How do I Choose the Best Natural Exfoliating Products?

Mandi R. Hall

Using a natural exfoliating product can be a great way to keep skin looking new. There are a number of advantages to using organic exfoliation methods. While natural exfoliating products can be found on store shelves, many drug and department stores sell exfoliating products full of chemicals that can be harsher on your skin than necessary. Furthermore, while many facial and body exfoliation systems can cost a pretty penny, a natural exfoliating scrub can easily be prepared with ingredients you may already have in your kitchen.

An exfoliating scrub.
An exfoliating scrub.

If your skin is simply unmanageable, a visit to the dermatologist may be necessary. But if you’re just looking to renew some rough, dull skin, a natural exfoliating technique might be just what you need. In order for skin to begin glowing again, you must first ensure that the old skin cells are gone. These harmful cells can be destroyed by the same natural products you put inside your body to nourish it.

Sugar, when used with coconut or olive oil, is a natural exfoliator.
Sugar, when used with coconut or olive oil, is a natural exfoliator.

As skin is renewed, the old cells often cling to the top layer of skin, where they prevent the skin from rejuvenating and appearing youthful. While the epidermis is clogged, oil may not be able to secrete from the pores like necessary. When the oil gets clogged beneath the surface, pimples appear on the face and the body. Taking up a natural exfoliating regime, however, should help.

Soaps that incorporate exfoliants can help rub away dry skin.
Soaps that incorporate exfoliants can help rub away dry skin.

Natural exfoliation methods can be used on both the face and the body around the elbows, knees, feet, and any other unusually dry areas. Pick a natural exfoliation treatment that appeals to you and your skin. If you have sensitive skin, an oatmeal mixture will gently rub away those dead cells without scratching your face. Mixing oatmeal with buttermilk and honey will result in a thick paste that can gently be wiped off 15 minutes after it sets on your skin.

If you don’t have the time to mix up a natural exfoliating batch, natural honey on its own can also be used as an exfoliant. After steaming your skin with a hot washcloth to open up the pores, gently apply honey as a mask and let it sit for 15-20 minutes. Not only will you smell great afterwards, but your skin should glow. Because the honey is so thick, an additional moisturizer may not even be needed. Using a light moisturizer shouldn’t hurt, though.

If you’re really concerned about those dead skin cells that just won’t go away, try a lemon juice exfoliant. Though it’s equipped with natural alpha hydroxy acid (AHA), the lemon juice exfoliation mixture doesn’t contain as much of the chemicals that most over-the-counter AHA exfoliants do. Adding granulated sugar to the lemon juice makes it into a fresh-smelling scrub.

As a toner, a ground coffee mixture can work wonders on skin that needs to be perked up. Mixing coarse ground coffee with a little bit of salt and a drop or two of natural massage oil can open your pores and improve circulation. This natural exfoliation method is also said to reduce the appearance of cellulite.

Other common exfoliation ingredients include olive oil, brown sugar, baking powder, and molasses. Finding the right ratio of ingredients can be up to the user, though many natural health books and websites also have tips. A thick paste works great as a mask, while thick scrubs work wonders as a quick morning wake-up call in the shower. It’s also worth noting that allowing your skin to steam for a few minutes before applying any mask or scrub is an important first step. Additionally, using a moisturizer after any natural exfoliating scrub rarely hurts.

Exfoliation is the removal of the top layer of skin by using an abrasive material.
Exfoliation is the removal of the top layer of skin by using an abrasive material.

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Discussion Comments


I wipe my face with cotton balls soaked in lemon juice at least two times each week. This leaves my skin looking refreshed without the need for potentially damaging harsh chemicals.

For a little extra exfoliating power, my favorite remedy is oatmeal in olive oil. While it is great for removing dull skin, it is also not too harsh, which makes this mixture very good for sensitive skin. It also smooths on easily after you mix the two ingredients together to form a paste-like texture.


I like to mix honey and sugar together for a natural exfoliating solution that also moisturizes. Every time I use it, it leaves my skin feeling clean and smooth.

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