Skin, the body’s largest organ, constantly sloughs off dead cells. This gives way to new, living cells that move up from the lower layers. This continual renewal keeps the skin looking younger, smoother and more radiant.
With age, this natural skin cycle slows down, which can result in an accumulation of dead skin cells on the outer skin layer.
This buildup makes your skin appear dull and darker, and leads to blemishes and more fine lines.
Just taking a bath or shower is not enough to clear away the layer of dead skin. Weekly exfoliation is one of the best ways to get rid of the dead cells and keep your skin soft and smooth.
It also helps moisturizing products penetrate more deeply into the skin and even improves blood circulation.
Exfoliation is necessary for all the skin types, whether oily, sensitive or dry. It should be done on the face as well as elbows, knees, feet and other areas that tend to become dull and dark.
There is no need to use chemical-based cleansing products to exfoliate your skin. There are many natural ingredients in your kitchen that can help remove the dead skin cells and give way to fresh and clear skin.
Here are the top 10 home remedies to get rid of dead skin cells.
The grainy texture of oatmeal works as a great natural exfoliating agent for all skin types. The saponins in it help remove dead skin cells, excess sebum and other impurities.
Plus, the vitamins and minerals in oatmeal are good for your skin, and the protein in it prevents water loss to keep your skin moisturized longer.
- Put 2 tablespoons of instant oatmeal into a bowl. Add 2 tablespoons of plain yogurt and 1 tablespoon of honey. Apply the paste on your face and massage using circular motions to scrub off the dead cells. Let is sit on your skin for another 10 to 15 minutes, then rinse it off with cool water, pat dry your skin and apply a light moisturizer.
- Another option is to mix 2 tablespoons of oatmeal, 2 to 3 teaspoons of honey, 2 teaspoons of lemon juice and a little water to make a paste. Gently rub this oatmeal scrub on your skin for a few minutes. Leave it on for another 10 minutes then rinse it off.
Repeat either of these remedies no more than once or twice a week. You can use these oatmeal scrubs on your face as well as body.
2. Sugar and Olive Oil
The combination of sugar and olive oil make a great scrub for all skin types. While the fine sugar particles help remove the dead skin cells, olive oil works as a great moisturizer for your skin.
This scrub can be used to exfoliate all body parts, including the lips.
- Thoroughly mix ½ cup of fine sugar and 2 to 3 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil.
- Add 2 to 3 teaspoons of honey and a little lemon juice to the mixture.
- Apply this mixture on your skin and rub it around using circular motions for a couple of minutes.
- Rinse it off with lukewarm water, then pat dry gently.
- Use this sugar scrub once or twice a week.
3. Green Tea
If you drink green tea for health reasons, you can get double duty from it by recycling the used tea bags into a great homemade skin scrub.
The slightly rough texture of green tea leaves can help exfoliate your skin to remove dead skin cells, dirt and other impurities. Moreover, green tea enhances skin complexion, improves skin elasticity and makes your skin healthy.
- Scoop out the the contents of 1 or 2 used green tea bags into a bowl and add 2 to 3 teaspoons of honey.
- Optionally, add 1 tablespoon of baking soda.
- Mix the ingredients thoroughly to make a thick paste.
- Spread the mixture all over your face.
- Leave the mask on for 10 minutes.
- Gently scrub off the mask using wet fingers.
- Use this scrub once a week.
When you need a good exfoliator to buff off all those dead skin cells, your regular coffee grounds make a smart choice.
Coffee grounds help eliminate dead skin and support your body’s production of new skin cells. Moreover, the flavonols in the coffee grounds help improve skin texture, repair damaged skin and maintain a glowing complexion.
- Mix together 3 tablespoons of coffee grounds, 1 tablespoon of either extra-virgin olive oil or almond oil, 1 tablespoon of organic honey, and 1 tablespoon of fine sugar.
- Massage the paste over your face, neck, knees and elbows using gentle, circular motions.
- Then, let it sit on your skin for 5 to 10 minutes.
- Rinse it off with warm water and gently pat dry your skin.
- Use this scrub once a week.
Almonds are a great way to pamper your skin. They are rich in antioxidant vitamins A and E. Plus, they contain healthy fats that help maintain healthy and younger-looking skin.
- Soak 10 almonds in water overnight. For better results, soak the almonds in milk.
- The next morning, peel off their skin and grind the almonds into a granular paste.
- Mix in 2 teaspoons of honey.
- Apply this paste on your face and neck.
- Rub it in circular motion for a couple of minutes, then let it dry on your skin for 10 to 15 minutes.
- Rinse your face with lukewarm water.
- Use this almond and honey face scrub 2 or 3 times a week.
6. Orange Peels
After eating oranges, do not throw away the peels. Instead dry the peels in the sunlight for a few days, then grind them into a powder form that you can use in your skin-care routine.
The slightly abrasive nature of the powder works as a natural exfoliating agent. It can help remove dirt and dead skin cells from your skin.
Plus, its rich antioxidant and vitamin C content help rejuvenate your skin, making it appear young and vibrant.
- Mix equal amounts of orange peel powder and plain yogurt to form a smooth paste.
- Apply it on your face and neck area.
- Allow it to sit for 15 to 20 minutes.
- With wet hands, gently rub off the paste using circular motions.
- Repeat once a week.
7. Gram Flour
Gram flour, also known as besan is another effective natural ingredient that helps remove dead skin cells, thus making your skin glow.
It also removes excess oil from your skin and prevents problems like acne, pimples and blackheads.
- Mix together 2 tablespoons of gram flour and a few tablespoons of rose water or just plain water to make a paste. Apply this paste on your skin and leave it on until it dries completely. Then, scrub it off with your wet fingers and rinse your face.
- Another option is to mix 2 tablespoons each of gram four and plain yogurt. You can also add 1 teaspoon of turmeric powder. If the paste is too thick, add a little more yogurt. Spread this paste on your face and neck. Allow it to dry completely, then rinse it off.
Use either of these remedies once or twice a week.
8. Warm Water Soak and Pumice Stone
To exfoliate your feet, especially the heels, a warm water soak followed by scrubbing the softened area with a pumice stone is the best option. It will get rid of the dead skin cells and also reduce the risk of cracked feet.
- Pour warm water along with a few drops of mild liquid soap into a foot tub.
- Soak your feet in this warm soapy water for at least 15 minutes to soften the skin.
- Scrub the skin with a pumice stone using circular motions for about 10 minutes.
- Rinse off your feet with clean water and pat dry with a soft towel.
- Apply olive or coconut oil generously on the feet.
- Wear a pair of clean cotton socks and leave them on overnight while you sleep.
- Repeat once a week.
9. Avocado Seed
While it is very common to use avocado pulp to make face masks, you can also use the seed to get rid of dead skin cells. It even helps remove excess sebum and other impurities from the skin.
The seed is a rich source of antioxidants, which help repair and nourish dry and damaged skin.
- Wash a few avocado seeds and remove the brown skin.
- Grind them into a powder using a coffee grinder or a high-powered blender.
- Mix 1 tablespoon of this powder and 1 teaspoon each of olive oil and honey in a bowl.
- Gently rub this mixture all over your face, neck, hands and other body parts using circular motions.
- Wait 10 to 15 minutes, then take a bath.
- Use this scrub once a week.
10. Dry Brushing
Dry brushing also helps remove dead skin cells. It can effectively slough off the dead cells and open up your pores. Added benefits are that it tightens the skin and improves its texture.
- Stand upright in your bathroom.
- Using gentle but brisk motions, start dry brushing your feet and slowly move your way up, covering your legs, thighs, abdomen, chest, back, arms and shoulders. Do this for 10 to 20 minutes.
- After you’re done dry brushing, enjoy a long warm bath.
- Finally, pat dry your skin and apply a moisturizer.
- Dry brushing can be done a few times a week.
Note: Always use a natural bristle brush for dry brushing your skin.
- Before exfoliating your face, steam your face to open up the pores and soften up oil, dirt and dead skin cells from deep within the layers of skin. Steam your face for at least 20 minutes before applying a scrub.
- You face should be clean and free of makeup before applying a scrub.
- As exfoliation removes the natural oil from your skin, making your skin dry, it’s important to apply a moisturizer later on.
- If any of the scrubs used on your face enters your eyes, rinse out your eyes immediately with cold water.
- Remember to be gentle while scrubbing, as you do not want to be too harsh on your skin.
- Too much exfoliating or harsh scrubbing can result in redness and irritation.
- Do not use a loofah or sponge to scrub your skin. They are difficult to keep clean and tend to collect bacteria.