Learn all the benefits of exfoliation and how to make an exfoliating mask with this simple and quick at-home beauty DIY.
What is it about exfoliating our skin that feels so virtuous? Scrubbing away those layers of expired skin, city pollutants and days of makeup. What’s revealed in the mirror is clean, new, satisfying. A fresh start, any bad deeds (and occasional bad decisions) buffed into obscurity. The closest thing we’ll get to turning back the clock. But exfoliating our skin, especially as part of our weekly beauty ritual, is about more than just looking and feeling refreshed. Exfoliation is an essential part of keeping our skin healthy and functioning properly.
When our bodies shed skin cells, an everyday process, those cells have a tendency to build up on the skin’s surface by adhering to the new cells. As they build up, those dead cells clog pores and congest the skin, making it more difficult for the skin to breathe and giving it a dull, dry and sometimes rough complexion. Exfoliation is even more important as we age, when the body is slower to regenerate and shed those cells. But that build up isn’t just unpleasant to look at — dry, dead skin cells can also clog pores, causing blemishes and acne, and at times tricking our bodies into producing more oil than they need to. Exfoliating once or twice a week with a DIY exfoliating mask will decongest the skin and reveal the beautiful new cells hiding beneath. Exfoliating will even reduce the appearance of lines and wrinkles as that dead skin is smoothed away. And the best part? Creating your own exfoliating face mask takes just three ingredients and a few spare minutes. Below I’m sharing my personal recipe for creating a skin-smoothing at-home face mask. Containing mango, kefir and oats, it’s an all-natural (and yes, delicious) way to refresh your skin and get back that summer glow.
Benefits of mango: Rich in vitamin A and beta-carotene, mangos restore elasticity to skin while brightening the complexion. The naturally-occurring alpha-hydroxy acids in mangos break down dead skin cells, making them easier to remove.
Benefits of kefir: Containing more probiotics than yogurt, kefir aids digestion and improves skin health from the inside out when consumed by improving gut health, and is an effective exfoliator when applied externally. The lactic acid present in kefir helps to loosen dead skin cells, making them easier to remove, while the probiotics kill off acne-causing bacteria.
Benefits of oats: Oats act as a gentle exfoliator, improving circulation and blood flow while sloughing away the dead skin cells loosened by the mango and kefir. Oats also absorb excess oil on skin, leaving it feeling fresh.
DIY Exfoliating Face Mask With Mango
2 tbsp quick-cooking oats
1/2 small mango, mashed (about two tbsp)
3 tbsp organic kefir
Combine all ingredients in a small non-reactive bowl and mix well. Smooth on to face and relax for 10-20 minutes. Once dry, rinse with warm water and pat dry with a clean face towel.