Best DIY Exfoliator For Every Skin Type

    There may be a million exfoliators on the market, but a DIY exfoliator can be a fun, and super affordable, way to achieve the same results!

    Here’s the issue—if you just throw a bunch of grainy items from your kitchen pantry into a bowl and hope for the best, you’re probably just going to end up with irritated skin.

    And zero results to show for it.

    The good news is that you likely have most of, if not all of, the items you need to create the perfect exfoliator in the comfort of your home.

    But first, you have to make sure you’re using ingredients in your DIY exfoliator that are the right fit for your skin type.

    Below we’ve broken down many different types of skin, and explained which types of ingredients to use.

    We’ve even included our favorite recipe, too!

    So read on if you want to achieve beautiful, glowing skin without breaking the bank.

    DIY Exfoliator for Mature Skin

    recipe for mature skin exfoliator
    Image via Hello Glow

    One of the best bases you can use for the “gritty” aspect of your DIY exfoliator is ground almonds.

    Perfect for mature, aging skin, the almonds will leave your face nourishes and hydrated, while gently exfoliating.

    The oil found in almonds will also pump your skin full of Vitamin A and Vitamin E.

    Vitamin A does many incredible things for your skin, but most important is its ability to promote healthy collagen and elastin formation.

    It can also help normalize the appearance of pigmentation, which helps with skin discoloration.

    Vitamin E, when applied to the skin, can block free radicals from the body, which play a major role in the aging process.  It’s also been known to reduce wrinkles, and increase skin brightness.

    So using a base that applies these vitamins directly to your face is a no brainer when it comes to a DIY exfoliator for mature skin.

    Now that we have your base covered, you need a liquid to help bring your DIY exfoliator together.

    For mature skin, egg whites are the way to go!  They tighten and firm your skin, and help fight off fine lines and wrinkles.

    You can also double down on your almonds and use almond oil in your DIY exfoliator.  But our personal favorite is the egg whites! They’re just a bit trickier to work with.

    If you’re looking for something extra to throw into your exfoliator, consider coffee grounds.

    We have an entire article on coffee exfoliators here, but the caffeine in the coffee grounds increase circulation, leaving your skin more toned and less saggy!

    Or, if you’re feeling a bit wacky, try out some tomatoes.  I promise, we’re not weird.

    Tomatoes contain lycopene, which can help protect your skin against UV rays, which, as you already know, aren’t a great fit for aging skin.  (Or any skin for that matter!)

    Our favorite at-home DIY exfoliator for you is Coconut-Almond Egg Scrub:

    1 Cup Finely Ground Almonds
    1 Cup Shredded Coconut
    2 Egg Whites, whipped
    ¼ Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
    3-4 drops of essential oils (whatever scent you choose)

    DIY Exfoliator for Oily Skin

    best exfoliator for oily skin

    If you thought we were going to tell you to opt for a salt scrub, you’re wrong—well partially.

    While it’s true that salt is a perfect base for a DIY exfoliator when you have oily skin, since it can help extract some of the oil in your face, we have a new favorite ingredient for you to try out.

    Say hello to baking soda, your new best friend in the DIY exfoliator world.

    While baking soda is a great base for all skin types, it’s especially a winner when it comes to those with oily skin.

    Why?  It helps absorb the excess oil.

    For a liquid to work into your DIY exfoliator, opt for almond oil.  It can reduce the effects of UVB rays, improve skin tone, and it’s naturally antibacterial, so it won’t cause you any other skin issues.

    Finally, if you’re feeling super fancy, throw some mashed strawberries into your exfoliator.

    Strawberries help brighten your complexion, and they are packed with Vitamin C, which is an incredible anti-aging tool!

    Our favorite DIY exfoliator recipe for you is Strawberry Ginger Baking Soda Scrub:

    3-4 Large, Fresh Strawberries, pureed
    ½ Tablespoon Grated Fresh Ginger
    ½ Cup Almond Oil
    ¾ Cup Baking Soda

    DIY Exfoliator for Normal Skin

    exfoliator for normal skin
    Image via Wide Open Eats

    It’s no secret that Asian women have some of the most beautiful, youthful-looking skin of anyone around.

    One of their skin secrets is ground rice powder.  For years, Asian women have been using this ingredient to smooth out complexions, lighten skin discolorations, and reduce wrinkles.

    Using ground rice as a base is safest for those with normal skin, and definitely for women who don’t have sensitive skin, as it’s definitely more of a harsh base compared to other options.

    As a liquid to accompany your base, consider using yogurt—and make sure you’re opting for the full-fat version!

    The lactic acid exfoliates on its own to reveal radiant skin, while the fats and proteins in the yogurt plump up fine lines.

    No matter what skin type you have, who isn’t looking for a little anti-aging magic?

    Looking for something a little extra?  Consider throwing some cucumbers into the mix.

    Cucumbers can help eliminate puffiness by reducing water retention.  Major score.

    If you’re like me, you can’t stand the smell of yogurt.  If that’s you too, or if you just want to give your DIY exfoliator a spa-like scent, consider adding in a few drops of peppermint or lavender oil!

    Our favorite recipe for your skin type is the Cucumber Mint Scrub:

    2 Tablespoons Yogurt
    6 Tablespoons Rice Powder
    2 Tablespoons Cucumber Paste
    4-5 drops of Peppermint essential oil

    DIY Exfoliator for Sensitive Skin

    how to exfoliate sensitive skin
    Image via Brit + Co

    Whether you enjoy a big bowl of oatmeal for breakfast in the morning or not, oatmeal is about to become a staple in your pantry.

    Oatmeal is a perfect DIY exfoliator base for individuals who have sensitive skin.

    You can use the oats whole or grind them up to gently unclog pores and help soothe irritation.  If we used them on chicken pox back in the day, then you know there’s something to be said about its ability to soothe.

    For your liquid to bring together your DIY exfoliator, you can opt for good ol’ olive oil.  It won’t clog your pores, and you likely have it in a cupboard somewhere.

    You can also opt for extra virgin coconut oil, which is packed with antioxidants and free radicals, which help prevent aging!  And it won’t clog your pores—we promise!

    Looking for something extra to throw in?  Try kiwis.

    No, we aren’t crazy.  Kiwis help brighten your complexion, and the seeds in the fruit pulp can act as gentle, mini exfoliants all on their own.

    Our favorite DIY exfoliator recipe for you is the Coconut Oatmeal Scrub:

    1 ½ Cup Oatmeal (whole)
    ½ Cup Organic Coconut Oil
    1 Teaspoon vanilla extract
    1 Teaspoon honey
    1 Teaspoon Brown Sugar

    DIY Exfoliator for Acne-Prone Skin

    exfoliator for acne prone skin
    Image via She Knows

    If you’re struggling with acne, there’s a good chance you have an excess of oil on your face.  Or at least in your T-zone.

    Salt is the best base you can use in your DIY exfoliator.  But we don’t just recommend any old salt.

    Instead, try out pink Himalayan salt.  This is known to better detoxify skin by driving out impurities, toxins, and waste, such as grime, dirt, stale oils, and pollution.

    Now that you have the base of your DIY exfoliator covered, you need some form of liquid to bring this exfoliator together.

    If you are someone who struggles with acne, aloe vera is the perfect liquid for your exfoliator.

    It’s great at keeping skin clear and healthy, and reduces inflammation and pain.  Hence why we use it on sunburns!

    If you find that to be a bit too thick for you, and too difficult to work into your DIY exfoliator, you can try out safflower oil instead.

    Safflower oil is a fatty oil you can pick up at any grocery store, and it helps calm irritated skin and prevent clogged pores!

    For an extra add-in when making your DIY exfoliator, you’ll want to include a dash of turmeric.

    This cooking spice is known to help fight breakouts and fade acne scars!  Plus, it has a fun, spicy smell, too!

    If spicy smells aren’t your thing, you can also choose to add in some Eucalyptus oil.  This is also known to prevent acne flare-ups.

    And if you’re feeling a little bit fruity, throw in some pineapple!  It has an enzyme that helps dissolve dead skin cells, which will help your blemishes clear up.

    Our favorite recipe for you is a Skin Brightening Aloe Vera Scrub:

    1 Cup Pink Himalayan Salt
    ½ Cup Aloe Vera Gel
    2 Tablespoons Pineapple Juice
    1 Teaspoon Turmeric (optional)

    DIY Exfoliator for Dry Skin

    sugar for dry skin
    Image via Birchbox

    Unless you’re a super health nut, you’ll definitely have the ingredient you need for your DIY exfoliator—sugar.

    Sugar is a humectant, meaning it helps skin hold onto moisture, which is exactly what those dry patches on your face need!

    Additionally, sugar is a natural source of glycolic acid, which boosts skin firmness.  Not much to hate there, right?

    The best liquid to work into your DIY exfoliator is coconut oil.

    The fats in coconut oil moisturize your skin while its lauric acid protects and softens it.

    As an added bonus, coconut oil is an antiseptic, which will help you maintain a healthy pH level on your skin.

    For a little extra something-something in your DIY exfoliator, opt for avocado.

    I know, I know.  Avocados aren’t cheap, but the good fats they contain help moisturize dry skin.

    They’re also rich in antioxidants, which are great at fighting the affects of aging.  And who doesn’t want that?

    You can also opt for avocado oil instead, and use that as your liquid instead of coconut oil.  The options are seemingly endless!

    If you don’t want to splurge on avocados, though, there’s another option—honey.

    Make sure you pick up raw honey, as this ingredient also acts as a humectant to draw in moisture and soothe skin.

    Our favorite DIY exfoliator recipe for you is the Brown Sugar Avocado Scrub:

    1 Cup Brown Sugar
    ½ Avocado, Chopped and Mashed
    ½ Cup Coconut Oil
    1 Tablespoon Raw Honey

    different DIY at home scrubs
    Image vis Fab How

    So while there are endless options of exfoliators and scrubs you can find at your local drugstore, many of them contain parabens, synthetic fragrances, and other questionable ingredients you probably don’t want to use on your face.

    By opting for the DIY exfoliator option, you save yourself a few bucks, and find creative way to use items in your kitchen.

    Best part?  They work just as well as something you can buy at the store.

    Just make sure you store them in your refrigerator, and if they start to smell weird or you spot any mold, definitely toss them and start working on a new batch!

    Without preservatives to keep the scrub fresh like you find in many store bought exfoliators, you may find they won’t last as long.

    So you’ll want to be sure to keep an eye on that, and hesitate from making too large of a batch at once!

    safe at-home DIY exfoliators

    Now that you’re an expert on exactly what you should be using to create the perfect DIY exfoliator, let’s quickly recap the many benefits of exfoliating your face.

    Our guess is you already know the importance since you’ve reached this article, but who doesn’t love a little refresher?

    Exfoliating Helps With Anti-Aging

    As we get older, it becomes harder for our skin to shed the skin cells on our face necessary to let new cells regenerate.

    And when new cells aren’t regenerating, you begin to see fine lines and wrinkles pop up as your skin becomes more dry and less elastic with age.

    Exfoliating aids in getting rid of those old cells, and makes room for fresh cells to flourish.

    And when fresh cells come through, you have healthier, more youthful looking skin.

    Exfoliating Kicks Acne to the Curb

    When dead skin cells are still holding onto our face for dear life, it traps a bunch of gunk under the surface.

    Everything from dirt, oil, pollution in the air, the list goes on.

    Exfoliating your face helps clean and unclog pores, leading to less pimples and breakouts.

    Exfoliating Leads to Better Product Absorption

    exfoliating helps with product absorption
    Image via Nylon

    Most likely, you’re using more than just a simple moisturizer in the morning and night.

    You’re probably using a face serum, eye cream, acne medication, etc.

    By exfoliating your skin and removing the dead skin cells, you’re helping your skin absorb all of those products, which will ultimately improve your overall skin health and appearance.

    Exfoliating Improves Skin Tone and Texture

    When our skin is unable to get rid of the dead skin cells, this can lead to dry patches, an overall dull appearance, and uneven texture and tone.

    When you exfoliate, you not only get rid of those cells, but you encourage your skin to generate new, healthy cells, leading to brighter, smoother skin!

    You’ll also experience smaller pores, which is a major win for most women, who often struggle with large pores on the nose and inner cheeks.

    Clogged pores means bigger pores, and unclogging those pores with exfoliating will give you an even skin tone you could only dream of!

    Now you’re equipped with not only the reasons to exfoliate, but also the best possible ingredients and recipes to create a DIY exfoliator to make your friends green with envy.

    So pick your favorite recipe, and get to mixing and scrubbing.  Your skin will be thanking you later!


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    About the Author

    About the Author: Brittney Fox is the Editorial Director and all-around beauty maven here at When she's not searching for the next big skincare breakthrough, Brittney loves Mexican food and salsa dancing.