Saturday, June 4, 2011

Homemade Natural Skin Exfoliator - With Ingredients From Your Kitchen & Bathroom!

I've been searching high and low for ways to save money and keep the budget low...and it's not easy, with 6 kids in tow, to treat myself to special things. So, in my search for inexpensive skin exfoliators for both my face and my poor, rugged feet, I have found some awesome solutions to share!

You need to know this: If you want softer, smoother, more vibrant skin, you don't need to go to the most expensive store in the mall and purchase the high-dollar scrubs and exfoliators. All you need to do is spend some time in your kitchen with some of the very same ingredients that those expensive companies use in their costly scrubs.

These are tried and true "secrets" that I have spent time working on lately...and I love them, so I hope you do, too. Now, a lot of people will tell you to mix up some water and sugar to exfoliate with...and a bunch of other ingredients, like guava juice or pineapple juice, but the sugar is so sticky and gooey. It's really not fun washing it off of your feet, let alone your precious face.

The Magic Ingredient

So, the magic ingredient for a natural scrub of any type is: Sea salt. You can find it in your local grocery store or Wal-mart - and a little goes a long way. Sea salt is made of minerals that effectively remove those dead skin cells from your face. It also removes the excess oil and cleans your pores, so if you have "problem skin", you're going to love it!

http://acneomg.com/2010/12/15/sea-salt-%E2%80%9Ckill%E2%80%9D-acne/
If you're skippy to make something right now with the ingredients in your kitchen and don't want to wait to get sea salt at the store, you can also use wheat germ, brown sugar or oatmeal...all three have natural ingredients that are both soothing and exfoliating at the same time.

The Liquid Ingredient

What you do with the sea salt next is your choice, but you're definitely going to need a liquid base. You can make a simple mixture of sea salt and water, thick or thin, depending on your preference and how rugged your skin is, or you can use olive oil (it's skin-friendly! Not to mention, the most common liquid ingredient for homemade exfoliators), avocado oil, jojoba oil, vegetable oil or some apricot kernel oil. I've only used the water and the olive oil, so I can only personally vouch for them. The others, I have heard about from one source or another during my hunt for homemade exfoliators.

How To Mix It

For your face, I would definitely recommend that you start with a thinner solution. For feet like mine...you're going to need to make it thick and rough. :) A good rule of thumb, though, is the 2:1 solid to liquid ratio. That means that if you are using, for instance, sea salt and oil only, 8 Tbsp of seas salt to 4 Tbsp of your choice of oil would be ideal.

But, if you're looking for more than just a sea salt paste to rub on your face, you're going to want to add an ingredient or two to the sea salt and water/oil mixture. And, of course, if you're going to make a more intricate mixture with the ingredients below, you will have to figure out how to make it the right ratio, but playing with the ingredients is half of the fun, isn't it?

Also, if you get one of these handy-dandy small mixing bowls with the little ladle-spoon, it will work perfectly for all of your future exfoliating mixture endeavors:

http://www.miniaturesonline.co.uk/mixing-bowl-and-spoon-371-p.asp


Add A Touch of Honey



Yes, just the honey from the grocery store! Did you know that honey will not only help to clear up acne with its antibacterial properties, it also has healing properties to eliminate scarring? Honey also has glycolic acid and is semi-acid on the pH scale, so it's perfect for problematic skin...and it will make your skin GLOW, without the oiliness. (Yes, you can use honey as a face wash by itself - again, this is a very sticky process, so I would recommend using the honey in the shower for a less messy removal process.)

Add Some Pureed Fruit/Veggies



Yes, pureed fruits and veggies! I know that you've noticed all of the face washes, body washes, shampoos, conditioners, etc. that are labeled "Cucumber & Melon" or "Sweet Pumpkin"...it's not just because these companies think that consumers will love the smell....they have wised up to the fact that the fruits and vegetables are also healing and enriching for the skin and hair.

Pumpkins, cucumbers, kiwi fruit, avocados, papayas, bananas and many many more fruits and veggies have emollient and enzymatic properties and vitamins and minerals that are just as great for the body on the outside as they are for the inside! They will also add a yummy fragrance to your exfoliator for added essence.

Add Some Girly-ness

Now, if you have a favorite natural (or not natural - your choice) face wash, body wash or lotion, you can add the sea salt to the and - voila! - your very own homemade exfoliating face/body wash/lotion. I will mention that if you are planning to use a lotion and have sensitive skin, be careful how your face will react to the lotion, because it might have fragrance or other ingredients that won't jive with your sensitive face. I would recommend using you homemade exfoliating lotion on your feet, elbows and knees.


Add A Drop of Essential Oil

http://medicinegardenwellness.com/shoppe/index.php?main_page=index&cPath=10
Essential oils are the boost for the girly-ness factor. Don't forget that essential oils bring to the mixture a new quality (beyond the aromas). These oils are derived from trees and plants that have been used for centuries by ancient healers, when "medicine" was made with natural ingredients.

They can be quite pricey, so do your research and pick out the essential oil that will work best for all of your needs...that little vial could last you a year or more, even if you are mixing up exfoliators on a weekly basis. Every essential oil has a benefit - and some have many benefits - so, it all depends on which properties you are interested in beyond the fragrance.

Anti-Inflammatory Essential Oils

There are anti-inflammatory essential oils, like the thyme essential oil (this is said to be the strongest and also great for respiratory issues), rose essential oil (also good for reducing depression, grief, nervousness and insomnia), clove essential oil (also pain relieving and great for digestion issues, hence it is used often in Mexican cuisine), eucalyptus essential oil (and this is also wonderful for relieving a cold or congestion and headaches), bergamot essential oil (light and fresh - will also relieve emotional distress and fatigue) and fennel essential oil (calms indigestion, too).

Anti-Aging

Rosewood essential oil is raved about for its anti-aging properties, as well as its ability to cure acne and diminish scars. Lavendar, neroli and carrot seed essential oils are also raved about for anti-aging. Myrrh and frankincense are said to have been used to preserve Egyptian mummies...so what does that tell you? Rose hip seed oil has great moisturizing properties and is also known to assist with healing skin issues like psoriasis and reduce scarring.

Be Careful!

Now, with essential oils, a little goes a LONG way.

Be sure to only add a drop or two of the essential oil to your exfoliator mixture and be really careful about direct contact with your skin when using essential oils. Some carry serious warnings about irritation to skin, so you may want to try a small portion of your homemade exfoliating concoction on an indiscreet spot on your arm before applying it to your face or whole body. Also, when mixing, do not confuse your liquid base with your essential oil....just remember, essential oil = 1-2 drops! :)

It seems like I could write a whole new post on essential oils and their benefits (I'll do that in the future!), but, for now, I hope this list is a good start for your homemade natural skin exfoliator.



If you have any questions or suggestions of your own, feel free to post a comment or send me an email! Have fun trying out the different mixtures that you can come up with! And, if you happen to try any of my suggestions, please come back and share your experience!


1 comment:

  1. I was very impressed with the SKII Facial Treatment Essence (http://www.geocities.jp/hongkong_skii/index_e.htm), enough so that I have continued to use the product daily as part of my skin care routine after the test period. It's a luxury purchase to be sure, but this is one of the best products that can really make a significant difference in your skin, and so worth every penny.

    I applied the treatment each morning and evening after cleansing my skin and before moisturizer/primer and then makeup. Within just a few days I could see that my skin was much more supple and smooth - particularly in the t-zone. After about two weeks, I loved the beautiful glow my skin had - even without makeup.

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