Exfoliating is a very important part of any skin care regime. Not only does it slough away dead skin cells, but it also unclogs the oil and dirt that lives in your pores and can cause breakouts. Most store-bought exfoliants contain harsh chemicals and dozens of questionable ingredients that have unknown benefits. Instead of shelling out the money for a store-bought exfoliator, try concocting one of these four homemade exfoliators using ingredients that you probably already have in your pantry.
As with any other exfoliating treatments, these should be used two to three times a week, not every day. And keep in mind that when trying a new skin care product (or in this case, recipe), test it out before you go to bed. That way, if you have an adverse reaction, you can give your skin time to recover while you sleep.
The range of what baking soda can do just seems to be getting wider and wider. It can freshen the air, remove stains, clean showers and sinks, and trigger explosions in science fair volcanoes. Oh yes, we can use it to bake, too. But there is one more non-food-related use to add to baking soda’s resume: face exfoliant. The grains in baking soda are just the right size to act as a gentle exfoliant, and many claim that it has helped clear up acne. Mix in a teaspoon of baking soda to your facial cleanser to make it an exfoliating cleanser. Or make a paste of just baking soda and water, gently rub it onto your skin and leave it on for 5 to 10 minutes before rinsing off.
Granulated sugar is another wonderful, natural exfoliant -- and with all these reports coming out that sugar may be toxic when ingested, I’m thinking we might be better served to use it on the body versus in the body. Mix it with honey, which contains powerful antioxidant and antimicrobial properties, and a little lemon for clarifying purposes, and you have a wonderfully nourishing and effective face scrub. Combine 1 teaspoon sugar with 1/2 teaspoon honey and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice and mix well. If the mixture is a little loose, add a bit more sugar.
Coffee is another fantastic natural exfoliant. It contains caffeic acid, which has anti-inflammatory effects and can boost collagen production. Just as coffee stimulates our body in the morning, it can serve as a skin stimulant as well. To make the scrub, combine 1 tablespoon of ground coffee with 1 tablespoon of water or olive oil. To make this inexpensive face scrub even more economical, save the wet coffee grounds from your brewed morning coffee and use those. If you use olive oil, skip applying a moisturizer afterward, as olive oil will leave your skin super-moisturized. As a side note, since coffee grinds can clog drains, apply the scrub and buff off the grounds over a plugged sink so that you can wipe them out or use a mesh drain strainer to catch them before they go down your pipes.
People who use oatmeal as a natural face scrub swear by it, and now I know why. Ground oatmeal not only serves as a wonderful exfoliant, but it also absorbs and removes surface dirt and impurities while leaving your skin nourished and hydrated. It has been known to soothe and heal everything from acne to sunburn to dry, flaky skin. Given its gentle nature, it is also ideal for those with sensitive skin. Combine 1 tablespoon of ground oatmeal with 1/4 teaspoon of salt, which boosts the face treatment's exfoliating properties, and 1 teaspoon of water or olive oil to make it into a paste. Gently rub it onto you skin in circular motions, let sit for five to 10 minutes and rinse.
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