Smooth like a baby’s bottom. #SkincareGoals
Just after face oils, my skincare and beauty must-have is a great exfoliant. And it’s a very close second.
Because gently and regularly exfoliating the skin not only prevents blemishes by getting rid of dead skin cells (after all, a zit is just oil and dead skin cells coupled together in one sticky, pore-clogging mess!) but also stimulates the production of new, healthy skin cells and collagen.
I exfoliate both my face and body regularly to reap these benefits, but using different means — the skin on your face is much thinner and delicate than the skin on your body and so requires a more gentle, less abrasive exfoliant.
All-Natural Face Exfoliants
1. Baking Soda
Extremely fine, baking soda acts like a homemade microdermabrasion. It’s without a doubt my personal favorite choice for a face exfoliant.
It should be noted that baking soda does affect skin pH, though I have never had problems just using it just once a week. If this is a concern for you, however, best to choose a different option.
2. Finely Ground Oats
Oats are well-known for their skin-soothing properties and have been used for such for centuries. They have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits, and help to balance the skin’s pH. These properties make them a great choice if you have particularly sensitive skin.
Oats also contain natural saponins, which absorb dirt and oil. For this reason, they’re a great choice for those with oily or acne-prone skin, and can even double as a 2-in-1 cleanser and exfoliant!
3. Finely Ground Almond Meal
Almond meal is another great exfoliant that is gentle enough for facial skin. Almonds are rich in the antioxidant vitamin E, which both nourishes skin and helps negate the free-radical producing effects of sun damage and pollution.
All-Natural Body Exfoliants
These exfoliants are too course to use on your delicate facial skin but work wonders as body scrubs!
Though I don’t recommend buying refined, granular sugar for putting in your bod (i.e. eating), it works wonders on your bod when used as an exfoliating scrub! Not only does scrubbing with granular sugar help to manually slough off dead skin, sugar contains naturally occurring glycolic acid, which dissolves dead cells.
5. Coffee Grounds
Coffee grounds also make for a wonderful body exfoliant. Big time bonus: the caffeine in coffee is said to help reduce cellulite! Check out my DIY all-natural vanilla latte body scrub.
6. Sea Salt
Sea salt not only helps slough away dead skin cells, but it also supplies the skin with a healthy dose of minerals. Just be sure you’re buying a quality sea salt to get this benefit.
Some important exfoliation tips:
Being heavy-handed and really scrubbing the heck out of your skin is likely to cause irritation, which can aggravate breakouts and even damage skin over the long-run.
Don’t go too crazy.
A good rule of thumb is to exfoliate no more than once a week for dry skin and no more than twice a week for oily skin — though of course, you may find that your skin prefers something a little different! Like scrubbing too intensely, exfoliating too often can cause irritation.
Avoid exfoliating right before or after sun exposure.
Exfoliation strips the skin of its outer layer, which can make it more sensitive to the sun. Similarly, if skin is already sensitive from sun exposure, you don’t want to further irritate it with exfoliation. If you do exfoliate but then have an impromptu day in the sun, just be sure to take proper precautions.