When we’re young, the dead cells that form on the surface of our skin slough off easily. However, as we age, our bodies begin to exfoliate dead skin cells at a slower rate. The subsequent buildup of dead skin cells can cause the skin to lose its luster. Thus proper exfoliation can help to keep our skin looking beautiful and young. There are many products that many of us already have in our homes that can be used for safe, natural and effective exfoliation of the skin.
You can make a simple natural homemade exfoliating scrub by combining sweet almond oil and white granulated sugar. Mix these two ingredients together until they form a paste. Coffee grounds, corn meal and salt also combine well with natural vegetable oils such as extra virgin olive oil to create an exfoliating scrub.
Another way to make a natural exfoliating scrub is to combine 2 teaspoons of ground oatmeal and 1 teaspoon baking soda. Mix them with enough water to form a thick paste.
These natural exfoliating scrubs can be used to exfoliate either the face or the body. To exfoliate your face, stand over a basin or sink and apply the scrub to your face. Gently scrub your face, then rinse away the excess scrub with water. Promptly apply moisturizer to your face to prevent overdrying, especially if you’re using a scrub that doesn’t contain a significant amount of oil. Clean any scrub out of the basin or sink with a cleaning cloth. Don’t allow any scrub to go down the drain.
To scrub your body, stand in the shower. Apply the scrub to the areas of your body that are most affected by dead skin buildup, such as the backs of the arms, the thighs, the calves and the back. Use an old washcloth to remove any excess scrub from your skin. Wipe away any fallen scrub from the shower with a cleaning cloth. Rinse your body in the shower, then use the cleaning cloth to remove any additional scrub from the floor of the shower.
Using homemade exfoliating masks is a gentler method of exfoliating your skin, but is often just as effective. The alpha hydroxy acids in fruit help to break down the dead cells that tend to adhere to the skin.
For example, you could make a homemade exfoliating scrub by mixing 1 cup of grated apple with 5 tablespoons of honey. You could also mix 1/2 cup of a fruit such as papaya, peach or banana with 1 tablespoon of ground oatmeal and 1 tablespoon of plain yogurt or honey. Apply the fruit mask to the face, then wait for 10 to 15 minutes. Rinse the mask off with water.
To make an exfoliating mask for oily skin, combine 1 ounce of natural clay powder with 3 tablespoons of filtered water and 1 teaspoon of vegetable glycerine. Apply the clay mixture to your skin, then allow it to dry. Wash the clay away from your skin with a wet washcloth.
For more information on this topic, read The Secret to Anti-Aging: Feed Your Face.
Anitra Brown, “What is Exfoliation?” About.com