Why you need to exfoliate from head to toe

Why you need to exfoliate from head to toe

If you’re anything like me, you’re a little lazy when it comes to exfoliating your body. But what you may not know is that it’s not only your face or bod that need a good sloughing every now and then – your scalp and lips need it too! Now is the time to step up your top-to-toe exfoliating routine and trust me, you’ll notice that your hair, skin and body look healthier than ever. We spoke to the experts to get the dirt on exfoliating all over…


Yes, you read that right – it’s important to give your scalp the once-over from time to time to get rid of product build-up, grime and oils. Amy S. Humfleet, Aveda Vice President, Product Development & Innovations explains why: “The scalp is prone to accumulation of build-up from sebum, styling products, and other pollutants that shampooing might not adequately remove,” she says. “This build-up can pore on the scalp and lead to hair thinning. Ensuring shampoo reaches the scalp is key, but also giving the scalp an invigorating scrub to ensure the shampoo cleans hair right down to the roots will help to create an ideal environment for healthy hair.” It totally makes sense, right – the clearer your scalp is, the easier it is for your shampoo to do its job!

How to exfoliate your scalp:

Be sure to read the instructions for your chosen scalp exfoliant, but generally use it like you would any other shampoo – massage into your wet hair and scalp, then rinse and follow with your conditioner.

bh loves: Aveda Invati Exfoliating Shampoo, TIGI BED HEAD Urban Antidotes Reboot Scalp Shampoo


Whether you’re an avid face exfoliator or have never scrubbed your complexion before, it’s vital to understand why regularly exfoliating your skin is so important. NIVEA skincare expert Robyn Hutch explains, “Exfoliating detoxifies the skin and works by getting rid of dead skin cells. Skin that is exfoliated regularly will retain a youthful, healthy look as you age. It also helps to reduce skin discoloration and pigmentation, as well as fine lines, wrinkles and sun damage.” And, as an added bonus, it can also help your products absorb more effectively into your skin.

How to exfoliate your face:

Robyn explains the best technique for getting the most out of your face scrub: “Remove make-up and cleanse your face. Having a fresh, clean face ensures exfoliation is aimed at skin cells, not dirt and grime on your skin,” she says. “If you have some spare time, the next step is to steam your face. Or alternatively you can wet a clean washcloth under hot water and then place it over your entire face for one to two minutes. This will open your pores [and] soften your skin, allowing [for] a deeper cleanse,” she adds.

About a 20-cent-coin-sized amount of exfoliant is perfect. “Use your fingertips to massage in small upward circular motions over your entire face to remove the dead skin. Continue this process till you have exfoliated your entire face. Wash the remaining scrub off your face with lukewarm water.” For best results, be sure to scrub your face once or twice a week.

bh loves: NIVEA Visage Daily Essentials Gentle Exfoliating Scrub, GAIA SKIN+BODY Facial Exfoliant

RELATED: Do you really need to wash your face in the morning?


You may have never considered exfoliating your lips, but the truth is, your lips can build up dead skin cells just like the skin on the rest of your face. David Whyte, National Education Manager at Elizabeth Arden explains, “Just like any other part of your skin, your lips go through a monthly cell turnover and dead skin cells are shed. Due to the nature of the skin barrier on the lips, dead skin cells get trapped and the skin on the lips gets more dry and is more exposed.”

How to exfoliate your lips:

Keep your lips soft and smooth by exfoliating them once a week or fortnight using the following technique: “You can use a normal face exfoliator – not one specifically for lips. Using a water-drenched cotton pad and a small pearl-size amount of product, gently massage the lips in a circular motion for 60 seconds. [Afterwards,] splash away [the] product with water,” explains David.

bh loves: Elizabeth Arden Visible Difference Skin Balancing Exfoliating Cleanser, Arbonne FC5® Exfoliating New Cell Scrub


It’s not only in winter that your body can resemble some type of reptile, the skin on your body is constantly renewing itself, leaving those dead skin cells sitting on the surface looking scaly and flaky. Helga Hefner, Aveda’s manager for Professional Spa Education explains, “Skin cells are continually renewing themselves as part of the natural function of the skin. As we age, this process slows down and the surface cells are not shed in the same way as when we were younger. Exfoliation is a practice that supports the shedding of surface skin cells revealing [a] softer, smoother and more radiant appearance of the skin.”

How to exfoliate your body:

For best results, get scrubbing one to two times per week, and more if you’re feeling extra scaly. In terms of the best technique, “Massage onto wet skin and rinse thoroughly. For more intense exfoliation, apply to dry skin and rinse thoroughly. And please don’t use a body exfoliator on your face,” says Helga. Don’t forget to slather your bod with a hydrating body moisturiser post-scrub too.

bh loves: Aveda Beautifying Radiance Polish, C Lab & Co Coffee Scrub, Café Skin Scrub Coffee Scrub

RELATED: 10 of the best body scrubs

Do you exfoliate these areas regularly? What are your top exfoliating tips?

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