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Wait! Before you try smearing any of that poppy seed, lime concoction on your face to get rid of the dead skin cells, listen to our experts. Rather than smelling like recycled food for a few hours, cut to the chase: what works and what doesn’t. Most of these natural remedies are based off of the texture of the material rather than the actual benefits.  Unfortunately these are no different than your average drug store scrub. After seeing so many DIY claims for exfoliated skin circling the various social media pages, we wanted to know what really works.

Our resident experts for the day are Beverly Hills based dermatologist and skin expert, Vicki Rapaport M.D. and Mount Sinai School of Medicine Assistant Professor of Dermatology Debra Jaliman M.D. She is also the author of “Skin Rules: Trade Secrets From a Top New York Dermatologist.”

Here are the 5 DIY Ingredients that truly will work to exfoliate your skin:

1. Lemons

The acids and the vitamin C help exfoliate and add the antioxidant power of eating up the free radical damage in the skin. According to Dr. Rapaport, rubbing it on as pure as possible is the best way to use lemons. “The more you dilute it with other ingredients, the less potent and pure it becomes; so just squeeze it on the skin, wash in circular motions and rinse off,” recommends Dr. Rapport.

2. Pumpkins

Pumpkins have ingredients in them that are both antioxidants and excellent natural exfoliating acids. It’s high in zinc, beta carotene, as well as Vitamins A and C. The later being known antioxidants that are believed to help fight off diseases including cancer and heart disease. This will lighten and brighten your skin, while protecting them from those free radicals that age your skin.

Pumpkin is tolerable to most skin types and truly a wonder ingredient so use it up! Try this budget-friendly Pumpkin Mask from Care2 here.

3. Oatmeal

So why is oatmeal almost in all of the natural beauty treatments? Because they contain saponins, which help clean dirt and oil out of your pores. Its other great properites are moisturizing and soothing–gentle on sensitive skin. Dr. Jaliman found Our Best Bite’s Oatmeal Exfoliator to be a fabulous, effective facial:

  • 2 tsp oats
  • t tsp baking soda
  • warm water

4. Olive Oil + Sugar

Olive Oil’s properties extend beyond internal health benefits. According to research found by Discovery’s Fit&Health blog, “Olive oil is a common folk remedy for very dry skin. It’s silky smooth and does not usually cause allergic reactions [source: Kranke et al].” There have also been studies that show that it may “protect your skin against sun damage and cancer. In one study on mice, an application of extra-virgin olive oil after exposure to UVB light reduced the number of tumors the mice developed [source: Budiyanto et al].”

Try Zenfully Delicious’ Olive Oil & Sugar Face Scrub:

  • Make a semi-thick paste
  • 1 tsp sugar- use granulated sugar so the grains are finer. If using raw, use food processor to grind down the grains.
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil (approximate — make more or less depending on your exfoliation mission).

5. Baking Soda

Adding baking soda to you favorite cleanser enhances the exfoliation as well says Dr. Jaliman. For more ways to incorporate this missing ingredient check out our post on using baking soda in your beauty regimen (click here).

For more information on Dr. Rapaport click here. For more information on Dr. Jaliman click here.