Natural Ways to Exfoliate Skin

Everyone would like skin that's clear, smooth, and glowing.
Everyone would like skin that's clear, smooth, and glowing. (Image: taliesin | Morguefile Archive)

It's possible to find dozens of varieties of exfoliating scrubs and soaps at your local bath and body shop. However, they can be pricey, and they may be filled with harsh chemicals that will dry out your skin. Below, you'll find inexpensive and easy ways to exfoliate your skin at home with natural ingredients and tools.

Things You'll Need

  • Loofah
  • Pumice stone
  • Oatmeal
  • Essential oils
  • Sugar
  • Olive oil
  • Whole milk
  • Wash cloth

For facial skin, soak a washcloth in whole milk and drape it over your face. The lactic acid in the milk will exfoliate as the milk fat keeps the skin moisturized. After five minutes, rinse out the washcloth and gently remove any remaining milk with the cloth.

For the face or the whole body, try a combination of olive oil and white sugar. Add 2 to 3 tbsp. of virgin olive oil to 1/2 cup of white sugar and use as a face or body scrub. This method is good for dry skin, since the oil helps the skin retain moisture as its being exfoliated. Olive oil is safe for use on the whole body and will not clog pores.

Try an oatmeal scrub. A cup of oatmeal can be added to a blender with a sprinkle of dried lavender blossoms and processed until fine. Alternately, you can combine oatmeal half and half with corn meal, add a sprinkle of raw sunflower seeds or raw almonds, process all the ingredients in the blender until all ingredients are uniform size and then add the essential oil of your choice (lavender or lemon are nice). Once you've made the dry mix, add a few teaspoons of water to a small handful of the oatmeal mix and use as a facial scrub.

For the whole body, but especially elbows and knees, try a loofah. Loofahs are about as natural as you can get for exfoliating, since they are simply the dried insides of a gourd. You can use one to scrub the whole body with warm water or with the addition of a mild soap. For hard to reach spots, like the middle of your back, you can purchase a loofah on a wooden handle.

A loofa with a handle can help you exfoliate your back.
A loofa with a handle can help you exfoliate your back.

For rough or calloused feet and heels, try a pumice stone while in the bath or shower. Pumice is a foamy rock naturally produced by volcanoes, and it's usually a cream or light gray color. Pumice stones the right size for using in the bath can be purchased in the health and beauty aisle of most department stores. Use them on the rough skin of your heels when your feet are wet and soapy.

Tips & Warnings

  • When using the oatmeal or sugar-and-oil scrubs, rub the mixture into the skin gently, especially on the face. Scrubbing too vigorously will irritate the skin.

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