The 5 Best Natural Exfoliants

Before exfoliating your skin with home remedies, it's best to consult a dermatologist since not all skin is the same and may need different methods of exfoliation.
The 5 Best Natural Exfoliants
Karla Henríquez

Written and verified by the doctor Karla Henríquez.

Last update: 27 May, 2022

There are several ways to exfoliate your skin naturally at home. One of the most popular is to create an exfoliant with sugar. The idea of ​​carrying it out periodically is to remove the layer of dead cells and impurities, to show off a cleaner and healthier complexion.

Despite the fact that the skin exfoliates naturally every 28 days, some people believe that they should exfoliate periodically for a better overall complexion. Let’s take a closer look.

What is exfoliation?

Natural exfoliation is beneficial for the skin.

Exfoliation is a cosmetic procedure that facilitates the removal of dead skin cells. The goal of an exfoliating product is to not only eliminate these dead cells, but also other impurities on the surface of the skin. The ultimate aim is to reduce, in the future, the appearance of any impurities and imperfections.

Experts in the Encyclopedia of Health explain that “in cosmetics, artificial exfoliation is done with the goal of facial rejuvenation. The impurities and dead cells from the epidermis are removed by physical action or with a chemical agent.”

How to exfoliate skin naturally

In addition to going to a dermatologist to find a suitable exfoliant for your skin type, popular wisdom also says that you can use natural elements to exfoliate the skin. Let’s see below!

1. Natural exfoliants: lemon peel

The mixture of a little artisanal honey with grated coconut and grated lemon peels can be a great homemade exfoliant for combination skin, according to alternative cosmetics.


  • 1 lemon peel
  • 1 tablespoon of grated coconut (10 g)
  • 3 tablespoons of honey (75 g)

What should you do?

  • Let the lemon peel dry, grate it, and mix it with the grated coconut and honey.
  • Once you’ve obtained a thick paste, apply it to your skin using a gentle circular massage and leave it on for a few minutes.
  • Rinse with warm water and use this twice a week.
  • Only use this exfoliant at night to avoid any negative effects from exposure to the sun.

2. Coffee and coconut oil

Coffee can be one of many ingredients in natural exfoliants.

The combination of used coffee grounds and coconut oil results in an exfoliating treatment that might be helpful for oilier skin. On the one hand, coffee grounds help remove impurities and dirt while coconut oil helps hydrate and soften the skin.


  • 1 tablespoon of used coffee grounds (10 g)
  • 2 tablespoons of coconut oil (30 g)

What should you do?

  • Mix the coffee grounds and coconut oil until you have a thick paste.
  • Apply it with a gentle circular massage and leave it on for two minutes.
  • Rinse and repeat this application twice a week.

3. Oats and olive oil

Oatmeal and olive oil is great for dry, normal, and combination skin, as both ingredients help contribute to the health of the skin in a gentle way. 


  • 1 tablespoon of rolled oats (10 g)
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil (16 g)

What should you do?

  • Soak the oats in a little water and mix in the tablespoon of olive oil.
  • Rub this paste over your skin using a gentle circular massage and leave on for five minutes.
  • Rinse with plenty of water.

You might be interested in: Learn How to Make Natural Oatmeal Soap to Exfoliate Your Skin

4. Cinnamon and honey

Natural exfoliants commonly contain honey.

Due to the antioxidant and softening compounds, both honey and cinnamon are considered great for skin health. In addition, some people say that they can help prevent the appearance of premature wrinkles and stretch marks.


  • 1 tablespoon of ground cinnamon (10 g)
  • 3 tablespoons of pure honey (75 g)

What should you do?

  • Make a paste using these two ingredients and apply it using a gentle circular massage to any area you want to exfoliate.
  • Leave it on for five minutes and rinse.

5. Rice milk and chickpea flour

This is a gentle exfoliant, suitable for almost all skin types. You just have to mix rice milk – unsweetened and preferably homemade – with a little chickpea flour.


  • Rice milk
  • Chickpea flour

What should you do?

  • Mix the two ingredients to obtain a wet paste.
  • Wash your face and apply this scrub using gentle motions.
  • Leave it on for five minutes and rinse.
  • Use only at night.

6. Buttermilk and salt

Buttermilk and salt are two natural exfoliants.

As this is a thin solution, it has water-soluble minerals and vitamins from lactic acid. According to popular belief, to the exfoliate the skin naturally and improve the appearance of oily skin, it’s best to apply a mixture of fine table salt and buttermilk.


  • 1 teaspoon of salt (5 g).
  • 3 tablespoons of buttermilk (30ml).

What should you do?

  • Firstly, mix the buttermilk with the salt and apply the product to your skin.
  • Wait five miniutes for it to take effect and then rinse.

Should I consult a dermatologist first?

Before starting to exfoliate your skin naturally at home with home remedies or commercial products from the supermarket or other store, it’s always best to consult with your dermatologist. Otherwise, you might irritate and mistreat your skin and thereby cause futher damage.

If you want to exfoliate regularly, ask your doctor how often they recommend you exfoliate and why. A professional will know how to tell you what is best for your skin.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

  • Dr. Lupo. (2015). Evaluate before you exfoliate | American Academy of Dermatology.
  • Proksch, E., Brandner, J. M., & Jensen, J. M. (2008). The skin: An indispensable barrier. Experimental Dermatology.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.