Don't Wait: Exfoliate! Plus DIY Recipes

The Importance of Exfoliating

 

Exfoliation is the process of removing dead skin cells by gently scrubbing your skin in a circular motion.  Regular exfoliation is an important part of your skincare regime as it clears away the layer of dead, dry skin cells that cause your skin to appear dull and tired.  Exfoliation is especially important for Desert Dwellers, whose skin can easily become dry and dull-looking in our desert environment!  

 

I recommend gentle exfoliating at least once a week for many, and more frequently for people with dull, dry skin.  The key is GENTLE exfoliation: you don’t need to use a lot of pressure, because those dead skin cells are ready to be sloughed off.  They just need a little help.  

 

Exfoliation should be done prior to applying a high-quality serum: those dead skin cells are a barrier between the serum and your fresh, young skin cells below the surface.  The most expensive products in the world won’t do their job if they’re applied over a layer of dead skin cells.  Removing that layer of dead skin cells prior to applying your serum is the best way to truly nourish your young skin cells and let your inner beauty shine out onto the world.  

 

There are lots of great products out there, but I am also a big fan of using what I already have.  I’ll often make an exfoliating product for my own use at home.  The beauty of this is that you probably already have many of these products in your kitchen!  And when you know exactly what’s going onto your skin, you also know exactly what you’re NOT getting: no chemicals, no artificial preservatives or colors, phthalates, parabens, plastics, or other unwelcome sources of skin damage.  

 

Read on for three of my favorite skin exfoliants: 

 

Collagen-Stimulating Exfoliant

Coffee

A natural exfoliant and boosts collagen production

  • 1 Tbsp. coffee grounds
  • 1 Tbsp oil (I like jojoba, but you can use coconut or olive oil if that’s what you’ve got at home on the shelf)

 

Mix together until a thick paste forms; apply to skin in gentle, circular motions from the center of your face outwards.  Leave on for 5 minutes before rinsing.

Follow with a healing serum, and a moisturizer for very dry skin.   

 

Coffee grounds contain caffeic acid which can boost collagen production.  It can also help stimulate fluid movement out of your skin which translates to less bloating (and even less cellulite if used over problem areas!).  It’s also excellent to decrease inflammation.  

 

Note: use caution when rinsing your face off, as the coffee grounds may potentially clog drains.

 

Skin Soothing Exfoliant

Oatmeal

Deeply soothes skin, soaks up dirt and impurities

  • 1 Tbsp. ground oatmeal
  • 1 tsp. fine granulated salt (gray, pink, sea salts are great choices for their high mineral content)
  • 1 Tbsp. water

 

Mix together until a thick paste forms; apply to skin in gentle, circular motions from the center of your face outwards.  Leave on for 5 minutes before rinsing.

Follow with a healing serum, and a moisturizer for very dry skin.  

 

Ground oatmeal makes as excellent gentle exfoliant for irritated or acne-prone skin.  It soaks up surface dirt and impurities so they are rinsed away with the water.  Salt is another excellent exfoliant, and provides plenty of negative ions and minerals to promote skin regeneration.  

 

Deeply Hydrating Exfoliant

Unbleached Sugar

Sloughs off dead skin cells to reveal fresh young skin

  • 1 Tbsp coconut oil
  • 2 Tbsp finely granulated sugar (brown or unbleached sugar is ideal)

 

Mix together until a thick paste forms; apply to skin in gentle, circular motions from the center of your face outwards.  Leave on for 5 minutes before rinsing.

Follow with a healing serum, and a moisturizer for very dry skin.  

 

Coconut oil is deeply hydrating to the skin.  And natural sugar you sloughs off that layer of dead skin cells that stand between your fresh young skin and the oils.  Bonus: unbleached sugars contain alpha-hydroxy acids for even more skin-sloughing power, as well as plenty of minerals to feed your fresh young skin.  As a person with naturally dry, sensitive skin living in a desert climate, this scrub is one of my bi-weekly go-to’s: I always have unbleached sugar and coconut oil handy in my bathroom!

 

After rinsing off your exfoliant and drying your face, apply a few drops of serum by gently patting it onto your skin.   Your skin will be refreshed and cleansed and ready for deep moisture.  I even use serum after applying the Deeply Hydrating Exfoliant because the fatty acids in the coconut oil blend harmoniously with the natural oils in Desert Dweller Highly Restorative Serum.