Forget about microbeads: these are some of the best natural scrubs for your skin – and the oceans!
By Lora O’Brien
Do you consider natural scrubs to be a vital part of your beauty regime? I know I didn’t for years; it was just something I did on the odd occasion. But I was wrong. Exfoliation should be part of your skincare routine always (not just in springtime!) And here’s why.
Why You Need A Natural Exfoliant
Our skin goes through a lot in a day. We put make-on on, take makeup off, we go out in toxic, polluted air and all kinds of nasty things end up on our skin. Exfoliating takes the top layer of crap off, which is great. It also removes dead skin, revealing fresher, younger looking skin beneath.
Pores are a nightmare for so many of us. They seem to get bigger with age. And when there’s a buildup of dirt and dead skin, pores will open up even further. If you feel your pores are competing with your nostrils in size, you probably need to exfoliate! This will remove the dirt from those pores help to minimise them. Remember: after cleansing with warm water, splash with cold water to close those pores again.
Reducing acne and breakouts
At some time in all of our lives, we’ve had to deal with a break-out. Whether it’s been on a rare occasion or a recurring problem it still makes us feel like rubbish. Many of us plough money into products hoping they’ll be the miracle our skin needs, but we never think a natural scrub could really help to reduce and manage further breakouts and acne.
But the truth is, a deep exfoliation will help to unclog those pores and remove both dirt and built up excess oils from the root cause, which if left will lead to breakouts.
Allows other products to work better
If you have a set skincare routine yet you fail to exfoliate, you could well be missing out on the benefits of your beauty products. Not using natural scrubs means that your pores can remain blocked, and so other skincare products won’t be properly absorbed, rendering them fairly inefficient.
Once you start to exfoliate, you’ll not only feel the difference on your skin, but you’ll notice that your other products will start doing their job much better.
How To Make A Scrub
You can easily make the best natural scrubs yourself. One of the simplest recipes is this vegan formula:
- Put 1/4 cup of coconut, almond, olive, or moringa oil in a bowl
- Add 2 tablespoons of sugar or coffee grounds to oil
- Add 1 tablespoon of lemon juice to the mixture
- Blend it all up, and follow the instructions below
How To Use An Exfoliant
We’re given so much conflicting advice: exfoliate rarely. Exfoliate daily. Don’t exfoliate sensitive skin. The truth is, so long as your exfoliant of choice isn’t extremely abrasive, (you want it to exfoliate but not strip your skin entirely) you can use it a few times a week with no issues. Don’t be afraid to exfoliate your body, too – just be sure to moisturise afterwards.
One caveat: when exfoliating the skin on your lips, be extra gentle as the skin here is incredibly thin and fragile and could tear. Try gently brushing lips with a toothbrush after you clean your teeth, and prevent dry lips by using a lip balm at night.
One of the best perks of my job is when we get to try products ourselves so that we know how great (or not) they are. Result? I’ve personally tried and tested each and every one of these organic scrubs myself!
Allow me to tell you which of these you’ll be needing, what area of your body they’ll fix up, and where you can get your hands on them yourself.
10 Of The Best Natural Scrubs
I started using this cleanser when I noticed by pores were getting larger. And boy, am I glad I did! This cleanser gently resurfaces your skin without leaving your face feeling scrubbed or overexposed.
It’s a 2-in-1 formula that deep cleans while eliminating dulling dead skin cells. It helps to refine skin texture, minimise congestion and reduce the risk of breakouts.
A papaya derived enzyme works with glycolic acid to dissolve the bonds that trap dead cells and residue to skin’s surface, while tiny beads of natural amber are there to ‘polish’ your complexion.
And yes, with use over time, I did notice smaller pores!
Best for: Oily skin, larger pores
I’m a huge fan of Frank Body products! The is one of the best natural scrubs I know of. I’ve re-purchased their body scrub too many times to count now, so I was excited to give their facial scrub a go.
Firstly, I know it says ‘creamy’ on the label, but this product was super creamy. It was like massaging a grainy coffee mousse into my skin. I left it on for five minutes and then washed it off with warm water, splashing my face with cold water one finished. It felt so hydrated, and my skin was glowing with good health.
Plus, of all the natural scrubs, I love the scent of this one the best – coffee. Need I say more?
Best for: All facial skin types
I’ve been debating whether to try a Konjac sponge for some time now, but I’m glad I took the plunge. The first time I used this charcoal sponge, I used it with a little Ren cleanser. I was not expecting my skin to feel so clean from such a small, simple item!
It glided over my skin, giving an ever so slight exfoliation that made moisturising easier after my bath. My cream soaked in well and my body was left feeling truly hydrated. It may be worthwhile noting that the Konjac Sponge Co sells various sponges for different skin types.
Best for: The face and body
LOLI’s exfoliant is a fine example of one of the best natural scrubs made out of food waste.
The purple corn it’s based on is full of powerful antioxidants that protect your skin from the sun. And the best part? Since this product is water-free, it will last for ages, and needs no preservatives whatsoever. Just add water (or a hydrosol or vinegar) to activate
The ingredients were ethically sourced and consciously packaged with Zero Waste beauty values in mind. The refillable and garden compostable packaging includes a food grade glass jar in an upcycled hemp sleeve.
Best for: Protecting the skin from the sun and pollution
Has dry weather been sucking the life out of your skin? This is one of the best natural scrubs for you! One Love’s sugar-based Botanical C Body Polish gently foams up. Perfect in the shower, it features an ultra-concentrated combination of Vitamin C Ester and raw, organic sugar crystals. These deeply exfoliate and help increase radiance.
There are also natural emollients like shea butter and aloe to soften your skin beautifully.
Best for: Getting a more radiant body in the shower
This is one of the best natural scrubs in the sense that it’s good enough to eat!
This exfoliator is gentle enough to use daily. Not only does it contain organic green tea, but there’s lemon grass and sugar, too. Sounds tasty, right?
It not only scrubs off dead cells but also hydrates your skin, too. Follow with a moisturising mask if your skin is extra dry.
Best for: Drier skins
If I even see the slightest patch of flaky skin it just makes me feel horrid. Well, I won’t be suffering anymore, not after using this delightful body scrub. It’s the perfect way to bring your skin back to perfection after a day out battling the elements.
The exfoliating blend left my skin feeling fresh and super soft. I love the fact it comes in different scents. I used lemongrass but the peppermint and eucalyptus made my bathroom smell so gorgeous.
Best for: Aromatherapy in a scrub