Natural Exfoliating Agents for Face

Exfoliation! How important is that? If you have a dull skin, it is very important. If you are aging, then also exfoliation is important. But why? What does exfoliation do to your skin? Your skin sheds skin cells everyday that we know as dead skin cells. These remain bound to your upper skin layer and gives you a dull look. When you apply an exfoliating agent to your face and rub it gently,  the dead skin cells get removed and new fresh skin cells get revealed. This makes your face glow.

As you age and your skin matures, it becomes more dull and lifeless due hormonal changes and excessive dryness that sets on to your skin and body. There’s excessive build-up of dead skin cells now, more than ever before! Exfoliation will revitalize and restore your vibrant and even skin tone.

So, if you want that glowing skin, exfoliation is important!

What are some natural exfoliating agents for your face?

There is no shortage of exfoliating agents for face in the cosmetic market. However, it is always a safer practice to use natural exfoliating agents for face. Why you ask? Because natural is natural! It doesn’t contain chemicals that can further dry out and damage your skin. They can make your skin glow for a while but in the long run, they only make your skin lifeless.

So, it’s better you exfoliate your face naturally. Here is a list of natural face exfoliants that you can use.

natural exfoliating agents for face at home

1.      Sugar

Sugar is good for your skin in many ways, just don’t consume it (it’s bad for health!). But yes, sugar makes one of the best face exfoliating agents.

Sugar is nothing but glycolic acid (the popular exfoliating agent for face). Glycolic acid is a key ingredient used in many cosmetic products, exfoliating scrubs and spa treatments. It removes dead cells from facial skin, and reveals healthy and glowing skin. Sugar is also a natural humectant which attracts and locks moisture inside your skin cells. So, while it scrubs away dead skin cells, it also gives you the much needed moisturization. It encourages faster regeneration of skin cells, facilitates faster cell turnover, generates fresh and younger looking skin. Why can’t then it be called the best natural exfoliating agent for face!

How to use sugar for exfoliating skin?

  • You can use plain white sugar or brown sugar (even more gentle on skin)
  • Mix 2-3 teaspoons of sugar with a few drops of plain water (or honey or olive oil as you prefer)
  • Make it a coarse mixture (Sugar should not dissolve)
  • Wash your face and pat it dry
  • Rub the sugar mixture on the face gently in circular motion
  • Let it stay for 15 minutes
  • Wash the face with running water or cold water
  • Repeat it three to four times a week (if you have sensitive and dry skin, don’t overdo, just once or twice a week is enough)

Apply moisturizer or almond oil after exfoliating with sugar.

2.      Salt

One of the cheapest kitchen ingredients can do wonders for your skin as natural exfoliating agent for your face. Salt is made of minerals and trace elements. Especially, sea salt, pink salt and black salt are laden with a number of minerals like sodium, magnesium, manganese, potassium and calcium. All these minerals carry pivotal role in managing skin health.

The composition of nutrients sloughs off the dead skin cells, softens them and also hydrates your skin cells to restore the healthy looking skin.

 How to use salt for exfoliating?

  • You can use any type of crystal salt (from cooking salt to pink salt)
  • Add two or three teaspoons of crystal salt to warm water or coconut oil / olive oil
  • Don’t let the crystals dissolve completely
  • Lather the mixture on your clean face and gently massage the face in circular motion
  • Let it stay for 10 minutes and wash with cold water
  • Apply moisturizer
  • Repeat it two times a week.

Salt granules are a bit harder than the other natural exfoliating agents for face. So, if you have dull, thick and oily skin, rely on salt. Just in case if you have sensitive skin, use hydrating and softening ingredients with salt scrub such as oils.

3.      Baking Soda

Baking soda, the most common kitchen ingredient glides over your face and removes dead cells. It is an alkaline and thus balances the skin pH level. It softens the sebum (the oil glands) and the debris deposited in the face, opens the skin pores. All this makes it easier to exfoliate your the facial skin.

How to use baking soda for exfoliating your skin?

  • Wash your face and pat it dry
  • Take two to three teaspoons of baking soda and mix with water
  • Make it into consistency of a paste (It shouldn’t be too thick or too runny)
  • Apply the paste and gently rub on facial skin in circular motions (Avoid eye contact)
  • Let it stay for 5 to 10 minutes
  • Remove the baking soda from face with warm water and then by cold water to soothe the skin
  • Pat the skin dry and immediately apply moisturizer
  • Repeat it twice a week

You can use any ingredient (olive oil, honey, coconut oil, rose water) as carrier to exfoliate the face when using baking soda. If you have sensitive skin, use it once a week.

4.      Rice

Rice, the staple food across countries is a natural face exfoliant too! It has antioxidant, exfoliating, emollient and anti-inflammatory properties. It is an astringent, opens skin pores, absorbs the excessive oil, removes the dirt and softens your face. Just an ideal exfoliating agent for anti aging goals! Rice is also an ideal exfoliating agent for oily skinned and sensitive skinned people.

How to use rice to exfoliate face?

  • You can use brown rice or white rice to make rice flour (or powder)
  • Grind the rice into fine powder
  • Add two to three teaspoons of rice flour into water or other liquids such as rose water, if you so prefer
  • Make it into paste and apply on clean face
  • Gently rub the skin in circular motion
  • Let it stay for 5 minutes and wash with running water
  • Use it every alternate day

An added tip for your aging skin- use rice water for hyperpigmentation, age spots and even sun spots! Just soak handful of rice in water for about 10-20 minutes and apply this to your skin using cotton pads! Enjoy the glowing skin!

5.      Yogurt

Yogurt is a gentle exfoliating agent for your facial skin. The alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) in yogurt helps in removal of dead cells. It’s the same acid that you get to see in commercial anti aging creams! Just that you get it naturally in yogurt and not chemically! Yogurt also softens the surface of the facial skin too. Use thick yogurt to reap the ultimate benefits. Just remember to use plain yogurt. Flavored yogurt would do no good to your skin!

How to use yogurt for exfoliation?

  • Wash the face and pat it dry
  • Apply thick plain yogurt on face and gently massage
  • Let it stay for 5 minutes and wash the face
  • It is very mild exfoliating agent and you can do it daily

Instead of yogurt, you can also use sour curd or buttermilk.

6.      Lemon

Vitamin C is an indispensible ingredient used in many skin care creams, scrubs and exfoliating products. You get it naturally in lemons, at a much lower cost. The richness of vitamin C combined with alpha hydroxy acid removes the debris from the surface of the skin and draws out impurities.

How to use lemon for exfoliating face?

  • Wash the face and pat it dry
  • Cut lemon into halves, squeeze the juice.
  • Rub the inner rind of the lemon on your face and gently rub the skin
  • Let it stay for 10 minutes
  • Wash the face with running water
  • Use it three times a week

It works quickly and you can exfoliate the skin while bathing! Just that lemon juice makes your skin photo sensitive, it’s better not to step out in sun after using it on your skin.

7.      Coffee

Coffee is the secret behind the glowing skin of many celebrities and models. The caffeine, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties in coffee eliminate the debris, excessive oils from face and make it flawless, almost instantly.

How to use coffee as an exfoliant?

  • Take two teaspoons of coffee powder and a few drops of oil (or water) as you prefer
  • Mix it as coarse mask and apply on clean face
  • Gently rub the face and let it stay for 10 to 15 minutes
  • Wash with cold water and see the instant brightness on your face

Coffee also uplifts your skin, thanks to its antioxidants that repair damages of skin due to environmental pollutants and free radicals!

8.      Milk

Milk is a gentle exfoliating agent. Loaded with lactic acid, milk draws out the impurities from your skin, rejuvenates skin cells and provides a natural glow to your face.

How to use milk for exfoliation?

  • Soak cotton ball in milk and apply it to your clean face
  • Apply two or three coatings
  • Rub the cotton ball on face
  • Let it stay for 10 minutes
  • Wash the face with running water
  • Use it daily, preferably at night before going to bed.

9.      Pineapple

Generally, fruits are used as face masks to enhance radiance of your skin. Pineapple is a fruit having innumerable health benefits. It also acts as natural exfoliating agent for face. It loosens the dead cells, removes the substances that clog pores on the facial skin, softens wrinkles and reveals your fresh, younger and healthy looking skin. Loaded with vitamins and enzymes, pineapple nourishes your skin to a different level that can only make you glow with radiance!

How to use pineapple as an exfoliating agent for face?

  • Shred the pineapple and make it into a coarse paste
  • Add honey (optional) and blend well
  • Apply the mixture on clean face and gently rub on skin
  • Leave it on face for 5 to 10 minutes
  • Wash face with warm water and pat dry
  • Apply moisturizer

This is a very effective antioxidant laden exfoliating agent. You can use other fruits (papaya, apple, etc.) to make even more effective exfoliating face mask.

10. Almonds

Rubbing almonds on face? How strange is that? You might find it strange but it makes a very good exfoliating agent. With all its natural components, almond is a gentle exfoliating agent, a non-abrasive ingredient, suitable even for sensitive skin.

How to use almonds for exfoliation?

  • Grind about 10 almonds to make its powder or use some water to grind it into paste
  • Add two teaspoons of honey and make a smooth paste
  • Apply the paste on your clean face and gently rub
  • Leave it on the face for 10 minutes
  • Wash it with running water

The richness of proteins and vitamins in almonds also hydrates and softens your skin. However, always apply your regular moisturizer after exfoliating your face, even if with natural agents.

Using natural exfoliating agents for face a few times a week is an ideal way to keep your skin looking youthful, after all, this removes dead cells, and thus, keeps your skin healthy. Exfoliating face regularly keeps you looking younger. However, if you notice redness or irritation after exfoliating, you are doing it the wrong way. Be gentle to your face skin and remember, exfoliation doesn’t hurt.

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