How to Exfoliate Skin Naturally in 10 Ways

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Commercial exfoliants are good but some of us want to know how to exfoliate skin naturally, without all the chemicals.

Exfoliation is basically, gently scrubbing your skin with a product to make it smooth and clear.

By exfoliating your skin, you can help get rid of old, dead skin cells so you can see the healthy, new skin beneath.

Every part of your body can benefit from being scrubbed. This means that you can scrub your lips and toes as well.

The products you put on your skin when you exfoliate, remove dead skin cells from the top layer of your skin. Exfoliants do this by moving or chemically removing them.

What are natural exfoliants?

Don’t go thinking natural exfoliants are some ingredients you can only get from the woods. They are actually closer than you think.

Some of them can be found in your kitchen. These items work by providing friction, enough to remove dead skin cells from the skin’s surface.

Some of these natural exfoliants are:

  • oatmeal
  • finely ground sea salt
  • cinnamon
  • baking soda
  • finely ground sugar
  • coffee grounds
  • ground almonds
  • turmeric

Honey, green tea, and essential oils can be mixed with these natural exfoliants for ease of use.

Every one of these all-natural exfoliants works by removing dead skin cells physically.

Dead skin cells may be sloughed from your skin by rubbing or stroking them gently on it.

Chemical exfoliants on the other hand contain alpha-hydroxy acids that work on a molecular level to break down dead skin.

Before You Exfoliate

In order to obtain the maximum benefit from exfoliation, you should consider your skin type.

Depending on the kind of exfoliant you use, your skin could get better or irritated.

The degree of oil or sebum production in your skin is the primary factor in determining your skin type.

Depending on your skin type, here are the ingredients you should target when exfoliating.

Oily skin: honey, yogurt, or papaya

Sensitive skin: oatmeal and turmeric

Dry skin: oatmeal, sugar, or coffee

Combination skin: lemon juice or papaya

If your skin becomes red or inflamed, your skincare regimen may be too severe.

Discontinue from your natural exfoliants if this occurs so your skin can recover.

Related: The 20 Best Body Scrub for Healthy and Glowing Skin

How to exfoliate naturally: Scrubs

To exfoliate your skin, you need to make a scrub from the natural exfoliants we’ve mentioned.

Here’s how you can exfoliate your skin naturally using natural exfoliants.

DIY Body Scrubs

Because the skin on your body is thicker and less sensitive than that on your face, you could use tougher exfoliants.

Some exfoliants that are beneficial to your body include:

  • oatmeal
  • ground sea salt
  • ground brown sugar
  • coffee grounds

Quick one, if you have a cut on your skin, don’t include sea salt in this recipe as it could irritate your skin.

1. Oatmeal body scrub

How to Exfoliate Skin Naturally
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Oatmeal is a common component in many types of skincare products.

It is known for its healing and anti-inflammatory properties, but it’s gentle and doesn’t irritate the skin.

Oatmeal may also help protect the skin from harmful UV rays, which can damage it.

How to Use

  • Mix 1 tablespoon of finely milled oats with 1 tablespoon of your preferred natural oil or honey (as a binder).
  • Apply with your fingertips in a circular motion on your face.
  • Allow for 5 minutes and then rinse off with water.
  • Dry your skin with a towel or let it air-dry before applying a moisturizing lotion or oil.

2. Sea salt scrub

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You can add essential oils of your choosing to this sea salt scrub for a spa feeling.

How to Use

  • In a bowl, combine the ingredients (ground sea salt, coconut or olive oil, any essential oil) and stir well until they are completely mixed.
  • Apply the scrub to your body in moderate circular strokes while in the shower or bath, but be careful to keep it away from your face.
  • Rinse well. 
  • Apply a moisturizing body lotion or oil after you’ve dried your skin.

3. Rice

Grounded rice can be an excellent natural exfoliant for your body.

How to Use

  • Combine a half-cup of ground rice with a half-cup of coconut milk, a quarter-cup of brown sugar, and a tablespoon and a half of chopped ginger to make a rice scrub.
  • Rub on the body and let it sit for about 15 minutes.
  • Rinse off and pat dry.

Related: The 10 Best Cleansing Balm for All Skin Types

DIY Facial Scrubs

Exfoliants for the face should be fine-grained and include tiny, even particles.

Coarser exfoliants, such as sea salt, sugar, or coffee, aren’t a smart choice for your face skin since it’s more delicate than the rest of your body.

It’s also crucial to avoid over-exfoliating your skin because exfoliating your face too regularly might deplete your skin’s natural oils, causing outbreaks.

Scrubbing your skin excessively might aggravate it. Skincare experts recommend exfoliating once or twice a week.

4. Baking soda and honey scrub

If you have acne-prone skin, this facial scrub recipe is a good choice because it has anti-inflammatory and oil-reducing ingredients that can help.


  • For 2 tablespoons of baking soda:
  • 2 tsp. of honey
  • One tablespoon of aloe vera gel
  • 1/2 tsp. of the oil vitamin E oil

How to Use

  • In a bowl, put all the ingredients and mix them well.
  • Then, after you’ve washed your face, apply the scrub mixture to your skin with clean hands.
  • With your fingertips, make light, circular motions to spread the scrub all over your face.
  • Continue the gentle, circular movements for about 1 minute.
  • Allow the scrub to stay on your skin for an extra two minutes before you rinse it off.

5. Papaya scrub

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Papain is what makes papaya a good exfoliant.

This is because papain breaks down the keratin in dead skin cells. Papaya can also help with blood flow and elasticity.

How to Use

  • Make a smooth paste out of fresh papaya.
  • Using a quick, circular motion with your fingertips or a long, straight stroke with your brush, apply to the face as desired.
  • Let it sit for about 15 mins.
  • After rinsing with water, pat dry.

For oily or combination skin, papaya is a great exfoliator since they create too much sebum, which clogs pores.

Papain, a digestive enzyme found in papaya, may aid in the cleaning of pores and the prevention of acne from forming or spreading.

Green papayas are the best source of papain, so if you can get your hands on them, do so.

6. Turmeric scrub

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Turmeric is more than just a spice. It can also be used to remove dead skin cells.

Curcumin in turmeric, which is what makes it yellow and gives it a lot of its health benefits.

How to Use

  • To make a paste, combine one teaspoon of powdered turmeric with yogurt, natural oil, or water.
  • Using a quick, circular motion with your fingertips or a long, straight stroke with your brush, apply to the face as desired.
  • Leave for ten minutes.
  • After rinsing with water, pat dry.

7. Yogurt

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You can get lactic acid, which is an alpha-hydroxy acid, from yogurt. This acid helps remove dead skin cells and encourage new growth.

A good way to get a more even skin tone is to use lactic acid to scrub your face.

How to Use

Apply one spoonful of plain yogurt to your face in a circular motion with your fingertips or in short strokes with a brush.

Allow for a 20-minute soak before rinsing with water.

Related: 15 Best Acne Face Wash in 2022 According to Dermatologists

8. Lemon Juice scrub

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Lemon juice, another alpha-hydroxy acid source, is likewise a natural chemical exfoliator.

It may plump and brighten your skin as well as assist you to shed dead skin cells.

How to Use

Make a paste with one tablespoon of lemon juice and one tablespoon of cane sugar by mixing them together.

  • Apply with fingers in a circular motion or with a brush in small, quick moves on the face.
  • Let it sit for about 5 minutes.
  • Rinse off with water.

DIY Lip Scrub

You’ll want to use different components for your lips than you would for a body scrub since your lips are more delicate than your body skin.

Ingredients for a lip scrub include:

  • cinnamon
  • ground coffee
  • ground sugar

You can choose to add ingredients such as:

  • honey
  • olive oil
  • vitamin E oil
  • almond oil
  • coconut oil

Fragrances can be added too, just for a little extra:

  • vanilla extract
  • cocoa powder
  • peppermint oil or extract

If you scrub your lips too much, they can become dry and irritated.

So, only scrub your lips once a week.

Make sure your lips are clean before you start to exfoliate them.

9. Vanilla coffee lip scrub

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This vanilla coffee lip scrub is made up of moisturizing ingredients like oil and honey, as well as natural exfoliants like finely ground coffee and sugar, which help to remove dead skin cells.


  • 1 tsp. of ground coffee
  • 1 tablespoon of coconut, olive, or jojoba oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon honey
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp. of fine white sugar

How to use

  • In a bowl, mix together all the ingredients until they are well blended.
  • apply the scrub to your lips with clean fingers. Rub in circular motions for about a minute.
  • Rinse off with lukewarm water.
  • Make sure to apply a moisturizer, like petroleum jelly or lip balm, right after you scrub.

10. Sugar lip scrub

How to Exfoliate Skin Naturally
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This exfoliant has sugar as its main ingredient but is combined with other ingredients such as honey.


  • 2 tbsp. of fine sugar
  • Olive oil; 1 tsp.
  • 1/2 teaspoon honey
  • 1 or 2 drops of any essential oil.

How to Use

  • In a bowl, mix together all the ingredients until they are well blended.
  • Follow the same steps that were given above for the vanilla coffee scrub.

Related: 20 Best Moisturizers for Combination Skin in 2022

How to Exfoliate Skin Naturally: Tips for Trying a New Natural Exfoliant

Like anything applied to the skin, there’s always the chance of an adverse response to one or more of the ingredients.

This is particularly true for essential oils or exfoliants.

Do a patch test on a tiny area of skin to confirm a component doesn’t cause redness and itching.

Be wary of unground natural exfoliants.

Coarse exfoliants with including gritty sea salt, sugar, coffee grinds, or oatmeal, may scrape or harm your skin.

Frequently Asked Questions

How often does skin naturally exfoliate?

Humans shed around 500 million skin cells every day, thus dead skin may accumulate fast.

Most experts recommend exfoliating two to three times each week, depending on your skin’s tolerance.

What to do after exfoliating face?

Once you’ve finished exfoliating, be sure to rinse completely and pat your skin dry with a clean towel.

“In order to keep your skin hydrated and radiant, apply a moisturizer or shea butter following your exfoliation and shower/soak,” advises Britney.

Should you exfoliate before or after the shower?

It’s far preferable to exfoliate after you’ve completed using your haircare or other shower items.

Does shaving exfoliate skin?

In addition to getting rid of the hair, shaving also gets rid of dead skin cells.

“After shaving, the skin is left feeling soft and smooth, and it looks more even,” says Tiffany.

Do sugar scrubs work?

Yes, they work. Exfoliating with a sugar scrub may make your skin seem smoother and more radiant.

Sugar scrubs are known for their mild but efficient exfoliation.


Exfoliation is necessary to remove those dead skin cells so your skin looks its best.

There are chemical exfoliants but you are reading this because you wanted an all-natural exfoliant and now, I’m pretty sure you now know all there is on how to exfoliate skin naturally.

Plus, DIYs are so fun, and if you can cleanse your skin while at it; do it because we say so!

If you have questions about this article? Kindly drop it in the comment box below, we will be happy to help you.

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