Aperfect complexion does not stop at the jawline. Clients need flawless-looking, soft, touchable skin from head to toe. This is especially true now, at the start of the dry, cold winter months.
One of the most natural treatments available, in many different forms, is body exfoliation. Different forms of exfoliation are best for different areas of the body and for skin types. From sugar to sea salt and honey to almond-based scrubs, there are many types of body scrubs and treatments available for the individual client. And, an added business bonus, body treatments such as these appeal to a wide demographic including men, women, and teenagers. Another plus – upgrades, such as express facials, can be easily incorporated into the body treatments, helping to introduce clients to a new menu of skin care options.
Plump skin cells are continuously traveling from the lower layers of the epidermis to the upper layers of the stratum corneum. When they have reached the surface, they are no longer living cells, but have become flat and scaly debris, ready to be sloughed off through a process known as desquamation.
All skin types can benefit from exfoliation. Aging can slow down cell renewal which causes dull, flaking skin. Oily skin tends to saturate dead skin cells, making it difficult for these dead cells to fall off naturally. Dry skin tends to let dead skin cells accumulate too quickly which can make skin look dry and dull.
Skin exfoliation may, however, cause some mild irritation. The client should always be advised to use a light hand at home and the aesthetician must be careful not to exfoliate excessively. When the stratum corneum is intact and healthy, it serves as an effective barrier to inhibit evaporation. If cells are packed tightly together, water cannot get through them, but if cells are loosely packed and flaking, moisture can easily evaporate. If skin is exfoliated too often or aggressively, it can compromise the skin’s protective barrier, causing it to dry and crack and can possibly lead to infection. That is why it is very important to not only perform exfoliation properly, but also with the correct method for the skin.
Clients can have their skin exfoliated from head to toe using a host of different methods and ingredients. In all cases, proper consideration of the skin’s moisture barrier must be part of the protocol, using natural ingredients that help to hydrate and maintain moisture.
TYPES OF EXFOLIATION
All exfoliation methods can be incorporated into a body exfoliation service. For at-home, dry brushing can be used prior to showering or bathing. Chemical exfoliating ingredients can be incorporated, in low levels, to body products for skin maintenance purposes. The most popular and versatile of at-home body exfoliators are granular exfoliators, or body scrubs. These come in a variety of granular bases and can be both incorporated into a body treatment and used in homecare.
Dry Brush Treatment
This is a vigorous form of manual exfoliation that helps loosen dead
skin cells on the body, while stimulating and invigorating. It is also great to prepare skin for waxing, lifting the hair from the skin’s surface, helping to prevent ingrown hairs and for a more even hair removal.
A dry body brush that has a wooden handle and is comprised of all-natural, boar bristles should be used. This fiber is softer on the skin and it can be cleaned and maintained between treatments.
When dry brushing the body, start at the feet and move upwards, towards the heart using light pressure. If skin becomes the least bit red or irritated, the professional has been too aggressive. Do not dry brush if the client has shaved that day. Stop at the breast area and dry brush the arms – again, in a soft, gentle, circular motion going upwards towards the shoulders. To exfoliate the delicate décolleté and neck, use a smaller face brush, being sure not to be too aggressive.
The client should follow dry brushing with a shower, or bath, to wash away the loosened material. Then, finish with body oil or cream that contains moisturizing, natural extracts.
Granular exfoliation is the use of a granular product to remove dead skin by manipulation with the fingertips. This type of exfoliation generally has a granular base, combined with other ingredients to form a paste or scrub. There are several different types of granular exfoliation bases.
Sucrose (Sugar): Sugar’s small particles make an excellent topical exfoliator and are used in body scrubs to gently remove dead surface skin cells to reveal glowing, healthy-looking skin underneath. Small sugar granules are generally gentler on the skin. Larger exfoliant agents can cause microscopic tears in the skin leading to irritation. Also, sugar has natural humectant properties, drawing in moisture, making it suitable for more delicate areas of the body, including the arms and décolleté.
Rice Bran Wax: This is a natural material obtained from rice that is known to be smoothing. Rice bran
wax is rounded in shape, making it softer on the skin, and it dissolves in water more readily.
Almond Meal: Ground almonds make excellent natural exfoliators. They are known to help replenish the oils lost from the skin during the cleansing process. Soft in texture, they produce a gentle, massaging effect.
Oatmeal: Obtained by grinding the kernels of oats, this contains both natural, whole protein and lipid material. Known for its soothing and conditioning effect on the skin, it also helps absorb oils. This leaves a silky, smooth feel to the skin and can be used on both the face and the body.
Dead Sea Salt: Obtained from the Dead Sea in Israel, this material is best for tougher skin on the body. It contains potassium, chlorine, sodium, calcium, and magnesium, as well as sulfur and bromine compounds. This is known to help tone and revive the appearance of the skin.
Thinking outside of the box and beyond facial skin care can help any professional succeed in the business. Body exfoliation treatments are the perfect service to perform for anyone that wants smooth, soft, touchable skin. This creates the perfect platform to introduce clients to a host of new services.