Exfoliating is such an important process for the health of skin, but using products that aren’t too harsh and gently applying them is essential. To help you narrow down the choice and find one which ticks all the boxes – from efficacy to ethics – we are sharing the best natural face exfoliators we’ve come across so far…
Catch up with the previous posts in the Best of Natural series here:
- Best Natural Face Moisturisers
- Best Natural Makeup Removers and Face Cleansers
- Best Natural Skin Tints and Foundations
WHAT ARE THE BEST NATURAL FACE EXFOLIATORS?
*OUR FOUNDER’S FAVOURITES*
There are two products which Sofia uses on rotation as both work beautifully on her sensitive skin:
This particular product is suitable for all skin types but will particularly help boost dry, dull or sensitive skin as it removes dead skin cells and unclogs pores for a brighter complexion. Breakouts and any patches of redness are calmed down and uneven skin tone and texture improved. Skin is left feeling soft, supple, hydrated, comfortable and of course, not forgetting radiant, healthy and glowing.
This is a rich creamy balm that can be used as strong or as weak as you want, just by adding warm water which will turn the consistency into a light milk and dissolve the tiny exfoliating beads that gently massage the skin. If like Sofia you have sensitive skin, use no more than once a week and leave on for less than the recommended time.
Being a nutrition-based skincare brand it’s no surprise that Oskia’s exfoliator is full of natural ingredients, and offers vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and omegas, as well as essential cell nutrients, prebiotics and peptides which stimulates regeneration and collagen production which help to keep skin healthy. The combination of rose, lychee, and peppermint gives off a refreshing fragrance and we also love that it has rosehip and sweet almond oil in it – two ingredients in our own face oil! Free from parabens and acetones, this is a product that is vegan-friendly, not tested on animals and comes in recyclable packaging.
Made in the UK, Aurelia’s balm (which is applied in the same way as Oskia’s) has so many benefits. The probiotics and peptides help protect, rebalance and revitalise skin while the sugar maple sap extract removes the skin’s dead surface cells. Natural rice bran beads gently exfoliate skin to buff away the skin cells and the Kigelia Africana fruit extract firms and smoothes the skin. As all of this is removed, the product also works to put antioxidants and omegas back into the skin; boosting circulation, reducing damage caused by free radicals, promoting skin renewal and brightening.
Despite including powerful fruit enzymes, this is so gentle that it can be used more than once a week for bright, clear skin. We love that this balm is free from synthetic fragrances (instead it has a lovely fragrance made up of chamomile, eucalyptus, rosemary and bergamot essential oils), contains no colourants or parabens, is vegan-friendly, cruelty-free and also has recyclable packaging.
Multi-purpose products can definitely be hit or miss, but this one is a big hit with us – especially as a little goes a long way! This cruelty-free and vegan-friendly loose powder which is hand-blended in India and packaged using recyclable materials in the UK is rich in nutrients and made in consultation with aromatherapists. It’s 100% natural and free from parabens, mineral oils, silicones, palm oil, alcohol and synthetic fragrances.
Key ingredients include Kashmiri Saffron extracts which helps skin tone and texture, leaving a radiant warm glow. Mysore Sandalwood powder and oil produces firmer, smoother skin and also has antiseptic, astringent and anti-inflammatory properties which help fight free radicals and minimise scarring, dryness and redness. Mineral-rich clay helps to draw out impurities without stripping the skin’s natural oils, while turmeric root boosts the skin’s antioxidants.
This rich oil-based formula becomes a delicate milk when mixed with water. Easily melted in your palms, it provides a gentle and efficient way of removing dead skin cells, all while cleansing, softening and renewing skin by stimulating cell turnover and allowing the skin to maintain its natural moisture. Apricot and oat oil molecules bind dirt and impurities as the gentle wax microbeads polish and relieve clogged pores, leaving smoother, fresher skin behind.
It’s 100% natural, certified organic, vegan-friendly, cruelty-free and free from parabens, perfumes, nuts, gluten, and synthetic colours.
Peels can sound rather terrifying and perhaps something you would only consider having done by a professional, but this at-home enzyme treatment is 100% natural, organic, free from parabens, vegan-friendly, fast-acting and straightforward to use.
Start by cleansing your face as you normally would, then follow by massaging a layer of this product into your skin. Leave to dry for 15 minutes (or less if you have especially sensitive skin) – you may feel a tingling sensation and experience some redness, but this should only be temporary. Finish by rinsing with lukewarm water to reveal deeply cleansed pores and a radiant complexion. The pomegranate enzymes and pink pomelo within will also help to even out skin tone, remove impurities and dead skin cells, improve elasticity, balance and moisturise.
*FOUNDER TOP TIP*
“I always exfoliate at night so skin is prepped and ready to absorb all the goodness from my night serum and night oil. They penetrate skin better when there isn’t a layer of tired skin cells” – Sofia
We always recommend avoiding a stimulating serum after exfoliation as this may cause sensitivity in the skin. Instead, opt for a gentle and hydrating serum, followed by a face oil to seal in moisture and soothe skin. For more tips about using exfoliators, you might also like to read: Understanding Acids In Skincare – AHAS And BHAS
WHAT ARE YOUR FAVOURITE NATURAL FACE EXFOLIATORS?
We’d love for you to tell us in a comment below!
This post is part of our ‘Best of Natural’ series, with more coming soon; including face masks, body care and haircare. Sign up below to be sure to get the posts direct to your inbox, plus exclusive offers reserved for subscribers only.