Good facial & skin health is what many women strive to achieve, so as I put my face out to the world daily I know it deserves special care.
Make Your Own DIY Skin Exfoliation Products at Home From Natural Ingredients
If you want to start a healthy skin care routine at home that includes exfoliation but isn't too expensive, consider using household food items as your facial pampering arsenal. You might just be cents away from smoother, healthier skin, and this article will provide you with many options for creating your own homemade scrubs.
There are two methods used to remove dead, flaky, but unseen skin cells.
- Physical scrubs using gentle abrasion in the form of skin exfoliation.
- Chemical scrubs using chemicals like alpha-hydroxy acids or salicylic acid to dissolve or peel off the skin's outer layer.
Creating Exfoliating Products From Household Ingredients
Homemade exfoliating products focus on a form of abrasion that gently rubs or sloughs off dead skin cells, and some of the best-known exfoliating products are found right in your kitchen, including:
- Baking soda
- Olive, almond, or coconut oil
- Lemon, tea tree, turmeric, or vitamin C oil
Aside from the oils that allow for the smoothness and softness of the face after an exfoliation exercise, all these items have one thing in common. They all have fine grains or granules, and this is what makes them ideal for dead skin removal.
They remove dead cells from the uppermost layer of skin to bring out the smoother, fresher, and brand new skin underneath. They remove pore-clogging oil, bacteria, and dirt, and help prevent both adult and teenage acne.
7 Homemade Recipes for Skin Exfoliation
Here are the seven homemade recipes for skin exfoliation that will be covered in this article:
- Salt Body Scrub
- Sugar Body Scrub
- Oatmeal Facial Scrub
- Baking Soda Scrub
- Shea Butter Face and Body Scrub
- Tea Tree Oil Exfoliating Scrub
- Virgin Coconut Oil Exfoliating Scrub
Before you make your homemade exfoliating products, check carefully that all your ingredients don’t have sharp, jagged pieces. With salt and sugar, it's better to use the finer granules. And if you must use sea salt or brown sugar, for example, you can regrind it with a dry blender attachment.
The objective is to make a recipe that will gently abrade the skin, not one that will scratch it. Exfoliating with large or sharp grains will cause skin irritation.
1. Salt Body Scrub
Use this homemade exfoliation recipe only for the skin and never on the face, as it is only appropriate for the body.
- 1/2 cup of table salt, but sea salt is best
- 1/2 cup of coconut, olive, or if you prefer, almond oil
- 10 to 15 drops of fragrance oil (if desired)
- Mix the salt and coconut, olive, or almond oil very well until it's smoothly blended.
- Stir in 10 to 15 drops of essential natural fragrance oil if you want it to smell as if it was prepared in an expensive spa.
2. Sugar Body Scrub
For a pleasant all-over-the-body exfoliating scrub, try making a remedy using sugar. Sugar's fine grains make it suitable as an effective, yet gentle exfoliating scrub.
- 1 cup of granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup of almond oil, sesame seed oil, or any vegetable oil
- 10 to 15 drops of fragrance oil (if desired)
- Mix the sugar and oil until well blended.
- As with the salt recipe, if you so desire, add 10 to 15 drops of essential natural fragrance oil.
- Apply the mix to wet skin using your hands, a washcloth, a loofah sponge, or bath hand glove. Rub gently with circular motions, then rinse off thoroughly.
3. Oatmeal Facial Scrub
Oatmeal is a popular spa-style exfoliation ingredient. If you are looking for the pampered spa treatment, then you must try this recipe. It works great for the face and can be used for the body too. But remember, when you exfoliate your face, take extra care to avoid scratching or irritating the delicate areas, especially the areas around the eyes.
- 2 tablespoons of finely ground oatmeal
- 2 tablespoons of granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons of brown sugar
- 1/2 cup of vegetable or almond oil (almond oil is always the best choice)
- 1 teaspoon of nutmeg
- Combine all the listed ingredients and mix them well.
- Apply the mix to your wet face and rub gently using the same circular motions. Rinse well and pat your face dry.
4. Baking Soda Scrub
In the spirit of finding non-conventional uses for baking soda, you can create an inexpensive exfoliating concoction for your face that won't irritate dry, flaky skin, which is especially common during the colder months of the year. Using this skin care recipe is like getting a beauty product for almost free. It can save you as much as $30, depending on how much you typically spend on your facial skin care.
- Baking soda
- A 16-ounce bottle of Cetaphil mild facial wash
- Add a small amount of baking soda to some Cetaphil, mix it thoroughly and apply the mix with your fingers or an exfoliating tool.
- Rub gently in a circular motion all over the face, then rinse out thoroughly and pat the skin dry. If you have a normal skin type, exfoliate every other day. Or if you prefer a gentler exfoliate, simply use more of the Cetaphil and just a little baking soda and then mix.
5. Shea Butter Face and Body Scrub
Shea butter, a fat extract from West African shea nuts, is commonly used in cosmetic preparations. It is known to soften the skin, boost collagen production, and help in tissue cell regeneration. It is also known to be one of the best natural anti-aging products.
You can make an exfoliating scrub that’ll work wonders for your skin using shea butter as the main ingredient. A homemade face and body scrub made with shea butter not only offers deep exfoliation, it also possesses moisturizing properties that refreshes and revitalizes the skin, necessary properties of anti-aging potions.
- 1/2 cup of cold-pressed shea butter
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 1/2 cup of brown sugar or rosehip seed powder (f you don't want to use sugar)
- 5 drops of vitamin E oil (optional)
- A few drops of essential oils for fragrance (optional)
- Lightly melt the shea butter in a round bowl and whip into a creamy consistency. You can use a fork or whisk to do this.
- Add the vitamin C and olive oils and mix well until mixture is well blended. Stir in the brown sugar and drops of essential oils, then transfer into a Mason jar and cover.
- To use, massage mixture onto skin with hands, using gentle circular motions while ensuring you cover the whole face and/or body. Rinse off thoroughly with warm water.
- After exfoliation, the skin will glow, look healthy, and feel radiant.
6. Tea Tree Oil Scrub Recipe
If you have facial blemishes or problem skin, your facial scrub ingredients must include one with antibacterial and antiseptic properties. Tea tree oil has these properties, as it kills harmful microbes (bacteria) that cause skin problems: pimples, acne, blackheads, and razor bumps.
Tea tree oil is natural and medicinal. It not only kills and eliminates bacteria, it serves as a therapeutic oil to treat skin. It's also an effective treatment for acne scars. Its use is known to slowly but gradually diminish acne scars.
It is a wonderful scrub for people with visibly open facial pores and skin discolouration.
- 3 to 4 drops of pure tea tree oil
- 3 tablespoons cold-pressed coconut oil
- 3 tablespoons baking soda
- 3 drops of essential oil for fragrance (optional)
- It takes less than five minutes to prepare the tea tree oil exfoliating scrub. Add all the ingredients together in a bowl and mix them thoroughly with a spoon or a spatula.
- Store in an air-tight container or a frosted glass jar and keep away from excessive sunlight. You do not need to store the recipe in the refrigerator, because this will cause it to harden. So keeping it stored at room temperature is best.
- To use, wash your skin clear of all makeup and oils. With your fingers, lightly rub and gently massage the exfoliating mixture onto your skin in circular motions to remove dead skin.
- Leave on the skin for about five minutes to allow the tea tree and coconut oil to absorb into the skin. Wash off thoroughly with clear water, without using any facial or body soap.
7. Virgin Coconut Oil Exfoliating Scrub
Coconut is one of the best oils for facial care. It has amazing hydrating properties and leaves all skin types smooth to the touch and glowing. Virgin coconut oil is organic and antimicrobial, restores the skin's natural balance, and naturally clears away dead skin cells.
Its beneficial properties make it a wonderful ingredient to use in an exfoliation scrub mix.
Coconut oil is found in most homes, not only for its benefits when used for facial skin care (and the reduction of fine lines of age), but also for its health benefits. It's also used for cooking.
Preparing this exfoliation scrub is pretty simple. It requires neither heating nor whipping.
- 1/2 cup of extra virgin coconut oil (cold-pressed)
- 1 cup of granulated sugar (fine granules) or natural walnut shell powder for scrub formulation (which I recommend, because I prefer it to sugar or salt granules)
- 5 drops of essential oil for fragrance (optional)
- Mix all the ingredients thoroughly in a deep, round bowl with a small pestle if you have one. A tablespoon will also suffice.
- Add the few drops of an essential oil of your choice.
- Before you use the scrub, ensure you clean all makeup from your face. Apply the exfoliating scrub on your face and neck by rubbing gently in a circular motion, avoiding the eyelids. Rub very gently under the eyes in just a few motions.
- Leave the mixture on your face for about five minutes. If you are not in a rush, you can leave it on for about half an hour. The coconut oil will have time to work even more wonders on your skin. Store in a mason jar or other tight container.
- What I do in the mornings is exfoliate, leave it on, take a shower, then wash it off my face with warm water.
(Note: In some warmer climates, coconut oil melts and becomes liquid. This in no way affects the mixture. If you prefer it solidified, you can place it in a refrigerator.)
9 Benefits of Skin Exfoliation
- Facilitates absorption: Creams, serums, and general products are easily absorbed into your skin after you exfoliate because of the "new" skin cells that have emerged.
- Removes toxins: Exfoliation removes harmful toxins that are among the root causes of breakouts.
- Stimulates skin renewal: If done regularly, exfoliation stimulates renewal and rebirth of new skin cells, as it sloughs off dead cells and makes your skin look bright, feel smooth, and be blemish free.
- Helps faze out continuous skin: The process speeds up the elimination of continuous skin (chest and back especially) and facial eruptions by gently scrubbing off the layers of dead skin build-up.
- Encourages glow and lustre: Exfoliating dead skin and bacteria serves another purpose: encouraging glow and lustre. This is because it removes flaky skin and blockages. It also increases blood circulation through circular motions and the light massage required to exfoliate well.
- Fights aging process: It’s a wonderful anti-aging skin care treatment and is, therefore, a must as we age steadily.
- Helps maintain texture and color: With aging skin, it improves the skin's texture and helps it maintain its colour. No ashy or dull skin.
- Reduces wrinkles and fine lines: Consistent treatment gently erases fine lines and reduces wrinkles.
- Maintains levels of healthy oils: Gentle exfoliation allows the face and body to keep and maintain an adequate amount of its natural oils. It does not strip off natural oils, as long as it’s done gently.
(Note: You don't need to scrub on a daily basis unless you have extremely oily or acne-prone skin. So if you are acne prone, endeavour to stick to an exfoliation treatment about four times a week. For those with normal to dry skin, you need not exfoliate more than once a week.)
Important Things to Note When You Exfoliate
- Before you exfoliate with any of these homemade recipes—or any other over-the-counter exfoliating products—dampen your skin with warm, but not hot, water. Hot water will leave the skin irritated after exfoliation and will cause over-drying. After skin exfoliation, you should rinse your skin thoroughly and apply a moisturizer immediately.
- While skin exfoliation is an excellent addition to your beauty regimen, there are times you shouldn't exfoliate. For example, if you have an undiagnosed rash or condition, you should not exfoliate—and first check with your doctor for diagnosis and treatment. Exfoliation can aggravate some skin conditions.
- Finally, you should never exfoliate skin that is "broken" or freshly sunburnt, has cuts or abrasions, or skin that's grazed.
Here are a few more useful Bellatory articles on DIY skin scrubs:
- DIY Homemade Face Scrub Recipes for Oily Skin
- How to Make Black African Soap and Exfoliation Recipe
- How to Make Your Own Dead Sea Salt Body Scrub
- Top Three Homemade Face Scrub Recipes for Blackheads
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
Questions & Answers
Question: What can I use to lighten up my skin? What can make my skin glow?
Answer: Use a few drops of lemon juice if you want to lighten it naturally. You can also use a mixture of lemon and tomato. I part lemon juice to 4 parts of tomato juice.
Question: Can I use palm oil while exfoliating my skin?
Answer: While some say that palm oil is good for consumption, and I agree with that, I wouldn't use it as a facial scrub ingredient, especially in its raw form.
Question: I don’t have dry or oily skin but lots of acne and pimples, is exfoliating good then?
Answer: I will still continue to exfoliate gently and keep using whatever you use in trying to clear your pimples.
Question: Can I make face scrub with honey and salt?
Answer: Yes, you can. Just ensure the salt doesn’t have coarse grains. Use with gentle scrubbing actions.
Question: My skin is getting extremely dry day by day. What can I do about this?
Answer: I will advise against exfoliating for now. Meanwhile, moisturize your skin every night with virgin coconut oil before you go to bed.
It should alleviate the dryness.
Additionally, check that your facial soap isn’t stripping your skin’s natural oil and drying it out. Try using a shea butter or coconut oil based facial soap/wash.
Question: I have dry skin with cranky legs and feet. Can I apply vaseline and vitamin E both mixed together? What scrub can I use?
Answer: I will not recommend vaseline. It can worsen cracked skin conditions. Instead, use Shea butter (or coconut oil) mixed with vitamin E.
If you have dry skin, exfoliate only once a week max. Use the Shea butter or coconut oil scrub mix.
Question: Can I use tomato and lemon juice in exfoliating my skin?
Answer: Yes. But you will need to add something that will help the exfoliating process like a bit of fine grain salt or sugar.
Question: I have oily skin; what scrub can I use?
Answer: I will use the oatmeal scrub. Oatmeal not only aids in exfoliating, it helps absorb oil.
After exfoliating, leave the mix on your skin for 15 - 20min, then gently rinse off.
Question: My legs (from my knees downwards) have really dry skin, what do you recommend I use?
Answer: Moisturize your legs (knees down to feet) with whipped Shea butter if the dryness is excessive or with virgin coconut oil if it’s not so bad. Use after a bath or shower. It’s best applied when your skin is moist. That’s not to say you can’t reapply at night before bedtime.
Question: What kind of skin exfoliator can I use for black knuckles on someone with chocolate-colored skin?
Answer: Lemon juice, coconut oil, and vitamin E drops. Mix very well and apply daily as a moisturizer for your knuckles.
Question: Does skin exfoliation cause skin bleaching?
Answer: No. It doesn’t. It just sloughs off dead skin.
© 2011 viryabo
viryabo (author) from Lagos, Nigeria. on June 05, 2020:
You are welcome Kijo :)
Kijo on May 10, 2020:
Thank you so much for the advice am so happy
Viva Glow on November 19, 2019:
Love these recipes.
Cindy Murdoch from Texas on August 31, 2011:
Really good hub. Lots of good information and very well written. I liked the videos.
I too like to know what's going on my face, and making them from scratch assures me of that.
Sinea Pies from Northeastern United States on August 30, 2011:
Mary Kay products used to have a dry oatmeal mask that you added water to. The best I'd ever had. Natural ingredients are better and cheaper. Great hub.
viryabo (author) from Lagos, Nigeria. on August 30, 2011:
Thank you Ade, and thanks for visiting. The wonderful thing about homemade concoctions, as i call them, is that they will cost next to nothing. We can grab some salt here, sugar there, etc. and Voila! we have made a good and fresh remedy for our skin or even for our internals.
Thanks for sharing the info.
I appreciate your comments.
adeaugustus on August 30, 2011:
Home made product, gives more confidence, generally it's more reliable, because all the ingredients are sourced locally, but there is always this issue of preservation, this hub is a very important one, i'll have to bookmark it for my mum, she loves homemade too. Thanks for sharing. Voted up and useful.
viryabo (author) from Lagos, Nigeria. on August 30, 2011:
Thank you Cloverleaf.
I also love to make my own body creams and lotions. Some i have to keep refrigerated, but as you rightly said, knowing what goes into a homemade recipe give one much more confidence about what goes on our skins.
Off to read your hub. I'm certain i'll find great tips to learn from it.
Thanks for the visit. Cheers.
viryabo (author) from Lagos, Nigeria. on August 30, 2011:
Cloverleaf from Calgary, AB, Canada on August 29, 2011:
Awesome hub! I am a big fan of homemade recipes, they are great money savers and I like knowing exactly what is going into them. You might like my "Sweet Treats for your Feet" hub.
Voted up and AWESOME!!!
whatavoice from Michigan on August 29, 2011:
Good information, thanks.