Exfoliating is essential for any beauty regimen, as it lets clogged pores breathe, cleans up blemishes, and gives skin a silky texture. However, while it’s easy to spend a small fortune on high-end, name-brand scrubs and masks, you can concoct a number of highly effective substitutes from foods that already may have in your home. Here are seven tried-and-true favorites.
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This staple is so simple you probably won’t need to make a trip to the grocery store for its basic ingredients: ½ cup Himalayan Pink sea salt, ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil, and ½ cup brown sugar (the dark kind is the best).
Mix these elements well and put the mixture in a shower-friendly container. After you’ve washed your face in the shower, apply to your skin with a circular motion, then rinse and gently towel-dry. With its olive oil base, this scrub makes post-shower moisturizing less necessary.
An equally simple way to give oily skin the slip, this mask is comprised of a ripe banana, a few drops of citrus fruit, and a tablespoon of honey. After mixing the ingredients together into a thick paste, apply to your face evenly and let it do its thing for a quarter of an hour, then cleanse with a warm, wet face towel.
Because of their tightening effects, egg whites are a great natural agent for beating wrinkles before they happen. Simply whip up one fresh egg white with a tablespoon of honey (as a moisturizer) and a few drops of fennel and sandalwood oils. After twenty minutes, gently scrub with tepid water. Be thorough – egg whites can form an almost glue-like film when hard.
A recipe that almost makes you want some turkey and pumpkin pie to go with it, this one is guaranteed to make your face radiant. Into a base of a teaspoon of honey and ½ teaspoon vinegar, stir in one teaspoon each of finely ground walnuts and almonds. (Don’t crush them with a mortar and pestle, as you want some granular effect.) Scrub, then rinse after ten minutes.
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This very breakfast-like concoction is for general upkeep of all skin types. Mix a tablespoon of oatmeal flour with equal parts brown sugar and milk with ½ teaspoon almond oil and just a touch of cinnamon into a paste, then massage into your face using brisk circular motions
The easiest to prepare and the quickest to apply, this is as simple as it sounds. Starting with a base of 2 teaspoons of sea salt and one of lemon juice, slowly add honey until a mildly viscous consistency is reached. Once you’ve got the paste in hand, scrub for a minute or two, leave on as a five-minute mask, and then cleanse away.
We lied – the final offering on the list barely counts as a recipe at all. For every part avocado, include one half part honey and mash up thoroughly. (For this reason, seek out avocados as ripe as possible without being brown.) Spread the resulting paste onto your face and wash after ten minutes. This one is recommended for mature and/or dryer skin—and for use alongside the brown sugar scrub above.
While some of these recipes seem too simple—and even tasty—to be effective, remember that many of the best name-brand skin products are based in naturally occurring ingredients. First time users are sometimes put off by the use of salt as the granular element in many homemade scrubs, but salt is remarkable for flushing out toxins and infusing the skin with beneficial minerals. No matter which scrub you choose, be sure to follow up with a rich moisturizer, as exfoliation can excessively dry your face.