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The literal meaning of exfoliation is to rid ourselves of our dead "leaves" or so I like to think of it.


If you have problems with dry skin

you can find that no matter how much you moisturise your skin stays dry.  This is because our top layers of skin are actually dead, so the moisturiser has to penetrate layers of dead skin.  By ridding ourselves of a few of those layers you allow the moisture to penetrate.


There are many different exfoliation treatments and products to choose from.


My top exfoliation treatment has to be

 Traditional Gommage, in which a strong man or woman uses a scrubbing glove to get rid of those dead skin cells, usually after a long hot soak in a hammam and often after a wash with traditional black soap.  Nothing else really comes close.


As someone who suffers from a build of dry skin on my feet

I also investigate a lot of exfoliation products for the feet.  My top product is the Scholl Instant Hard Skin Remover (which I just used five minutes ago and which is better than some very expensive pedicures!)


Other treatments that belong in the exfoliation family are body scrubs (well, any kind of scrub), skin brushes, salt scrubs, any shower product with handy grains in it (to be honest, I've never found these very effective) and appearing on shelves now... microdermabrasion products.  I think you can probably also categorise chemical peels in this group but I've steered clear of these so far.


If you can't get a gommage

then my top body scrub products are the ESPA salt scrubs.  These are one of the top product names used by spas around the world and you can buy them to use at home for just a couple of pounds per treatment - well worth it.  Their facial Refining Skin Polish has also now become my top facial scrub (sorry to the Aveda Tourmaline Charged Exfoliating Cleanser which was my no. 1 before.)  What I love about the salt scrubs for the body is that they are mixed with luxurious oils that leave your body completely soft and pampered.


If you can't get hold of these or want an even cheaper option you can create your own with a handful of crystal salt and any oil, such as olive oil.  If you want you can also add a few drops of an essential oil (but don't overdo it as these usually need to be diluted before being used directly on the skin).


See also

Mandarin Oriental and

Tian Spa, Beijing




As at November 2012


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