Natural Exfoliants – Just the Basics:
Exfoliants, okay, maybe you think you don’t need to bother with an exfoliating scrub now. Well guess what, that now will quickly turn into when… I should have done that when I was in my___!
Here we’ll talk about natural exfoliants, using just simple pantry found basic ingredients, not the expensive or glamorous applications. Also the benefits of exfoliating, and how it should not be underestimated, but the first step should always be to know your skin type and be sure to only use the applications that are specific for your skin type.
Just give it a try for a few weeks, were talking mere pennies. You’ll be bitten by the bug too, and 5 years from now you’ll be so glad you did. With that beautiful glowing healthy skin, you’ll constantly be hearing…”Girl, you just never seem to age…what are you doing!” … and in your humblest voice you’ll reply “I guess it’s just good genes”.
Now as you walk away, try to hide that gloating smile on your face, well on second thought, smile away… you deserve it.
If you would like to learn more about the reason why you should exfoliate, you can find some help here, in one of our other articles.
But for now, since there are many combinations of natural exfoliating scrubs to prepare, that can get and keep us glowing and healthy looking , it’s a shame not to take advantage of them, since there so simple to make and don’t make a dent in the budget.
Not to mention their sitting on our shelves, most likely the least expensive items in our pantry…and could save you over $400.00….so why haven’t you used them? The boring math section is below, showing how I calculated that bit of info, feel free to skip it if you want, I’ll pretend I didn’t notice.
So let’s do the math… a well known exfoliating scrub in average size jar or tube, goes for about $35.00, and they suggest it be used twice a week. Which means you’ll probably run out before the month is over, okay $35.00 x 14 (the number of times you need to replenish this product for the year) equals $490.00…you’re worth it… right?
Okay…stay with me on this one.
Well if we make our own scrub, let’s say a nice honey oatmeal scrub, which we’ll do twice week for a year= 104 applications, just like above. A jar of raw honey goes for approximately $6.00 (24 ounces at 1 tablespoon =32 tablespoons, using a tablespoon for each scrub x 4 bottles a year equals $24.00, (with almost a whole bottle left). Now for the oatmeal …at $6.00 for 30 ounces 1 cup each= 21 servings, let’s say 5 boxes (since we’ll probably do our legs and arms too) equals $30.00.
Drumroll please…for a grand total of $54.00…and a savings of $436.00…how sweet is that!
Okay, now that we have the math done , let’s concentrate on how we can actually make our products that are best for our own skin type.
If you have mature or sensitive skin the amount of any natural exfoliants you use on your skin should be quite moderate, so go lightly when using them, you want to avoid irritating your already delicate skin.
Since this type of skin is in a tender state to start, you need to be gentle with the type of products (natural or not) you use. So if you’re looking at DIY recipes and they don’t specifically address that the ingredients can be used on this skin type, as a precaution I would strongly suggest cutting the quantity of these natural exfoliants at least in half (example: instead of a teaspoon of Sea Salt use ½ tsp.) to avoid irritation. You might even consider searching for other DIY recipes that do state they’ll be good for your skin type…better to be safe, there are plenty recipes available, just keep searching.
The bottom line with any of these DIY recipes is keep it simple, because the basic principle of exfoliants is:
A. You want to have some texture, to remove those dead skin cells, and
B. Moisture, to hold the texture onto your skin.
See…it’s not rocket science.
Plumbing: When some of these exfoliants are washed off , they can be in clumps which can do a job on your plumbing, so invest in a mesh sink strainer to catch the debris and save yourself a visit from the plumber (instead put the money towards a nice spa massage, at today’s plumbers rate that’ll get you about 3 massages).
The types and combinations of natural ingredients for exfoliating scrubs is almost endless, but rather than focus on the exotic or unique ones, we’re going to get into just ordinary plain old fashioned kitchen staples. These are the tried, true and least likely ones to cause irritation to your skin if done properly
There’s probably a box of baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) in your fridge for odor control and in your pantry for baking. But what you may not know is, it’s non-abrasive and can be used to clean and exfoliate your skin. In fact, some of the top of the line spas microdermabrasion treatment and many expensive exfoliation products contain sodium bicarbonate. Just be sure to use a natural baking soda.
Facial Scrub: For a quick AM facial, add a teaspoon of baking soda to your facial cleanser, rub gently, rinse with cool water, wash, dry with a soft fluffy towel and apply your moisturizer and sunscreen…voile‘.
Glycolic acid is a natural component found in sugar, and this is what promotes new cell growth and breaks down the protein that stops those dead skin cells from acting as a barrier. So by removing this barrier it allows the moisture to penetrate the skin, decrease fine lines and keep it looking fresh and healthy.
Sugar grains are naturally small and rough, which make an excellent exfoliant to remove those dead skin cells, but they are not for sensitive skin.
This scrub can be used on both face and body and would be great in the shower.
Mix about one-half cup of sugar (white or brown) with enough olive oil to make a paste. With circular motions gently massage the mixture into your skin and rinse well, wash, dry and apply your moisturizer and sunscreen.
Sea salt scrubs are quite popular body treatment at spas, they help to detoxify the body by stimulating blood circulation through vasodilation of blood capillaries inside the skin. It also has medicinal value in treating skin conditions such as psoriasis, and its gentle abrasive properties make it a great natural exfoliant, especially for people with dry skin
Sea salt has trace minerals that rejuvenate your skin, stimulate cell growth, and help your skin retain moisture.
Facial Scrub: Mix with lavender essential oil and/or your favorite massage oil to make a paste. Scrub on your face in a gentle circular motion, rinse well, wash, dry and apply your moisturizer and sunscreen. This can also be used for the rougher parts of your body, like elbows and feet.
Oatmeal is one of the gentlest exfoliants you can find, so those of us with sensitive or mature skin it should be the “go to” for a natural exfoliating scrub.
With such qualities as a natural anti-inflammatory, soothing qualities (an oatmeal bath is one of the only methods that provides reliable relief from chicken pox), gently removes dead skin while stimulating new growth, it absorbs oil so you will be cleansing as you exfoliate and gentle enough not to tear or injure sensitive skin. What more could we possibly ask for?
Oatmeal works best when whole oats are ground up in a blender or food processor, then added to another base and applied to the face with your fingertips. However, just because I’m lazy and have it in my pantry, I’ve used the steel cut quick oats, which are already fine, and they work just as well.
Facial Scrub: In a small bowl add 1 cup of plain yogurt, 2 tablespoons of raw honey and 1 cup of finely ground oatmeal. Mix thoroughly until it forms a paste. Apply the paste to your face in a circular motion and let sit for 15-30 minutes. Rinse with warm water, wash, dry and apply your moisturizer and sunscreen. Remember that mesh sink drain I was talking about earlier…well now’s the time to use it.
Raw honey is another wonder, it’s packed with some wonderful benefits that make this a good choice when looking for an exfoliating recipe.
Here’s brief list of just some of those benefits:
- Honey reduces inflammation and hydrates.
- Packed full of antioxidants, which can help your skin better protect and repair itself.
- Raw honey is a superb antiseptic, because it has anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and anti-viral benefits. It kills skin infections, including acne.
- Reduces the loss of moisture to your skin (a natural humectant) and locks in moisture to maintain hydration.
- Its hydrating qualities speeds the exfoliation process so that you see desired results faster.
Use raw honey with any of the other exfoliants mentioned here to boost the antioxidant and anti-bacterial benefits.
Yogurt contains alpha hydroxy acid, which is often found in prescription exfoliants. However yogurt contains a lower concentration of the hydroxy acid, and that makes it mild and gentle enough to use on any skin type, face, and body.
Alpha hydroxy acids are a group of natural acids found in foods, lactic acid are a part of this group. Essentially they remove the protein that acts as a sticking agent to dead skin cells, enabling the growth of a new layer of healthy epidermis.
Yogurt (and milk also) is an ideal exfoliant because it’s loaded with lactic acid, which simultaneously hydrates and exfoliates, and may also help even out your skin tone as well.
Apply plain yogurt as a facial or to larger areas of your body, let it set for about 20 minutes, then rinse and remove with a warm cloth.
Lemon juice, like other citrus juices, also contains alpha hydroxy acid, so when used as an exfoliant it can effortlessly remove those dead skin cells and allow the growth of a new, healthy layer.
And natural citrus exfoliants are milder than the prescription alternative, which can have higher concentrations that may contribute to increased sun sensitivity.
Facial Scrub: In a small bowl add 1 tablespoon of Sea Salt and squeeze the juice from one lemon, mix until it forms a paste. Moisten your face with warm water, apply the paste with your fingers, then rub gently in a circular motion. Rinse with warm water till clear, then to close your pores splash with cold water, dry with a nice fluffy towel and apply your moisturizer and sun screen
As with any exfoliant, when the treatment is finished, you should immediately apply your moisturizer and a sun screen . The reason is simple, you now have a fresh layer area of skin exposed and it will be sensitive to the elements so it needs that protection.
My personal preference is to exfoliate in the evening , gently apply my moisturizer, giving my new fresh skin a chance to drink it in, while I’m fast asleep. In the morning you’ll be greeted with that dewy fresh look and ready to show off that healthy glow, but be sure to add that sunscreen.
So have a glass of your favorite beverage, give it some thought…your worth the
few minutes it takes to pamper you.
How true is this ?