5 Techniques For Natural At-Home Exfoliation

Written by Denise Bissell

Ever wonder why you can plaster on rich, greasy moisturizers and your skin still feels dry moments later? What about how often you clean with really strong skin cleansers and your skin still feels dirty?

Don’t fret; you're not going crazy! All of this happens because on a daily basis, our entire body sheds about one layer of dead skin. But not all the dead skin falls to the ground. In fact, most of it stays stuck to our skin's surface.

Since we can't unzip that daily layer of dead skin and just throw it in the bin, it adheres to the surface and builds up every day. Week after week, month after month, we end up with dead skin cells filling our pores and layers of dead skin blocking our hairs and oils from naturally rising to the skin's surface.

By reducing the skin's surface gently but thoroughly, you can reduce the visibility of pores, lines and wrinkles. Just remember, cleansing does not exfoliate and exfoliating does not cleanse. In order to perform both thoroughly, you should perform both separately.

Here are the best natural ways to exfoliate from home without breaking your wallet or using harsh chemicals.

For face: Each step of exfoliating the face should be performed after thoroughly cleansing and rinsing with lukewarm water. The proper hydrator or moisturizer for your skin type should be applied immediately following these treatments.

1. Towel dry. Gently rub your skin dry with a clean, dry towel, post shower. This creates light friction, which will remove superficial layers of dead skin.

2. Baking soda. Use ½ tablesoon of baking soda mixed with ½ tablespoon of a gentle cleanser, applying medium to light pressure and circular rotations for 1-2 minutes.

Dryer skin types can mix ½ raw coconut oil with ½ baking soda and use 1-2 times per week.

Oilier skins can use baking powder and leave on for 10-15 minutes for further oil absorption.

For body: Avoid neck, breasts.

3. Sugar scrub cleanse. Rinse the skin first to remove dirt and oils. Then mix ½ part sugar with ½ part oil of your choice (I’m a fiend for raw coconut oil, but olive oil and jojoba oil are good choices as well). Apply with a cloth to protect the skin on your hands from becoming irritated. Using mild pressure, and circular motions; don't spend more than 1 minute per limb.

4. Loofah with salt and oil. For more stubborn areas like the knees and elbows, follow the same instructions as the sugar treatment only supplement the washcloth with the loofah and the sugar with the salt.

5. Dry brush. Using a dry, natural bristle brush on dry skin, start at your feet and gently glide the brush bristles against your skin, using upward strokes toward your heart. This should only take about 3-4 minutes for your entire body. Skin should be cleansed and then moisturized directly after this treatment.

Always avoid exfoliation in areas in which you have skin lesions, visible capallaries or existing irritations. Always conusult a licensed skincare therapist before beginning a new skincare regimen.

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