The quest for supernatural skin care solutions continues and today we shine our spotlight on exfoliation. The word exfoliation sounds like a torture method used in the Spanish inquisition. For me it conjures up a painful memory of visiting a spa with my sensitive skin and you might as well fill in the rest which includes aloe vera gel and lots of ice packs.
To avoid history repeating I have tried various natural alternatives and decided that when it comes to body and face scrubs I will hunt for nature’s most popular exfoliators and share them with you.
Why you should exfoliate
Your skin goes through so many changes and at least every 30 days it sheds dead skin cells. Sometimes the process does not run as smoothly as expected and the shedding is interrupted causing blocked bores and flakiness.
This is why we need to exfoliate as this would entail removal of the dead cells using a substance or tool suitable for the skin.
If we don’t do this as often as we should our skin will be left in a sad state with breakouts and just plain old looking.
The exfoliation products for the body is different to that of your face as it is more abrasive. Your arms and legs are not so delicate and can handle rougher variations so please don’t get them mixed up:)
A great scrub for your body to mix at home courtesy of ” the lab” ( your kitchen) is the:
citrus salt body scrub
- 1/2 cup sea salt
- 1/2 cup almond / jojoba, or olive oil
- 1 teaspoon orange or grapefruit zest
Mix it all together and make sure salt is oil saturated and then scrub over entire body, rinse off with warm water and dry. Follow with tissue oil or moisturizer to seal it all in and soaking up the fragrance of the citrus 🙂
This is so invigorating and rejuvenating you will not look back. The salt works well to remove overall roughness & heals while the citrus brightens and boosts your immune system!
Substitute the salt with sugar for a more gentle experience especially of you experience stinging
As mentioned above it would not be wise to use a body scrub on your face as it is more delicate, however you can use a face scrub on your body if your skin is not as rough as expected. But keep in mind you want these exfoliators to do a proper job so apply more abrasiveness where its needed and hold back where it’s not.
An amazing scrub for your face which you can mix out of “the lab” would be :
baking soda & honey facial scrub:
- one tablespoon honey
- one teaspoon baking soda
Combine the honey, baking soda and a few drops of water for a great cleansing facial scrub. Gently move your fingers in circular motions, avoiding the delicate eye area. Rinse with warm water.
Any scrub for your face can also be used to remove dead skin from your lips, in fact in can be tasty too 🙂
Remember that you can always swap out grains if its too harsh, a great one for the face is oatmeal.
For an instant skin brightener add 1/2 teaspoon of turmeric and you will see an instant face lifter of a result!
A chemical peel is a chemical solution applied to the skin causing it to exfoliate. Normally performed by a healthcare professional in a medical environment and it will leave your skin refreshed and renewed. But these peels if not applied properly can damage your skin and its not recommended for the sensitive.
Malic acid is a wonderful exfoliant and is found in apples with various benefits in addition to exfoliation which include skin hydration, improvement in overall skin texture and reduction of fine lines and wrinkles by penetrating deeper into cells and improving collagen production.
No surprise then that for some of us we may need a little malic acid intervention. So I researched ways to get the same effect you would from a chemical peel from something closer to nature and the best one I came up with is:
- 1 tablespoon organic, raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar
- 1/2 lemon (optional)
In a bowl or small cup, pour in the apple cider vinegar and if you are treating pigmentation or sun spots, you can add a squeeze of half a lemon. More sensitive skin should skip the option of the lemon.
Using a cotton disc or ball, dip the cotton in the apple cider vinegar and then gently dab over face in circular motions. Avoid the eye area.
Tingling is to be expected and if you feel burning you can dilute with water. Please don’t continue this remedy if you are still having any burning sensations and rather seek help from a dermatologist.
Leave the peel on for 5 minutes and then rinse off with warm water. Twice a month will help slough off dead skin cells, encouraging new skin cells. It will also help with absorption of serums and moisturizers.
Did you know you can use apple cider vinegar as a toner ?
Other popular natural exfoliators:
- Oatmeal & Honey – great for the body and face as it is mild and gentle.
- Sugar , cinnamon & Clove oil – extremely relaxing especially for all over body healing experience.
- Coconut & Brown sugar – great for face and body.
- Coffee grounds- the grainy feel of coffee grounds makes a perfect exfoliant as a scrub. The grounds work to gently remove dead skin cells, which helps to rejuvenate and boost circulation. The caffeine does wonders in reducing cellulite and to make it is so easy mixing equal parts of coffee/ brown sugar and coconut oil.
Time to shed
It has been an absolute pleasure searching for nature’s most popular natural exfoliators. The key take away for an elevated exfoliation experience :
- Exfoliation is important to reveal your fresh new skin every month.
- Assess your skin’s sensitivity & condition when applying the appropriate scrub.
- As you age a chemical peel may be a necessity but how about a natural peel in the form of apple cider vinegar.
- When rinsing body scrubs off in the shower please be careful to avoid slipping.
- As part of a holistic & environmentally friendly approach to skin care please be mindful of products containing micro beads, these are made of plastic and contributes to the damage we see today in our marine life.
Enjoy your scrub and please feel free to join in a discussion below or if you have any comments on exfoliation I’d be happy to hear from you!
Love your skin, naturally!