Some states in the U.S. are beginning to ban the sale of facial scrubs containing microbeads, or tiny bits of plastic. These microbeads are making their way into the water stream and are a major source of plastic pollution.
Not only are many conventional facial scrubs bad for the environment, but they’re also made with toxic ingredients that are harmful for your health. Many drugstore brand face washes contain ingredients such as sulfates, artificial fragrances and dyes, parabens and preservatives that are linked to allergies/immunotoxicity, irritation, organ system toxicity, cancer, endocrine disruption and neurotoxicity. (Check EWG’S Skin Deep® Cosmetics Database to find details on specific brands and ingredients.)
Remember: your skin absorbs everything you put on it into your blood stream, fat stores and lymphatic system, so whatever you put on your skin is not just on the outside but also inside your body’s vital organs.
Why not avoid those toxins and make your own exfoliating facial scrub at home? With just two ingredients, it’s easy to get soft, glowing skin instantly. Choose one of the below exfoliating agents and mix with a small amount of oil until it forms a paste-like texture.
Baking soda, coffee grounds or sugar
Extra virgin olive, virgin coconut or almond oil
Apply mixture to wet skin, and massage gently into the skin in circular motions for one minute. Rinse well with warm water. Pat with a damp cloth to remove excess oil if needed, and then pat dry with a clean towel. Repeat two to three times a week.
You can choose to mix up a small amount of the exfoliating facial scrub right before you use it, or combine approximately two ounces each of the ingredients, and store in a small jar for about two weeks.
Why exfoliate? Exfoliating stimulates circulation and leaves skin looking smooth and clear. Gentle exfoliants work by removing dead skin cells from the top layer of skin. Regular facial exfoliation can increase your skin’s ability to absorb moisture, and over time it may reduce the appearance of wrinkles and reduce acne.
Combining the exfoliating agents with oil helps add moisture to the skin. I find that using an exfoliant with water only dries out my skin, while the oil keeps it from becoming dry and makes it extra soft without clogging my pores.