By Becca Gregg

You know the feeling; you’ve spent too much time warming up under artificial heat or out in the dry winter air. Parched, ashy, scaly winter skin can leave you feeling like a reptile. Unfortunately, when our skin gets too dry, we can’t just shed it for new. Or can we? Enter exfoliation—one of the most popular and proven ways to rid your skin of old, flaky cells and maintain a year-round healthy glow.

Put this miracle lotion on after you’ve exfoliated to perfection.

According to Dr. Raphael Darvish, owner of Skinpeccable Dermatology and Cosmetic Laser Center in Brentwood, CA, exfoliation plays a big role in maintaining younger skin.“Exfoliation has many benefits for the skin and is perhaps the most under recognized thing that people can do to ensure that their skin looks as youthful as possible. Exfoliation keeps the skin soft and youthful by removing dead skin cells from the surface,” Darvish says. “If you ever take a look at an old man who has been shaving his whole life, you will see that the skin the area in which he shaves looks smooth and vibrant whereas the skin on his upper cheeks and forehead looks old and sun damaged. This difference is because of exfoliation from shaving.” In addition, says Darvish, exfoliation can prevent both acne and blackheads, as well as reduce fine lines and wrinkles.

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When it comes to exfoliating, there are two ways go get your skin glowing:

Mechanical Exfoliation: In short, this translates to scrubbing your skin with an abrasive. You can mechanically exfoliate at home using a wide variety of techniques and products including pumice, loofahs, brushes, microdermabrasion kits, microfiber cloths, adhesive exfoliation sheets, micro-facial scrubs, exfoliating scrubs, and sugar or salt crystals.

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Chemical Exfoliation: Chemical peels should be left to the professionals- i.e. a dermatologist or spa professional- however there are some great over-the-counter facial scrubs that include chemicals to exfoliate your skin. Popular chemical treatments include salicylic acid, glycolic acid, fruit enzymes, citric acid, and malic acid.

Not feeling up for the intensity of a professional treatment? Here’s a few of our favorite at-home exfoliating products to get you started:

The Body Shop Seaweed Pore Cleansing Facial Exfoliator, $14.50
This amazing facial cleanser contains jojoba micro-beads that work to clear pores and tone your complexion. We at the Beauty Bean haven’t had a breakout since we began using it in December!

L’Occitane Honey & Lemon Sweet Sugar Scrub, $36
The scent alone will keep you using this scrub, which is enriched with honey from Provence, France.

Dead Sea Spa Pumice Stone, $13.89
Use this pumice stone to rub a dollop of soap or lotion into your skin. Your skin will thank you!