Even after washing and cleansing your face every day, there are dead skin cells that even the best face washes or cleansers miss out on. While they may help get rid of any superficial build up on the face, these face washes are not that effective at digging out the grime that’s deeper in your skin. Enter exfoliation, a process that not only helps remove dead skin, blackheads and whiteheads, but also smoothen your skin texture. To scrub your way to a beautiful, glowing new you, it’s important that you make this process an important part of your skincare regimen.
The caffeine in coffee improves blood circulation and stimulates the skin to add radiance and youthfulness. What’s more, it also contains antioxidants, protects against UV damage and prevents against moisture loss.
1. Mix three teaspoons freshly ground coffee along with half a cup of yoghurt.
2. If you have dry skin, replace the yoghurt with full fat milk.
3. Blend in a mixer and leave aside for five minutes.
4. Once the mixture thickens, add one teaspoon honey and mix well.
5. Apply this mixture on the face and scrub in upward circular movements for about 8 to 10 minutes.
6. Wash off with cold water. Use this scrub twice a week for best results.
Chocolate is high in antioxidants and has anti-ageing properties. It also increases the production of collagen, hydrates skin and imparts a glow to the face making it silky soft.
1. Take two to three tablespoons of melted dark chocolate, one cup granulated sugar, two tablespoons ground coffee and half-a-cup coconut oil.
2. Mix all these ingredients together and store in an air-tight jar.
3. When you want to use it, scoop a few spoonfuls in a microwave safe bowl and heat it for 6 to 8 seconds. Scrub away to reveal soft, supple skin.
Coconut milk and almond
This face scrub will exfoliate the skin and help reduce the appearance of cellulite.
1. Combine two cups of white clay, one cup of grounded oats, four tablespoons grounded almonds and two tablespoons finely grounded roses together.
2. Add enough coconut milk to form a smooth paste.
3. Use this as a gentle face scrub for soft and supple skin.
Enzymes found in fruits have skin-cleansing properties. Use a fruit mash (papaya, banana, orange) to deep clean the pores. The enzymes and nutrients in the fruit pulp will add a glow to the skin while keeping it hydrated naturally.
To remove tanning
If you just got back from a long beach holiday and are looking for ways to get rid of that tan, try these natural de-tanning scrubs.
Lemon, honey and sugar
Infused with natural exfoliants that remove dead skin cells, lemon can help clear up blackheads, acne, and also discolouration. Honey, on the other hand, works as a natural antioxidant, and helps moisturise and heal inflamed skin.
1. Mix together one cup sugar, half cup olive oil and one tablespoon honey.
2. To this, add the juice of one big lemon. Stir vigorously for some time.
3. Apply on your face and scrub for a few minutes before washing with cold water.
4. In case of dry skin, make sure you don’t leave on the scrub for too long as it might make the skin flaky.
Tomato and yoghurt
Tomato is an excellent fruit that is known to remove tan easily from your skin. Also, the yoghurt acts as a natural bleach that will lighten your skin tone. Thus, a combination of both will work really well in removing the layer of tan from your skin. You can now make a scrub pack at home with 2 teaspoon tomato pulp, same quantity of yoghurt and a spoon of lemon juice. Mix it well and apply it over your face. Let it dry and then wash it away. You might feel a little itchy after applying the tomato juice. But, once it is dried, the sensation will fade away. This pack will help you get rid of the dark tanned layer from your skin.
Fuller’s earth (multani mitti) and aloe vera
When it comes to skin care, there is almost nothing that fuller’s earth can’t take care of. From providing a soothing cum cooling effect to helping reduce any rashes and get rid of tans, fuller’s earth is your best bet. Aloe vera gel, on the other hand, significantly helps lighten the skin and also works like a natural cleanser.
1. Mix together two cups of fuller’s earth with one tablespoon of freshly extracted aloe vera gel.
2. You can either add a few drops of rose water or any of your favourite essential oils for an instant boost.
3. Mix well to make a fine paste.
4. Apply generously on to your face and neck and scrub for four to five minutes before washing off with cold water.
For acne-prone and oily skin
In case of oily skin, it’s important to regularly exfoliate your face so as to prevent breakouts and blemishes. However, make sure that you don’t overdo it as it could result in excess sebum production which would be counterproductive.
Honey and cinnamon
The potent combo of honey and cinnamon will not only clear the pores, but will also add a glow to the skin. It is best for soothing inflamed skin. The anti-bacterial properties of both honey and cinnamon can help reduce breakouts.
1. Mix three tablespoons of raw organic honey with one tablespoon of freshly ground cinnamon powder.
2. Mix well so as to make a fine smooth paste.
3. Using a brush, apply this evenly over your face. Scrub gently in circular motions and wash off with cold water after 7 to 8 minutes.
4. After a few hours, wash your face with your normal cleanser and follow with a moisturiser.
Oatmeal is another easy and effective way to exfoliate the skin gently and free the pores of excess sebum. It removes the extra oil, clears the pores, and makes the skin clean.
1. Mix together one tablespoon each of whole milk and olive oil.
2. To this add two tablespoons of oatmeal and leave until the oats soften.
3. Now add a few drops of rose water and mix well.
4. Rub the mixture on your face, gently massaging it for two to three minutes.
5. Rinse with cold water.
Rice and honey
While rice is known for its exfoliating and skin brightening properties, honey on the other hand, helps heal and hydrate the skin.
1. Take two tablespoons of rice and grind them coarsely.
2. Add enough honey to make a thick paste.
3. After cleansing your face, apply this scrub evenly onto your face and massage with very light strokes.
4. Wash it off with lukewarm water and pat dry. Follow with a moisturiser.
Baking soda, honey and lemon juice
Baking soda deeply exfoliates the skin, helping get rid of any dirt, grime, dead cells and excess sebum from the skin pores. Lemon juice acts as a natural astringent reducing sebum production.
1. Add one tablespoon each of baking soda and lemon juice in a bowl. To this add half a tablespoon of raw honey.
2. Stir well to make a smooth paste and apply it to your face.
3. Gently scrub your face in circular motions for two to four minutes.
4. Wash it off with warm water followed by cold water.
For dry skin
Exfoliating dry skin can be tricky as it could cause further dryness. Instead of skipping the scrubbing, simply opt for moisturising ingredients while putting together your DIY face scrub.
Honey, olive oil and brown sugar
Olive oil has anti-ageing properties and enhances exfoliation, while brown sugar helps fight bacteria, and honey moisturises dry skin.
1. Mix one tablespoon of brown sugar with one teaspoon each of honey and olive oil.
2. Stir well and then apply it to your face.
3. Gently scrub your face working upwards from the chin, in a circular motion for two to three minutes.
4. Wash off with warm water and later splash some cold water to close the skin pores. Use this twice a week for better results.
Green tea, sugar and honey
While the health benefits of green tea are well-known, it turns out that adding a little of it to your beauty regimen can boost your skin, too. When applied to the skin, green tea repairs scar tissues, prevents wrinkles and blemishes and also doubles as a sunblock.
1. Cut open around 7 to 8 green tea bags and scoop out the contents. You could also recycle the ones that have already been used.
2. To this add half a cup of white sugar and around two to three tablespoons honey to make a thick, gritty paste.
3. Apply this evenly over your face and scrub for 5 to 6 minutes, focusing on the dry spots.
4. Wash off with cold water. Pat dry and finish with a moisturising lotion or serum.
How to exfoliate
A good session of exfoliation can work wonders for your dull, tired skin. As we’ve learned that this process helps unclog pores, paving the way for a brighter complexion, here’s a guide to how you can go about exfoliating your skin:
Make sure you opt for the right exfoliant or face scrub according to your skin type: For dry skin, go for light facial scrubs with super-fine particles and ingredients such as brown sugar and grape seed oil. If you have oily or acne-prone skin, use gentle scrubs such as baking soda, oats, etc., which help unclog the pores and reduce sebum production. For normal skin type, you could opt for scrubs with finely ground particles such as sugar that will absorb oil from your T-zone.
Always in circles
Being too heavy-handed with the scrub can cause redness and inflammation. The ideal way to go about it is to rub your face gently in a circular motion.
It’s also important that you give your skin some TLC post exfoliation. Make sure to wash your face with lukewarm water and pat dry with a towel. Next, use a moisturiser or a hydrating serum to lock in the moisture before sleeping.
Don’t overdo it
Exfoliating your face twice a week is enough for normal skin types. However, if you have sensitive skin, once a week is ideal. For people with oily skin, exfoliating your skin more than twice a week is recommended.