How to Exfoliate Legs: Best Physical and Chemical Exfoliators for Legs

Why would you need to know how to exfoliate your legs?

Simply put, it’s one of the most important aspects of one’s skin routine.

It’s not only the solution to preventing or getting rid of ingrown hairs but it’s also the best way to ensure that you have an amazing healthy-looking skin all year round.

When I’m saying that,

I’m not only referring to legs but other areas as well, like the back or the face.

Facial exfoliation should also be a priority, whether you suffer from acne or not. It’s great for evening out skin tone, brightening up our complexion, and preventing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

If you want to know more about that, check out my post on the best face exfoliators.

There are different exfoliators for each area:

  • in this post on how to exfoliate legs, I’m going to talk about how you can use scrubs, exfoliating gloves, body brushes or chemical exfoliators, the latter can also be used on the bikini line and the underarms
  • for the face I recommend using chemical exfoliators, pads with glycolic acid are a top recommendation
  • for the back the best is a good back scrubber or a chemical exfoliator or a combination of both

How to Exfoliate Legs: Benefits

Exfoliation is the removal of dead skin cells.

When our body produces new cells that can make our skin look younger, smoother, and rejuvenated, the old cells are pushed to the surface, becoming what we call dead skin cells.

These dead skin cells make our appearance dull.

However,

More than that, these dead skin cells need to be removed via exfoliation because they block out pores, which can lead to breakouts on the face.

On the legs, the dead skin cells can block off the path for hairs that are starting to grow back after being removed through waxing, epilation, or shaving.

Since the hairs can’t break through the skin, they grow back underneath the skin where they are trapped. That’s how ingrown hairs appear.

So,

One of the most important benefits of legs exfoliation is the prevention of ingrown hairs.

Chemical exfoliators for the body are also powerful that they can help remove existing ingrown hairs although, it might take a while.

If you are looking for ingrown hair removal methods, exfoliation in its various forms is the only answer.

Our bodies shed off dead skin cells every day. But our bodies cannot do it all by themselves.

That’s where we come in with various exfoliation products.

After exfoliation, the skin glows and it feels so silky.

If you also moisturizer after, the look will be complete and you will be completely satisfied with how your legs look.

Exfoliation is recommended for those who have dry skin on their legs, as well.

Nourishing body lotions will be able to deeply penetrate the skin more easily.

How To Exfoliate Your Legs: Exfoliation Types

exfoliating gloves on legs

Facial exfoliation can be somewhat difficult because there are so many facial exfoliators and it might take a while until you find the right one for you.

Facial skin is also a lot more sensitive.

The skin on our legs doesn’t even come close to that level of sensitivity, even for those who have sensitive skin.

There are a lot more options when it comes to how to exfoliate legs and I’m going to tell you all about them.

Before that,

I just want to mention that there are two types of exfoliation:

  • physical (mechanical) exfoliation includes scrubs, exfoliating gloves, body brushes – all these are products the slough off dead skin cells at the surface of the epidermis
  • chemical exfoliation is represented by products that contain acids (apha hydroxy acids AHAs and beta hydroxy acids BHAs) – these products actually penetrate the skin reaching the dermis and they remove the dead skin cells by breaking the bonds between the cells, which are eventually sloughed off

Since chemical exfoliators penetrate the skin more deeply, these are the products to go to if you suffer from ingrown hairs that have been in your skin for quite a while.

Physical exfoliators are much better at preventing further ingrown hairs from appearing because they continuously keep the skin smooth and soft, free of dead skin cells.

Physical exfoliation is also great for those with dry skin. It will replace the dry scaly skin look with a healthy glowing appearance.

To achieve that, you absolutely need to follow each shower with a moisturizer/body lotion.

I moisturize my whole body every day and in the summer I only take lukewarm showers. It’s the only way to keep my skin from getting flaky or from looking like I have dandruff all over my body.

Also and this is very important:

Always exfoliate your legs before hair removal, whether you shave, wax or epilate.

It will help you get smoother legs and also prevent ingrown hairs.

Exfoliate between hair removal sessions as well if you want to keep ingrown hairs at bay.

When I exfoliate my legs, I combine two physical exfoliators: gloves on dry skin before a shower and scrubs on wet skin at the end of the shower.

I always rinse the scrub with lukewarm water.

After epilation,

I wait for about 2 days until I start exfoliating my legs again because the skin is more sensitive, it has suffered from the shock of an epilator removing hairs from the root.

The same is true for waxing.

Shaving is completely different, you don’t have to wait, you can continue exfoliating your legs the next day after shaving because this method doesn’t cause trauma to the skin since no hairs are pulled from their roots.

Main Types of Exfoliators for Legs

As I’ve already said above, there are different ways to exfoliate legs:

  • exfoliating gloves
  • body scrubs, which you can even make at home
  • body brushes (not for those with sensitive skin under any circumstance)
  • chemical exfoliators for those who have stubborn ingrown hairs, they work wonderfully

Physical Exfoliators for Legs

In this category, I’ll talk about exfoliating gloves, which are my first choice for a physical exfoliator, body scrubs, and body brushes.

The first two are for people who are looking for how to exfoliate legs in a gentle manner.

The last one is for those who have normal skin that doesn’t have any problem with bristles, no micro-tears involved.

1. My Favorite Exfoliation Product for Legs

There are many products for exfoliation and I’ve tried a bunch.

Which is why I’m able to write so much about them even though, truthfully, how to exfoliate legs is not exactly the most interesting subject to talk about.

If I were to pick just one, thankfully I don’t have to because I like combining the best exfoliators for legs, I would pick this one: exfoliating gloves.

They’re my favorite and they’re really efficient in removing the dead skin cells.

It’s a pretty affordable solution and the product is quite long-lasting.

You just have to wash them after each use and let them out to dry completely. That will prevent mold and any smell from entering the fabric.

If they smell, it’s definitely time for a new pair.

It doesn’t wear out too easily, considering that I’m using it almost daily. I say almost daily because there are days when I get too lazy or am too tired.

I use them daily but you can use them once every 2-3 days if you don’t have the time or energy.

The main reason why I prefer them:

The gloves are not harsh on the skin and a minute at the beginning and end of each shower is all the time they require.

Even those with sensitive skin won’t feel any discomfort.

The best part is that they don’t redden the skin so, you can use the gloves just before going out without bearing a trace of irritation.

I also moisturize immediately after because the pores are open and the lotion is easily absorbed by the skin.

EvridWear Exfoliating Dual Texture Bath Gloves

These ones are not exactly cheap but they’re very good and durable.

You only get a pair but you can use just one glove until it’s worn out and then switch to the other.

That will make them last for many months.

It’s money pretty well spent, which is why they are my first recommendation in this post on how to exfoliate legs.

However,

Those who are not into gentle exfoliation should first consider body brushes, I’ll talk about one in a moment.

They’re also machine washable but you can quickly wash them by hand after using them and then leave them to dry.

There are 3 types of EvridWear exfoliating gloves:

  • white for light exfoliation
  • blue for moderate
  • gray for heavy exfoliation

If you have really sensitive skin, try the white ones first.

They’re 100% nylon fiber.

You can also use a body scrub in combination with the gloves: spread out scrub on your legs and massage it into the skin with the glove.


Where to Buy?

Check Price & User Reviews Here


2. Body Scrubs

An exfoliating scrub for legs would be the second option.

I have really sensitive skin but scrubs don’t damage it at all.

You’re safe to use them and they work really great if you find the right one.

The good news is that you can make also make body scrubs at home.

There are a lot of easy recipes on the Internet, the most simple consisting in adding kosher salt to your shower gel.

Or make a combination between salt and oil, whatever type of oil you prefer.

That’s not the only one.

You can also make at home a banana sugar body scrub, you can find the whole recipe here.

Or this one that offers you the perfect solution to what to do with the coffee left after your daily brew, find the whole recipe here.

If you don’t feel like putting in the little effort required for making these exfoliating scrubs for legs, simply buy one.

It’s not expensive.

A good body scrub is the Tree Hut Shea Sugar Scrub.

It’s pretty cheap, especially if you get it on sale.

The 18 oz quantity is huge, I don’t think there are any other body scrubs that comes in such a big container.

It’s not only excellent at removing dead skin cells but it also contains shea butter and a bunch of oils: sunflower seed, avocado, sweet almond, macadamia seed, and orange oil.

They also have the Tree Hut Sugar Body Scrub Vitamin C but that’s a bit more expensive than the usual ones to which we have been accustomed to for years.


Where to Buy?

Check Price & User Reviews Here


3. Body Brushes

Body brushes can be used either wet or dry.

If you want a really deep exfoliation, use it on dry skin , the bristles are also dry. It’s dry on dry.

Use short upward movements starting from the ankles. Passing more than twice over each area is overdoing.

It can easily lead to scratches on the legs.

The easier method for how to exfoliate legs with a body brush is to use in the shower, let the bristles soak a bit in the warm water and pour body wash on them.

This body brush has actually two sides: natural bristles on one side for a deeper exfoliation and a soft nylon brush on the other side.

It’s a cheap method of exfoliation and it can be used on the entire body.

It’s great for the back too, it has a long wooden handle with a non-slip rubber patch.

To keep it for a long time, make sure to wash it every time after you use it and hang it to dry.


Where to Buy?

Check Price & User Reviews Here


Best Chemical Exfoliators for Legs

As I’ve already mentioned, chemical exfoliators are great for serious ingrown hairs that have plagued for months or even years.

These are powerful exfoliators that can cause the skin to dry out, it’s good to apply a body lotion on top after the exfoliator has been absorbed by the skin.

You can also use a scrub or a glove to remove the layers of dry skin.

If that happens, know that it’s completely normal and nothing bad is happening to your legs.

That intensive peel is what makes even the nastiest ingrown hairs come out to the surface.

I’m going to talk about what I consider to be 3 of the best chemical exfoliators for legs.

The first two work great for razor bumps, too.

All three can be used on the bikini line and underarms.

1. Tend Skin The Skin Care Solution, 8 oz


This is one of the most affordable chemical exfoliators for the whole body and face, it works great for preventing razor bumps, too.

And one of the best.

It can be used both before and after shaving, waxing, epilation.

Before shaving to prevent ingrown hairs and after shaving to avoid getting razor bumps, it soothes the skin.

After you’ve waxed/epilated, wait a few days, up to a week, before returning to use the Tend Skin Care solution and continue using right before removing the hairs from the root.

Use it right after waxing/epilation to reduce redness.

Don’t forget about moisturizing the skin, this is a chemical exfoliator after all.

The rule is that chemical exfoliators should always be followed by a hydrating product.

The skin must be completely dry before applying the Tend Skin Solution.

It’s true for all chemical exfoliators that are not used in the shower.

It can be used daily, even twice daily.

The main ingredients that makes the Tend so efficient and pretty much amazing is acetylsalicylic acid (aspirin). It’s not the same with salicylic acid.


Where to Buy?

Check Price & User Reviews Here


2. PFB Vanish, 93 grams

The Pfb Vanish is an excellent chemical exfoliator with powerful actions and it’s pretty well-known for drying out the skin.

The reason for mentioning the Pfb Vanish second after the Tend Skin Care Solution is the price.

It’s quite expensive.

Try first the more affordable options, like the Tend and see what effects they have on your body. You might end up sticking with them and not have to spend a lot more on the Pfb Vanish.

What makes the Pfb Vanish so good?

Besides acetylsalicylic acid, it also contains willow bark extract, salicylic acid, glycolic acid, lactic acid, and camphor oil.

It’s a lot more complex.

Some people apply it twice daily if they want to speed up the process. Always use it on dry skin.

The skin is not harmed but it requires rich moisturizing.

It can be used on the entire body, not only for exfoliating legs.

The Pfb Vanish is really easy to use because it’s a roll on.


Where to Buy?

Check Price & User Reviews Here


3. Paula’s Choice Weightless Body Treatment 2% BHA, 7 oz

I think that it wouldn’t be a complete how to exfoliate legs guide without mentioning this body treatment from Paula’s Choice.

It’s a good product, praised by many.

It works for Keratosis Pilaris, too.

It’s quite the complete treatment for the body, it works for back acne, as well.

And ingrown hairs.

One of the best chemical exfoliators for the body, indeed.

But it’s not really cheap, it can be worth it, though.

The quantity is quite satisfactory.

It’s a lotion so, apply it on clean dry skin and leave it on throughout the night.

Layer on a body lotion if you have dry skin.

Its effectiveness is guaranteed by the 2% BHA (salicylic acid).

Other ingredients include vitamin E, chamomile, green tea, and willow herb.

It works for all skin types.

And it can be applied daily.


Where to Buy?

Check Price & User Reviews Here


What Not to Do when You Exfoliate Your Legs

Don’t be over-zealous.

That’s pretty much the only thing that comes to my mind that you shouldn’t do when you exfoliate your legs, body or face.

You just need to remove the dead skin cells not an entire layer of healthy skin.

When you’re using a scrub or a glove, it should feel like a nice relaxing massage, not like torture.

That’s why you should also follow precisely the instructions that come with a chemical exfoliator so that you don’t end up doing more harm than good.

And that’s about everything you need to know on how to exfoliate legs for amazing skin all year long.