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6 of the best natural exfoliators

23 Nov 2022 • 1 min read

Using an exfoliator is an essential part of caring for your skin, but many people are understandably concerned about the harshness of some of the chemicals included in these products. Happily, there are ways to naturally exfoliate skin, including making your own natural face exfoliator at home or buying a tool created by nature.

It is important to remove dead skin cells through exfoliation in order to keep your skin fresh and glowing, as well as helping it to look younger. You can find more methods of ‘How to get rid of dead skin’ in our amazing article. Here, we take a look at some of the more natural options when it comes to natural exfoliators and we have even put together a few recipes for products you can make and use at home.

1. Baking soda

If you are using a facial exfoliator, the particles will need to be fine grained, to avoid them being too harsh.1 Baking soda is therefore a gentle ingredient that can be worked into a homemade face scrub, for glowing skin and a smooth texture. It is also fabulous at managing the oil on the skin, making it perfect for anyone who experiences skin concerns.

Try combining two tablespoons of baking soda with two teaspoons of honey, a tablespoon on aloe vera gel, half a teaspoon of vitamin E oil and two drops of tea tree oil. Apply the mixture to clean skin, gently massaging it across the face in circular motions before leaving it in place for a couple of minutes.

Use lukewarm water to rinse it away and apply an oil-free moisturiser for a gorgeous glow. Always carry out a patch test if you are new to certain ingredients or have from sensitive skin.

2. Ground oatmeal

Whilst facial skin is delicate and needs a gentle scrub, the best natural body scrub can contain much larger, coarser particles. Oatmeal is one ingredient which offers exactly that, and as it contains a beta-glucan compound, it is great for soothing the skin. Just grind a cup of oats into a fine dust and combine it with the contents of two chamomile tea bags, half a cup of coconut or jojoba oil, half a cup of grapeseed oil and a tablespoon of brown sugar. Apply it to the skin before rinsing it off in the shower and towel drying by patting it gently.

3. Coffee grounds

We can use different types of exfoliators for different parts of the body, and ground coffee is lovely for use on the body or lips. Add a teaspoon of ground coffee to a teaspoon of coconut, olive or jojoba oil, half a teaspoon of honey, a quarter of a teaspoon of vanilla extract and a teaspoon of finely ground white sugar to create a nourishing lip scrub that will make them perfectly kissable!

4. Sea salt

Sea salt is another coarse ingredient which can be worked into a number of organic body scrubbers. Simply mix half a cup of ground sea salt with half a cup of coconut, olive or jojoba oil to form your base. You can then add three drops of an essential oil such as lavender, rose oil, chamomile or geranium oil. This exfoliator can be applied in the bath or shower and rinsed off, remembering to apply a body lotion afterwards in order to seal in the moisture.

5. Pumice stone

Pumice is a type of volcanic rock, punctuated with many little holes. These rocks are then either sold as whole stones or ground up and added to bath and body products. The stone itself can be used on rough, calloused skin, so it is particularly good for the feet.

However, you can also add a tablespoon of ground pumice to a teaspoon of pink clay and four tablespoons of white kaolin clay and mix it together with two tablespoons of liquid castile soap and three tablespoons of castor oil using a non-metallic utensil until it forms a thick paste. Then add eight drops of lavender oil and six drops of geranium oil and use generously on the face, neck and decolletage before rinsing off.

6. Ground sugar

We are usually told that sugar is bad for us, but not when it comes to exfoliating! A facial sugar scrub is one of the best homemade exfoliators as it is a great source of glycolic acid, allowing it to help remove dead skin cells and leave you looking fresher and rejuvenated.2

Add two teaspoons of sugar to three tablespoons of warm coconut oil, two drops of peppermint oil and half a teaspoon of vitamin E oil to create one of the best natural face exfoliators that will leave you feeling refreshed. If typical exfoliators are not for you, here are a whole range of natural options that are easy to get hold of and make that will leave your skin looking fabulous, and most of them smell incredible too. So, what are you waiting for? Time to get creative!
Try these DIY homemade scrubs Always remember to carry out a skin patch test when using new ingredients.

Manisha Taggar


Senior Regulatory Affairs Associate

Joined Holland & Barrett: May 2019

BSc Hons in Pharmaceutical & Cosmetic Science

Manisha started her career at a Cosmetics distributor as a Regulatory Technologist followed by a Regulatory Affairs Officer, ensuring the regulatory compliance of cosmetic products from colour cosmetics to skincare.

After 3 and half years in this role, Manisha joined Holland & Barrett as a Senior Regulatory Affairs Associate in 2019.

Manisha specialises in Cosmetic products, both own-label and branded lines, ensuring that these products and all relating marketing material comply to the EU Cosmetics Regulation.

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