Your Guide to Gentle Exfoliating

Exfoliating is not the sexiest word in the skincare vocabulary. It’s not tossed around as much as "dewy" or "glowing," but you can’t get dewy or glowing skin without some light exfoliation.

So what is exfoliation, exactly? It's the act of removing the old, dull skin cells on the uppermost layer of your skin, revealing the younger skin cells underneath. You can, and should, exfoliate so much more than just your face. Your body, your scalp, the hardened heel the pedicurist always files down (sigh, I miss pedicures) - a little bit of exfoliation in all of these places encourages cell renewal and helps to keep your skin happy and healthy.

There are two kinds of exfoliation: physical and chemical. We’re not so into chemical anything these days, especially when it comes to what we’re putting on our skin. Plant-based exfoliants tend to be more gentle than their synthetic counterparts.


The first step in any skincare routine is always cleansing. This simple cleansing bar is full of French clay and rose petals that gently exfoliate your visage (that’s French, for face). To give your face cleanser an extra boost, use a Konjac sponge which helps to gently resurface your skin. It’s like a mini-facial, which I love since I’m not getting a real facial anytime soon.

After cleansing comes toner, and this toner is vinegar based. Not to be confused with the oil-and-vinegar type of vinegar. Galinee’s face vinegar is a probiotic, balancing face toner that gets the (good) bacteria right into your pores. It leaves my skin brighter and more even without the harshness that traditional exfoliators rely upon to work.


Summer is over :( which means bathing suits are out and sweater weather is coming back. You still need to take care of the skin beneath your chin. The skin on your shoulders, back, and torso are thicker than your face, and you should regularly scrub there.

You can start before you even step into the shower, with our Sisal dry brush. There are a lot of claims in the wellness world about the various benefits of dry brushing. I’m not a doctor, but I can tell you that regular dry brushing has turned me into a full-on believer. It sloughs off dead skin cells, but it also has helped to minimize that pesky dimpling on my thighs and makes my skin look and feel... firmer. Here's how to do it: Brush upwards in brisk motions, and then when you’re done, hop in the shower. Once you can handle the Sisal brush, you can upgrade to the Heales wooden dry brush, which has firmer bristles.

We love the Oregon Soap Company’s lavender-oatmeal soap bar. Yes, it sounds like a cookie from a trendy bakery, but it also feels as delicious as it sounds. It lathers up silky and smooth, unlike so many other Castile soaps. After you’re squeaky clean, treat yourself to a super-luxe soak and scrub with the Saya coconut body polish. It’s made with shea butter and raw sugar, so it’s another body product that smells good enough to eat. Resist the temptation to eat it and just rub it all over your body, then rinse. It leaves you feeling silky smooth and smelling delicious all over.


Let’s be honest, who even thinks about their scalp health regularly? I don’t. But scalp health is intrinsically tied to hair health, and I think about my hair a lot. Exfoliating your scalp means your hair can grow longer, shinier, and thicker. Briogeo is a black-owned haircare line we love, not only because their products are great, but because they work on every hair type. Their Scalp Revival is the perfect way to remove dead skin cells, moisturize your scalp, and reduce itchiness. Plus, it’ll clear out any product build-up you have hanging around your hair follicles and leave you with a hair-commercial level of shine. Slow-motion hair flips optional but highly recommended!

So that’s your guide to gentle exfoliation, from your head to your shoulders to your knees and even your toes. Enjoy your new, super smooth life.