The Benefits of Exfoliating Products
Exfoliating products are useful to remove the outer layer of dry, dead skin cells to reveal the younger, healthier skin beneath. These products use a mildly abrasive exfoliant to do their job. There are many different ingredients that can be added to exfoliating products that serve to remove the dead cells but do not harm delicate skin. Salt, sugar, coarsely ground grains such as oatmeal or wheat flour, cornmeal, ground nuts, poppy seeds, or ground dried herbs such as lavender, rosemary, or dried roses are all suitable for use in homemade exfoliating products.
Other natural ingredients are often included in homemade exfoliating scrubs to help moisturize and nourish the skin. Honey is very nourishing and also has antiseptic properties. Adding oil to an exfoliating scrub is soothing and moisturizing. Many types of oils commonly used in beauty products work well for this, including olive, sweet almond, coconut, grapeseed, avocado, jojoba, or safflower. Other possible ingredients include mayonnaise, milk, lemon juice, herbal tea, and essential oils to add a pleasant scent.
When using exfoliating scrubs, always rub gently with a rotating motion, and do not go over the same area of the face more than once to avoid abrading the skin.
Recipe Suggestions for Exfoliating Scrubs
The possibilities for different combinations of ingredients to include in exfoliating scrubs are endless. Since many of the ingredients are perishable, it is best to make only enough for a single use. If essential oils are used, add only one or two drops because these oils have a potent scent and can be irritating if they directly contact the skin in concentrated form.
An inexpensive and simple facial scrub can be made from sugar and oil. Combine about 1/4 cup of granulated white or brown sugar with several teaspoons of oil to make a thick paste. If the mixture is too runny, add more sugar.
Salt is an excellent exfoliant. Any type of salt will work, including ordinary table salt, Epsom salts, or sea salt, which also contains minerals that are nourishing to the skin. To make a salt scrub, combine about 1/4 cup of salt with a few teaspoons of the oil of your choice, until it reaches the desired consistency. Instead of salt, baking soda can also be used.
Ground Nuts or Grains
Different types of nuts or grains such as almonds, cornmeal or oatmeal can be used as exfoliants. Oatmeal is known for its soothing effect on skin. Whole oats and nuts can be ground in a blender or coffee grinder. To make a scrub, combine a few tablespoons of ground nuts or grains with honey, mayonnaise, milk, lemon juice, or oil to make a thick paste.
Note that while adding oil to exfoliating scrubs is moisturizing for the skin, if the scrub is being used as a body wash in the shower the oil can create a safety risk by making the bottom of the shower very slippery.