Why buy it when you can make it
Before you reach out for those commercial exfoliators and scrubs, here are some DIY facial scrub ideas that you can try at home. Freshly prepared using natural ingredients, these exfoliators are gentle on the skin and are also safe and economical.
For a radiant glow:
To fix tired skin immediately, use these easy-to-make face scrubs to revive, rejuvenate and add freshness to your face.
1. Mix three teaspoons freshly ground coffee along with half a cup of yoghurt.
2. If you have dry skin, replace the yoghurt with full fat milk.
3. Blend in a mixer and leave aside for five minutes.
4. Once the mixture thickens, add one teaspoon honey and mix well.
5. Apply this mixture on the face and scrub in upward circular movements for about 8 to 10 minutes.
6. Wash off with cold water. Use this scrub twice a week for best results.
1. Take two to three tablespoons of melted dark chocolate, one cup granulated sugar, two tablespoons ground coffee and half-a-cup coconut oil.
2. Mix all these ingredients together and store in an air-tight jar.
3. When you want to use it, scoop a few spoonfuls in a microwave safe bowl and heat it for 6 to 8 seconds. Scrub away to reveal soft, supple skin.
Coconut milk and almond
This face scrub will exfoliate the skin and help reduce the appearance of cellulite.
1. Combine two cups of white clay, one cup of grounded oats, four tablespoons grounded almonds and two tablespoons finely grounded roses together.
2. Add enough coconut milk to form a smooth paste.
3. Use this as a gentle face scrub for soft and supple skin.
Enzymes found in fruits have skin-cleansing properties. Use a fruit mash (papaya, banana, orange) to deep clean the pores. The enzymes and nutrients in the fruit pulp will add a glow to the skin while keeping it hydrated naturally.
To remove tanning:
If you just got back from a long beach holiday and are looking for ways to get rid of that tan, try these natural de-tanning scrubs.
Lemon, honey and sugar
1. Mix together one cup sugar, half cup olive oil and one tablespoon honey.
2. To this, add the juice of one big lemon. Stir vigorously for some time.
3. Apply on your face and scrub for a few minutes before washing with cold water.
4. In case of dry skin, make sure you don’t leave on the scrub for too long as it might make the skin flaky.
Tomato and yoghurt
Tomato is an excellent fruit that is known to remove tan easily from your skin. Also, the yoghurt acts as a natural bleach that will lighten your skin tone. Thus, a combination of both will work really well in removing the layer of tan from your skin. You can now make a scrub pack at home with 2 teaspoon tomato pulp, same quantity of yoghurt and a spoon of lemon juice. Mix it well and apply it over your face. Let it dry and then wash it away. You might feel a little itchy after applying the tomato juice. But, once it is dried, the sensation will fade away. This pack will help you get rid of the dark tanned layer from your skin.
Fuller’s earth (multani mitti) and aloe vera
1. Mix together two cups of fuller’s earth with one tablespoon of freshly extracted aloe vera gel.
2. You can either add a few drops of rose water or any of your favourite essential oils for an instant boost.
3. Mix well to make a fine paste.
4. Apply generously on to your face and neck and scrub for four to five minutes before washing off with cold water.
For acne-prone and oily skin:
In case of oily skin, it’s important to regularly exfoliate your face so as to prevent breakouts and blemishes. However, make sure that you don’t overdo it as it could result in excess sebum production which would be counterproductive.
Honey and cinnamon
1. Mix three tablespoons of raw organic honey with one tablespoon of freshly ground cinnamon powder.
2. Mix well so as to make a fine smooth paste.
3. Using a brush, apply this evenly over your face. Scrub gently in circular motions and wash off with cold water after 7 to 8 minutes.
4. After a few hours, wash your face with your normal cleanser and follow with a moisturiser.
1. Mix together one tablespoon each of whole milk and olive oil.
2. To this add two tablespoons of oatmeal and leave until the oats soften.
3. Now add a few drops of rose water and mix well.
4. Rub the mixture on your face, gently massaging it for two to three minutes.
5. Rinse with cold water.
Rice and honey
1. Take two tablespoons of rice and grind them coarsely.
2. Add enough honey to make a thick paste.
3. After cleansing your face, apply this scrub evenly onto your face and massage with very light strokes.
4. Wash it off with lukewarm water and pat dry. Follow with a moisturiser.
Baking soda, honey and lemon juice
Baking soda deeply exfoliates the skin, helping get rid of any dirt, grime, dead cells and excess sebum from the skin pores. Lemon juice acts as a natural astringent reducing sebum production.
1. Add one tablespoon each of baking soda and lemon juice in a bowl. To this add half a tablespoon of raw honey.
2. Stir well to make a smooth paste and apply it to your face.
3. Gently scrub your face in circular motions for two to four minutes.
4. Wash it off with warm water followed by cold water.
For dry skin:
Exfoliating dry skin can be tricky as it could cause further dryness. Instead of skipping the scrubbing, simply opt for moisturising ingredients while putting together your DIY face scrub.
Honey, olive oil and brown sugar
Olive oil has anti-ageing properties and enhances exfoliation, while brown sugar helps fight bacteria, and honey moisturises dry skin.
1. Mix one tablespoon of brown sugar with one teaspoon each of honey and olive oil.
2. Stir well and then apply it to your face.
3. Gently scrub your face working upwards from the chin, in a circular motion for two to three minutes.
4. Wash off with warm water and later splash some cold water to close the skin pores. Use this twice a week for better results.
Green tea, sugar and honey
1. Cut open around 7 to 8 green tea bags and scoop out the contents. You could also recycle the ones that have already been used.
2. To this add half a cup of white sugar and around two to three tablespoons honey to make a thick, gritty paste.
3. Apply this evenly over your face and scrub for 5 to 6 minutes, focusing on the dry spots.
4. Wash off with cold water. Pat dry and finish with a moisturising lotion or serum.
How to exfoliate
Make sure you opt for the right exfoliant or face scrub according to your skin type: For dry skin, go for light facial scrubs with super-fine particles and ingredients such as brown sugar and grape seed oil. If you have oily or acne-prone skin, use gentle scrubs such as baking soda, oats, etc., which help unclog the pores and reduce sebum production. For normal skin type, you could opt for scrubs with finely ground particles such as sugar that will absorb oil from your T-zone.
Always in circles
Being too heavy-handed with the scrub can cause redness and inflammation. The ideal way to go about it is to rub your face gently in a circular motion.
It’s also important that you give your skin some TLC post exfoliation. Make sure to wash your face with lukewarm water and pat dry with a towel. Next, use a moisturiser or a hydrating serum to lock in the moisture before sleeping.
Don’t overdo it
Exfoliating your face twice a week is enough for normal skin types. However, if you have sensitive skin, once a week is ideal. For people with oily skin, exfoliating your skin more than twice a week is recommended.
1. How often should I use scrub?
Over-exfoliation is one skincare mistake that almost all of us are guilty of. In an attempt to get rid of dry, flaky skin, we end up exfoliating too often or with a scrub that's too harsh. This, in turn, does you more harm than good–frequent breakouts, and much more. Exfoliating more than three times a week disrupts the topmost layer of the skin, which acts as a protective barrier layer. Too much scrubbing leaves your skin more sensitive to the sun’s harsh UV rays, thereby paving way for easy tanning, rashes, age spots and sunburns. Further, certain store-bought scrubs can block your pores and cause whiteheads. Instead of having a set routine for how often you should exfoliate your face, simply listen to your skin. Exfoliate because your face looks tired or dull, and it deserves some care and love.
2. Are there any side-effects of homemade scrubs?
Over-the-counter scrubs that have mineral oils, synthetics or chemicals can be harmful if your skin is sensitive. Natural exfoliants, on the other hand, can be an ideal choice. It’s best to opt for scrubs made with natural ingredients such as sugar, salt, oils, honey, etc. These natural ingredients are not only great for the skin, but also don’t cause any after-effects. However, it’s important that you choose a scrub based on your skin type, sensitivity of the skin and on the number of times you’d ideally like to use it. If you happen to have a razor cut or bruises, steer clear from salt scrubs as it will aggravate the condition and burn the skin. Similarly, if you have sensitive skin, opt for face scrubs with sugar, honey, avocado and oatmeal.
3. I have dry and ance-prone skin, please suggest scrub
Acne-prone skin has even more tendency than normal skin to shed dead skin cells causing blackheads and whiteheads. Therefore, it’s important that you follow a proper skincare regimen which includes exfoliation and regular scrubbing. Oatmeal makes for a good face scrub ingredient as it is not drying or harsh on the skin. You can also opt for sugar as it melts quickly and helps deeply cleanse your pores. Besides, sugar also helps get rid of dead skin cells paving way for new soft and smooth skin. Coffee, on the other hand acts as a natural oil reducer. The anti-bacterial and moisturising qualities of aloe vera make it effective in not only treating acne but also dry and flaky skin.
4. Can scrubbing cause darkness?
A very aggressive exfoliating regimen disrupts your skin’s protective layer, making it overly sensitive to harsh UV rays, leading to easy tanning. Scrubbing or exfoliating too often can lead to skin injury, which in turn causes darkening of the skin. If you are someone who swears by over-the-counter peels and scrubs, the abrasive chemical in them are doing your skin more harm than good. It is important to know how far to push your limits when it comes to giving your skin some TLC. Your skin may not be able to tolerate much more exfoliation and therefore it’s important that you intervene before your skin begins to show signs of darkening.
5. What should you do after exfoliating your face?
Exfoliating or scrubbing alone won’t help your skin retain its fresh and healthy look. It’s important to note that what you do after exfoliating your face can either undo or maximise the benefits of exfoliation. While exfoliation doesn’t really rob your skin of its moisture, exfoliating without following up with a good moisturiser over time can leave your skin dry and sensitive. It’s best to follow up with a good moisturiser. While it’s good to opt for natural hydrating oils or humectants, you can also reach out for store-bought products. If you’re all for natural, glycerin is a great choice. It helps lock in the moisture leaving you with baby soft and supple skin. Jojoba oil, on the other hand, deeply penetrates into your skin helping maintain normal pH levels. If not, you can also opt for coconut oil which possesses significant moisturising and hydrating properties. While sun-protective moisturising lotions and creams offer protection from sun damage, it is best to use a good sunscreen in accompaniment to your moisturiser. Look for one with a high SPF for best results.