Natural Exfoliation Ingredients

Top 12 Natural Exfoliation Ingredients For Smooth and Glowing Skin

Natural Exfoliation is essential for healthy, radiant skin. It removes dead skin cells and stimulates new ones without irritating your sensitive skin.

As you know, exfoliation is one of the most important parts of a healthy skin care routine, but many people opt to buy exfoliating products rather than create them at home with natural ingredients.

But, when you make your own exfoliating products, you’re not only able to avoid the chemicals and additives found in commercial exfoliators, but you can also customize your skin care regimen to include ingredients that target specific issues like oily skin or dry skin.

If you’re looking to add more natural ingredients to your skincare routine, it’s important to take the time to find ingredients that are suitable and effective. Here are 12 great choices to get you started!

What Is Really Exfoliation?

What Is Really Exfoliation?

Before you can choose a natural exfoliator that fits your skin type, you need to know what exfoliation is and why it’s so important.

We tend to view skin as a single cohesive unit—but in reality, it’s actually made up of multiple layers. From top to bottom, your epidermis (the outermost layer), dermis (the thickest layer), and hypodermis (which contains fat cells and sweat glands).

Skin cells constantly move from lower layers to upper layers—and when they do, they fall off and enter your body’s waste system.

To maintain healthy skin, we need to make sure that new cells are being generated as quickly as old ones are shedding.

If not, our skin will start to look dull and flaky. The process of removing dirt, dust, and dead skin cells is called exfoliation—and it happens naturally through cell turnover.

But if our bodies aren’t properly exfoliating, we have to take matters into our own hands by manually removing dead cells with an exfoliant or scrub.

That way, newly formed cells can rise more easily toward the surface of our skin where they belong.

The Key Here is Balance

You don’t want to over-exfoliate because doing so can irritate your skin and even cause small tears (ouch!).

But you also don’t want too little exfoliation because then your skin won’t shed properly and will start looking dull and lifeless instead of fresh and vibrant.

Related Post: 16 Ways To Use Aloe Vera For Skin Whitening According to Experts!

What Are Exfoliants?

There are natural exfoliants and chemical exfoliants. The latter, which includes Alpha-hydroxy acids (AHAs) and beta-hydroxy acids (BHAs), works to dissolve bonds between skin cells by breaking down fats in the skin’s top layer.

In comparison, a natural exfoliant would include ingredients such as oatmeal or fruit enzymes that work to dissolve bonds in your skin naturally and gently—without any harmful chemicals.

Natural Exfoliation Ingredients For Smooth and Glowing SkinG
Gently Exfoliates

How Does Exfoliation Benefit Your Skin?

There are many reasons why exfoliation can benefit your skin. An exfoliant will slough off dead cells, revealing brighter and smoother skin while potentially reducing blackheads and whiteheads.

It can also help prevent breakouts by increasing the cell turnover rate. Some types of acne are a result of excess oil production which is caused by dead skin cells clogging pores so getting rid of those dead skins means less blockage in our pores therefore, no more acne breakout!

Top 12 Natural Exfoliation Ingredients

To help you choose which type of exfoliant is best for your needs, I’ve rounded up my top 12 picks below.

1.     Essential Oils Can Be Used For Natural Exfoliation

When looking for natural exfoliants, a good place to start is with some of your favorite oils. Essential oils are great natural exfoliants since they’re intended to penetrate deeply into your skin and get rid of excess oils and bacteria.

Using essential oils on your face can leave it feeling smooth and fresh, while their antibacterial properties help heal blemishes.

Keep in mind that essential oils should always be diluted with a carrier oil before application—this protects you from irritation, ensures even distribution, and allows you to customize dilution levels.

A few drops of lavender or chamomile essential oil will give you a gentle yet effective exfoliant that smells heavenly as well!

2.     Finely Ground Almonds

The most common grain used in exfoliants finely ground almonds contains particles that slough off dead skin. They’re considered gentle enough to use daily.

Mix almond powder with rose water and then spread a thin layer of this paste onto your face and neck.

Massage for about 3-4 minutes with moistened fingertips or a facial brush (also made from natural materials). Rinse with warm water and follow with toner and moisturizer as normal.

Natural Exfoliation Ingredients For Smooth and Glowing Skin

3.     Honey

Many times, natural ingredients used in beauty treatments have been used by our ancestors for thousands of years before modern-day science could prove their effectiveness.

And what better place to look than your own kitchen cabinets? Honey has been used as a facial exfoliant since ancient times because it’s soothing and antibacterial, which makes it great for keeping blemishes at bay.

Mix honey with other ingredients like egg white or ground almonds to tailor your DIY facial mask to your skin type.

Simply apply honey once a week or as needed on clean skin and gently scrub away dead cells. Follow up with a light moisturizer if needed.

Use honey for Natural Exfoliation

4.     Finely Ground Sugar

Not only does finely ground sugar smell nice and feel smooth against your skin, but it’s also a natural exfoliant.

Plus, since it dissolves easily in water, you can use it as a scrub or rub it into your skin after you wash it.

While brown sugar is a good exfoliant, white sugar works just as well—it’ll just leave behind more residues.

It’s also important to note that using plain old granulated table sugar isn’t enough; you need to grind it first to make it fine enough to properly slough off dead skin cells.

Finely ground sugar is one of the most inexpensive natural ingredients for exfoliating your face.

5.     Mashed Papaya

Papaya contains an enzyme called papain that breaks down and lifts dead skin. While you can find papain-containing face masks in most drugstores, they often contain additional ingredients (like clay and essential oils) that can dry out your skin.

Fortunately, there are a few DIY recipes that use just papaya to give you all of its anti-aging benefits without any of those downsides.

Here’s one DIY recipe, which will give you all of those benefits without any added junk.

Combine 1 cup of mashed ripe papaya with 1 tablespoon of milk and 3 drops of almond oil in a bowl.

Mix until smooth, and then apply the mixture to clean skin and leave on for 15 minutes before rinsing off with warm water.

Also Read: 22 Common Skincare Mistakes You Need to Avoid This Season

Natural Exfoliation Ingredients

6.     Lemon Juice

Whether you apply it to your face or drink it in a beverage, lemon juice is one of nature’s natural exfoliants.

It contains vitamin C, which will give your skin a youthful glow when used on your face or neck. Mix it with olive oil and honey for an all-natural moisturizer that will improve elasticity and help control acne breakouts.

Or just grab a slice and rub it directly onto rough areas to brighten up dull skin tones.

Natural Exfoliation by lemon juice
Lemon Juice

7.     Mashed Banana

This is often regarded as one of those wacky tips for healthy skin, but mashed banana is a great natural ingredient for exfoliating.

Bananas contain alpha-hydroxy acids, which act as chemical exfoliants to remove dead cells on your face and give it a smoother texture.

While you can use it in its mashed form, you might get better results by using lemon juice to dissolve it first.

Try mixing a banana with a tablespoon of lemon juice until you have a paste-like substance—you can then apply it to your face and leave it on for 5 minutes before rinsing off with cool water.

An added bonus: Many people say that bananas improve skin health because they’re high in vitamin C!

use banana as exfoliating ingredient

8.     Oatmeal Powder

Oatmeal is a natural exfoliant. Just like chemical exfoliants, oatmeal can wear away at dead skin cells to smooth out rough patches on your face and body.

To make your own oatmeal scrub, mix 1 teaspoon of brown sugar with 2 tablespoons of oat flour (regular oats that have been blended into a fine powder) and add 2 tablespoons of olive oil.

Using just your fingertips, massage onto damp skin in small circular motions. Rinse off well with warm water once finished.

9.     Coffee Grounds

Taking care of your skin is important, and exfoliating it on a regular basis is one of the easiest ways to accomplish that.

Luckily, there are all sorts of ingredients you can choose from (including coffee!) to do just that. The best part? You probably already have some in your kitchen!  

It’s recommended you only use them on your face once or twice a week at most. If you’re trying out coffee grounds as an exfoliant and think they are too harsh, try adding them to a sugar scrub or mixing them with a bit of coconut oil before applying.

This should give you results similar to those experienced when using salt or sugar scrubs while still keeping things gentle on your skin.

10.  Baking Soda

Whether you’re looking to get your face squeaky clean or just want to lighten a few stubborn stains, baking soda is a natural exfoliant that works wonders.

Here’s how to mix it up and put it to work. All you need is 1⁄2 teaspoon of baking soda, 1⁄4 teaspoon of water, and 1 tablespoon of rose water (or coconut oil if you have dry skin).

Mix it all in a small bowl and rub it on your face gently for about 5 minutes; wash off with lukewarm water.

You can use it more than once per week but not more than twice a day as baking soda can make your skin dry if overused. If any irritation occurs, discontinue use.

11.   Cinnamon Powder

We love cinnamon powder as a gentle, natural way to exfoliate. It’s also antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory, so it helps clear up blemishes and fades scarring.

Start by mixing 1 tablespoon of cinnamon powder with 1 tablespoon of oatmeal powder and then adding 1 tablespoon of honey.

Apply to your face using circular motions and rinse off after 10 minutes. You can use it once or twice a week, depending on how sensitive your skin is.

Remember that you should always patch-test any new product before applying it all over your face!

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12.   Flaxseeds

The seeds of a flax plant are rich in essential fatty acids, protein, fiber, and antioxidants. Use them as part of your facial scrub to exfoliate dead skin cells, stimulate cell regeneration and reduce inflammation.

Just grind a tablespoon of whole seeds or use a ground seed meal. Mix with olive oil and massage onto your face before rinsing with warm water.

You can use flaxseeds every day if you like; just don’t apply any hot water directly to your face as it can damage sensitive skin.

Natural Exfoliation Ingredients For Smooth and Glowing Skin
Flax Seed

DIY Facial Scrub to Try for Exfoliation

DIY face scrub can be prepared easily using natural ingredients. Examples of a few DIY facial scrubs to improve skin texture, reduce acne scars, and fight fine lines are provided below.

1.     Oatmeal and Yogurt Scrub

Oatmeal is a rich source of beta-glucan, which is a type of fiber known to support skin health. It’s also soothing and nourishing, making it a perfect addition to an exfoliating scrub.

A mixture of oatmeal and yogurt will leave your skin feeling soft, smooth, and supple in no time! To make your own, mix 1/2 cup finely ground oatmeal with 1/2 cup plain yogurt.

Apply to damp skin and gently massage using circular motions. Rinse well with warm water.

2.     Strawberry Scrub

The high concentration of vitamin C in strawberries makes them an ideal ingredient for exfoliating.

While natural exfoliants are not as effective as chemical ones, they tend to be less irritating and more versatile than their synthetic counterparts.

One of our favorite natural exfoliants is a strawberry facial scrub, which will leave your skin silky smooth thanks to its gentle buffing action.

Just blend 3 tablespoons of mashed strawberries into 1 tablespoon of brown sugar and apply directly to your face using circular motions.

Make sure you remove all traces before rinsing with water; some acids in berries can irritate sensitive skin if left on too long!

Strawberry Scrub

3.     Banana Oatmeal Scrub

When blended with a bit of honey, you’ve got yourself a great exfoliating scrub that works wonders on dry patches.

This banana oatmeal scrub is also terrific for polishing your skin and revealing a dewy complexion.

To make it, just grind 2 tablespoons of rolled oats in your blender with 1⁄4 teaspoon of cinnamon and 1 ripe banana until you get a thick paste.

Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil to help spread it over larger areas, if needed. Pour into a glass jar with a lid and use as you would any other scrub – once or twice a week.

4.     Apple and Honey Scrub

Combine 1/2 apple, grated and mashed with 1 tablespoon honey and a few drops of water. Apply to skin and scrub gently in circular motions.

Rinse thoroughly with warm water. If your skin is sensitive, leave on 5 minutes instead of rinsing immediately. Note: Do not apply around the eyes!

Apples contain natural alpha-hydroxy acids that break down dead skin cells and brighten your complexion.

How Often Should I Exfoliate Your Face?

Many experts suggest exfoliating two to three times a week. While weekly exfoliation may be enough to keep your skin clear, it’s not a good idea to overdo it.

Exfoliating too often can cause skin irritation and lead to dehydration, as well as accelerate signs of aging by removing protective layers of skin cells.

So, find a routine that works for you and stick with it!  As always, if you have any concerns about your skin or skincare regimen, consult a dermatologist. She/he will help tailor an appropriate regimen for your specific needs.

Should I Go For Professional Exfoliation?

Not everyone should exfoliate. If you have sensitive skin, inflamed acne or irritation, rosacea, eczema, or another serious skin condition, you should definitely consult your dermatologist before trying anything new on your face.

For others who are in good health and simply want to use a mild exfoliant once a week or twice a month to cleanse and brighten their skin, there are several options available.

Remember that using any product with acids on your face requires attention and gentle application.

Use of the proper technique is just as important as choosing ingredients that won’t irritate sensitive facial skin.

A General Tip

In order to have healthy, glowing skin that can be enjoyed for years to come, it’s important to get into a consistent routine of cleansing and exfoliating.

While some products offer instant results for one-time use, natural ingredients are best for your overall skincare health.

The more frequently you exfoliate with gentle but effective products, like those we’ve discussed above, will give you fresher and younger looking skin.

And don’t forget that it’s just as important to drink plenty of water throughout the day (avoid caffeinated beverages though) because they will help with detoxification!

You want your body to feel refreshed so that it can be happy and healthy on a daily basis.

Wrapping Up

We’ve compiled everything for you here, so make sure to use it! You can also comment below with any additions or questions you have.

Remember; always do your research before choosing a skincare product, especially if it has a hefty price tag.

The market is overflowing with new products and many have ineffective ingredients that are just expensive marketing ploys.

If you want to treat yourself to an expensive exfoliator at least make sure that those dollars are going towards quality ingredients.

And hey, don’t forget to follow us on Twitter and quora! We have some great DIY tips coming soon so stay tuned! Good luck with your beautiful skin.

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You may like to Read: The Top Skincare Trends For 2022: What The Experts Are Saying


What can I use to exfoliate naturally?

1.      Finely Ground Almonds
2.      Honey
3.      Finely Ground Sugar
4.      Mashed Papaya

How do you make natural exfoliant?

1.      Combine 1/2 apple, grated and mashed with 1 tablespoon honey and a few drops of water. Apply to skin and scrub gently in circular motions.
2.      Just blend 3 tablespoons of mashed strawberries into 1 tablespoon of brown sugar and apply directly to your face using circular motions.

Which is the best natural exfoliator?

A mixture of oatmeal and yogurt will leave your skin feeling soft, smooth, and supple in no time! To make your own, mix 1/2 cup finely ground oatmeal with 1/2 cup plain yogurt.

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