Your body constantly sheds dead skin cells; 30,000 to 40,000 cells a day, to be exact. Where does it all end up? Some of it actually contributes to the dust throughout your home, under your bed, all over the untouched novels on your bookshelf, and so on. As cringey as this might sound, it's actually not that bad. Dust is mostly made up of dirt from outside, as well as pet dander if you have fur babies. Fortunately, most dead skin cells get washed off in the shower.
If dry, flaky skin seems problematic and embarrassing, think of it this way: It's a sign that new skin cells are forming. It's your body's way of saying, "Out with the old." Let that fresh skin shine through with a combination of exfoliating and moisturizing.
Benefits of Exfoliation
Your body sloughs off dead skin cells naturally. Technically, you don't need to exfoliate, but it does speed up the process. A great body scrub or dry brush can make exfoliation feel more like an indulgence than a chore. The promise of soft, smooth skin is a pretty good motivator, too.
Exfoliating also amps up the absorption of body creams and oils. Otherwise, you risk products just sitting on top of a layer of dead skin cells. That doesn't sound like a good use of Tata Harper Revitalizing Body Oil ($110) at all.
Bonus: If you're proactive about exfoliating regularly in the shower, you might reduce some of the dust pollutants in your house.
Body Products for Exfoliating
When it comes to exfoliation, you've got options. Sugar or salt body scrubs are very popular for buffing skin to perfection. Coffee scrubs like Frank Body Original Coffee Scrub ($17) are quite nourishing; that one has antioxidant-rich almond oil and protective, healing vitamin E.
Dry brushing is an ancient Ayurvedic technique that has become a wellness phenomenon in the last few years. With a long wooden handle and stiff natural bristles, a dry brush is meant to be used to massage your entire body from your feet all the way up to your shoulders. No water needed. Not only does dry brushing exfoliate, but it can also stimulate new cell growth, promote lymphatic drainage, and even temporarily minimize the look of cellulite.
If chemical exfoliation is more your jam, AmLactin Rapid Relief Restoring Lotion + Ceramides ($15) features lactic acid and alpha hydroxy acids to get the job done.
How Often Should You Exfoliate?
Even though you shed dead skin cells daily, there's no need to exfoliate every day. In fact, doing so could strip your skin of its natural moisture.
For best results, exfoliate two or three times a week. If you have sensitive skin, stick with once a week.
Bottom line: Exfoliating might help reduce the amount of dust in your home, but the biggest benefit is getting to maintain smooth, healthy-looking skin. Kinda makes you forget all about the dead skin cells collecting under your bed.