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By Cynthia Bailey MD.

Dermatologist’s best hypoallergenic body exfoliators

Almost everyone after adolescence benefits from body exfoliation.

What are the health and beauty benefits of body exfoliation?

Body exfoliation helps treat keratosis pilaris and back and chest acne.

It also helps slough off dull and rough dead skin cells to reveal softer, more vibrant and youthful skin that has a healthy sheen.

What is body exfoliation?

There are two types of body exfoliation.

1. Physical exfoliation:

Physical exfoliation involves the removal of dead skin cells by physically scrubbing them off with rough scrubs, cloths, sponges or mitts. For the hands and feet, files and more vigorous physical exfoliation are often needed. 

2. Chemical exfoliation:

Chemical exfoliation involves the removal of dead cells using keratolytic ingredients that dissolve the glue holding dead cells together so that they can more easily slough off. The best keratolytics for body exfoliation include glycolic acid, salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide. Moisturizers with glycolic acid are highly effective keratolytics that aid exfoliation. 

How often can you use body exfoliation at home?

You can use products every day or just twice a week. Results depend on the products you choose and how much pressure you use when massaging the product onto your skin.

How can you exfoliate your body at home?

Exfoliating products include,

  • Scrubs with rough grains, crystals or beads
  • Rough shower sponges, cloths or mitts for the body, or files and stones for feet and hands.
  • Cleansers and scrubs made with keratolytics such as glycolic acid, salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide. These ingredients help dissolve the glue holding dead cells together. Moisturizers with keratolytics are highly effective too. 

Get the best results when you combine these methods.

Why is it better to use hypoallergenic products to exfoliate?

Exfoliating removes dead cells and enhances the skin penetration of products and other substances that come into contact with your skin. Unfortunately, many DIY exfoliating scrub recipes call for essential oils that are potent allergens such as citrus essence. Commercial products are often filled with fragrance, another potent skin allergen. As a dermatologist, I know the risk – itchy bumps from a new, and potentially lifelong allergy to these taunting allergens. Avoid the problem by using hypoallergenic products to exfoliate. These include a simple shower cloth, such as the Salux Cloth, and hypoallergenic exfoliation products such as my Triple Action Exfoliation Cleanser that is made with glycolic acid, salicylic acid and eco-friendly beads.

Find the best dermatologist-approved, hypoallergenic body exfoliation products.

On the page below, find the products I depend on for my sensitive skin patients and myself and my family. These include the Salux Shower Cloth that can be used with any soap or cleanser, or made even more effective when used with one of my keratolytic cleansers including my Triple Action Exfoliating Cleanser (a lovely foaming keratolytic formulation with eco-friendly beads), Glycolic Acid Face and Body Wash, Benzoyl Peroxide 10% Foaming Acne Treatment Cleanser  and the two Foaming Acne Treatment Cleansers  with salicylic acid (excellent for penetrating the oily pores on the chest and back) plus 2 different strengths of glycolic acid (2% and 10%). Products are also bundled into skin care kits made from synergistic products that get results fast such as my Acne Kits and Body Smoothing Kits!