My Favorite Everyday Exfoliant

by Janice Cáceres
(Oriskany, NY)

I have always been fond of oatmeal as an exfoliant for several reasons. First, it is readily available—a year-round cupboard staple, in fact. Secondly, it is gentle. But, most of all, it works! In the 80s, I was “into” the oatmeal/apple cider vinegar skin care regimine, which I discarded as more “interesting” products began to arrive on the market—namely, the alpha-hydroxy and glycolic acid craze (I used Aubrey and Reviva, respectively). When Jason introduced their Apricot Scrubble, I used it daily for a long time, and would alternate with Rachel Perry’s scrub. But, as time went on and prices went up (OUCH!), I began, once again, to turn to my cupboard for skin care.

To make a useable daily scrub, I take a handful of oatmeal, instant or “old-fashioned” style, it really doesn’t matter, and “whirr” it in the food processor until it is finely ground. Then, I mix it ½ and ½ with sugar. I’ve found that finely ground sugar works best for this, as opposed to the more coarsely ground type. I like the finely ground Florida Crystals. Fructose also works well for this mix. I keep it in a tightly closed glass shaker container in the bathroom, and use it with African Black soap to make a frothy scrub. A splash of 1 tsp. apple cider vinegar in water, or another toner I make myself from Rooibus or even Green tea, then a few drops of extra virgin olive oil (full of essential fatty acids!) with essential oils personalized for my skin type, or shea butter when my skin feels dryer, completes my morning routine.

This skin care regimine is easy, inexpensive, gentle, and works. Although the African Black Soap is an exfoliant on its own, I like the feel of the “scrub”. I doubt I will ever go back to a store-bought exfoliant, as even many products sold in natural food stores have ingredients I no longer care to use. Plus, I get a thrill saving the money and knowing I am using the purest and freshest ingredients on my skin.

Green Tea or Rooibus Tea Toner:

1 Green Tea or Rooibus Tea (Redbush) Bag
3 oz. purified water

Let steep 5-7 minutes. Cool. Add two or three drops of the essential oil of your choice (I like either carrot seed or lavender). Store in refrigerator. I have found this lasts about a week.

Olive Oil Moisturizer

4 oz. extra-virgin olive oil
12 drops lavender essential oil
8 drops carrot seed oil

Store in a cool place.

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