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Dermatologists Say These Gentle Body Scrubs Will Give You Softer, Smoother Skin

Prevention Logo By Alisa Hrustic, Tehrene Firman of Prevention | Slide 1 of 15: Cold weather and your skin don’t exactly have the best relationship. The second frigid air settles in, your body has a hard time holding onto moisture, leading to dry, rough, flaky skin. That’s why it’s important to give it some occasional TLC with a body scrub. Getting rid of dead skin cells with a body scrub helps heal your skin on another level. You just have to make sure you do it with care to avoid going overboard, which can actually make matters worse. “Physical exfoliation can buff away dry skin patches caused by winter air and dramatically change skin texture. However, overusing body scrubs can make your skin far too raw and weaken your skin’s protective layer,” says Dendy Engelman, M.D., a board-certified dermatologist based in New York City. “Over-exfoliation strips the skin from its natural oils and nutrients, causing overall dryness and irritation.”How to choose the best body scrub for your skinSo, how do you use a body scrub to buff the dead skin away without causing any redness or dryness? There are a variety of ways. Dr. Engelman prefers using chemical “scrubs” that contain glycolic, lactic, or salicylic acids over physical scrubs with particles. She says these chemical scrubs help “exfoliate the top layers of the stratum corneum, a.k.a. the outermost layer of the skin, in an effective way without risking injury to the skin, which can occur with aggressive scrubbing from formulations containing scrubbing particles.” Roberta Del Campo, M.D., a board-certified dermatologist based in Miami, likes physical scrubs, but she goes the microscrub route. Microscrubs keep your skin happy with “small particles that are less abrasive, gently removing dead skin while leaving the healthy skin barrier intact,” she says. Whichever method you use, you don’t need a lot: Dr. Engelman recommends using only a cherry-size amount on each part of your body. Massage it in gently (no actual scrubbing!) and follow with a hydrating lotion or cream to seal in moisture. Ahead, the best dermatologist-approved body scrubs to add to your shower routine:

Cold weather and your skin don’t exactly have the best relationship. The second frigid air settles in, your body has a hard time holding onto moisture, leading to dry, rough, flaky skin. That’s why it’s important to give it some occasional TLC with a body scrub.

Getting rid of dead skin cells with a body scrub helps heal your skin on another level. You just have to make sure you do it with care to avoid going overboard, which can actually make matters worse. “Physical exfoliation can buff away dry skin patches caused by winter air and dramatically change skin texture. However, overusing body scrubs can make your skin far too raw and weaken your skin’s protective layer,” says Dendy Engelman, M.D., a board-certified dermatologist based in New York City. “Over-exfoliation strips the skin from its natural oils and nutrients, causing overall dryness and irritation.”

How to choose the best body scrub for your skin

So, how do you use a body scrub to buff the dead skin away without causing any redness or dryness? There are a variety of ways. Dr. Engelman prefers using chemical “scrubs” that contain glycolic, lactic, or salicylic acids over physical scrubs with particles. She says these chemical scrubs help “exfoliate the top layers of the stratum corneum, a.k.a. the outermost layer of the skin, in an effective way without risking injury to the skin, which can occur with aggressive scrubbing from formulations containing scrubbing particles.”

Roberta Del Campo, M.D., a board-certified dermatologist based in Miami, likes physical scrubs, but she goes the microscrub route. Microscrubs keep your skin happy with “small particles that are less abrasive, gently removing dead skin while leaving the healthy skin barrier intact,” she says.

Whichever method you use, you don’t need a lot: Dr. Engelman recommends using only a cherry-size amount on each part of your body. Massage it in gently (no actual scrubbing!) and follow with a hydrating lotion or cream to seal in moisture. Ahead, the best dermatologist-approved body scrubs to add to your shower routine:

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