Many Pinays would often use a loofah to exfoliate darkened areas of the body like siko and tuhod, but as dermatologists like Dra. Vicki Belo has recently brought to light, loofahs can sometimes be too abrasive which can "hurt your skin," she explains, adding that scrubbing can further darken the area.

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As an alternative, soaps with natural exfoliants can be used. Even without scrubbing, these exfoliating soap bars can deeply cleanse your pores on their own to reveal a clearer and brighter skin. Here are seven effective exfoliating soaps to get you started:  

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1. When searching for soaps that can exfoliate the skin, look no further than the ever-so-popular kojic acid soaps.

The ingredient has long been known for lightening dark spots and acne marks by sloughing off dead skin cells. Try this classic bar: 

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TRY: Kojie San Skin Lightening Soap, P68, available on Lazada

2. Aside from kojic acid, this orange soap contains a blend of other natural exfoliants like glycolic acid and daisy flower extract to even out the skin tone.

It's also formulated with salicylic acid, a beta-hydroxy acid (BHA) that helps dry up body acne! 

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TRY: Bellic Brightening Soap, P65, available at Mercury Drug 

3. If you've got dry skin but still want to exfoliate, pick up this vitamin C-infused soap. 

Each lightening bar is cold-pressed with milk protein, cocoa butter, and shea butter, so it doesn't leave the skin feeling tight and dry. 

TRY: One Earth Organics Illumina Milk Soap, P249, available online

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4. Keep bacne from forming by using this all-natural soap that contains three types of gentle exfoliating acids AHA, BHA, and PHA for a thorough cleanse.

Formulated with tea tree, it can help control sebum production, too. 

P.S. It's a tad pricey for a bar soap, but if you struggle with body acne, this might be a skincare product you might want to splurge on. 

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TRY: SOME BY MI Miracle Bar Soap, P500, available on kbeautycafe.com.ph

5. Despite having a powerful combo of whitening actives, kojic acid and tranexamic acid (a peptide known to fade discolorations), this derm-approved exfoliating soap is praised for its hydrating properties

TRY: Belo Intensive Whitening Bar Kojic Traxemic Acid, P69, available at Watsons

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6. Green tea is always soothing when drank and when topically applied. It has anti-inflammatory properties that can calm down sensitive- and acne-prone skin types. 

Try this green tea-infused bar soap which has real green tea leaves to gently buff away dead skin cells: 

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TRY: The Body Shop Fuji Green Tea Exfoliating Soap, price available upon request, available online

7. Charcoal is this star ingredient of this detoxifying soap, which works well in absorbing dirt, oil, and other impurities from your skin.

Reach for this soap after a long commute!

TRY: Safeguard Detox Face and Body Bar Charcoal, P67, available on Lazada

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