How To Exfoliate Your Body For Smoother Skin

Think about all of the time you spend washing, smoothing, moisturizing, and treating your face. Now, think about what (if anything) you do for your body — chances are your routine starts and ends with a washing up in the shower, hopefully sunscreen when you plan on being in the sun, and maybe lotion every now and then.

Perhaps because you cover it up each day you don’t tend to give it the same amount of thought. But, trust us when we say that ignoring the skin below your neck is a one-way ticket to hyperpigmentation, dead skin build-up, dryness, and even wrinkles — just as your face is prone to those issues, so too is your body.

Step #1. Cleanse Your Body

Just as the first step in your face skincare routine should be cleansing, you should also wash your body before following suit with any other skincare steps, including exfoliation. Use a body wash that will cleanse away any buildup of dirt, oil, and impurities from your skin, leaving you with a clean canvas. Take your pick from a few of our Kiehl’s recommendations below.

Bath and Shower Liquid Body Cleanser: This foaming body cleanser is formulated with key ingredients such as aloe vera, hydrolyzed wheat protein, and sodium PCA. It works to gently yet effectively cleanse your skin and is suitable for all skin types. Rather than leaving your skin dry and stripped of oils, it helps your skin maintain moisture, thanks to the many humectants it contains. It also comes in a variety of scents, including grapefruit and lavender, so there’s something for everyone.

Creme de Corps Smoothing Oil-To-Foam Body Cleanser: Another option that’s suitable for all skin types, including sensitive skin, is this moisturizing body cleansing oil. It’s ideal for those who want to ensure their skin is hydrated post-cleanse. The oil formula transforms into a light, fine foam when it comes into contact with water, removing dirt and oil from your skin. While cleansing your body from impurities, the cleanser—enriched with grapeseed and castor oil—leaves your skin feeling soft and velvety smooth. It also has a decadent scent of vanilla and almonds.

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Step #2. Relax, Soak, and Hydrate

Yes, your skin requires certain steps in order to keep it happy and healthy, but that doesn’t mean you have to rush through your routine. Part of your body care and exfoliation routine should involve taking some time out of your day to indulge in a relaxing and beneficial bath. Use Lavender Foaming-Relaxing Bath, which contains lavender essential oil and dead sea salts, to treat yourself to a luxurious bath. The formula is infused with moisturizing and conditioning ingredients that will help prep your skin for exfoliation. Toss two to three capfuls into running bath water and enjoy.

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Step #3. Exfoliate Your Skin

Next, you’ll want to turn your attention to an exfoliating scrub. This will slough away dead skin cells that leave your skin looking dull and feeling dry and rough. That buildup also makes it harder for products to absorb, as they have to fight through that dead skin first. Just like on your face, this can also lead to breakouts and even ingrown hairs. One of the easiest ways to speed up surface cell turnover and remove the buildup is to use a body exfoliator two to three times a week. These physical scrubs help remove dead cells on the skin’s surface as you massage the product in, revealing smoother, softer skin underneath. If you’re searching for an exfoliating scrub to add to your body care routine, here are two of our best to consider.

Gently Exfoliating Body Scrub is suitable for all skin types, including sensitive skin. It sloughs away dead cells on the skin's surface with a blend of crushed apricot seeds and perlite, which is derived from volcanic rock. It’s also formulated with soothing aloe and chamomile. The exfoliating scrub comes in three scents: grapefruit, coriander, and lavender.

If you find your skin is feeling extra-dry, Creme de Corps Soy Milk & Honey Body Polish is the scrub for you. Ground luffa fruit is suspended in a creamy base made up of sweet almond oil and shea and jojoba butters that condition and soften skin while dead surface cells are sloughed away. Pure honey and soy milk nurture the skin, leaving it velvety smooth and supple.

Kiehl’s Expert Tip: Regardless of which scrub you choose, remember to take it easy—while your body’s skin is tougher than your face, it can still be damaged by over-enthusiastic scrubbing. If your skin is red and raw post-exfoliation, it likely means you’re being too rough.

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Step #4. Replenish Moisture

Exfoliators prime the skin for added moisture, so always have a lotion or cream on-hand for your post-shower care. For all-over hydration, use the original Creme de Corps. The body lotion is safe for all skin types, including sensitive skin, while cocoa butter, beta-carotene, and squalane leave your skin feeling soft and smooth. If you have particularly dry areas of skin, like the heels of your feet, reach for Intensive Treatment and Moisturizer for Dry or Callused Areas. You can use it alone or layer it on top Creme de Corps for added moisture. The treatment is enriched with avocado oil and shea butter to soothe and soften parched, very dry skin and callused areas.

Kiehl’s Expert Tip: After getting out of the shower or bath, gently pat your skin dry. Applying your moisturizer to damp skin will help seal in hydration.

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Next up: Now that you know how to exfoliate your body properly, here’s a few ways you may be showering wrong.

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