An exfoliant is an abrasive agent, either mechanical or chemical, that is applied to the skin to help in the removal of dead skin cells. Common foot ailments that benefit from exfoliation include corns, calluses and fissures.
Some examples of mechanical exfoliants include pumice stones, microfiber cloths, sugar and/or salt crystals, loofahs, brushes and sponges. Microdermabrasion is also considered a mechanical exfoliant.
Humans have been exfoliating since the ancient Egyptians began the practice ages ago and it is generally considered a safe practice. However, over exfoliation can cause redness and irritation, so it’s best to be conservative with both mechanical and chemical exfoliants.