What is Natural Exfoliation?

Pamela Pleasant

Natural exfoliation refers to using natural ingredients to remove the dead cells from the face or body. The skin has a lower layer called the dermis, which is where new skin cells originate. They eventually make it to the top layer of the surface skin, where they die. Exfoliation is a way to reveal the new skin that lies underneath the dead skin cells. Cosmetics that contain harsh chemicals can be used to remove the dead skin cells but by using a natural exfoliation remedy, these harmful substances can be avoided.

Sugar is often used in natural exfoliation products.
Sugar is often used in natural exfoliation products.

There are many natural ingredients that can be added to a gentle cleansing solution, which can be prepared at home. Typically, a hypoallergenic liquid soap with no perfumes or chemicals is used as a base. The natural ingredients are added to this base and then it is applied to the skin. Most of these ingredients have a grainy consistency, so they can deeply cleanse the skin. They can also contain certain vitamins and antioxidants that help to soothe and protect the skin from free radicals.

Grape seeds are good for tougher areas like the feet.
Grape seeds are good for tougher areas like the feet.

Oatmeal and wheat germ can be used in a natural exfoliation remedy and because these ingredients are very light they can be used on even the most sensitive skin types. Both of these ingredients contain essential proteins and vitamin E, which is a known for reducing the effects of years of sun exposure, smoking, and pollutants. Sea salt and sugar are other options when it comes to sloughing off dead skin. Sugar can even help to remove the pasty substance that holds dead cells onto the skin.

Citrus fruits, including grapefruit and lemons, can help to exfoliate the face. This type of natural exfoliation remedy will not have a grainy feel. The acid that is present in citrus fruits works as an astringent, which helps to remove blackheads, dirt, and oil that accumulate on the skin as well as dead skin cells. These citrus exfoliates can also help to reduce severe acne.

The hands and feet can be more difficult to exfoliate. Rough, dry, and calloused skin is normally present in these areas and a gentle natural exfoliation may not be enough to remove it. Grape seeds can be used to exfoliate extremely scaly deposits of skin and they also contain vitamins that can protect the hands and feet from further damage. There are many natural exfoliation alternatives to choose from, depending on the severity of the problem.

Oatmeal soap is a common natural exfoliant.
Oatmeal soap is a common natural exfoliant.

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Discussion Comments


@MikeMason-- You can mix it with your shower gel or fruit juices. Whichever works best for you. I've even heard of people using plain yogurt.

I personally use lemon juice and orange juice a lot, especially when I make a sugar scrub. I use coarse sugar, so it only melts a little bit in the juice. This way, the juice becomes thick and slightly sticky and then I can exfoliate.

If you use fresh lemon juice, your skin will also benefit from vitamin C. Vitamin C is anti-aging, and a natural whitening ingredient. It can fade blemishes.

I have a friend who uses lemon peels to exfoliate. She says it improves circulation and helps reduce her cellulite.


@simrin-- But how do you use those?

I tried using coffee grinds for exfoliation in the shower but it was very dry. I tried to rub it on my skin but it hurt and then the grinds fell off!

Natural skin exfoliation is harder than I thought.


My favorite natural exfoliating scrubs are cornmeal and sugar. The great part about them is they're always in my kitchen cabinet!

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