Young woman exfoliating her skin with soap
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How To Make Your Own Exfoliating Scrub

Plastic exfoliator beads have had something of a PR problem in recent years. It turns out they pass right through water filtration systems and end up polluting major waterways. The tiny microbeads mimic food sources. If fish eat them, it’s toxic. As such, a lot of manufacturers are phasing out microbeads. But fear not. Even if your exfoliator regimen is up for the chopping block, you still have options.

The purpose of exfoliation is to scrub off any remaining dead skin cells and other gunk from your pores for a revitalized complexion. And synthetic, plastic beads aren’t the only way. Just about anything that provides gentle friction will do the trick. Learn how to make your own exfoliating scrub by trying one of these DIY hacks.

DIY Sugar Or Sea Salt Paste

Popular options for natural exfoliators are sugar and sea salt. Both dissolve naturally and provide the same granular friction as plastic microbeads. An easy hack is to mix sea salt or crystal sugar with your favorite massage oil so that it forms a paste. You can also substitute the massage oil for mushed banana, yogurt or olive oil. Then scrub your face with the mixture as you normally would.

Apricot Scrub

St. Ives Fresh Skin Apricot Scrub is a popular, natural way to scrub away that dead skin without the fish poison. You can also make your own apricot scrub by pitting some apricots, leaving the apricot pits (called kernels) to dry for two to three days in the sun and grinding them using a mortar and pestle. This option is great because you can grind the kernels as fine as you like, since some of the kernel bits in the commercial apricot scrubs can be too large and abrasive. Then, combine the ground kernels with a soothing base like honey or yogurt.

Baking Soda

Baking soda is another popular option for a natural exfoliator. It has small, natural granules that are perfect for a gentle, rejuvenating scrub. You can either mix baking soda in with your facial cleanser or mix it with water into a paste. Use as much baking soda with your cleanser as you need, depending on how abrasive you want the mixture to be.

Homemade Oatmeal Exfoliator

Oatmeal works wonders as a facial scrub, since it’s very gentle and moisturizing. You can mix ground oatmeal with a thick base such as yogurt, buttermilk or honey. Scrub your face with it, let the mixture sit for 15 minutes, then rinse.

Rice Scrub

If you want a commercial scrub, Dermalogica’s Microfoliant is a natural, rice-based option. Otherwise, you can make your own rice scrub by grounding up dry rice and combining it with yogurt until you have your desired consistency.

Exfoliator Brushes

Another option is to use an exfoliator brush. You can go with the ones on the market, which range from about $15 to $100 and up. Or any soft, natural bristle brush will do.

With this method, you don’t necessarily need to worry about a scrub with an abrasion component, though you can still use one if desired. Just wet your face, spread your facial cleanser over your skin and scrub in circular motions with the brush. That will mimic or add to the abrasion, getting rid of the dead skin cells, dirt and makeup.