Body Scrub and its Health Benefits
A body scrub is basically a concoction (home-made or commercial) that is used to scrub away (exfoliate) dead skin cells from the body. Normally, the body replaces its skin cells every 28 days or so. Helping it rid of these dead cells makes for a healthier skin.
Essentially, it is made of coarse granules (usually ground apricot, walnuts, oatmeal, coffee grounds, sugar or sea salt) mixed with a semi-liquid suspension medium (oil or gel).
The main benefit of a body scrub is that it cleanses the skin of dead cells. While doing so, the scrubbing action also soothes it and provides some nutrients needed by the skin.
The scrubbing action also stimulates circulation, thereby toning the skin. Whether in a spa or at home, exfoliation revitalizes the skin by exposing the smoother new layer after the dead cells had been removed.
A good body scrub rids dry, flaky or scaly skin cells from the body. These are the skin often exposed for long periods to the sun or to other elements (dust, pollution). It is also an effective way to remove tanned skin and make it look less wrinkled.
Tanned skin that had become darkened and rough can be removed for the underlying new skin which is supple and young to move up and guard the body. Gentle scrubbings can be done once a week. (For those with sunburns, skin rashes, acne, or some other skin ailments, it is best to use only some soft body scrub in the shower until they heal.)
Aside from the recommended two-week interval, scrubbing much too often can damage the skin. (Once the dead skin had been removed, further scrubbing can potentially harm the new exposed skin cells.)
In winter, skin can be dry due to over-exposure to the elements. Too vigorous a scrubbing is not recommended.
A body scrub is for the whole body – hands, feet, ankles, knees, elbows and others parts that need them. This means leaving the face and the neck area for their appropriate facial scrub. Skin in the face and neck are tender and sensitive.
Body scrubs, commercial or home-made, need to have three ingredients to be effective. The main ingredient is the exfoliant agent. This is the scrubbing materials that rub away the dead skin cells – salt, sugar, ground apricot kernels, coffee grounds, and others.
Next is the carrier oil (grape seed, hazelnut, almond, virgin coconut) which not only keep the exfoliant materials kept away from outside elements, they also penetrate the skin and help supply the fatty acids. This keeps the skin elastic and supple.
Finally, the essential oils are in the mix for healing purposes and fragrance. Usually found in commercial brands, these are lavender oil, juniper oil and grapefruit essential oil. An effective body scrub should have all these three.
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