We are all familiar with facial exfoliating products; however, it is likely we skip all-over body exfoliation in our rush to shower and get ready for the day. Weekly exfoliation with a gentle, effective body polish is an ideal way to give an all-over boost to our skin, leaving it soft and nourished.
In this post, we explain how exfoliating bodycare products work to maintain your skin and we offer a really easy, cold-blend body polish formulation to make at home. Don’t leave body polish exfoliation to spring and summer months only. With just 10 easy-to-source ingredients in this formulation, there is no excuse not to make this body polish your skin’s best friend all year round.
A recap on the skin’s physiology
Skin is the biggest organ of the human body, and despite its aesthetical function, which the beauty industry focuses on, the skin has numerous physiological functions critical to the maintenance of a healthy body, including protective, excretive, secretive, thermoregulatory, sensory, and immunological roles.
Age-related changes strongly interfere with these physiological roles of the skin and negatively influence its function by affecting the epidermal barrier, slowing cell turnover, cell metabolism, and the proliferation of keratinocytes. These impairments are induced by a reduction in the vascular network (fluid and blood vessels) responsible for delivering nutrients and oxygen and removing metabolic waste.
It is not only ageing that has a visible effect on skin aesthetics and health. Environmental conditions such as UV light exposure, irritating or unsuitable skincare products or skincare routines, pollution, stress, smoking, dietary habits, and a lack of water intake, along with many other factors, may also play a part in impairing the skin’s look and function.
We know that there are several crucial skincare steps that provide the visible benefits, over time, of improving the skin‘s appearance and health.
Cleansing and moisturising are the most well-known ones, but there are also a few more steps that aid our skin, such as regular exfoliation and protection of the skin barrier.
How exfoliating benefits your skin
Let us have a closer look at the exfoliation step, which becomes more important as the skin ages and cell turnover slows down. The buildup of dead corneocytes becomes evident when skin loses its radiance and becomes dull-looking and dry, and it can sometimes also cause enlarged pores.
Gentle exfoliation is the simplest method to help remove excess buildup on the stratum corneum, as it can stimulate cell turnover. Also, when you massage on the exfoliator, blood circulation increases, thereby enhancing the oxygen and nutrient supply to the skin as well as boosting metabolite removal.
When using cosmetic exfoliating ingredients, it is important to understand the optimal size and shape of the particles you need so as not to cause micro-tears in the skin. We recommend using round-shaped particles or less abrasive plant materials to prevent micro-ruptures of the skin. Also, exfoliating products should be applied and massaged very gently in a circular motion.
Our formulation: a simple exfoliating body polish
Our simple body polish formula has three core exfoliating materials. There is Arenga rainforest sugar, opuntia (prickly pear) seed powder, and rosehip seed powder. The key functional ingredient is polyglyceryl 4-oleate, which is a water-in-oil (W/O) emulsifier that is a perfect choice for anhydrous formulations or massage oils and balms. This is the ingredient that will help with rinsing out oils and plant residue after the massage, leaving the skin soft, silky and nourished.
Makes: recommended trial batch size: 100g.
Formulation: a cold process.
Time taken: 15 minutes.
Level: beginner-level formulation to personalise and adapt.
|A||Arenga rainforest sugar||Sucrose||35.00|
|A||Prickly pear seed powder||Opuntia ficus indica seed powder||30.00|
|A||Rosehip seed powder||Rosa canina seed powder||7.00|
|B||Sweet almond oil||Prunus amygdalus dulcis seed oil||5.00|
|B||Golden jojoba oil||Simmondsia chinensis seed oil||5.00|
|B||Pomegranate seed oil||Punica granatum seed oil||5.00|
|B||Poyglyceryl 4-oleate||Poyglyceryl 4-oleate||10.00|
|C||Geogard||Dehydroacetic acid and Benzyl alcohol||1.00|
|C||Mandarin essential oil||Citrus nobilis peel oil||1.00|
- Glass beakers, glass rods, some spoons and spatulas
- Suitable container
Method of Manufacture
Sanitise your utensils and work area, and wear appropriate PPE according to GMP.
- Phase A
Prepare all ingredients for phase A, place them into a clean and disinfected beaker, and mix well to make a uniform mass.
- Phase B
Place phase B ingredients into a separate beaker and mix well.
- Phase C
Prepare phase C using the same method, and blend all ingredients of phase C.
- Blend all phases
Mix phases B+C and slowly pour over phase A, mixing in well.
- Decant and label
Decant into a suitable container and label your body polish with the name, date and batch number.
- This is a very user-friendly formula, easy to make and easy to adjust to use ingredients you are more familiar with or have access to. Both the exfoliating particles and oil composition can be changed.
- Before changing the essential oil and/or the total amount of any essential oil you use, please make sure any essential oil percentage in the formulation conforms with the IFRA guidelines.
- You are also welcome to add some nice oil-based plant extracts.
Many of the suppliers below ship internationally. We indicate their country or regional base.
Forestwise (EU) – for Arenga sugar.
Alexmo Cosmetics (EU)
Soap Kitchen (UK)
Essential Wholesale (USA)
Makers Ingredients (UK)
Go Native (New Zealand)
Naturally Balmy (UK)
Soap & More (Canada)
Rodan K et al; December 2016: The Evolving Role of Skincare.
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Miroslava is a grading tutor at Formula Botanica. She has a Ph.D in neuroscience, expertise in biology and chemistry, and a lifelong passion for natural cosmetic formulation.