Exfoliating the Natural Way - by Sophie Parslow
When it comes to traditional exfoliants, we usually think of a product we buy in a tube or a bottle. But did you know there’s another alternative? That’s right, there’s a whole world of natural exfoliants and like the name suggests, they’re literally as close to nature as you can get. Wherein traditional exfoliating products contain a mildly abrasive ingredient, anything from coffee to sugar, sand, salt or even quartz crystals, natural exfoliants do the job, well, naturally. There’s a huge variety of natural exfoliants to try, from sustainably sourced sea sponges, to sponge made from the root vegetable of the konjac tree, to ‘washcloths’ using leaves of the agave tree to body brushes made from sisal plant bristles. They share the common ground of either being found in nature as they are or have roots in plant origins. Just like product-based exfoliants, natural exfoliants are suited to different skin types and conditions, with some also designed specifically for the face or the body. Similarly some natural exfoliants are created for the purpose of exfoliating, while others simply replace the function of a washcloth or loofah and have mild exfoliating effects. Apart from giving us a new natural route to juicy, glowing skin, one of the best features of these exfoliants is that they’re reusable and durable, making them a better choice for the environment.
So why exfoliate? There are many benefits of including regular exfoliation as part of your skincare routine, including increased blood circulation to your skin and a detoxification of the body’s systems by eliminating toxins. Removing dead skin cells cleans out our pores, removes dirt and stimulates the production of new healthy skin cells. The best part is, it feels great and your skin will love you for it! However, less is more when it comes to exfoliating. While the urge might be to do it every day, it is recommended that we exfoliate only a couple of times per week. Caring for our natural sponge and cloth exfoliants is easy. Many contain natural antibacterial properties, however, we suggest wringin them out completely after each use and hanging to dry in a well ventilated place.
Since the time of the Aztecs, cloth has been hand woven from the agave cactus plant. Not only do the agave fibres produce cloth that is long lasting and quick drying but it is also naturally resistant to mould. A true feel-good exfoliator; the purchase of this agave cloth makes a positive difference to the economy of the village, where the women harvest, process and weave these beautiful products, and share the proceeds.
Used as a traditional beauty therapy cleansing aid for more than 1500 years, the Japanese konjac sponge provides the ultimate deep cleanse and gentle exfoliation. Created specifically for the facial area, this vitamin rich facial ‘buffer’ is perfect for all skin types including sensitive skin. It works by eliminating blackheads and dirt while absorbing excess oils and toxins. A combination of konjac fibre, kaolin, activated and mineral-rich bamboo charcoal, the sponge magnetically removes dirt and grime, whilst balancing the skin's pH levels with its natural alkalinity.
Another beautiful facial Konjac sponge, the Spud Sponge from Skin Juice is infused with skin-loving, super antioxidant Turmeric. Tumeric is a natural antiseptic and anti-inflammatory making this gentle sponge an ideal option dull and tired looking skin in need of a boost. Made from the root of the konjac plant, it’s unique rubbery texture naturally produces a rich lather without needing to use as much product. The fibrous sponge also naturally unblocks pores.
The Meeka Fine Silk 'Body' natural sea sponge is as close to its original form as a sponge can get. It has a luxuriously silky smooth surface, making it ideal for those with delicate skin conditions such as eczema, dermatitis and sensitive skin. It’s also dense, and super absorbent. Combine it with a small amount of body wash to create a generous lather.
Derived from the Ramie plant, the Meeka 'Ramie' towel is 100% natural and designed to help unblock your pores and rejuvenate your skin. Where traditional ‘loofahs’ can be overly abrasive, this towel has just the right texture to exfoliate the skin without causing damage or irritation.
In a traditional glove-style, this loofa is not like any other. The Meeka Sisal Glove is 100% natural, extracted from the fleshy leaves of the agave cactus plant. It works by buffing away the dead skin cells which cause blemishes, leaving the skin soft smooth and glowing. It can be used wet or dry, making it a great all-rounder exfoliant.
Another delightful sponge derived from the roots of the konjac tree, the Konjac Skin Sparkling Sponge is rich in vitamins, proteins, lipids and fatty acids making it perfect for exfoliating your skin. By thoroughly purifying your skin from toxins and excess dirt with natural minerals such as copper and iron, it leaves skin feeling fresh and dewy.
Even if you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve mostly likely come across the idea of dry body brushing. A relatively new ‘trend’ with its roots deep in science, dry body brushing helps keep pores clear and the skin active to assist the body in its cleansing process by detoxifying the lymphatic system. The Meeka Natural Sisal Brush is made of 100% natural sisal plant bristles and has medium to firm bristles and a long handle for those hard to reach places. It’s also vegan friendly, made with FSC certified timber, is chemical free and fair trade.