Exfoliation is crucial to keeping skin healthy and clear. We’ve discussed the importance of exfoliation previously, but a refresher is always a good idea. As we age, our skin is not as efficient at turning over it’s dead skin cells as when we were young. Consequently, old skin cells pile up and make the skin appear dry and dull.
Chemical and mechanical exfoliation to stimulate cell renewal as we age. Fruit acids are common chemical exfoliants, while scrubs and certain masks are common mechanical exfoliants.
We need both in our regimen, so we’ve rounded up some great ways you can exfoliate at home to reveal fresher, healthier skin.
10 Best Natural Skin Exfoliators
Salt can be a wonderful choice when you want a good overall body exfoliation, eliminating the rough, dry patches of dead skin. This Citrus Salt Scrub is one option while a Papaya Sea Salt Scrub might be your preference. If you are looking for a scrub designed for hands, check out a Sea Salt Hand Scrub to help with dry skin and cuticles.
And not be forgotten, salt can be used as perfect scrub for your feet. Some people with sensitive skin or breaks in their skin will experience a burning sensation from a salt exfoliator so it isn’t for everyone.
If you have sensitive skin or you’re looking for a gentle, yet effective, facial exfoliant, you’ll want to use something finer than salt, as it can be a little too abrasive. A Pumpkin Sugar Facial Scrub is both simple to make and delightful on your skin.
Sugar can also be used to exfoliate your body, especially if you tend to shave your legs and scrub at the same time. Choose sugar over salt to avoid the sting. Check out this Pineapple Sugar Body Scrub or a Mango Body Scrub to see which scent appeals to you best. And never to be forgotten are your lips, they need exfoliation too.
If your skin tends to lean to the sensitive side, you might want to check out the effectiveness of oats as physical exfoliant. You can use oats for a gentle body scrub or even as a facial scrub alternative.
4. Apples + Apple Cider Vinegar
Alpha hydroxy acids are extremely beneficial for loosening dead skin and revealing new skin cells beneath. Malic acid, found in apples, is a fantastic choice for an exfoliating mask. An Apple Cider Vinegar Peel is also an option as a chemical exfoliant.
Coffee may also be a favorite choice when exfoliating your body, and it can be made in many forms! Ground coffee can treat cellulite as an exfoliant or be molded into cubes to battle stretch marks. Feet can also benefit from a thorough coffee scrubbing. Add a drop or two of peppermint essential oil to help with achy feet and add a great, natural scent.
6. Exfoliating Bars
Exfoliating does not have to always be a separate step in the shower. You can easily create an Exfoliating Soap Bar that is gentle on the skin using ingredients like seeds, cornmeal, coffee or oats. Or a Soap and Scrub Cube made ahead of time is a simple way to exfoliate your body in the bath or shower.
The lactic acid in milk removes dead skin cells. To use on your face, pour a small amount into your palm and massage into your skin. You can also combine whole milk with a whipped egg for dry skin or add aloe vera for sensitive skin. Yogurt masks are an excellent (and relaxing) way to exfoliate. Get head to toe milk benefits by adding 2-4 cups to your bath.
For a gentle exfoliation, try ground flaxseeds, which are packed with anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids. Flaxseeds also help hydrate and are safe for acne-prone skin. Add a tablespoon or two to this super soft daily cleanser.
9. Baking Soda
One of the most versatile items you probably already have in your home is baking soda. It can be used to lighten underarms, in deodorant, in a bath soak, or to whiten your teeth. This easy cleanser recipe is great for all skin types. Mix in a teaspoon of baking soda to your facial cleanser or make a paste of just baking soda and honey.
The texture of the ground rice is gentle enough to be used on the face and the body. We especially liked the feel in this oil-free pre-tan body polish and face scrub (plus it tastes amazing).
No matter how you choose to exfoliate your skin, make sure it’s a part of your routine!
This post was medically reviewed by Dr. Jennifer Haley, a board-certified dermatologist with extensive experience in medical, cosmetic and surgical dermatology. Learn more about Hello Glow’s medical review board here. As always, this is not personal medical advice and we recommend that you talk with your doctor.84