Skin is an important sense organ that covers and shields all that is contained inside your body. Just imagine yourself going places without skin. Seems funny! Skin performs a vital role in holding everything together. Moreover it performs other functions as well like protecting your body, maintaining the right body temperature, and most importantly, lets you have a touch sense. The skin includes three layers, each containing its individual importance – Epidermis (the top most layer), Dermis (the middle layer), and the Subcutaneous Fat.
The outermost layer is termed as the epidermis. This is the visible part of your skin. Just have a look at your skin. Although nothing much is seen happening but your epidermis is working really hard. Fresh skin cells are being formed under the epidermis. When these cells get ready, they begin to move towards the surface of the epidermis. This process can take from 15 days to about a month. As fresh cells start moving up, the older cells existing near the top become dead and ascend to the skin surface. So, what is seen on your body is just the dead skin.
These dead cells are really strong and tough, just apt to cover and protect your body. However, they stay around just for a little while. They will come off soon. Although it is not seen happening, you lose as much as 30,000-40,000 dead cells every moment of the day. However, it is not that the skin will shed off completely. Fresh skin cells are being formed continuously by the epidermis.
The second layer is the dermis that contains plenty of blood vessels which are important to maintain skin health by providing oxygen and other essential nutrients besides removing waste from the skin. This dermis also contains oil glands which are also known as sebaceous glands. The lowest and third layer skin is referred as the subcutaneous layer. This layer mostly contains fat and allows the body to stay warm. Besides, it also enables your body to absorb shocks. Also, this layer allows the skin to stick to the tissues below.
How to Remove Dead Skin
Contrasting other body organs like heart, brain, and lungs, your skin is fond of a good cleansing. Try to use a gentle soap and water to clean your skin. Removing dead cells from the skin forms an important aspect of skin cleaning process. Usually, dead skin sheds naturally with passing time. However, if the cells do not shed completely on their own, the result is formation of dull wan patches on your skin. This can also lead to a totally jaded look. The appearance of your skin can be restored through different techniques – manual as well as chemical. And here we talk of not just the facial skin but also the skin of your entire body.
However, opting for chemical removal might seem a little dreary as much better results can be obtained quite gently through an effective facial and body scrub. Moreover, harsh chemicals can also create problems for living cells. The best way of removing dead skin is exfoliation. Besides, there are also certain home remedies to treat and remove dead skin.
Removing Dead Skin through Exfoliation
While selecting an exfoliation program, it is essential to ensure that the involved granules are not harmful for the skin, i.e. it should not cause micro-wounds because of the granules being sharp-edged. The exfoliation cycle involves three steps – cleansing, toning, and moisturizing. Many of you might be over fervent with concern to skin exfoliation. Exfoliation is required at weekly intervals or at an interval of some days if your skin is neglected. The process is then slowed down to a limited time and then normally under the expert supervision of any professional.
Exfoliation can, however, show best results only if correct method and products are used. Below are some effective methods and products that can be tried to exfoliate the skin:
The facial skin of a man differs from that of a woman. Guys feature larger pores, whiskers, as well as thicker blood vessels. Moreover, their skin also produces more amount of sweat. These commercial cleansers are, therefore, formulated specially for men and are helpful in doing away with grime, dirt, as well as dead skin.
As is well known, commercial cleansers are somewhat inexpensive and easily obtainable at any drug store. However, natural cleansers are also equally effective. There are numerous at home recipes that can be used to prepare natural scrubs for skin exfoliation to remove dead skin. These recipes and remedies are mentioned ahead to add to your information.
These are more pertinent for women rather than men. However, they work well. These gloves can be used above the sink or while in shower. Use these gloves to scrub your skin (facial as well as body) gently using a cleanser. More to the point, these are also effective in skin massage, opening pores, and stimulating circulation.
Akin to exfoliating gloves, exfoliating sponges are quite helpful in doing away with the formation of dry and flake skin. In addition, they provide a better lather as contrasted to a glove. You can try using a loofah if you feel like using something more rasping than a washcloth or your hands. A loofah can be described as a natural sponge that is made using the dry and fibrous portion of the loofah plant. You can use a loofah featuring a long handle as it works great for vigorous scrubbing of the back.
Pumice soap with stone
Pumice stone refers to an ingot soap prepared using pellets of volcanic cinders. Although this gentle abrasive takes a little while to froth up but they scrub really hard thus working great for skin exfoliation. The dry and flake dead skin on feet and hands can be removed through the use of pumice stone.
The dry, flaky, and scratchy skin on lips can be removed by using a toothbrush to rub your lips gently. The lip exfoliation process should be followed by immediate application of a lip balm to retain the moisture.
Usually, exfoliation can be performed at an interval of 3weeks. However, in many cases, this time can be reduced to 15days. Usually, 3weeks is considered to be the most effective cycle.
While exfoliating your skin, it is important to be a little gentle with your skin. The whole action of exfoliation should be carried out with utmost care for it is performed with the purpose of reducing the formation of dead skin. Most importantly, the area surrounding the eyes should not be exfoliated for it being a sensitive area. Conversely, harder areas like legs or buttock can be rubbed a little harder. Conversely, the skin on face should be treated a little more gently for it is more sensitive.
Removing dead skin through homemade exfoliating scrubs
In addition to get the exfoliation done with chemicals with the assistance of professionals, skin exfoliation can be also performed through the following homemade recipes for face exfoliation.
Papaya seeds work as the best exfoliates for sensitive facial skin. Scoop the fruit seeds with a spoon. Squeeze these seeds and apply it as a face pack. Let it dry on your skin. After the pack dries, scrub it gently with soaked fingers. This way, the seeds will remove the dead flakes neatly thus making way for fresh skin.
Under this application, grind the seeds of a tomato along with the pulp. Sugar can also be added. Use this pulp to massage your facial skin. The massage should be performed in a circular motion. This remedy can also be applied in another way. Cut a tomato into two halves. Sprinkle some powdered sugar on it and use it to gently scrub your face as well as body in the same way as you use a loofah. The seeds of tomato will do away with dead skin while the mild content of acid helps in cleansing of our facial skin.
Cream and oatmeal
Powdered cornmeal or oatmeal is best suited for combination skin for it can handle the combination of dry oats plus comforting chilled cream. Oats perform the job of removing the firmly stuck dead skin thus opening the pores so that they can breathe and repair quickly.
Sapota (Chiku) and almonds
Almonds act as great nuts for complete skin care. These form effective ingredients of face mask or face pack applied with the purpose for exfoliation. Chiku, fibrous fruit, allows making scrubbing easier with powdered almonds. You can also add honey to the mixture for tightening the skin.
Mixing asafetida and turmeric with gram flour not only helps remove dead skin but also clears marks and scars completely. Gram flour is also efficient in bleaching the skin, tan removal, and preventing the skin from damage resulting from pollution.
Exfoliating with oats and baking soda
Mix 2tsp of oats with 1tsp of baking soda in a container and mix thoroughly. Go on adding warm water slowly to obtain the consistency similar to toothpaste. For checking the consistency, take a little amount and chafe it between your fingers to know about its touch. Apply a small amount of this oat scrub using your fingertips in circular motion. Just make sure to focus the areas that include lingering dead skin, like on the forehead and chin, or around your nostrils.
Apply the remaining oat scrub on your body when taking a shower. This scrub is effective for treating dry and dead skin in areas like knees, elbows, and below the feet. Take a minute or two to rub this scrub into your skin. Remove the applied scrub by giving rinse with lukewarm water. Remove the excessive oat scrub and apply a moisturizer immediately after the dead skin is removed.
Fruit peels really work wonders in skin exfoliation. These are prepared with fruits like papayas and pineapples. These fruits carry stuffs called “papain” and “bromelain” which are quite effective in dead skin removal. These elements are categorized as “proteases” that speed up the removal of dead cells.
The ingredients required to prepare this peel are:
- 1 cup papaya
- 1 cup pineapple
- 2tbsp honey
In a blender, puree these fruits altogether and put in honey to prepare the fruit peel. Apply this peel to your freshly washed face. Do not apply on the areas surrounding your eyes. While using it the first time, let the peel stay on your face for just one minute. In a repeated application, you can let it work for five minutes or so. Then, rinse thoroughly with cold water. The process should be followed by applying a moisturizer.
Lemon sugar & honey scrub
Honey retains the skin moisture naturally thus maintaining the smoothness and softness of the skin even during winters. Being anti-irritant, honey can be used even on sensitive skin. Conversely, lemon is acidic in nature and exfoliates the dead skin gently besides reducing age spots as well as maintaining the freshness and youth of the skin. Adding sugar to the mixture adds texture to it and acts as exfoliate. It helps to avoid dry skin. You can apply this mixture to your face, knees, elbows, and to any other dry spots on your body.
Milk and Honey
Using commercial products to help dry and flaky skin can many times lead to irritation because of the chemicals contained in them. This problem can be solved by using natural products like honey and milk for skin exfoliation. Honey and milk feature properties that can prove beneficial for dry and flaky skin. Used as a combination, honey and milk prove highly antibacterial, antimicrobial, and a deep cleanser. Honey is considered to be humectants besides being rich in antioxidants. This implies that honey is helpful in dealing with free radicals attacking your skin. Besides, it also helps the skin to maintain higher levels of moisture.
Honey and milk are combined together to make a mask or a cleanser according to your choice of application. The mask provides deep hydration for dry skin while the cleanser removes flakiness. To prepare the cleanser, mix ½ cup plain, unsweetened, and unflavored yogurt to ½ cup honey. Blend these two thoroughly with a whip and use it to massage onto the skin for about 2minutes. Follow the massage by rinsing the cleanser with lukewarm water. On the other hand, to prepare the mask mix 1tbsp honey with 1tbsp plain, unflavored, and unsweetened yogurt to make a thick paste. Spread this mixture evenly on the face and let it dry for about 15minutes. Conclude the procedure with a rinse with lukewarm water.
If, in any case, you feel burning, stinging, itching, or swelling on the skin during the procedure, withdraw the use and consult your doctor before repeating the procedure. You may be allergic casein or lactose contained in milk. If so, you can apply honey as a mask or cleanser individually.
Epsom salt scrubbing
As is well known, an Epsom soak bath relieves tired and sore muscles in addition to easing stress. However, you can also use Epsom salt in its crystal form for making a body scrub. The granular form of this mineral is helpful in exfoliating the rough scraps on skin. Add 2tbsp Epsom salt to 2tbsp olive oil and use it as a scrub on dry areas on your skin, such as elbows and knees.
Baking soda is considered as one of the most gentle and easily usable exfoliates available. Baking soda features enough coarseness sufficient to do away with dead cells existing on the topmost layer of your skin. To use baking soda as exfoliate add 1tsp baking soda to 1tsp water. Apply this mixture onto your face and give a gentle massage for about a minute and rinse off.
Salt scrubs, being a little harsher than sugar scrubs and capable of taking off comparatively more skin, should not be used on face and other sensitive areas. The main areas benefitting from a salt scrub include legs, arms, feet, and hands. Prepare a salt scrub by mixing 50% sea or kosher salt and 50% of olive oil. Use this mixture to scrub the dull and flaky skin in gentle circular motions. A salt scrub does not require vigorous scrubbing. If the dead skin is not removed completely, try the application again after a day or two instead of trying harder to remove it completely at once as this can lead to damaging the soft and healthy skin underneath.
Sugar scrub is effective in removing dead skin from the sensitive body areas. Moreover, sugar scrubs prove gentler as compared to other scrub types. Also, they do not cause any irritation. On being used as a scrub, sugar helps avoid pore clogging and acne breakouts on the face. To prepare the scrub, mix together a cup of oatmeal and ½ cup sugar. Apply this mixture directly onto the face and scrub gently in circular motions. Although sugar scrubs do not hurt, a little discomfort might be created with their use.
To have a revitalizing experience, you can try mixing some drops of any of your favorite essential oils to any of the aforesaid recipes. For instance, lavender provides a soothing fragrance and can reduce the level of frustration created by daily stress. To experience the feel of being awake and ecstatic, you can try fruity scents which are quite enlivening. These essential oils stay long on the skin thus creating a mild scent long after the scrub has been rinsed off.
Removing dead skin from hands and fingers
Who doesn’t like to have soft and beautiful hands? The soft skin lying under the dead skin cells on your hands can be revealed by burnishing the dry skin off your hands. It is, however, important to moisturize using Shea butter without more ado after exfoliation. Cleansing, on the other hand, helps retain the skin moisture. The different methods that can be tried to remove dead skin from your hands include:
- Dust 1tbsp baking soda onto your palms just before going to bed. Form a paste using warm water. Then, take a minute to rub your hands and rinse off with lukewarm water.
- Take a small cut up of African soap and use it to form lather. This raw soap features a dark brown color and immense softness. It is better to opt it over the black hard-milled soap. Use it to massage your hands to form rich lather and rinse it with lukewarm water.
- Take a little amount of Shea butter and heat it in microwave to liquefy it. Use this warm butter to rub onto your hands followed by wearing cotton gloves. Leave the gloves overnight so that the butter gets penetrated completely into the skin. Alternatively, you can also rub the butter chunk amid your hands to liquefy.
Removing dead skin from feet
One of the most common areas to feature dry and flaky skin is your feet. This is because of daily abuse they are exposed to, like pressure exerted while walking or exposure t different elements. The dead skin on feet can be removed through an at home foot treatment being performed every night. However, this foot treatment for dry skin is not recommendable for diabetic patients as they are at risk of precarious foot infections.
The foot treatment procedure for flaky and dry skin includes the following steps:
- Immerse your feet in lukewarm water for about 20 minutes, prior to the bedtime. This would make the skin of your feet soft.
- Remove the dead skin by using a pumice stone to scrub the areas containing dead skin. Ensure gentle movements from side to side. If there is a lot of dead skin, it would not go all in a single sitting. Try to remove as much as possible without causing much pain. Repeat the procedure the following day.
- Rinse off the dead skin from your feet with cold water.
- Pat dry your feet using a clean towel.
- Conclude the procedure by massaging with munificent amount of cream to the feet. This massage should be done in circular motions along the feet. There are foot creams in market that contain rich moisturizers plus ingredients promoting the removal of dry and flaky skin cells.
- Conclude the procedure by putting on a pair of wool or cotton socks to retain the moisture of your skin.
Removing dead skin on feet with a pumice stone
You can exfoliate the skin on your feet at home using a pumice stone and obtain effective results. The procedure is explained below:
- Mix together sea salt, essential oils, and vegetable oil to make a salt scrub.
- Clean the feet with warm water and soap and soak them in lukewarm water for about 10-15minutes.
- Apply the prepared salt scrub onto your feet. This would ease skin exfoliation while the pumice stone works on your foot.
- Scrub your feet gently with pumice stone. This scrubbing is done along the base of the feet thus scraping away the dead cells. Position the pumice stone at the toes’ end and then drag it along your foot length. It is better to use small strokes of 2” each. This would allow even scraping of the foot.
- Repeat the scrubbing action on the dry and callous skin and go on doing so to leave just a thin layer.
- Conclude the procedure with a moisturizing foot cream massage.
Another technique to do away with dead and flaky skin cells is getting a pedicure done either at a spa or salon or even at home.
Home remedies to remove dead skin from feet
The best home remedy for removing dead skin from your feet is soaking your feet in a mixture of 2gallons of water and 1cup vinegar for about 45 minutes and then scrub with a pumice stone in the manner described above. Remember to clean your feet with soap and water before soaking. A few other home applications for removing dead skin from feet are:
- Applying honey as a natural antioxidant as well as beneficial for slight skin irritations
- Skin exfoliation with walnut (finely crushed)
- Scrubbing with coffee grinds
- Using clear petroleum jelly
- Mango mixed with mashed avocado to soften the skin
- Treating achy and tired feet with Epsom salts
- Soaking in Rosemary oil
After applying any home remedy or chemical treatment for dead skin, either at face or hands and feet, ensure moisturizing the scrubbed areas. Aloe vera or vitamin E in gel form can prove beneficial as they also soothe scratched or burnt skin besides providing moisture. Moreover, you cannot get quick fixes while treating dead skin. It takes good time. So, be patient and take care!