How to Get Smooth Skin for Summer: Dry Brushes, Chemical Exfoliators, Scrubs

Have you ever noticed that your legs feel smoother after spending a day in the sand at the beach, or that your makeup looks flawless after you use a BHA cleanser? Does your self tanner look more natural when you rub it in with a mitt? If you answered yes, you have exfoliators to thank! 

Exfoliating: What is it?

Exfoliating is the act of removing dead surface layer skin cells by using scrubs or chemical-based products. Long term use of exfoliators can reduce the appearance of wrinkles, increase collagen production, and give your skin an overall smooth finish! Exfoliators come in many formulas and price ranges, so there’s something for everyone. 

Urban You For Me carries a wide range of exfoliators that suit all skin types. Members save 20% on all purchases, plus shop now and save 20% sitewide! 

Types of Exfoliators

We’ve already established that the two main categories of exfoliants are chemical and physical, but did you know that there are different types of each? Physical exfoliants are divided into two groups, scrubs and tools. Chemical exfoliants include toners, cleansers, masks, and peels.

Physical Exfoliators

These are most likely what come to your mind when you picture an exfoliator. Think of microbeads in body wash, coffee scrubs, and loofahs. Physical exfoliators are generally cheaper and used on the body (legs, torso, arms). Scrubs and tools rely on friction to remove dead skin cells, which can cause irritation if overused. To avoid this, only use abrasive scrubs or tools 1-2 times a week, and never use exfoliants meant for the body on your face! 

Scrubs and exfoliating tools are completely safe and can help reduce sagging skin and the appearance of razor bumps. Let’s dive into the different types of physical exfoliants!


Exfoliating scrubs typically work best for people with non-sensitive oily or combination skin. They are made of natural ingredients (like coffee and oatmeal), or synthetic biodegradable beads. Scrubs that contain coffee beans use caffeine to firm the skin around the stomach or thighs, while ingredients like pink himalayan salt reduce the chances of developing ingrown hairs or razor bumps. Scrubs leave the skin feeling smoother after just one use! They’re an affordable way to treat yourself a couple times a week. We at UYFM highly recommend the Little Barn Apothecary Coffee + Mint Body Scrub!


Similar to scrubs, exfoliating tools remove flaky skin, increase blood flow, and restore firmness to any areas where you notice sagging. Tools can be made of natural (sea sponges, pumice tones, loofahs) or man-made materials (dry brushes, exfoliating gloves). 

Most tools are free of chemicals and come in multiple levels of abrasiveness, so they can be enjoyed by people of all skin types! They are particularly useful for those with dry or flaky skin. Use exfoliating tools depending on your desired results (i.e. before shaving), or as often as the product directions state. 

Chemical Exfoliants

Chemical exfoliants remove dead skin cells by dissolving them instead of rubbing them off with friction. This is done by layering safe acids, most commonly AHAs, BHAs, and PHAs on top of the skin for short periods of time. They’re designed primarily for the face use as they tend to be gentler for sensitive skin. Our favorite chemical exfoliator is the AHA/BHA Exfoliating Cleanser from SkinMedica.

While chemical exfoliants offer many of the same benefits as their physical counterparts, they also brighten the skin, reduce the appearance of and unclog pores, and lower the chances of breakouts! Chemical exfoliants penetrate deeper into the skin than most cleansers, removing built up oil, bacteria, and makeup residue that’s often left behind. Glycolic and Salicylic Acid allow moisturizers and serums to soak deeper into the skin, making chemical exfoliators ideal for those with dry or acne-prone skin types. 

Chemical exfoliants come in multiple formulas (cleansers, toners, masks, peels), and are easy to fit into your skincare routine! These exfoliants may interfere with other prescribed facial treatments and leave your skin more vulnerable to the sun and wind. Apply as directed, and never overuse. Consult with a dermatologist if you experience irritation or are concerned about introducing an exfoliant into your routine. 

In Conclusion

To keep your skin tight and smooth for bikini season, book a CoolSculpting consultation at The Urban You, Michigan’s #1 Medical Spa! Our expert practitioners want nothing more than to help you reach your confidence goals. Urban You For Me is your one stop shop for medical grade skincare. Shop any of the products mentioned and save 20% sitewide. Take the first step in your wellness journey, you deserve it!