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Thing of Beauty

A Nitty-Gritty Guide to Natural Exfoliants

Thing of Beauty BY courtney conway 09/06/2017

 

Everyone knows by now that exfoliating is key for clear, glowy skin—but you also probably got the memo that those bead things are not great for the world. Luckily, there are piles of different natural options to choose from, both physical and chemical. But how to pick?! To make that process a little smoother, we asked Jessica Morelli—who makes the best scrubs for her line, Palermo Body—to show us her grit.

 

For the Body:

 

SEA SALT AND SUGAR

“Salt and sugar are both really great, but their edges can be sharper—so it’s definitely better to use them on your body rather than on your face. The coarse grains work great on your elbows and other areas that tend to have more dead skin build-up and need help getting their circulation going. Also, the motion of scrubbing actually helps to get the blood pumping under your skin, and that’s what helps to promote healthy skin. Salt is packed with minerals that can help stave off eczema and psoriasis. Sugar can help with elasticity and hydration, so I really like to let those ingredients sit on my skin for a minute or two before rinsing them off so it can really soak up all the benefits.”

 

 

 

POPPY SEEDS

“You can really use any kind of seeds—sometimes people will use cranberry seeds—but poppy seeds are completely round, so even though they are pretty big in size, they tend to still be really gentle.”

 

 

COFFEE GROUNDS

“The caffeine helps tremendously with circulation—which is one of the key factors that helps to reduce cellulite because it tends to form in areas with low circulation. While it is totally natural and I tell people to try and not worry about it, I do understand wanting to eliminate cellulite as much as you can. So while there's no easy fix to get rid of it forever, a super easy fix is just using a regular scrub with coffee grounds in the shower, which should help over time.” 

 

PUMICE STONE

“I like to use a finely ground pumice stone, which makes a really light, coarse ingredient that helps to gently buff the dead skin away.”

 

 

For the Face:

 

CRUSHED HERBS

“Some of my favorites for gentle scrubbing are ground herbs and plant powders. For example, our face mask has both a clay, which is super-fine and acts as a cleanser, and also powdered rosehip powder, chamomile, and hibiscus, which aren’t water-soluble—so they gently exfoliate as you massage them onto your skin.”

 

 

OATMEAL AND NUT FLOURS

“Oatmeal works in the same kind of way that the plant powders do, and I always recommend them all being ground super, super finely. You can use nut flours as well—but only if you can get it very finely ground so it’s gentle and without sharp edges. Because the skin on your face is much more delicate and thin than the rest of your body, if you end up exfoliating your face with something with sharp edges, it can make tiny micro cuts, which can let in bacteria.”

 

FRUIT ENZYMES

“Fruit enzymes like those found in pulverized pineapple or crushed blueberries are actually able to break down keratin, which is essentially what dead skin is. So when you use a fruit enzyme or an acid, it will help to reveal fresh and glowing skin underneath. But take it easy with these because you have less dead skin than you think, and you don’t want them breaking down your healthy skin cells.”

 

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