Exfoliating your skin once or twice a week will help to remove stubborn pore clogging substances that your daily cleansing may
The goal of an exfoliant is to work on removing the combination of built-up oil and dead skin cells that make up the top,
dead layer of skin. You do NOT want to strip natural moisture!
Exfoliating also stimulates the growth of healthy, normal skin. An added bonus - keeping the pores free of debris will allow them to shrink in appearance!
There are two types of exfoliation, chemical and mechanical.
When exfoliating mechanically, an object or substance is used to remove the dead skin cells from the surface of the skin. Objects used to exfoliate could be a facial brush, a buff puff, or scrubby washcloth.
Substances range from crushed grains, nuts or shells to sugar, salt, or baking soda. Use care when exfoliating with larger grained scrubs because they can be too rough and uneven for delicate facial skin, and you run the risk of creating tiny tears that will ultimately lead to a rougher, thicker complexion.
Baking soda is a good, fine substance for mechanical exfoliation. So is oatmeal, due to it's gentleness and softening capabilities.
Sugar scrubs mechanically exfoliate by scrubbing with a grainy substance, and they also make use of the mild glycolic acid content.
See Sugar Scrubs and Cookie Facials for some easy, fun recipes to enjoy!
Baking Soda is very finely textured, so it's great for a mechanical facial exfoliation without the worry of possible skin damage.
If you find it to be drying, use the oil method below.
- Mix baking soda with your cleanser.
- Just add water to baking soda and use it as a scrub.
- Add baking soda to a teaspoon of olive oil for a scrub that doesn't strip!
Salt scrubs are more drying and granular and should probably be used mainly for body exfoliation.
Choices for salt:
Dead sea salt makes a very nice scrub base. Add the natural oil of your choice, essential oils of your choice, and have a ball!
Basic Salt Scrub Recipe
- 1 C Sea Salt or Dead Sea Salt (not table salt)
- 1/2 C light oil (almond, hazelnut, olive or grapeseed)
- 5-10 drops essential oils or mix of your choice
Combine all ingredients, place in a pretty container and enjoy!
When exfoliating chemically, a "skin peel", an acid is used, usually in the form of alpha hydroxy acids or beta hydroxy acids, but also fruit enzymes. These chemical exfoliants can loosen the glue-like substances that hold dead skin cells together on the surface of the skin, so that they can be removed easily. AHA's are water-soluble and BHA's are oil-soluble, but both can help exfoliate oily skin.
Improvements from natural AHA peels may be very subtle at first. You may notice a healthier glow to your skin. With continued use, you will notice a general improvement in the texture of your skin.
When you use an acid exfoliation, you will feel stinging. If you don't feel stinging, it is probably not strong enough to make any difference. You should not feel such strong stinging that it is unbearable, and you should do a test under your chin FIRST, so that you know if you are just too sensitive to handle it.
Exfoliating with fruit acids will refine and brighten the complexion, giving a softer, smoother texture. An additional bonus is the effect on water balance. All skin needs moisture - whether it is normal, dry, or oily skin. When exfoliating mechanically, we can remove the moisture when we remove the oil. Fruit acids help skin retain much needed moisture that's not stripped in the removal of old oils and skin cells.
Alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) skin care products are so easy to make at home because they are made of fruit and other ingredients that you may already have or can obtain easily. You can make a quick exfoliating, skin peel type mask by just squeezing juice from citrus fruits, grapes, or tomatoes and applying it to your face for 10 minutes before rinsing.
Here's a list of what natural botanicals and ingredients contain which acid:
- Sorbic acid -- citrus fruits
- Lactic acid -- milk products (yogurt, milk), tomatoes and berries
- Glycolic acid - sugar
- Tartaric acid -- grapes
- Malic acid -- apples, apple cider vinegar
- Acetylsalicylic Acid - Aspirin
- Salicylic Acid - Willowbark and Wintergreen
- Papain - enzyme from papaya
- Bromelin - enzyme from pineapple
Apple cider vinegar contains about 5% acetic acid and smaller amounts of malic acid (apples=source), and traces of lactic acid. Simply wiping apple cider vinegar over your skin and waiting 10-20 minutes to rinse, will give you a gentle skin peel.
Yogurt contains lactic acid that can gently dissolve the glues that hold the dead skin layer together, allowing it to wash away, giving you a smoother skin texture. Yogurt is especially beneficial for sensitive skin.
Yogurt can also lighten spots and even out skin tone when used over time. Wash your face and apply organic plain yogurt as a facial cream. Leave on for 15 minutes, wash off with cold water, tone and moisturize.
If you experience redness after the application of any topical acid peel, apply a cold pack for 10 minutes.
Yummy recipes for homemade facial peels
Pineapple papaya exfoliating mask for oily skin:
- 1/2 C fresh pineapple
- 1/2 C fresh papaya
- 1 T honey
Blend all ingredients together in a blender or food processor. Apply to face and leave on for 15 minutes. Rinse with warm water, followed with cool water.
Pineapple Oatmeal Mask:
- 1/2 C fresh pineapple
- 2 T finely ground oatmeal
- 1 T olive oil
Blend together in the blender, apply to face and sit back for 15 minutes before removing with warm water.
Foamy Lemon/Willowbark Mask:
- 5 regular aspirin, crushed
- 1/2 t baking soda
- 1 t freshly squeezed lemon juice
Mix together into a foam. Leave on for about 15 minutes, but as you develop a tolerance, you can increase the amount of time you leave it on.
This will make your skin tight, so be sure to moisturize!
Want faster results?
There are stronger peels that you can purchase and use at home, and results will be faster than you can see from a natural peel pulled out of your fridge.
A Skin Culture 6-day peel kit can enhance your complexion by removing the outer dead layer of skin cells to reveal new, smoother skin. It can also remove years of deep cellular debris and make skin radiant.
These peels are the deepest peel that you can get outside the doctor's office, effective, less painful and much more economical.
Skin Culture Peels can address problems of:
- excessively oily skin.
- Premature wrinkling and crow's feet.
- Acne scarring
- Sun Damage
- Enlarged Pores
Ingredients of Skin Culture Peels are:
- Sodium Benzoate
- Wintergreen Oil
- Eucalyptus Oil
- Thyme Oil
Developed in 1937, Skin Culture carries a 60-day money back guarantee.
It takes a commitment of 90 minutes a day, for 6 days, to uncover the amazing results!
If you're not getting the results you want from the fruit and dairy peels, try Skin Culture:
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Exfoliating with Sugar Scrubs
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Exfoliate daily with skin brushing