Natural Exfoliators for Summer Skin

All Posts, Self Care, Summer

Natural Exfoliators

Words: Danielle Williams
Photo Credit: Irena Saro and Cyna Rank

Summertime often means running around outside barefoot and soaking up the sunshine, both of which can wreak havoc on our skin. It’s important to remember to take care of your skin during this season, as it often takes a beating. These natural exfoliators, many of which you might already have in the pantry, will help you do just that.

When it comes to your skin, removing dead skin cells from the surface, known as exfoliating, is important to keep your skin healthy, moisturized, and glowing. There are two ways to do this: chemically or physically. The former uses natural acids to separate the dead surface layers from the newer skin cells. These acids, such as alpha-hydroxy acids and beta-hydroxy acids, often found in fruits, help remove the dead cells without using abrasive force that can cause irritation to sensitive skin types.

The other more commonly known method is using a physical exfoliator, such as sugar, salt, or coffee, that removes the dead cells via scrubbing the skin. To determine which type of exfoliator is best for you, first, figure out your skin type. Depending on how your skin reacts to certain ingredients and levels of force will impact your results.

10 Natural Exfoliators

1. Salt
2. Sugar
3. Ground oats
4. Coffee
5. Milk
6. Chia seeds
7. Baking soda
8. Papaya
9. Ground almonds
10. Lemon juice

Natural Exfoliators

Photo Credit: Sabrina Rollo and Rachel Strum


• Always do a spot test before trying a new exfoliant. Apply a small amount to your arm and monitor for adverse reactions.
• As a general rule, massage the exfoliant gently into your skin for no more than one minute, and rinse with warm water. Follow with a high-quality moisturizer.
• If your skin becomes red or irritated, stop using that exfoliator and allow your skin to heal.


Want to incorporate natural, homemade recipes into your bath and body routine? Peek inside our new Summer 2023 Issue on our publisher’s website.

Danielle Williams is the managing editor for Willow and Sage, The Natural Home Issue, Mingle, and Art Quilting Studio. She lives with her growing family in Orange County, California.

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