Our skin, or the epidermis, is made of keratin, which is the same type of cell that hair and nails are made of. The epidermis, however, is made up of individual cells known as keratinocytes. New keratinocyte cells are constantly being generated, and we shed 30,000 to 40,000 of the cells every hour. Sometimes those dead skin cells build up and need a little help being removed. In its worst form, the buildup of the dead cells results in keratosis pilaris, or small, harmless bumps. With the help of an all-natural exfoliant, sugar, clearing dead skin cells away to be replaced with the new is an efficient addition to body wash.

Use Sugar for Health Benefits

Sugar has quickly become the exfoliant of choice over salt for a couple of reasons. First, sugar is less abrasive than salt; therefore, it will not scratch and tear the skin. Next, sugar contains glycolic acid, which helps condition and moisturize skin. The epidermis is also the body's largest organ, and glycolic acid helps protect it from toxins. Apart from exfoliation, using sugar helps prevent acne, blackheads, whiteheads and other blemishes by unclogging pores, allowing oil to escape.

Use Sugar as an Exfoliant

Sugar is gentle enough to use in facial cleansers; however, facial skin, including the lips, is hardly the only area that require exfoliation for health benefits. The common kitchen pantry item should also be added to body wash to exfoliate the entire body. Body wash with sugar can help put an end to body acne by opening pores. It can also leave naturally rougher areas like the elbows, knees and the back of upper arms, where ketosis pilaris is most likely to occur, feeling refreshed and smooth. Though, to prevent falls, a foot scrub should not be used in the shower, sugar can be added to smooth rough, dry patches of skin.

Make a Homemade Sugar Scrub

While there are plenty of sugar scrubs sold in stores, natural and organic health shops and even the grocery store, mixing one together personalizes the scrub. Though there are endless options for different types of skin and scent preferences, the simplest ratio for a scrub is to mix half a cup of sugar and half a cup of oil. Olive oil and coconut oil are good options, but other ingredients such as honey can be beneficial for those prone to acne. Essential oils such as lavender, peppermint or eucalyptus can also be added as aroma therapy. For a thicker paste, add more oil.

About the Author

Molly Harris

Molly is a freelance journalist and social media consultant. In addition to Leaf.tv, Molly has written for Teen Vogue and Paste magazine. She is the former assistant editor of the Design and Style section of Paste magazine. View her work at www.mmollyharris.com.