In this weird wild natural world, many animals molt, others shed their fur, and some ditch their entire exoskeleton when it no longer suits their needs. We humans have our own way of changing things up. We regularly need to scrub off some of our dead skin on that surface layer in order to reveal fresher, younger-looking skin.
Beauty routines differ depending on the person, but for the most part, everyone needs to exfoliate, cleanse, tone, and moisturize (and, of course, apply sunscreen if heading outside). Some people can go most of their lives with the simplest of routines, swearing by soap and water, while others buy two of every step from several skin care lines. There’s probably a happy medium in there somewhere, and this here is just your friendly reminder to remember the often forgotten step of exfoliation.
Sometimes we can encourage the regeneration of cells through certain chemical combinations, and other times we need a more hands-on mechanical approach to the problem. These processes are generally referred to as either chemical or physical exfoliation.
Typically chemical exfoliation utilizes fruit acids or salicylic acid which loosen the bonds between cells of dead skin. This allows them to peel away without much scrubbing. Alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) like glycolic, citric, and malic acid work on the skin’s surface and improve overall texture. Beta-hydroxy acids (BHAs) like salicylic and tropic acid go a little deeper and unclog pores as well. You should exercise caution when applying peels such as this because they can be harsh on sensitive skin, and you want to be sure to leave it on only for the recommended time.
With physical exfoliation there are a multitude of face and body scrubs that contain granules of varying size and shape. Granules that are fine (as opposed to abrasive and coarse) are best for gentle exfoliation and perfect for the face. Using your hands or a brush to lightly work a scrub into the skin will effectively rid it of dead skin cells and other impurities. If your scrub boasts having botanicals, that simply means they contain plant-derived ingredients that are being utilized for their therapeutic or medicinal properties.
So let’s give a shout out to nature and explore 10 benefits of botanical body scrubs.
1. An anti-aging personal assistant
Our skin naturally goes through a shedding and renewal process, but as we age the speed at which this occurs begins to slow down (Mother Nature isn’t always so giving). Since new skin cells are important for a fresh-faced appearance, regular exfoliation with a botanical body scrub can help your cell turnover keep up a pace that’s more on par with those youngsters.
If you don’t exfoliate at least once a week you may notice a slightly dull, lackluster look to your skin. One or two times should do the trick to take you to next level loveliness. If you are too overzealous in your scrubbing, or applying too many exfoliating chemicals to your skin during the week, you could be stripping the skin’s natural protective barrier. You don’t want to expose new cells before they’ve had the chance to mature. That could cause increased sensitivity to the sun or excessive dryness.
So when you’re working with botanical scrubs do your best to strike that balance between “out with the old, in with the new” and “everything in moderation.”
2. A pal for acne prevention
Like a plumber for your pores, a good botanical scrub can unclog like a pro. However, it’s honestly more about keeping your face clean than applying any old abrasive concoction to your delicate skin. Your scrub should contain ingredients that clean your face thoroughly, and allow for hair follicles to become unblocked.
Before we go on, let’s back up a bit to get to the root of acne, breakouts, zits, pimples, blemishes and any other name you might use that basically means nemesis or nightmare. Oil glands secrete sebum into the hair follicle, and when this oil, dead skin cells, and dirt sit on your skin for too long, they can obstruct the opening of your pores. This trapped trifecta of dead skin cells, oil, and dirt can become infected or inflamed, and appears on the surface of the skin as black heads or white heads (AKA pesky pimples!). Dermatologists will often suggest using salicylic, or glycolic acid to help shed the dead skin chemically, as well as applying ointments like benzoyl peroxide that kill the bacteria infecting your pores.
Whether or not you develop acne has a lot to do with your genetic makeup, and hormonal changes, but there are always ways you can treat the symptoms. You definitely don’t want to be too harsh with a scrub if you’re dealing with a bad breakout. That’s probably the time for a more mild cleanser or the aforementioned approaches that are likely to be recommended by a dermatologist. But if you are acting preventatively, a high quality botanical scrub is a great way to get your face clean, and keep those bad-news breakouts at bay.
3. Body scrubs got your back
Sorry to be a bit of a Debbie Downer, but before we forget, you might want to turn around and do a double take of what’s going on back there. Yes, we’re talking about your back and that oh-so-clever term, “bacne” (back + acne), or the blemishes on your back. It may again be a combination of hormones and genes, but whoever is to blame, if you suffer from occasional breakouts on your back, be sure to use a botanical body scrub in the same way described above in order to create a clean surface and say buy-bye to acne-causing bacteria.
4. A friend in fighting acne scars
In addition to helping prevent breakouts and mild bouts of acne, a good botanical body scrub can also aid in reducing the appearance of some acne scars. Of course, if you have extreme scarring and damage due to acne, the difference you’ll see may be slight, and there are medical procedures that may be of more help.
For those who have mild to moderate scarring, discoloration, or other similar issues due to acne, regular use of a scrub can help regenerate and rejuvenate the skin over time. It’s the same principle across the board, whether we’re talking about anti-aging, acne prevention, or scarring. A scrub helps remove the dead skin cells to make way for new cells.
Removing some of the stratum corneum (the dead skin cells on the very top that used to be in the epidermis), allows your epidermis to go about its work of repairing the texture of the topical layer and protecting you from harmful elements in the environment. Little by little, and along with other skin-repairing products, you should see those scars fade, just like the memories of middle school when acne played an all too important part of your daily existence. It turns out there are some nice things about getting older after all!
4. All the better for absorbing serums, sprays, and creams!
Another benefit of botanical body scrubs is that they enable your skin to better soak in all the goodness of those other products you apply. As already noted, using a gentle botanical scrub a couple times a week allows for fresh skin cells to be exposed, and no longer blocked by dirt and debris. This allows ingredients like aloe vera, hyaluronic acid, vitamins A and E, and other such nourishing substances to penetrate the skin more easily. That’s where they can interact with your body chemistry and begin to do whatever they’re meant to do (and lucky for some of us, we don’t have to understand every chemical reaction and cell function for our bodies to know what to do).
If you don’t have a scrub that you love, you can also use a soft electric brush with a cleanser to achieve a similar effect. Whatever it is in your beauty routine that comes next will be that much more effective and potent if you start with a clean surface.
This video reiterates the importance of a light touch when working with scrubs, as well as following an exfoliation with a good moisturizer. Also, who knew you could make your own facial scrub out of ground up rice?
5. Prepare the way for hair removal
We may have been focusing on the face thus far, but being a botanical body scrub and all, of course it’s for the rest of the body as well. Whether you wax, shave, pluck, or zap, chances are that you deal with hair removal on at least some parts of your body. A good body scrub can help prevent ingrown hairs and provides you with a smoother surface overall. Now you can proceed with your weed wacking – ahem – hair removal as you normally would.
6. Scrub your elbows, knees, and heels
These troubled zones of our body that seem to suffer the most wear and tear are too often neglected. Perhaps it’s because no one ever talks about attractive elbows, or mentions your marvelous knees, so you relegate these less-loved areas to an afterthought. But even if you don’t consider any of these areas your best feature, it’s still important to do what you can to make sure they’re not becoming dry, cracked, and completely deserted.
7. Brighten your complexion
Your face is the business card of your body. It’s what people notice and remember, for better or worse. Luckily you are able to exert some control over the faces you make as well as what you make of your face. While you can’t change certain factors, you do have some choices when it comes to how you treat your skin. To improve the overall appearance, you want to regularly exfoliate in order to revitalize and refresh your face. If there’s build-up from days’ worth of sweat, dust, and shedding of skin cells, you’d surely notice that your face feels rougher and lacks radiance. Most of us don’t let things go for that long, but we may miss certain steps. Exfoliating with a botanical face or body scrub will help your skin spring back, by becoming more oxygenated and invigorated.
8. A smoother, more even, self-tanning experience
Instead of soaking up too much sun, a lot of people are opting for attaining that healthy glow with self tanners. While a certain amount of sun is good for you, prolonged exposure can often pose a problem. In order to avoid early signs of aging and reduce your risk of skin cancer, it’s always an option to get that sun-kissed look from a bottle.
If you want it to look as natural as possible, try exfoliating your body wherever you plan to apply the tanning lotion. Sometimes self-tanner can show up darker where dry or dead skin cells accumulate. Using a botanical body scrub will not only help remove this debris, but also prep the skin to better absorb the product. It’s also not a bad idea to put a little moisturizing lotion on particularly dry areas like knees, elbows, and around the often neglected ankles.
9. Botanicals are Mother Nature’s medicine
As mentioned above, botanicals are plant-based ingredients that have a nourishing effect on the skin. Depending on the particular botanical, it may add more moisture or help with the skin’s protective agents. According to experts, the phyto-compounds affect cell signaling at a genetic level and can impact inflammation, cell growth, and more. This all leads to a positive effect on cell rejuvenation, and ultimately a boost to your beauty.
Some botanicals may even inhibit the proliferation of free-radicals (those unstable molecules that wreak havoc on your cells as they search for other electrons). This means that they could potentially protect your store of collagen and elastin (the glue and underlying protein-based network that undergirds your skin).
With the right combination of botanicals, the end result can be better hydration, improved skin elasticity, and protection against environmental elements (like toxins and UV rays).
Whew! Well we made it through the list and now there’s a pop quiz! Quick, what’s a phyto-compound? Only kidding, of course. As long as you get the gist of what’s good, you can leave the details to the experts in the field. And speaking of what’s good, the Botanical Complexion Scrub by Viviane Woodard will work wonders for your skin. It’s an invigorating experience for the entire body and still sensitive enough for your face. Teens who are troubled by blemishes and uneven skin tone can treat themselves to a little spa-like facial with this product being one of the primary perks. Natural fibers like walnut shell powder help slough off the dead cells and dirt, while the aloe vera, apricot kernel oil, and hyaluronic acid moisturize the newly exposed skin. And as with all Viviane Woodard products, it’s cruelty-free.
Give a botanical body scrub a try, and just remember, if you tend to be heavy handed when applying beauty products, or scrub your face like you’re trying to scrape burnt stains off a pan, take a breath. Talk to yourself like you would speak to a toddler who wants to be near the new baby: “gentle, gentle, gentle!”
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For over 60 years, Viviane Woodard has represented “The Purity of Skincare”. We are the leading beauty brand for water-based skin care products and promote the importance of good skin hydration. Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest for skin care tips, product discounts and more.