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What is an Exfoliating Cream?

By Jessica Reed
Updated May 21, 2024
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An exfoliating cream is a type of skin cream designed to wash away layers of dead skin to give the user smoother, healthier looking skin. The creams are popular for use on the face and on rough areas like the heels of the feet and the elbows. Various types of creams are available, ranging from soft creams for gentle exfoliation to granulated creams that provide a rougher scrub to remove tough skin.

Those interested in skin exfoliation can buy the products over the counter or make their own at home. Recipes for a simple skin exfoliating cream mix a rough substance like salt with olive oil or other liquid substance and use it for rough areas of skin. More complex recipes add ingredients that give the cream a nice scent and are less harsh on the skin.

When choosing an exfoliating cream, it's important for the user to determine her needs and skin type. A woman looking for an exfoliating cream to use on her face will want a gentle cream that won't leave her skin raw. Special facial exfoliating creams exist with smoother exfoliating beads inside meant to gently brush away dead skin. When choosing a cream for rough areas like the feet, a cream with large exfoliating beads works best.

Exfoliating creams help prevent breakouts, remove dirt, and peel away dead skin for a fresh feeling. Users should avoid exfoliating more than recommended on the bottle or skin may become raw and irritated. When using a facial cream, a woman should aim for a lightweight formula that won't cause greasy buildup and should only use it one to two times a day to avoid over-cleaning. Too much exfoliation can irritate the skin and cause acne or blackheads to appear.

Users of exfoliating cream can also buy or create all-natural exfoliating creams. These use only natural ingredients and are often less harsh on the skin. Using a natural exfoliation cream is usually a better long-term alternative than using harsh products that promise to erase scars or wrinkles. Ingredients typically include a few common household products such as honey, some type of fruit juice, and a substance with a rough texture like sugar or salt.

Anyone who wants to use exfoliating cream to reduce skin problems like scars should consult a doctor. While several products on the market advertise skin repair, few actually work and some may have harmful side effects. A doctor can recommend a healthy course of treatment that provides real results. Exfoliating helps keep skin healthy but cannot alter damaged skin.

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Discussion Comments
By anon348012 — On Sep 12, 2013

I'd also say use the mildest cream you can that gives you the desired results. They can really do a number on your skin if you use harsh formulations.

Exfoliation can indeed make skin look good, but as hyrax53 noted, you really do need to be careful, *particularly* if you have sensitive skin. Try using the cream somewhere inconspicuous to see how your skin reacts before slathering it all over your face.

By hyrax53 — On Feb 01, 2011

As nice as a face exfoliating cream can make your skin feel, they should not be used more than every couple of days unless they are really mind. Over-exfoliating your skin can make it red and rough-looking, as well as very dry, all the attributes you are probably trying to avoid. It's usually better to use a mild face wash most days and then exfoliate at most 3 or 4 times a week, depending on the strength of the exfoliating ingredients and the sensitivity of your skin.

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