Complexion perfection: Be careful with home-made exfoliators

As the credit crunch continues to hit, it's natural to look for ways to save money by skimping on beauty buys. But be careful when it comes to exfoliation. Many women follow the advice that kitchen salt rubbed on to skin with a flannel can be as effective as any exfoliator you'll find in a beauty store. But while it may get rid of dead skin cells, the irregular, sharp edges of the salt granules will also scratch and damage skin, especially on the face, where it's at its thinnest and most sensitive. Exfoliating beads need to be smooth and round – if you use a product that feels like it's scratching your skin, it may be doing more harm than good, so chuck it in the bin. The only ingredient we can think of from the kitchen that could double up as an exfoliator without harming skin is oats – raw, not cooked, of course.

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