Natural Exfoliants for Radiant Skin

Get smooth, radiant skin for spring with these natural exfoliants.

| January/February 2006

  • Salt Skin Scrub
    Natural exfoliants, such as salt, sugar or finely ground grains, remove dead skin cells through abrasion. Note: Salt is too abrasive and drying for facial skin.
    Photo By Miroslawa Drozdowski/Fotolia
  • Natural exfoliation ensures smooth skin with treatments including exfoliation scrubs, alphahydroxy acids and a fruit acid exfoliant.

  • Salt Skin Scrub
Spring is just around the corner, and it’s time to shed dry winter skin along with sweaters and coats. The quickest route to smooth, soft and radiant skin is to add some natural exfoliation to your skin-care routine.

Natural exfoliation is the simple process of removing dead, dry skin cells to reveal the healthy new skin beneath the surface. Exfoliating the skin stimulates circulation, helps unclog pores, smoothes skin texture and improves the ability of the skin to absorb moisture. Because it stimulates cell turnover and collagen production, regular exfoliation can even result in more youthful looking skin. (Note: Those with rosacea or hypersensitive skin should not exfoliate.)

Three primary methods of natural exfoliation are exfoliating skin scrubs, fruit enzyme exfoliants and alpha-hydroxy acids.

6 Natural Exfoliant Recipes

Oatmeal Facial Cleanser 
Homemade Sea Salt Scrub 
Grapefruit Sugar Scrub for Sensitive Skin
Papaya Enzyme Facial Mask
Citrus Scrub
Rosemary Fruit Face Mask   

Exfoliate with Natural Skin Scrubs

Based on sugar, salt or finely ground grains, nuts or seeds, exfoliating scrubs remove dead skin cells through abrasion. All of these ingredients are effective as a body scrub, but salt is too abrasive and drying for facial skin. Avoid using scrubs that contain pulverized nutshells or fruit pits, which can have sharp edges, on delicate facial skin as well. Whatever type of scrub you choose, use a light touch to avoid irritating sensitive skin.

Wear Your Fruit: Enzyme Exfoliants

Natural enzymes found in papaya (papain) and pineapple (bromelain) act as exfoliants by dissolving dead cells on the skin’s surface. After just one treatment, your skin will be noticeably softer and smoother. Papaya and pineapple enzyme masks and peels are usually gentle enough for all skin types, but can occasionally irritate sensitive skin. Fruit enzyme exfoliants can be used as part of a weekly facial treatment or daily to help rejuvenate mature skin.

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