As you read this, your body's busy making new skin: "It takes a skin cell 28 days to move from the dermis, where it's created, to the top layers of skin, where it's naturally sloughed off," says Francesca Fusco, M.D., a New York City dermatologist.
Exfoliation kick-starts your skin's renewal system, removing dead cells and uncovering the fresher skin that's waiting underneath. So buff, scrub, and peel your way to a smoother summer these handmade scrubs.
For the Face
There are two kinds of exfoliators: physical ones (oats, crystals), which remove dead skin by literally scrubbing it away, and chemical types (glycolic, fruit acids), which dissolve the bonds that hold skin cells together, allowing them to slough off more easily.
Limit exfoliation to once a week until you know how your skin reacts. Then, you can scrub up to three times if your skin isn't showing signs of irritation.
DIY Oatmeal-Lavender Face Scrub
1 cup ground oatmeal
1/2 cup dry lavender flowers, stripped of stalks
1/2 cup powdered milk (either whole or nonfat)
2 tsp. cornmeal
Mix all the dry ingredients in a bowl, massage into damp skin, and rinse with warm water. (Scrub will keep for six months.)
Recipe from "Do It Gorgeously" (June, 2010), by Sophie Uliano.
Pineapple Face Scrub
2/3 cup fresh pineapple chunks (room temperature)
1/4 cup cold-pressed olive oil
1/4 cup fresh, clean parsley, chopped
Pulse pineapple in a blender, then add oil until almost smooth. Add parsley, and blend carefully so mask doesn't liquefy. Apply to skin and leave on for 15 minutes, instructs Brenda Brock, recipe creator and founder and CEO of Farmaesthetics
Plus: More DIY Facial Masks and Scrubs
For the Body
You can exfoliate your body more regularly than your face; most people can tolerate a daily scrub. Rough spots like heels may crack if dead skin isn't buffed away.
Always apply a moisturizer after exfoliating to keep freshly scrubbed skin soft.
DIY Spicy Sugar Scrub
3/4 cup sugar
2 tsp. ground cloves
1 Tbsp. dried rose petals
2 tsp. grated orange zest
1 1/2 cups sesame oil
Combine ingredients in a large bowl, making sure that everything is well mixed. Use on damp skin twice a week, Uliano says, scrubbing with your hands or a washcloth in small, circular motions. The mix will last up to six months when stored in a cool, dark cupboard.
DIY Coffee Zest Body Scrub
1/2 cup used coffee grounds
1/2 cup honey
1 Tbsp. fresh orange zest
Mix ingredients together in a container and rub mixture into skin with your hands or a washcloth, using upward strokes, for one to three minutes. Apply up to three times a week, Brock says.
Plus: Crazy Beauty Tricks that Really Work
DIY Honey Body Scrub
The best scrub may be no farther than your pantry. Honey is one of nature's best humectants, drawing water into the skin, while sugar buffs away dead cells so gently that it dissolves as it works. A touch of citrus offers an invigorating scent.
Blend the ingredients until well mixed, then store in a jar, says Janice Cox, author of "Natural Beauty at Home ."
• 1 tsp. pure honey
• 1/4 cup light olive oil
• 1 cup raw or granulated sugar
• 2 tsp. fresh citrus zest
1. Add olive oil to honey.
2. Blend with sugar.
3. Mix in zest.
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