Dry exfoliation for the legs involves using a scrub or brush to slough away dead skin cells. This smooths your legs and can also help to make the skin look more toned. Without the use of messy, creamy products, dry exfoliation is easy to fit in to any routine. The benefits are cumulative, although your skin usually feels smoother from the first treatment.
Dry Skin Brushing
Dry skin brushing is a cheap, popular and speedy way to exfoliate your legs. Good quality dry body brushes are usually made from coarse natural fibers, such as cactus, and have a long handle or loop so you can grip them easily. Dry body brushing combines invigorating massage with exfoliation, and as you only need the brush, it cuts out other expensive or messy products.
Sweep the dry brush in long strokes over dry skin Start at your feet and move up the legs. Always brush toward the heart. Concentrate on any bumpy, lumpy areas on your legs such as the tops of thighs and buttocks. You can dry brush several times a week, before having a shower if desired.
Salt and Sugar Scrubs
Oil-based salt and sugar scrubs melt away under warm water, leaving no mess in the shower but coating the skin with a moisturizing oil. To make these more effective, you can use them on dry skin, massaging in well, before stepping under the water. The oil base helps sugar and salt crystals to glide over skin, gently exfoliating but not scratching it. Use this type of scrub all over dry legs, right down to the feet. Pay attention to rough areas, such as knees, heels and thighs. When your skin feels smooth and invigorated, shower the product away, being careful not to slip on the oil.
Dry brushing is often recommended for sufferers of keratosis pilaris, which frequently affects thighs. This common condition means that hair follicles get clogged with keratin and turn into little bumps all over the skin. Regular exfoliation is also recommended for those who suffer from ingrown hairs due to shaving legs. Dry brushing is not only effective but requires no other products, so helps to keep follicles clean as well as exfoliated.
Moisturizing your legs after dry exfoliation gives a smooth sheen and provides nourishment for those with dry skin. If you are on a beach holiday, give your legs a gentle scrub with sand, then rinse it off in the sea. Dry exfoliation feels really therapeutic but it is not suitable for very sensitive areas. Never dry scrub over sunburn, varicose veins, skin abrasions or skin conditions. If you have pimples or infected hair follicles from ingrown hairs, seek medical advice to clear the condition before attempting any kind of exfoliation. Leave shaved or waxed legs for at least a day before dry exfoliating again.
Shefali Choudhury is a qualified make-up artist and nail technician, with more than 12 years experience of professional makeup in beauty, film and theater. She graduated in fine art from Central Saint Martins and has been writing professionally since 2007.