How Exfoliating Can Minimize Your Dust Problem

Person dry brushing their leg while standing in the shower.

Artem Varnitsin / Getty Images

Our body constantly sheds dead skin cells; 30,000 to 40,000 cells a day, to be exact. So, the top layer of skin you're looking at now will be dust in a month's time. Pretty cool or strange depending on how you look at it, right? With this science in mind, where does it all end up? Well, all around you—under your bed, all over the novels on your bookshelf, and so on. As cringey as this might sound, it's actually not that bad, especially since most of our dead skin cells get washed off in the shower. 

If dry, flaky skin is one of your skincare concerns, think of it this way: It's a sign that new skin cells are forming, and it's your body's way of saying, "Out with the old." There are many ways to combat flaky skin, and some of the dust bunnies under your bed. One of our suggestions is adding exfoliation to your weekly routine (and an air purifier to your bedroom). 

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. Exfoliating also amps up the skin's ability to absorb your skincare products. Otherwise, you risk products just sitting on top of a layer of dead skin cells. That doesn't sound like a good use of your favorite body oil 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 while making exfoliation feel more like an indulgence than a chore. The promise of soft, smooth skin is a pretty good motivator, too.

Coffee scrubs like Frank Body Original Coffee Scrub ($17) are quite nourishing because of antioxidant-rich ingredients like almond oil and protective, healing vitamin E. 

Celebrities like Tracee Ellis Ross and Gwyneth Paltrow swear by dry brushing—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. Chemical exfoliants can be an ideal option for those that are sensitive to manual exfoliation methods. A good rule of thumb when you're thinking about adding a new chemical exfoliate to your routine is to spot test and look for ph-balancing formulas like cult-favorite Biologique Recherche Lotion P50 Corps ($95).

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.

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