What Is a Natural Exfoliating Scrub & How to Exfoliate

Exfoliation is essential for healthy, glowing skin. When we use an exfoliating scrub, we eliminate the dead skin cells from the surface of the skin. It’s these skin cells and other impurities that can accumulate on the skin and create that dull, tired-looking complexion that is so unappealing. 

When we exfoliate, we cleanse clogged pores, which is great if you have combination skin. Oily skin, as well as dry skin, can benefit from gentle exfoliation. 

People with sensitive skin should know that there is a type of exfoliation for them, too, even if they are very careful with their skincare routine and avoiding products with harsh ingredients. They can start with dry brushing and, in time, can introduce an exfoliating scrub too.

misroplastic in exfoliant
Source: Science Direct

What Are the Benefits of Using a Facial Scrub?

We choose to use a scrub regularly to improve the aspect of the skin by eliminating impurities and dead skin cells. But there is more to making exfoliation a part of your beauty routine, and there are associated benefits. Here are just a few advantages of using an exfoliating scrub:

  • Helps to prevent and to treat acne. When we exfoliate regularly, we get rid of some of the factors that can trigger acne – impurities and excess oils. As a result, the scrub is efficient in helping us fight acne, as a part of the treatment, but also to prevent blemishes from occurring.
  • Minimizes the pores. Enlarged pores are a real deal-breaker when it comes to a healthy, beautiful aspect of the skin. Not to mention that they can lead to other, more serious skin conditions like acne, cysts, pimples, and so on. One of the best methods to get rid of clogged pores is scrubbing. As a result, the skin is more even, the texture is improved, and you can say goodbye to the little monsters on the face. 
  • Promotes better absorption of skincare products. By eliminating the dead skin cells and impurities that accumulate on the surface of the skin, the scrub facilitates better absorption of the products you use in your beauty routine. As a result, the skin is better prepared and can maximize the benefits of the active ingredients in serums and creams. 

Chemical vs Physical vs Natural Exfoliation

You can exfoliate your skin using two methods. Well, actually three methods if we count dry brushing. We have chemical exfoliation with products containing active ingredients such as alpha and beta hydroxy acids, glycolic acid, salicylic acid, and others. These are mostly fruit acids that can provide a gentle peeling at the skin’s surface, eliminating dead skin cells and promoting cellular rejuvenation. 

Then we have the mechanical exfoliants. These are scrubs with small particles that allow for gentle exfoliation when rubbed against the skin. Most body scrubs and even some body wash have exfoliating particles. Aside from the store-bought options, there are also DIY physical natural exfoliant options. 

Among the most popular, we can mention the ground coffee scrub and brown sugar scrub. Most of us have these ingredients available in the house at all times, so it’s easy to try and see how the skin feels after using a physical exfoliant. However, it’s important to keep in mind that most experts don’t recommend using the sugar scrub (or the ground coffee one) at face level. 

The third option you can use to get rid of dead skin cells and impurities from the surface of the skin is dry brushing. This method is recommended for all skin types and is suitable for the body and face. Make sure to use the brush with gentle, circular movements to make the most of your home treatment. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Does Exfoliating Remove Dark Spots?

We associate dark spots with certain health conditions but also with excessive sun exposure and the natural aging process. Dark spots can sometimes occur during summer and be gone in the colder months. But, generally speaking, they become permanent as we grow old.

However, there are specific treatments we can use to make dark spots less visible and even to get rid of them. The chemical scrubs can help with minimizing dark spots and sometimes make them disappear completely.

Is It Better to Exfoliate in the Morning or Evening?

It’s better to exfoliate in the evenings before going to bed on a cleansed skin. Most experts recommend night-time exfoliation, followed up by a good moisturizer before going to bed and sunscreen protection in the morning. 

However, there are no rules against exfoliating in the morning, especially if it’s over the weekend, and you’re not planning to go out immediately. The skin might be a bit red or irritated after using the scrub. This is normal and often a result of improved blood circulation in the area. 

I Have Sensitive Skin; What Scrub Should I Choose?

We’ve mentioned before that even people with sensitive skin can reap the benefits of scrubbing. The recommendation is to use a natural gentle exfoliator with no abrasive ingredients. In other words, the natural exfoliators are much better suited for this type of skin than the mechanic ones.

Facial exfoliation cleansers with microplastic
Source: Science Direct


Exfoliation can be just that extra bit of something you needed to get spectacular results in your skincare routine. When choosing the exfoliating scrub wisely, the skin looks refreshed, cleansed, and glows from within. 

As it is the case with all the other skincare products, it is important to choose the scrub taking your skin type and condition into consideration. People with combination and oily skin can benefit more from a scrub with particles, while people with sensitive, dry or mature skin might appreciate more a chemical exfoliant.  Test the scrub on a patch of skin before applying it all over the face, and make sure to apply a rich moisturizer or a facial oil after exfoliating. It’s also important to use sunscreen in the morning if you used the scrub in the evening. 

Avatar photo

About The Author

Elena D. is a passionate advocate for ethical consumer choices and sustainable living. With a deep commitment to clean, organic, and non-toxic products, Elena is on a mission to promote a healthier, planet-friendly lifestyle. Her expertise in non-toxic skincare and eco-conscious alternatives to traditional beauty products reflects her dedication to a more sustainable and compassionate world. Elena's goal is to empower readers to make informed choices that benefit both their well-being and the environment. Join her on the journey towards a cleaner, greener future.