Natural Exfoliating - 8 Impressive Ingredients

March 16, 2023
7 minutes

Table of Contents

Natural exfoliating is another option to scrub dead skin cells and improve your skin’s complexion. In this reading session, learn what exfoliating means, tips, and other information to help you feel confident in doing natural exfoliation at home. 

What does natural exfoliating mean?

The human skin is an intricate organ with several layers. The outermost layer of skin is known as the epidermis, which is what we can see. The epidermis’ top layer is the stratum corneum, which comprises 10 to 30 layers of dead skin cells.

These cells continuously slip off and are replaced by new ones every 28 days in younger individuals. As people age, this process gets slower, taking approximately 45 days for a cycle.

natural exfoliating involves stripping away the top layers of skin cells before they naturally shed off. Some find their skin dull or dry, so by performing a scrub, they improve their complexion. There are a few exfoliating techniques you can use on your own at home, while others require the help of a dermatologist or qualified beautician.

General tips for gentle natural exfoliation

woman in bathrobe with a towel on head looking in 2022 11 15 17 04 09 utc.jpg
Natural exfoliating

An exfoliating regimen can improve the appearance of your skin by removing old cells and encouraging new cell growth. Exfoliation may benefit many common skin issues, such as keratosis pilaris, uneven texture, acne, wrinkles, and psoriasis scales.

However, it is possible to over-exfoliate or carry out the process incorrectly, thus leading to redness, flaking, or skin irritation. Therefore it is essential to always adhere to any instructions given on product labels and seek assistance from a dermatologist when necessary.

The benefits of exfoliating properly

  • smoother skin as exfoliants eliminate leftover dead cells
  • promoting a more even complexion
  • improved circulation due to the stimulation of the surface of the skin, which in turn may give a glow
  • unclogged pores thanks to the elimination of oils and dead skin cells, reducing the likelihood of breakouts
  • Improve absorption as exfoliation gets rid of buildup, thus allowing skincare products to be absorbed more efficiently.

Mechanical vs. Chemical Exfoliation

There are two main categories when it comes to exfoliation:

Mechanical exfoliation involves granular substances or devices such as brushes and gloves to buff away dead cells. Some scrubs may be suitable but too abrasive for others. Professional treatments like microdermabrasion and dermaplaning are also considered mechanical exfoliation.

Chemical exfoliants rely on alpha hydroxyl acids (AHAs) and beta hydroxy acids (BHAs)  in cleansers, toners, serums, or peels to remove dead skin cells from the outer layer of the skin by speeding up cell turnover and breaking down the cellular glue (desmosomes) that holds them together.

Natural exfoliating relies on gentle ingredients such as oatmeal, turmeric, honey, and yogurt to provide a mild scrubbing action to buff away dull surface cells without harsh chemicals.

Take into account any skin sensitivities before deciding to avoid irritation after use.

Natural exfoliating based on your skin type

Choose the correct type of exfoliation for your skin type; to minimize irritation and obtain the best results. 

Sensitive skin

BHAs are a better option than other chemical or physical exfoliants as they tend to be less irritating. If you have eczema and rosacea, consult a healthcare professional before using any new products.

Normal skin

Exfoliating techniques and products are left to personal preference as most people experience no adverse effects. 

Dry skin 

AHAs like glycolic acid penetrate beneath the surface layer, helping moisturizer to hydrate new skin cells more deeply.

Oily skin

May use potent chemical and physical exfoliators such as motorized brushes and store-bought or DIY scrubs to help remove excess sebum and oils.

Combination skin 

Different sections may contain varying levels of dryness and oiliness. It's best to treat each area individually, alternating products as needed. 

For example, oily areas can be exfoliated with a chemical exfoliator or scrub one day, while dry segments can use low-level AHAs the next. 

Acne-prone skin 

Use products containing retinoids, salicylic acid, or glycolic acid.

Exfoliating Body Parts

When natural exfoliating sensitive areas, being cautious is crucial. Use gentle circular motions and rinse with lukewarm water - always soften the skin in the shower first before applying any products gently.

When applying a chemical exfoliator, use a cotton pad or washcloth.

  • A brush, sponge, or glove can help exfoliate arms and legs - look for body scrubs at local pharmacies and online stores. 
  • Scrubs or peels for feet and hands (pumice stone exfoliates feet)
  • Pubic areas can benefit from loofahs or body brushes 

Remember that over-exfoliating can lead to dryness, redness, and itchiness. 

General rules for scrubs and chemical exfoliators

happy young black lady taking foamy bath exfoliat 2022 12 16 06 40 34 utc.jpg
Natural exfoliating
  • Avoid exfoliating when there are open wounds or sunburns present. 
  • Be sure to moisturize immediately after exfoliating to keep the skin hydrated.
  • How often you exfoliate depends on your skin type and chosen method; the more aggressive the better, but use less frequently.
  • To protect your skin before beginning an exfoliation regimen, make sure to incorporate the use of sunscreen into your skincare routine.
  • When utilizing a leave-on exfoliant, cleanse beforehand and avoid cleansing after applying the product; the extra time will give it more time to work on your skin. 

Do you want to repair your skin barrier? Find answers here.  

Natural Exfoliating 

chamomile flowers and oatmeal for homemade cosmeti 2022 08 14 08 21 40 utc.jpg
Natural exfoliating
  1. Oatmeal is a popular and gentle ingredient in many skincare products that can help protect the skin against damage from harmful UV rays.

Mix one tablespoon of finely ground oats with one tablespoon of your favorite natural oil or honey (the oats need something smooth to bind to); use circular motions to apply, and wait five minutes before rinsing it with water.

Use organic oats not treated with pesticides or chemicals when making your scrub. Oatmeal is ideal for those with dry or sensitive skin as it is gentle and non-irritating for most.

  1. Honey boasts antimicrobial and humectant properties, promoting healing and hydration.

To exfoliate with honey, apply a dime-sized amount to your face with your fingers using circular motions, then rinse with water. Use it on its own or mix it into DIY facial scrubs; adding a bit of baking soda will add slightly more abrasion. For best results, opt for raw organic honey.

  1. Papain, the enzyme found in papayas, makes them an effective exfoliant. It dissolves the keratin in dead skin cells and helps to promote blood circulation and elasticity.

To use papaya as an exfoliant at home, mash fresh papaya into a smooth paste and apply it to the face with your fingers using circular motions or with a brush using short strokes; let sit for 15 minutes before rinsing off with water. 

An ideal method for those with combination or oily skin as the papain in papaya can cleanse pores while preventing acne formation or infection - use young fruit (green papayas) if possible for maximum potency. 

  1. Yogurt contains lactic acid, an alpha-hydroxy acid (AHA) that can help dissolve and remove dead skin cells while stimulating new growth; with a pH of around 4.5, it works as a gentle yet effective exfoliant. 

To use yogurt as an exfoliant, apply one tablespoon to your face with your fingers in a circular motion or with a brush using short strokes. After leaving the yogurt on for 20 minutes, rinse with water. 

The potential benefits of topical fermented dairy products are still ongoing. Research suggests that probiotics found in yogurt can interact with the skin barrier to fight infection and reduce inflammation.

  1. More than just a versatile spice, turmeric is an exfoliant with many health benefits. It contains curcumin which has anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties and can be used to treat skin conditions.

Blend one teaspoon of ground turmeric with yogurt, natural oil, or water to form a paste; apply using circular motions (or a brush for added abrasion) and let sit for 10 minutes before rinsing with water. 

It is suitable for all skin types, but especially for sensitive skin - look for Kasturi turmeric (Curcuma aromatica) in Indian grocery stores; the variety won't leave any stains.

  1. Glycolic acid, found in sugar cane, is a natural chemical exfoliant that can help separate dead cells from new cells in the outermost layer of your skin. 

To use sugar as an exfoliant, mix one tablespoon of raw sugar with one tablespoon of natural oil (olive, coconut, jojoba, or almond) to form a thick paste; adjust the amounts as needed to achieve this consistency. 

Apply the paste to your skin with your fingers; let sit for 10 minutes and then rinse off with water. Sugar scrubs are especially beneficial for those with dry skin.

  1. As a source of citric acid, lemon juice is also a natural chemical exfoliant that can help shed dead skin cells while plumping and brightening your skin. 

Mix one tablespoon of lemon juice with one tablespoon of cane sugar to create a mildly abrasive paste. Apply gently to the face or body with your fingers, circular motions, or a brush using short strokes.

Wait between two and five minutes before rinsing it with water. Perform a patch test on a small portion of your face; those with sensitive skin or abrasions may experience burning or irritation; thus, restrict it to body use only.

two cups of lemon juice on a wooden board 2021 09 03 03 09 33 utc.jpg
Natural exfoliating
  1. Ground coffee is an excellent manual exfoliant that can help scrub away dead cells and debris while also delivering the benefits of caffeine - such as plumping skin and fighting signs of aging, wrinkles, and dark spots - when massaged into the skin.

Make a gentle scrub; combine a one-quarter teaspoon of used coffee grounds with one tablespoon of your favorite natural oil (such as coconut oil.)

Apply the thick paste to the face with your fingers, and let it rest for five minutes before rinsing it with water. 

Use coffee grounds in masks; for a tingly, exfoliated effect without abrasiveness. 


Natural exfoliating is a great way to get skin glowing without using harsh chemicals. And sometimes may suit the wallet because these are popular ingredients in households. From oatmeal, turmeric, and ground coffee to honey, yogurt, and fruits, options are available for all skin types.

Natural exfoliation also provides therapeutic benefits such as anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Always select organic ingredients to ensure the best possible results.

Learn the ABCs of Skin Nutrition

Experience AETHEION®

YouTube player
Natural exfoliating

Discover our unique science that delivers the utmost nutrients to your skin. Shop now and test the difference yourself. Our ingredients complement each other to provide you with healthy skin. 

Spread the love
Copyright © 2024 All Rights Reserved, AETHEION® cosmetics store is property of ChemCream S.A.P.I. de C.V.
droplicensebookmarkcartcalendar-fullundoclockmagnifiercrosswarningquestion-circle linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram