In a world where so much of what surrounds us feels manufactured, there’s something calming and centering about turning to natural exfoliants for your skin care. Using natural exfoliants also means you can know exactly what ingredients you’ve exposed your face to—and how to pronounce them.
But which natural exfoliators can best support your skin? Instead of common body scrub exfoliants and microbeads, like sea salt, sugar, or coffee grounds, you’re better off looking for a less coarse solution that’s gentle and light.
We love the following natural exfoliants for face and healthy skin because of their simplicity and effectiveness.
#1 Oat Flour
Before we peel back the layers of our first facial scrub suggestion, you’ll need to know that natural exfoliants fall into two categories, physical and chemical:
- Physical exfoliants help remove dead skin by gently massaging them against your sensitive skin. Dermatologists typically recommend only using physical exfoliants once a week.
- Chemical exfoliants, on the other hand, kick dead skin cells to the curb by activating chemical reactions when you apply the chemical exfoliant to your sensitive skin.
Our first pick, oat flour, acts as a physical exfoliant. You can create an oat flour facial scrub by wetting your hands and massaging the flour against clean, damp skin, or by mixing it with one of the other gel or liquid exfoliants on this list.
While we have a particular fondness for oat flour, cinnamon or baking soda can also work as an effective exfoliant for some people. Or if you’ve got a sensitivity to gluten, you can simply opt to use gluten-free oat flour instead.
Whatever you choose, you’ll want to find a finely ground exfoliant that will treat your dead skin cells with the gentleness they deserve.
A natural ingredient found in pantries everywhere, honey has anti-inflammatory properties that may be a sweet, soothing fit for those looking for a mild physical exfoliant.
One popular technique combines a honey-based formula with a facial massage to help promote healthy skin.
To try this mild exfoliation technique:
- Massage your honey face scrub formula into your face, applying more pressure when massaging your T zone and gentler motions elsewhere on your face.
- Let the moisture sit on your face for five minutes. You can also add a warm wet washcloth for a relaxing, heating effect.
- Gently wash off the honey face scrub formula after five minutes.
To create your feel-good formula at home, you can mix the honey with oat flour and any of the other ingredients on this list. You can also use pre-made natural honey-based formulas from companies you trust.
#3 Green Tea
Good news for green tea lovers: it’s suitable for far more places than just your tea cup because it may have several benefits for your skin texture. A scrub made with finely-ground green tea leaves can work as a gentle physical exfoliant with a lovely, soothing aroma. Other benefits of a green tea scrub include:
- Anti-inflammatory properties – Green tea contains a high concentration of catechins, a polyphenol that may reduce redness, swelling, and irritation of the skin.
- Antibacterial potential – Scrubbing the skin once a week with a green-tea based formula could help reduce bacterial buildup on your facial skin, which in turn, may play an effective role in keeping acne flare-ups at bay.
- Skin nourishing vitamins – Green tea contains Vitamin B2, which can help increase skin firmness, and Vitamin E, an essential vitamin for the promotion of cell growth.
- Reduction in eye puffiness – The caffeine in green tea can help shrink the blood vessels around the eyes, helping to push puffiness and dark circles out of the picture.
#4 Aloe Vera
In addition to treating that one awkward spot your sunscreen missed, aloe vera contains salicylic acid—a chemical exfoliant that can help to gently remove dead skin cells from your face.. Plus, this plant-based ingredient contains enzymes that could make it a boon to your batch of skin care go-tos. With regular use, aloe vera could help:
- Reduce some signs of aging
- Nourish and moisturize dry or damaged skin
- Soothe irritated or inflamed skin
- Treat acne breakouts
Feel free to use aloe vera gel by itself or combine the natural exfoliator with other natural exfoliants for a restorative skin care routine.
The Greek yogurt in your fridge may be able to do more than create a delicious breakfast parfait—it could help you achieve softer, smoother skin, too. Because yogurt contains lactic acid, it works as a mild chemical exfoliant that can rid your skin of dead cells and brighten your skin without irritating.
Aside from exfoliating, yogurt may have even more benefits for your complexion. Applying yogurt as part of your exfoliating routine could help:
- Calm and cool any irritation and redness
- Deliver a dose of zinc and probiotics that can help lessen inflammation
- Nourish your skin with nutrients like vitamins A, E, and calcium
Tap Into The Power of Natural Exfoliation with HPPY
While DIY scrubs let you have complete control of what goes on your skin texture, they can take time to make, and the results can vary—especially if your friend forgets to include an ingredient in their recipe, or if your lively little one interrupts your best efforts.
That’s where HPPY comes in.
Our natural ingredient products offer the convenience and consistent results of traditional skin care brands. But instead of questioning how to use niacinamide or relying on preservatives and cryptic formulas, we believe in the power of completely transparent skin care. That’s why we build each of our formulas from natural ingredients you trust as intuitively as the food in your pantry. Then, we share those ingredients with you.
For an easy-to-use skin care routine that uses every single natural exfoliant we discussed, try our Clarifying Mask. It’s naturally good, and naturally you.
Beauty Glimpse. 7 DIY Aloe Vera Scrub Recipes to Achieve a Flawless Skin at Home. https://www.beautyglimpse.com/versatile-diy-aloe-vera-scrub-recipes-you-need-to-try-today/
Business Insider. A $60 billion industry is shockingly unregulated. https://www.businessinsider.com/cosmetic-industry-is-shockingly-unregulated-2015-10
Healthline. Which Natural Exfoliants Work Best for Your Face and Body? https://www.healthline.com/health/natural-exfoliant#exfoliants-for-face
The Tea House. Make this DIY Green Tea Skin Scrub. https://theteahaus.com/teajournal1/post/make-this-diy-green-tea-skin-scrub.html
Vogue. This Multitasking Pantry Item Is the Secret to Glowing Skin. https://www.vogue.com/article/best-facialist-skincare-tricks-tips-honey-exfoliation-alexandra-soveral
MindBodyGreen. 3 Yogurt Face Masks For Glowing Skin + What Makes Them So Great. https://www.mindbodygreen.com/articles/how-to-make-yogurt-face-masks/
Byrdie. The DIY Remedy That Calmed Down My Rash-Like Breakout. https://www.byrdie.com/yogurt-mask-for-breakout-4777026