Popular Physical Exfoliants for the Skin


woman getting a salt scrub


The skin naturally sheds dead skin cells from its outermost layer every 25-45 days, depending on age and other factors. One way we can assist the skin in the cellular turnover process is through mild exfoliation –aiding the shedding of dead skin cells to encourage the skin to create new cells.

Exfoliation helps the skin with the regenerative process, by removing dead skin cells or by dissolving the substance that keeps dead cells attached to the skin, thereby sending a message to the body to produce new skin cells. By adding exfoliation to your skincare routine you can help rejuvenate, smooth the skin, and even fight damage and wrinkles.

There are two main methods of exfoliation commonly used in skin care: chemical and physical. In our last blog, Popular Chemical Exfoliants we outlined popular chemical exfoliants including: alpha Hydroxy Acids, beta Hydroxy Acids, and Enzymes.

For this article, we shift our focus to mechanical exfoliation, also known as physical exfoliation, which is the use of tools, such as a brush, a loofah, a sponge, or a scrub, to physically remove dead skin cells. Natural scrubs are of particular interest as they provide gentle yet effective solutions. 

Best Natural Tools for Physical Exfoliation:

  • Natural Dry Brush

  • Natural Loofah 

  • Natural Sponge

  • Natural Scrubs

Natural Scrubs
If you want vibrant, healthier skin with a more even tone and texture and a radiant glow, using a scrub made with natural ingredients as part of your skin care routine can get you there effectively. We can group scrubs into two categories: Face Scrubs and Body Scrubs.

What is the difference between Face Scrubs and Body Scrubs?

Our faces are at once most delicate and suffer from the highest level of exposure to the elements. Therefore, Face Scrubs must be made with non-abrasive ingredients that are highly effective in aiding the skin to clear pores and shed dead cells, yet very gentle to not harm our skin or cause micro lacerations. For Face Scrubs, we use ingredients that are natural, biodegradable, and completely spherical to avoid potential damage.  Our favorite natural ingredient for Face Scrubs is Jojoba Wax Beads. Body Scrubs on the other hand can be more abrasive and often include ingredients that may reach deeper into the skin. Natural exfoliants in Body Scrubs include salts, sugar, husk, seeds, and nut shells.

Most Popular Natural Ingredients for Physical Exfoliation

Every type of exfoliant doesn’t work for every skin type. The American Academy of Dermatology recommends applying exfoliants that are safe and appropriate, and that best suits your skin type and condition, to maintain the skin clear, without over drying it or causing damage.  Using an exfoliant that is too harsh for your skin may cause micro-lacerations that can result in damaged skin, such as redness and breakouts. This means it is best to identify your skin type first. Do you have Sensitive, Normal, Dry, Oily, or Combination Skin? If you have Normal or Sensitive skin, a chemical exfoliant might be just right for you; while if you have oily or combination skin, mechanical exfoliation may yield the best results. Remember that exfoliation is a routine to be practiced periodically (weekly, monthly) to aid the continuous process of skin turnover.

Best Natural Ingredient for Face Scrubs 


  • Jojoba Wax Beads 

  • Jojoba Wax Beads are considered the Gold Standard in facial exfoliation for their consistent spherical shape which don't cause micro-lacerations to the skin. They are also 100% biodegradable and easily renewable. Jojoba Wax Beads clean your pores and remove dead skin cells.


    rich exfoliating cream scrub

    To clean and refresh polluted, oily, and congested skin prone to Acne, sun spots, age spots, or Melasma, try our Rich Exfoliating Cream Scrub. The Jojoba Wax Beads are combined with Papaya and Pumpkin enzymes, Glycolic, Lactic, Citric, and Tartaric Acids, clarifying China clay and antioxidant-rich herbal extracts. A combination of physical and chemical exfoliants, breakdown, dissolve and purge cellular debris leaving pores decongested, oil absorbed, and skin immediately more revitalized and refreshed without drying. 

    Best Natural Ingredients for Body Scrubs  

  • Walnut Shell
  • Apricot Shell 
  • Fruit Seeds
  • Coffee
  • Sea Salt
  • Sugar
  • Ground Loofah
  • Pumice

  • Exfoliating the whole body presents the opportunity to infuse the skin with ingredients that boost your entire body. If you are feeling tired, with low energy, or have trouble getting up and sustaining through the day without exhaustion or sadness distracting you, try our Energizing Body Scrub. A full body scrub with a biodegradable walnut shell and energizing extracts and essential oils is a gentle and natural way to exfoliate and have more energy, be happier and boost your mood so you can cruise through your life without compromise. This 100% natural formula exfoliates, removing dead skin and debris to enhance lotion absorption. It revitalizes dry, dull skin to improve tone and texture to reveal fresher skin, and it stimulates the Lymphatic system. 



    How to Make Your Own Natural Exfoliating Scrub: DIY Recipes for Face & Body Exfoliation

    Periodic exfoliation helps keep the skin clear, boosting circulation and collagen production. You can make a scrub easily with surprisingly simple and readily available ingredients. 

    Ingredients:  1 part Coffee grounds & 1 part natural Oil.
    Preparation: Don’t throw away those coffee grounds at the end of the day. Mix one part of coffee grounds with one part of your favorite natural oil (coconut or jojoba oil). 
    Application: Apply directly to the body; let it work for a few minutes. The oil tannins & caffeine in the coffee grounds will exfoliate and firm body tissue. Rinse away with lukewarm (not hot) water.

    Ingredients: 10-15 Rose petals, 1 tsp Water, Jojoba Oil, 1 tsp Honey.
    Preparation: Combine and mix all the ingredients in a bowl and mix well. 
    Application: Apply the mixture using gentle circular motions for about 30 seconds. Rinse face with lukewarm (not hot) water. Enjoy the amazing feeling of refreshment and gorgeous floral scent.

    With all of these natural ingredients to exfoliate dead skin, it's nothing to be wary of and should be embraced as an essential part of a good skincare routine. By exfoliating and exposing new, healthy skin cells, you are providing your body with the opportunity for better skin health with less dryness, improved radiance and a blemish free face and neck. So whether you are used to exfoliating or not, try some of these popular physical exfoliants on your next spa day! 

    Want more in depth information to different skin care ingredients? Follow our new Vella series on Amazon Kindle to read monthly episodes on the most popular ingredients in skin care, how to use them and why with our new Quick Guide to Natural Skin Care Ingredients.


    regina disilvestro

    American Academy of Dermatology Association – How to Safely Exfoliate at Home?
    RD Alchemy – Are You Doing Too Much Harm To Your Skin?
    RD Alchemy – Why is Exfoliation Important?
    Wikipedia - Exfoliation

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