Gentle and natural exfoliators for radiant skin

The dry dead skin cells in our face can block pores, leading to acne, black heads, and a whole lot of skin problems. Exfoliation involves removal of dead skin cells to bring out the clearer skin underneath. This also helps remove sun-damaged and un-even skin tone as well.

Chemical scrubs tend to rob the skin’s natural oils and could be harsh on the skin. Scrubs made of natural kitchen or garden products may be ideal. Here are few gentle and natural scrubs that could be tried at home:

  • Make oatmeal and lukewarm water into a paste (it should be damp, but not soaked) and use as a mild exfoliator.
  • Take 2-3 teaspoons of raw oats and crush it into smaller bits. Mix this with pure honey and a ¼ teaspoon of apple cider vinegar to form a smooth mixture. Add more honey if needed. Then add a drop of basil oil (for problematic skin use tea tree oil). After washing face, apply this sticky mixture in gentle circular movements for about 15 minutes. Wash with tepid water.
  • Combine baking soda and water into a paste and rub into the skin.
  • Combine 2 tsp. of oatmeal with 1 tsp. of baking soda, stir until mixed. Add water drop by drop, until it forms a paste. Apply to face gently rubbing in circular motion. Rinse well and pat dry.
  • Mix sugar and olive oil and use as an exfoliator. Sugar could also be used with baby oil, as baby oil gets deep into the skin to moisturize, while the sugar removes dead skin cells.
  • Combine 2 tablespoons of finely ground oatmeal, 2 tablespoons granulated sugar, 2 tablespoons brown sugar, ½ cup vegetable or almond oil, and a teaspoon of nutmeg. Apply to wet face by rubbing gently in circular movements. Rinse well and pat dry.
  • Blend together, a tsp. of oatmeal, a tsp. of honey, and three almonds coarsely ground. While the oatmeal and almonds remove grease and exfoliate dead cells, honey moisturizes the skin. This is good for all skin types.
  • Mix half a cup of ground Barley in your cleanser and gently scrub face. Rinse well.
  • Finely grate half-a-cup unsalted sunflower seeds. Pout into a bowl and mix with few drops of water to form a paste. Gently massage face with the scrub. Rinse with cool water. The rich seeds leave the skin smooth and soft.
  • Mix juice from half a lemon, with 2 tablespoons table salt. Add sugar until thick but not dry. Apply to damp face and allow it to remain for 2-3 minutes, scrubbing gently using circular motions. Rinse well with warm water. Lemon helps brighten the complexion.
  • Mix 2 tablespoons ground almonds in quarter cup yogurt. Massage onto the face. Rinse with cool water. This serves well for acne-prone skin.

Benefits: The general benefits of exfoliation sessions are that it reduces appearance of wrinkles, reduces facial hair growth, and renders uniform skin tone with fewer blotches and pigmentation, resulting in brighter and more youthful appearance.

Note: Exfoliation need not be limited to the face. In fact, it should be done for the entire body, particularly on the rough spots such as feet and elbows.