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We all want naturally smooth, beautiful skin. What we don't want to deal with, however, besides the flakey, gross skin we've all experienced, are the damaging microbeads that exist in many on-the-shelf exfoliating products. It might seem odd to look to your pantry for alternatives that will get rid of those dead skin cells, but in all reality, you're likely to find many natural exfoliants that are both healthy and affordable. Next time you feel like treating yourself with a gentle scrub, slam shut your medicine cabinet, throw open your kitchen cupboards and choose any of the following exfoliants.


honey as a natural exfoliant

Is there anything this natural sweetener can't do? Raw honey is an amazing exfoliator because it's anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and anti-viral. Honey has also been used to get rid of acne and is known to reduce inflammation and hydrate the skin. Mix it with any of the options below to boost its antioxidant and anti-bacterial benefits.

Baking Soda

Seriously. Simple. Create a paste with baking soda and water, then call it a day. It's probably the simplest natural exfoliant recipe because we know you have a box of baking soda tucked away somewhere—no special grocery store trips required. It makes for an effective, gentle exfoliant so you can add it as a component of your nightly relaxation routine.


Craving something sweet, but don't want to indulge in a treat? Use sugar on your skin instead! Fine sugar offers the ideal exfoliant grain size for most skin types. Containing glycolic acid, sugar will help to break down dead skin cells and even promote the development of new ones. Make a quick scrub by adding sugar to grape seed or olive oil to create a paste.


Oatmeal as a natural exfoliant

Ideal for sensitive skin, oatmeal is a very gentle exfoliant that slowly removes the outermost layer of your dead skin cells. A natural anti-inflammatory that's great for moisturizing, oatmeal can be mixed with honey, yogurt or kefir to make a perfect home remedy.

Ground Almonds

Ground almonds are great for breaking through that thick outer layer of dead skin. They also deposit natural oils like Vitamin E to keep you glowing. Buy ground almonds or grind them in your blender and mix them with a moist ingredient like yogurt for a DIY scrub (that's actually edible and fairly tasty). For those of you with oily skin, consider adding sea salt to your mixture. For those on the drier side, add powdered milk or even a touch of cream.

Sea Salt

Speaking of salt, sea salt offers trace minerals that will assist your skin in retaining moisture. This spice also stimulates skin cell growth, bringing you that natural glow and rejuvenating your skin. Ideal for dry skin, you can mix sea salt with your favorite essential oil to create a paste for exfoliating.

Ground Coffee

Coffee beans natural exfoliant

Perk up your skin with a coffee grounds scrub. Your favorite beverage is also an exfoliant that will help you work away those dead, dull skin cells while also reducing puffiness around your eyes. Add a small amount of oil (like coconut oil, obvs) to fresh coffee grounds or reuse some you've already brewed.


A natural source of lactic acid that's similar to yogurt but offers more beneficial bacteria, kefir is a natural product that works perfectly as an exfoliator. It will hydrate and soothe your face after only 10–15 minutes of application, making it a good option for those on a tight schedule.

There you have it: eight different natural ingredients you can use to create your very own all natural facial exfoliant. Stock up next time you're at the grocery store, but skip the beauty aisle. You know better than that now.

PS: You can use these on your body too!

Photos: Unsplash, StockSnap, TanteTati, Unsplash

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Mykonos, Greece

Mykonos, Greece