dermatologist Naila Malik, MD, says regular exfoliation is an important part of a skin care regimen.

Cells move from the base of the epidermis up to the top in a cycle of about 30 days. If the old cells remain on the surface and build up, Malik says, they can contribute to a flat, dull appearance, blemishes, and scaling. Exfoliation also helps improve the penetration of your other skin products.

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Dermatologist Jessica Wu, MD, agrees. “While exfoliating has year-round benefits, as the weather gets colder and the humidity levels drop, more cells dry out and accumulate on the surface,” Wu says. “They need to be removed to uncover smooth, fresh skin.”

Malik’s top exfoliator picks:

For the face, I like the combination of crystals for mechanical exfoliation and lactic acid for chemical exfoliation in the Olay Regenerist Microdermabrasion & Peel System. For a more gentle treatment, Neutrogena Deep Clean Invigorating Foaming Scrub uses softer beads to loosen dead skin.

Hands, feet, and back can tolerate stronger exfoliants than your chest and shoulders. A combination product like Eucerin Intensive Repair Body Lotion combines exfoliants with moisturizer to help avoid irritation while smoothing rough spots.

Smoothing the thick, easily calloused skin on your heels can be tough. You may need to use a scrub to loosen skin and then tackle rough spots with a foot file like the Tweezerman Spa Callus Smoother.

Wu’s top exfoliator picks:

Acne-causing bacteria feed on the oil trapped by skin cells that don’t turn over quickly enough. So sloughing is important for preventing breakouts. One of my favorite products is Clean & Clear Advantage 3-in-1 Exfoliating Cleanser. The microbeads help loosen blackheads, but they’re smooth and won’t scratch your skin. And the benzoyl peroxide kills acne-causing bacteria.

Incorporate a scrub into your daily shower routine if your skin tolerates it. Using a product like de-luxe Bain Foaming Body Scrub with apricot kernel powder can help keep elbows and knees free of rough patches and reduce dead-skin cell build up.

If your skin is prone to sensitivity, look for salicylic or glycolic acid washes like Neutrogena Body Clear Body Wash, Pink Grapefruit to gently slough dry skin.

Feet can handle slightly more aggressive treatment. The pumice particles in Dr. Scholl’s For Her Liquid Pumice Foot Scrub work beautifully on the thick scales that develop on the heels and balls of your feet.

Exfoliation How-To

Our skin experts warn that people with certain skin types should be careful not to exfoliate too much.

Sensitive skin. Exfoliation for those with very reactive skin can lead to severe irritation and even scarring. Plus, you risk shedding too much of the skin’s protective barrier, which may cause inflammation, dryness, and sun sensitivity. No matter your skin type, it’s important to follow with a moisturizer since exfoliation can make your skin prone to dryness.

Pigmented skin. People with darker complexions need to be cautious with exfoliation because they are prone to post-inflammatory pigmentation, which is difficult to reverse.

Acne-prone skin. While gentle exfoliation can help prevent breakouts, being too rough with harsh, excessive rubbing can aggravate acne by causing inflammation and providing more openings for bacteria.

The opinions expressed in this section are those of the experts and are not the opinions of WebMD. WebMD does not endorse any specific product, service, or treatment.

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Skin-Softening Bath Blend

Skin-Softening Bath Blend

WebMD Feature

Dry bath mixes have a fairly long shelf life, but you should use them within 3 to 6 months. Keep in a tightly sealed container. Do not store bath bags with oils or honey in them.

1/4 cup oatmeal (rolled or minute type)

1/4 cup milk powder

1/4 cup brown sugar

1/4 cup herbs of choice

10 to 15 drops of essential oils of choice

2 tablespoons of honey

2 teaspoons of body oil of choice

Grind oatmeal, milk powder, sugar and herbs in a food processor until coarsely processed. In a separate bowl, mix essential oil, honey and body oil. Combine and add to a muslin bath bag. Steep in the tub for a few minutes, covered in hot water. Add more water to the bath and enjoy. Use cold tea bags (green tea or chamomile) over your eyes as your relax in your bath.

(Courtesy of Trisha Shirey of the Lake Austin Spa Resort in Austin, Texas)

Reviewed on November 27, 2012

© 2012 WebMD, LLC. All rights reserved.

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Coffee Energizing Body Scrub

Coffee Energizing Body Scrub

WebMD Feature

Coffee is very exfoliating and energizing. Use this scrub on your arms, legs, feet, elbows and rough places where you need more exfoliation. If you like the smell of coffee, this is for you.

1/4 cup of sugar

1 4-inch sprig of fresh rosemary

1/4 cup coffee beans, finely ground

2 tablespoons bentonite clay

3 tablespoons of the body oil best for your skin

3 drops each of rosemary oil and grapefruit or peppermint oils

Combine sugar and rosemary in a spice grinder and process until the rosemary is finely ground. Mix with remaining ingredients. Scrub skin lightly with the mix and shower off. Moisturize afterward with additional body oil.

(Courtesy of Trisha Shirey of the Lake Austin Spa Resort in Austin, Texas)

Reviewed on November 27, 2012

© 2012 WebMD, LLC. All rights reserved.

This entry passed through the Full-Text RSS service — if this is your content and you’re reading it on someone else’s site, please read the FAQ at fivefilters.org/content-only/faq.php#publishers. Five Filters recommends: Gaza Blitz – Turmoil And Tragicomedy At The BBC.

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Purifying Lemon Ginger Foot Soak

Purifying Lemon Ginger Foot Soak

WebMD Feature

Get your feet feeling good with this soak. This recipe is quick to make anytime your feet need some TLC.

1 gallon very warm water

Juice of 1 lemon

1/2 cup sea salt

2 tablespoons ground ginger

Fill a small basin with enough water to completely cover your feet up to your ankles. Make sure the water is hot enough to stay warm for the duration of your soak, but not too hot that it burns your feet. Add the lemon juice, sea salt and ground ginger to the water and stir. Slowly put both feet into the basin. Relax and soak your feet for 10 to 20 minutes.

(Courtesy of Annie Price, founder of the blog AllNaturalAnnie.com)

Reviewed on November 27, 2012

© 2012 WebMD, LLC. All rights reserved.

This entry passed through the Full-Text RSS service — if this is your content and you’re reading it on someone else’s site, please read the FAQ at fivefilters.org/content-only/faq.php#publishers. Five Filters recommends: Gaza Blitz – Turmoil And Tragicomedy At The BBC.

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Lip and Cheek Stain

Lip and Cheek Stain

WebMD Feature

If you forget to reserve the liquid from cooking your beets, you can boil the skins that you peel from your beets.

Beets

Vodka

Cook beets as you normally would in a bit of water. Eat the beets, then reduce the leftover liquid in the pot until it thickens. Add a splash of vodka. Pour into a glass roll-on container.

(Courtesy of Béa Johnson, founder of the blog ZeroWasteHome.com)

Reviewed on November 27, 2012

© 2012 WebMD, LLC. All rights reserved.

This entry passed through the Full-Text RSS service — if this is your content and you’re reading it on someone else’s site, please read the FAQ at fivefilters.org/content-only/faq.php#publishers. Five Filters recommends: Gaza Blitz – Turmoil And Tragicomedy At The BBC.

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Perfectly Pampering Mother’s Day Gifts

Mother’s Day Gifts for Perfect Pampering

Make her feel special every day with essential beauty gifts she’ll love.

By Linda Formichelli
WebMD the Magazine – Feature

Want to make her Mother’s Day really special this year? Try these gift-worthy beauty favorites from Pantea Tamjidi, MD, a dermatologist and owner of Tamjidi Skin Institute in Chevy Chase, Md.

Nourishing Body Scrub

The Body Shop Mango Body Scrub:  Some body scrubs can dry out skin, but this one contains organic sugar and salt to gently exfoliate plus mango seed and organic soy oil to hydrate.

Perfect Hair Brush

Denman Natural Boar Bristle and Nylon Brush: The brush’s boar bristles help distribute oil from the scalp down the hair shaft, and the nylon pins help your hair dry faster so the dryer does less damage.

Nontoxic Nail Polish

Zoya Nail Polish: Get colorful nails the healthy way with polish that doesn’t contain harmful chemicals like formaldehyde or toluene.

Two-in-One Foot Smoother

Tweezerman Sole Mates Dual-Sided Foot File: This tool is the next best thing to a professional pedicure, with a steel microfile on one side to remove dead skin and a soft file on the other side to buff heels and soles smooth.

Gentle Facial Scrub

Clinique 7-Day Scrub Cream Rinse-Off Formula: This scrub helps minimize fine lines by removing dead surface skin cells and clears the way for moisturizer to do its job.

Super-Duper Skin Serum

Olay Regenerist Micro-Sculpting Serum: This serum boasts amino-peptides, proteins that act as antioxidants to help build collagen, hydrate and plump the skin, and reduce signs of sun damage.

Skin-Saving Moisturizer

Aveeno Positively Radiant Daily Moisturizer SPF 30: This moisturizer is full of soy, a triple threat that plumps the skin, smooths fine lines, and reduces the appearance of brown spots.

The opinions expressed in this section are of the experts and are not the opinions of WebMD. WebMD does not endorse any specific product, service, or treatment.

This entry passed through the Full-Text RSS service — if this is your content and you’re reading it on someone else’s site, please read the FAQ at fivefilters.org/content-only/faq.php#publishers. Five Filters recommends: Incinerating Assange – The Liberal Media Go To Work.

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WebMD’s My Story: How a Reader Faces Lupus 1 Day at a Time

Karin Gelschus turned her life around when she changed her attitude about her chronic disease.

By Karin Gelschus
WebMD the Magazine – Feature

At 23, I was on top of the world. I had my dream job as a writer and traveled all over North America to research stories. I bought my first townhouse. I was loving life.

After a trip to Montreal, I developed the flu. I was exhausted. I often got tired after trips, but this time was different. My hands were shaking, my joints were stiff, and my heart was racing. I could barely make it up the stairs. In the days following, my symptoms worsened. The pain felt even worse when doctor after doctor could not figure out what was wrong. They tested me for Lyme disease, rheumatoid arthritis, tuberculosis, and a dozen other diseases. Finally, after months of excruciating pain, I was diagnosed with lupus, a chronic and very serious autoimmune disease that can damage the joints, organs, and skin.

It can take months for lupus medications to start working, and I got much sicker before I got better. Forty pounds underweight and discouraged, I realized I had to do something to escape the dark, lonely place I found myself. That summer, I started turning things around.

I thought to myself, “I can’t control what’s happening to my body, but I can control my thoughts. So what can I do to stay positive?” I looked for ways to make myself feel better every day.

Then, as now, I turned to my family and friends for support. They listen when I need them to, offer advice when I ask, and join me every year in running a 5K for lupus research. Having a strong support network and giving back floods me with inspiration and happiness.

At 27 years old, I’ve overcome more than most in their entire lifetimes, and I’m proud to have the strength to continue to fight such a complex disease.

Karin’s Tips on Coping With Lupus

“Leave yourself notes. I put one that reads ‘You’ll feel better once you get moving’ on my nightstand and one that reads ‘We make you feel better’ on my pill box. These notes make me smile!”

“Keep a journal. I keep one of inspirational quotes, nice things said about me, and small goals I achieve, like running three miles or getting an A.”

Questions to Ask Your Doctor About Lupus

1. Could another condition or medications be causing my lupus symptoms?

2. What lifestyle changes can I make to manage my lupus?

3. Are there support groups in my area for people with lupus?

4. Do I need to see other specialists?

5. How often should I come in for checkups?

Find more articles, browse back issues, and read the current issue of “WebMD the Magazine.” 

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