HOW TO CHOOSE THE BEST NATURAL EXFOLIATOR FOR YOUR SKIN
One of the easiest ways to “green” your beauty routine is with an all-natural scrub because you probably already have most of the main ingredients in your pantry. What you need to know, however, is that all exfoliants are not created equal, and knowing the properties and correct usage and application of each option could mean the difference between smooth, glowing skin or red, inflamed skin. Read on to find out how to discover the best natural exfoliator for your skin.
Why is it important to exfoliate?
First let’s touch upon why exfoliating is such a crucial step. The life cycle of the average skin cell is about 30 days, which is when it reaches the outer layer, ending its cycle. As we age, this process begins to slow down and cells start to accumulate, leading to a dull complexion. Exfoliating your skin helps accelerate this process of natural cell turnover, sloughing away dead skin cells from the surface of the epidermis (the outermost layer) and stimulating the regeneration of new ones. It can also address a number of other skin concerns such as fine lines, redness, uneven skin tone, clogged pores and even breakouts.
The Best Natural Skin Exfoliator
Dead Sea Salt/Himalayan Salt
For: body, dry/rough skin
It’s best to reserve sea salt for exfoliating your body. While it’s too harsh and abrasive to use on the delicate skin on your face (in its purest coarse form), it’s perfect for working away at those rougher areas like your elbows and knees. Since salt has a drying effect on the skin (another reason why you wouldn’t want to use it on your face), you should combine it with plant oils and antioxidants to help soothe and relieve the skin while delivering the polishing effect.
For: face, irritated skin
An oatmeal scrub can soothe red, inflamed skin, alleviate itchiness, and polish dull, flaky skin, all while moisturizing and boosting collagen production. It’s one of the most versatile and gentle natural exfoliators you’ll find, so always keep your cupboard stocked with oatmeal for a quick DIY scrub to fix your most common skin issues.
For: face, sensitive skin, anti-aging treatments
Rice water is amazing for the skin, and so is rice bran, the outer layer surrounding the rice kernel. The fine powder gently lifts away debris, helps calm inflammation, contains phytic acid which can boost collagen, and is rich in properties that help prevent sun spots.
Almond Meal / Almond Flour
For: face, dry skin
Rich in vitamin E, monosaturated fat and selenium, almond meal is an effective antioxidant for the skin, deliveringsuper nutrient protection. The finer almond flour is better for sensitive skin as it's gentler, but both the flour and the meal (which is coarser) polish the skin, while softening it and helping it to retain moisture.
For: dry skin, body, lips
Brown sugar scrubs are much gentler than their salt-based equivalent, but should still be used with caution. If you suffer from dry skin, then a fine sugar scrub is perfect since sugar is a humectant that helps your skin attract and retain moisture. It’s also a source of glycolic acid, which has regenerative properties and can improve the firmness of your skin. When paired with sweet almond oil and cinnamon, it’s the go-to treatment for turning your lips from dry and dull to smooth and supple in under two minutes.
For: body, toning and improving the appearance of sagging skin
Coffee scrubs have reached their zenith in popularity lately, and it’s because they can reduce the appearance of cellulite, but only temporarily. How does coffee accomplish this seemingly impossible feat? Due to its caffeine content, a course coffee scrub can help increase circulation, giving skin a more toned appearance.
Remember, exfoliating should never be painful, so if you’re experiencing discomfort stop immediately. You could be scrubbing too hard, or the granules in your scrub might be jagged or irregular. The best scrubs have granules of a uniformly smooth shape and size.
What natural exfoliator do you choose when you want to renew skin?