Exfoliation is the process through which the dead skin cells are removed from the skin’s surface with the help of an exfoliating tool, granular substance, or chemical.
Naturally, within 30 days or so, human skin sheds dead cells to make space for newer healthy cells. But if this scrapping of cells is not fully done, this might result in dry, flaky patches on the skin, and ultimately the pores will be clogged. To avoid pores clogging, healthy skin demands exfoliation.
Exfoliation results in more smooth, firm, and glowing skin, which is less susceptible to breakouts.
Homemade facial scrubs have always been the best option, as you know what their ingredients are. Another advantage is that the recipes for scrubs are quick and easy to make at home. You probably have all the required ingredients in your cookery.
Benefits of Facial Scrubs
If exfoliation is done correctly, it offers the following benefits:
1. Smoother Skin
Exfoliating your skin shreds all the dead skin cells from the surface of your skin and result in a smoother, brighter, and even tone complexion.
2. Enhanced Blood Circulation
Rubbing your skin will enhance the blood flow to the respective area. As a result, radiant, glowing skin is achieved.
3. Unclogged Pores
Regular exfoliation will help prevent the clogging of skin pores, minimizing the risk of skin breakouts.
4. Better Absorption
Through the effective removal of skin debris and dead cells from its surface, your skin is capable of better absorption. Exfoliation improves the efficacy of topical applications. Therefore it is recommended to exfoliate before applying topical cream for its deep penetration.
5. Increased Collagen Synthesis
According to AAD, exfoliation can help in the production of collagen – a much-needed protein for a firm and radiant skin.
6. Anti-stress Technique
Massaging your skin with a body scrub or exfoliating tool will minimize the stress level. It is one of the best ways to feel relaxed and calm.
How to Effectively Exfoliate Your Skin?
A productive session of exfoliation can do wonders for your skin breakouts. As this technique is required to unclog pores and for a brighter even tone complexion, here is the guide on how to exfoliate your skin for best results:
1. Choose the Right Option
Make sure you choose the right exfoliant or scrub to go with your skin type.
For instance, dry skin demands light facial scrubs that have fine particles. The best ingredients for dry skin are brown sugar and grape seed oil. On the other hand, it’s better to use gentle scrubs having baking soda or oats if you have skin vulnerable to acne or oily skin. Scrubs made of finely grounded particles, such as sugar, can be opted for normal skin types.
2. Massage in a Circular Motion
Massaging with a heavy hand will result in redness and inflammation. The ideal way is to rub gently in a circular direction.
3. Post-exfoliation Care
Just exfoliation is not enough for taking care of your skin, you must also pamper it with some TLC (Treatment, Love, and Care) post exfoliation. Always remember to wash your skin with lukewarm water and gently pat dry with a clean, warm towel. Moisturizer will work wonders for dry skin as it locks the moisture within.
4. Never Overdo It
Ideally, for the normal skin type, exfoliation two times every week is more than enough. While for oily skin, you can opt for it more than twice per week. But, for sensitive skin, massaging once a week is perfect.
Keep in mind that the average frequency varies with age, season, hormones, and climate.
Ingredients to Avoid
Facial scrubs are meant to be made of finer particles than body scrubs as the face is more sensitive and susceptible than the rest of the body.
For example, coffee ground scrubs, sugar scrubs, sea salt scrubs, and nutshells are way too harsh exfoliators for your facial skin. These are exclusively made of coarse particles hence not to be used on the face.
Stay away from ingredients that are too rough for your skin type to avoid any hypersensitivity reactions. Coarse particles may even scratch or break the skin in the worst scenarios.
Ingredients That Work Well
The best exfoliators are always the ones constituted of smaller fine particles and possess mild activity.
Some of the ideal ingredients for physical exfoliators include:
- Finely divided oatmeal, organic
- Ground rice
- A minute quantity of baking soda
Other than these, you can also consider using chemical exfoliators. These use organic chemicals and enzymes for the elimination of skin debris and the renewal of skin cells.
Some chemical exfoliator ingredients commonly used in DIY facial scrubs include:
- Milk and yogurt – contain lactic acid
- Pineapple – a rich source of vitamin C and citric acid
- Mangoes – an excellent source of vitamin A
- Apples – contain malic acid
Items Required to Make a Facial Scrub at Home
Homemade facial scrubs do not include a long list of ingredients. Just make sure you have the following items:
- Any type of oil that can work as a carrier or base for mixing and moisturizing. For example, jojoba oil, coconut oil, almond oil.
- A measuring cup or spoon
- A mixing spoon and a bowl
- A few drops of essential oil, if needed
- Food processor or food grinder (only if you include oatmeal)
- Lastly, an airtight container for the sealed packaging of your freshly prepared facial scrub
Other optional ingredients that can benefit your skin include honey, green tea
Green Tea Sugar Scrub
Green tea is beneficial for your skin as it possesses antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
A 2013 study revealed that cosmetics containing green tea effectively reduce the harm caused by UV rays to the individual’s skin.
- Green tea, 2 teabags
- Hot water, ½ cup
- Brown sugar, 1 cup
- Melted coconut oil, ¼ cup
- Add the teabags to lukewarm water. Let the tea cool for a while.
- On the other side, take a bowl and add brown sugar to it. Then add coconut oil and mix both thoroughly.
- Add this sugar mix to the already cooled tea. (if not cool, the sugar will get dissolved)
- Further, add coconut oil as per the required consistency.
- Spoon your scrub in an airtight container for later use.
Honey Sugar Scrub
Several studies confirm the antibacterial activity of honey. According to a 2016 review, honey helps in skin breakouts, thanks to its antimicrobial and antioxidant properties. Along with the protective shield against the damaging UV rays, honey also helps in killing foreign bodies.
- Brown sugar, ½ cup
- Honey, 2 tbsps.
- Melted coconut oil, ¼ cup
- Grab a mixing bowl and add brown sugar, coconut oil, and honey to it.
- Mix thoroughly. Adjust the consistency as required by adding more coconut oil if needed.
- Massage all over the face. Do not forget to wash the face afterward to remove the stickiness.
There are various scientific studies on the importance of caffeine in minimizing cellulite development. A 2011 study concluded that the person using a cream containing caffeine as an ingredient observed a significant decrease in the appearance of cellulite. The same findings were made by a 2015 clinical study.
The pleasant aroma and fine granules of coffee are gentle on the skin; therefore, it is a popular constituent of homemade facial scrubs.
- Coffee grounds, ½ cup
- Hot water, 2 tbsps.
- Coconut oil, warm, 1 tbsp.
- In a mixing pan, add coffee grounds and hot water. Mix thoroughly with the help of a spoon.
- As per your required consistency, add coconut oil and more coffee grounds (if needed).
- Empty the mixture in a well-stored container for later use.
DIY Chocolate Scrub
Chocolate provides many benefits to human skin. Besides its antioxidant and anti-aging properties, coffee enhances collagen synthesis, hydrates the skin, and adds glow to a person’s face.
- Melted dark chocolate, 2-3 tbsps.
- Coconut oil, ½ cup
- Ground coffee, 2 tbsps.
- Granulated sugar, one cup
- Mix all the above ingredients.
- Store in an airtight container.
- When needed, scoop some mixture out of the container and heat it in the microwave before using it (for about 6-8 seconds).
- Massage your skin to get soft, supple skin.
Homemade Lemon, Honey, and Sugar Scrub
Lemon is beneficial for the removal of blackheads, acne marks, and skin discoloration. On the other hand, honey acts as a natural antioxidant and provides moisture to dry skin. Together, they work as an amazing scrub for removing dead skin cells.
- Sugar, 1 cup
- Olive oil, ½ cup
- Honey, 1 tbsp.
- Lemon juice, 1 big lemon
- In a mixing bowl, mix together sugar, olive oil, and honey with the help of a spoon.
- Add lemon juice to the mixture, and stir vigorously for 30 seconds.
- Scrub your face in a circular motion for at least 2 minutes.
- Rinse your face with cold water. (If you have dry skin, do not keep the scrub on for so long, as it can crack your skin.
Aloe Vera Gel & Sugar Facial Scrub
For most skin conditions, aloe vera is known to have a soothing and healing agent. Moreover, it is suitable for all skin types. Similarly, superfine sugar particles make the ingredient for making facial scrubs. The smaller the particles, the better will be the results.
- Aloe vera gel, 1 tbsp.
- Superfine sugar, as needed
- Combine the two ingredients with the help of a mixing spoon.
- Gently massage the skin with an aloe vera-sugar mixture.
- Let it rest for a few extra minutes.
- Rinse your skin well.
Homemade scrubs are the most economical yet quick and easy option compared to ready-made scrubs. These natural exfoliators can be used for skin cleansing, polishing, and nourishing, with the self-satisfaction that all the ingredients you have added are organic.
Make sure to always massage with a gentle touch and in a circular motion. Take extra care if you have sensitive or over-dry skin.