The Best Natural Face Exfoliator

Best Natural Face Exfoliators & How To Use Them | Antipodes

Regular exfoliation is essential for healthy skin – but with so many different types of exfoliators to choose from, you would be forgiven for feeling like a deer in the headlights. Worry not. If you’re wondering how to exfoliate skin, when to exfoliate, and why to exfoliate, consider this your introduction.

What does exfoliating do to your face?

What Does Exfoliating Do To Your Face | Antipodes

Whilst cleansing is incredibly important for healthy skin, your average cleanser isn’t going to remove the layer of lifeless skin cells that build up over time. Exfoliation removes this outermost layer of dead skin cells, revealing the fresh new skin beneath. Exfoliators should never feel like sandpaper, so choose a natural face exfoliator with a creamy formulation and clean ingredients that won’t strip the skin.

The benefits of exfoliating

The Benefits of Exfoliating | Antipodes

The benefits of exfoliating are many. Exfoliation keeps your complexion looking brighter, healthier, and improves its appearance overall. But how does it work? Skin is constantly renewing itself – but all that dead skin must go somewhere. Without exfoliation, dead cells remain on the surface of your skin, leaving your complexion looking dull, lacklustre, and rough. Given enough time, these dead skin cells will start clogging pores, leading to blemishes and breakouts. Regular exfoliation ensures that lifeless skin cells are washed away, leaving the younger, smoother skin beneath. Without this layer of dead cells to contend with, your serums and moisturisers can penetrate your skin more effectively, too.

What exfoliating mistakes should we avoid?

The wrong formulation

Synthetic exfoliators can be extremely harsh on skin. Many such formulations contain powerful chemical ingredients that remove lifeless skin – and disrupting the skin barrier in the process. When applied, these types of exfoliators can cause micro-tears: small tears on the surface of the skin that act as breeding grounds for bacteria, leading to inflammation and blemishes. So what’s the alternative? All skin types benefit from a natural face exfoliator, enriched with clean, gentle ingredients.


A Natural Face Exfoliator with No Microplastics | Antipodes

Scan the shelves at your local pharmacy or supermarket and you’ll find a disturbing common ingredient: microbeads. These are not only terrible for your skin, but terrible for the environment, too (in fact, microbeads are now banned in the UK). When washed away, microplastics wind up in waterways and oceans. On the way there, they absorb all sorts of toxins and chemicals that cause real and serious harm to the marine animals who inevitably ingest them.

Suffice to say that while we ponder how to exfoliate skin, we should also spare a thought for how our exfoliator can affect the planet. Microplastics are bad news, so it pays to check the ingredients labels on your skincare products. A natural face exfoliator like Reincarnation Facial Polish & Exfoliator contains no microbeads, microplastics, or toxic ingredients.


Yes, you can have too much of a good thing. Over-exfoliating can strip the skin of healthy oils and disrupt the skin barrier, leading to skin that feels inflamed, red, and may even start flaking or peeling. Over-exfoliation can also strip the skin of its healthy oils (sebum), leading to skin trying to compensate by producing even more oil.

Fortunately, this one’s an easy problem to solve. Keep your exfoliation schedule to once or twice a week, introducing more days if you feel your skin is up to the task.

When to exfoliate?

Even when using a gentle formulation, skin doesn’t need exfoliation every day – especially if your skin is prone to blemishes, sensitivity, or excess oil. It takes time for dead skin cells to build up, so once or twice a week is all you need to start with to keep skin looking its optimum, healthy best.

Exfoliation should always be performed on freshly cleansed skin. Morning is ideal, as skin repairs itself during the night, leaving a layer of lifeless skin for you to (gently) slough away. Tip: exfoliate in the shower if you can – the warm water and steam aids the exfoliation process by opening pores and softening skin.

How to exfoliate skin

Banish the word ‘scrub’ from your vocabulary: ‘gentle’ is the keyword here. No fancy tools needed; just clean, soft hands will do. First, ensure your skin is thoroughly cleansed by using a natural cream, gel, or balm cleanser to remove makeup and any impurities. Then with light pressure, massage a natural face exfoliator into skin using circular motions and warm water. Remove any excess residue with a soft, damp washcloth, pat skin dry with a clean towel, and follow with a hydrating serum to help the skin retain moisture.

The best natural face exfoliator

The Best Natural Face Exfoliator | Antipodes

If you’re just starting out on your exfoliation journey, or you’re looking to switch to a natural and sustainable formulation, Reincarnation Facial Polish & Exfoliator is your go-to. The formulation is certified vegan by the UK Vegetarian Society (VegSoc), free from toxins, and full of nourishing natural ingredients. Instead of microplastics, Reincarnation’s exfoliating action comes from gentle jojoba beads. Marigold bloom oil and avocado oil replenish moisture lost during the exfoliating process, whilst carrot seed extract helps clear and revitalise the skin’s surface thanks to its antibacterial properties. All the benefits of exfoliating, with none of the nasties.



Writer and expert