Exfoliating sensitive skin can help prevent a buildup of dead skin cells and trapped bacteria. Using a harsh exfoliator, however, is not recommended. Natural exfoliators, like fruit enzymes and naturally occurring acids, are typically recommended to exfoliate sensitive skin. An oatmeal scrub can also be used. These natural homemade exfoliators are usually safe for most individuals.
Fruit enzymes are generally considered gentle enough for exfoliating sensitive skin. These enzymes help break down and loosen dead skin cells. This makes it easier to slough them off.
Papaya contains a fruit enzyme known as papain. A homemade facial mask of mashed papaya can be used for exfoliating sensitive skin. Pineapple contains bromelain, and this fruit can be used in a similar manner to exfoliate sensitive skin. This fruit also contains some helpful alpha hydroxy acids.
Alpha hydroxy acids can be found naturally in many fruits and some dairy products. Many commercial skin-care products also contain alpha hydroxy acids. Individuals with sensitive skin, however, should choose the product with the lowest concentration of these acids. Like fruit enzymes, these acids help loosen and break up the topmost layer of dead skin.
Glycolic acid, malic acid, and tataric acid are all alpha hydroxy acids that can be found in fruits. Glycolic acid can be found in sugarcane, while malic acid and tataric acid can be found mostly in apples and grapes, respectively. Lactic acid, on the other hand, is usually found in dairy products, like milk or yogurt.
Oatmeal is also considered excellent for exfoliating sensitive skin. It can be mixed with a small amount of water or milk before applying it to the skin. After 10 to 20 minutes, it can either be rinsed off or wiped off with a washcloth. Adding a little honey to an oatmeal facial scrub can also help moisturize the skin.
When exfoliating sensitive skin on the body, a washcloth or natural loofah is usually recommended. A sea sponge is an excellent natural loofah. When using a washcloth or loofah on sensitive skin, however, an individual should not scrub hard. This can cause irritation. Also, nylon loofahs should also be avoided, since these can also irritate sensitive skin.
Although several commercial products are made to exfoliate sensitive skin, homemade or organic exfoliators are usually recommended. Unlike manufactured products, these usually contain no added chemicals that may irritate the skin. With homemade facial exfoliators, most ingredients are gentle and natural.