Smooth, youthful-looking skin. Most everybody wants it, and many go to great lengths and expense to get it. But you can make safe beauty products at home for a fraction of the price you’d pay at salons.
What is Exfoliation?
Exfoliation is one of the main ways people pursue younger looking skin. Whether mechanical, like a scrub down in a Turkish bath, or chemical, like an alpha hydroxy acid peel at a salon or plastic surgery clinic, the aim is to remove dead skin cells.
The American Academy of Dermatology cautions beauty seekers to proceed with care. One kind of exfoliant does not work for all. Sensitive skin needs gentler exfoliation, and those with inflammatory acne should consult a dermatologist before exfoliating. And one should never exfoliate over sunburn or open cuts.
With all those salons and shelves full of products, why make your own? For one thing, you know exactly what’s in your DIY concoctions. In the following recipes, all the beauty products are made from ingredients commonly found in most kitchens. If it’s safe to eat an ingredient, it’s probably safe to apply it to your skin. These DIY scrubs are also better for the environment, as they don’t contain the non-biodegradable, fish-choking plastic microbeads prevalent in many commercial exfoliants.
The cost savings can also be incredible. Most consumers have noticed that those small jars of mysterious lotions and potions have correspondingly high price tags.
Making your own cosmetics is also fun. It’s an at-home activity you can do with your kids, mother, sisters or friends.
Pumpkin sugar scrub
Refined white sugar is the gentle exfoliating ingredient here.
1/8 cup canned pumpkin
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
Pour ingredients into a small bowl and stir until smooth. Gently apply to damp skin with circular motions. Rinse with lukewarm water. Eat leftovers on toast.
After exfoliation, you can moisturize with this mask.
1 tbsp. olive oil
Dash of lemon
Mix until smooth. You might want to use a blender for this one. Otherwise, when you apply the mask it may look like you fell face-first into a bowl of chunky guacamole. Apply to your face and leave on for 10 to 15 minutes. Be sure to follow exfoliation with moisturizer, as it can dry your skin.
How often should you exfoliate? That depends on your skin, and there’s no universal consensus. If your skin is very oily, you might opt for exfoliating every other day. Sensitive skin may benefit from weekly exfoliation.
Super simple and effective. Coarser grinds may feel better on your body than your face.
3 tbsp. coffee grounds
1 tbsp. olive oil
Mix olive oil into coffee grounds in a small bowl. Apply to body and/or face. Rinse with lukewarm water. The olive oil will leave your skin extra soft. This one tends to be messy, so give your shower and sink a good wipe down.