Can You Use Salt to Exfoliate Your Face?

Clear up your dry complexion with a homemade salt facial scrub.

Photo: Creatas Images/Creatas/Getty Images

Looking for a way to exfoliate your face on the cheap? Grab some salt to get the job done. Whether you use Epsom salt, sea salt or plain old table salt, salt works wonders at cleansing your skin and getting rid of dead skin cells on your skin.

Epsom Salt

You might remember seeing Epsom salt in your grandma’s bathroom back in the day. It turns out, that Grandma had the right idea. Epsom salt has a variety of uses, one of which is exfoliation. Epsom salt contains sulfate and magnesium, which skin easily absorbs. Both of these minerals are fabulous for softening skin. To exfoliate with Epsom salt, mix 1/2 teaspoon of it with your normal face cleanser. Rub it onto your skin gently, and then rinse with cold water.

Sea Salt

Sea salt comes from seas or oceans and is unrefined, so it retains minerals like magnesium, calcium, zinc, iron and iodine. These minerals help to rejuvenate dry skin. Make a scrub to exfoliate your face by combining 2 teaspoons of honey and 1 teaspoon of sea salt. Rub the mixture over your face for a minute or two, and then rinse. While the sea salt sloughs off dry, dead skin, the honey adds some moisture.

Table Salt

Table salt is what you probably have in your kitchen pantry, and it also works well to exfoliate your face. Although table salt is refined -- meaning the majority of the minerals are taken out -- it’s still slightly abrasive and scrubbing your face with it will effectively remove dead skin. Mix 1 teaspoon of table salt with 1 teaspoon of baby oil. Scrub the mixture onto your face for a couple of minutes, and then rinse it off with water.

Tips and Warnings

Make sure to moisturize right after exfoliating your skin to replenish any moisture lost during the process. Salt – no matter which kind you use – is coarse, so don’t scrub real hard or you might irritate your skin. If your skin is super sensitive, or if you suffer from acne, be extra careful with a salt scrub because it can make your skin worse. Most importantly, listen to what your skin is telling you. It’s okay to exfoliate with salt every day, as long as your skin can tolerate it. If your face starts to get red, blotchy or irritated, stop using salt or at least cut back on how often you use it.

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