The Rough Truths of Harmful Skin Exfoliation

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Sustainable Sloughing: Uncovering the Rough Truths of Exfoliation

Healthy Alternatives for Skin ExfoliationMany of us use exfoliants before bed to rid our skin of the daily dirt, debris and grime that it has encountered. Pollution, sweat and even the wind allow our skin to house some dirty particles that most of us would cringe at. But before you go running to the exfoliator, you should be aware that most of these skincare products are laced with harmful chemicals that can actually cause more damage than the skin repair it promises.

Yes, some skin exfoliants can actually be helpful and leave your skin looking refreshed and clean. On the other hand, many exfoliants are infused with harmful and completely unnatural ingredients, such as plastic, fragrance and glycerin. Took a look at the back of your exfoliant label and if you see words that begin with “poly,” “chloride,” or other such unnatural substances, then chances are your face and body are quickly absorbing all these chemicals. Besides rubbing plastics on your skin that will undoubtedly irritate your face, exfoliants can also remove healthy layers of skin. In fact, many exfoliants are too harsh in general and, while removing healthy layers of skin, will leave your face looking and feeling red, itchy and irritated.Further Analysis of the Harmful Effects of Exfoliants and Some Alternatives

Regardless of this, some women find that the aftermath of exfoliants are worth the risk. In fact, many of these women find the effects so worthwhile that they turn to chemical peels. A chemical peel is performed by a medical professional and depending on the depth of the peel, alpha-hydroxyl acid, trichloracetic acid or phenol acid will be slathered on the face. Sounds like it might burn your skin? Well, it can cause serious burns and may even swell your eyes shut for a period of time after the peel has been performed. Besides that, chemical peels can be very painful and are often times done without anesthesia.

Oatmeal as Healthy Skin Exfoliant

Oatmeal as Healthy Skin Exfoliant

So why do some women go through this? Well, chemical peels can reveal younger looking skin and reduce the appearance of wrinkles, scars, blemishes and sun spots, but at what cost? Chemical peels can result in long-term damaging effects, such as permanent lightening or hypo-pigmentation of the skin, scarring and sun sensitivity. It should also be noted that some chemical peels need to be performed routinely, which not only maximize these damages, but also require a major amount of financial commitment.

So, what’s a girl to do? If you’re nervous about slathering chemicals on your face, you’re not alone and there is another way to achieve fresh, young looking skin. Not only are natural exfoliants better for your skin and body, but the ingredients can be found in health-food and grocery stores, so oftentimes they’re cheaper. Plus, these easy-to-make home remedies are not filled with plastic particles! Below is a list of natural remedies for removing dry, scaly, overworked skin cells.

Home Remedies as Alternatives to Chemical or Harmful Skin Exfoliation

  • Oatmeal. This is one the most popular choices for dry and sensitive skin. Not only does it heal and soothe skin, but it’s a great moisturizer and anti-inflammatory.
  • Sea salt. This natural exfoliant has been used for thousands of years and because of its anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, sea salt is especially effective for acne-prone skin.
  • Ground coffee. This natural ingredient is one of the most effective exfoliants for toning and rejuvenating skin, as it houses stimulant properties.
  • Baking powder. This ingredient is great for sensitive skin, as it gently exfoliates, yet soothes the skin.
  • Corn flour. Proven effective for oily skin, corn flour facilities the absorption of oil.
  • Brown sugar. This ingredient can be used for all types of skin exfoliants, as it is very gentle.
  • Papaya. One of the most popular ingredients, enzymes in papayas work to dissolve dead skin cells and improve skin elasticity and quality, something every girl is looking for.

So, before you cake your face with that exfoliant under your bathroom sink, be sure to read all the ingredients carefully. If you sense that your skincare product is infused with chemicals then try switching to all natural exfoliants, which are proven to be just as, if not more, effective than off the shelf brands. Plus, with no harmful chemicals to worry about, your skin and body can equally benefit. You wouldn’t eat plastic, so why would you put it on your face?

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This has been a special guest post for Easy Ways to Go Green by Laurie Mitchell. Laurie Mitchell is an authority on cosmetic industry topics and on the effects of aging on the skin. Laurie writes about Hydrolyze, a leading brand in the anti-aging industry. Additional information about anti-aging products can be found at

(Photo Via: SheKnows; Squidoo Lens)

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