How many creams are in your bathroom at this very instant? For me, too many!
I sometimes wander in there and think about organizing everything. Consolidating; tossing some out.
But then I start thinking that's TOO extreme. What if I need one of those a week after I pitch it in the trash?
If you've ever felt that the beauty budget is a little bit out of control, this post is for you. You may be able to save a ton of money AND bathroom real estate by recommitting to exfoliation.
Your skin WANTS to renew all on its own.
Right below the layer you're looking at now is a fresh, baby-soft skin dying to get out. It's pink, and clear and smooth to the touch... you're gonna LOVE it.
But far too many of us are counting on that rejuvenation to happen by itself. And it doesn't.
If you could romp around the Garden of Eden in your beautiful birthday suit, you wouldn't have to think twice about exfoliation. There would be no clothing to prevent nature from exfoliating your skin.
No makeup or other creams keeping that dead, surface layer of skin from just sloughing off and blowing away.
It was a simple time (Except for snakes. I shudder at being naked anywhere outside the shower. But add a serpent to the mix and all bets are off for this girl).
But here's the problem. Eden is history. Clothing is here to stay. And many of those creams are incredibly useful, too.
We have to help our skin renew itself.
Don't count on the shower's running water or even a washcloth to do the job. You'll be applying creams to dead skin day after day if you do.
Daily exfoliation, especially right before applying any cream or lotion, will allow your body to get more of the therapy you're buying. It's your budget, of course, but why not get the most for your money?
The easy answer is no. But, if you follow my examples above, applying stretch mark prevention cream or oils to fresh, living skin is going to allow the therapy to penetrate far better.
Stretch marks happen because skin tissue below the surface stretches and tears, so any moisturization that regularly reaches that tissue is critically important.
If you're pregnant, for example, you can't control the speed of your belly's growth. But, with exfoliation, you do get to maximize the coverage that your moisturizer achieves.
Just like we discovered above, stretch marks are visible on the surface but the damage is below. Exfoliation is just a surface activity so, on its own, there's no impact on the damage.
But you'll get maximum success by clearing off that dry, dead skin on the surface. It just absorbs (and totally wastes!) the cream you've paid so much to buy.
If you're using a top-level stretch mark cream like TriLASTIN-SR, that's a game changer!
The important thing about exfoliating is finding the right brush. Don't waste money on the cheap, hard-bristle brushes that the discount stores peddle.
Why? Because we want to gently remove the dead skin on top WITHOUT damaging the baby-soft layer below. And remember, you're about to apply topicals to this new skin so agitating it right before that will wreck its capacity to absorb what you're giving it.
My research has steered me away from using my old favorite, the loofah brush. I spoke to my dermatologist about this and she had more horror stories about loofah skin damage than I expected.
Exfoliation is not about aggressively scrubbing your skin. Remember that your body is not trying to hold on to this skin; it just needs a bit of gentle assistance to help it detach.
That's also the reason for my caution about using a cheap brush. Most are made to create way more friction that you need to remove dead skin.
I use gloves like these in my daily shower because they clean exfoliate more effectively than anything I've ever used. Your hands go everywhere and slide over contours better than any brush can.
With gloves, I like to replace them every few weeks, so it's a savings for me to buy the multi-packs on Amazon.
With two young children, it's nearly impossible to do a daily exfoliation outside of one great, brisk shower before they're up and moving in the morning.
For those of you who begin exfoliating to treat or avoid stretch marks, I don't recommend any additional gels. It's sufficient to use the shower water to soften this dead skin and then use a circular rubbing motion to finish the removal.
I'm applying TriLASTIN-SR after it air dries anyway, so I don't want another gel 'blocking' the therapy.
If you're not using a specific cream for stretch marks, then a sugar scrub or coffee scrub can be a good solution - but neither of those is adequate therapy for preventing or healing stretch marks.
I use these gloves on my face BEFORE applying soap for cleaning my body. But, with the accumulated sunscreen and makeup that most of us apply, I feel like my face deserves some extra attention.
For that reason, I spend a little bit of money on a decent rotary brush like this. I'll spend about five minutes doing my face every 2 or 3 days just to gently give it extra pore cleansing.
You'll be fine with the gloves during any stretch mark prevention or removal routine, of course. Add a rotary brush if that is helpful.
But here's the bottom line. Women have to focus on beauty for a number of reasons.
And exfoliation is an amazing beauty 'secret' on its own. But, if you're fighting to prevent or get rid of stretch marks, a daily exfoliation routine will maximize your success and minimize your budget as a bonus!
If you are having professional laser or surgical treatments done be sure to consult your physician before doing this just to make sure it's 100% safe to do so. You may have to wait a few days after a treatment session before starting exfoliation to allow the skin to heal properly.