Exfoliation is crucial to keeping skin healthy and clear. We’ve discussed the importance of this simple step 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 it was when we were young. Consequently, old skin cells pile up and make the surface appear dry and dull.
Chemical and mechanical exfoliation are excellent ways to stimulate cell renewal as we age. Fruit acids are common chemical exfoliants, while scrubs and certain types of masks are well-known 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’re looking for a scrub designed for hands, check out this Sea Salt Hand Scrub to help with dry skin, calluses, and cuticles.
And lastly, but not to be forgotten, salt can be used as the perfect scrub for your feet, a requisite place to exfoliate with a scrub.
Keep in mind that 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 all the time.
If you have sensitive skin or you’re looking for an effective exfoliant that’s gentle enough for your face, you’ll want to use something finer than salt, as it can be a little too abrasive. This 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. That’s a good time to choose sugar over salt to avoid the expected sting. You could try out this Pineapple Sugar Body Scrub or consider a Mango Body Scrub to see which scent appeals to you. And never to be forgotten are your lips, because they need exfoliation too.
If your skin tends to lean to the sensitive side, you might want to check out the gentle effectiveness of organic oats as a 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 cells and revealing the new skin beneath [source]. Malic acid, found in apples, is a fantastic choice for an exfoliating mask. This Apple Cider Vinegar Peel is also an option to use as a chemical exfoliant.
Coffee may be in the running as a favorite choice when exfoliating your body. It’s a good antioxidant that also promotes collagen formation, the building block of your skin [source]. Ground coffee can treat cellulite as an exfoliant or be molded into cubes to battle stretch marks.
6. Exfoliating Bars
When combining body and skincare tasks, exfoliating does not always have to 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 using a Soap and Scrub Cube made with your favorite ingredients ahead of time is a simple way to exfoliate your body in the bath or shower.
The lactic acid in milk can quickly go to work to remove dead skin cells [source]. To use on your face, pour a small amount onto 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 of plain, unsweetened yogurt to your bath water.
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 [source]. 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, to make deodorant, in a bath soak, or to whiten your teeth. This easy cleanser recipe is great for all skin types. Mix a teaspoon of baking soda into your facial cleanser or make a paste of just baking soda and honey.
The texture of 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.309