• Functions of your skin
  • Why you should be exfoliating and how 
  • What type of natural body scrub to use
  • DIY sea salt foot scrub tutorial

A turbulent couple of months has left our bodies in need of some well-deserved TLC. While the shelter-in-place order puts off spa-going, our Spa and Wellness consultant Patti Coughlin has put together a comprehensive guide to natural exfoliation and included a bonus DIY spa-at-home sea salt foot scrub tutorial – offering your feet relief while providing collateral benefits for body, mood and mind. Attain smooth, healthy skin with this polishing, perfecting organic scrub ritual that can be done alone or enjoyed together with a partner.

When it comes to overall beneficial spa treatment options, natural exfoliating body scrubs are at the top of my list.

Having spent years creating and performing services that tailor spa amenities to guest needs, I can attest to the many touch points that organic exfoliants offer. Energizing yet calming body scrubs bestow that feel-good quality by stimulating the nervous system and improving circulation and lymphatic flow. This makes exfoliation an ideal service to hasten whole body healing while its skin boosting benefits pave the way for better product absorption and a healthy glow.

Long revered as a means of beautification and improved health, the benefits of exfoliation have been extolled by the Egyptians and almost every culture throughout the ages. So, keep reading as I cover some things you should know, expect and avoid when beginning an exfoliating regimen.

First, let’s talk about skin…

Along with being a gauge for our overall health, the importance of our outermost and largest organ goes way beyond its appearance. Skin provides these important functions:

-Protection from microorganisms, dehydration, ultraviolet light, chemical and mechanical damage.
-Insulation from heat, cold and temperature loss via thermal regulation, sweating.
-Sensation of pain, temperature, touch, and pressure.
-Stimulation of hormone release, Vitamin D and sebum production.
-Excretion of bodily waste through sweating which eliminates water, salts, urea. 

Skin cells have a multifunctional life as they push their way up through 5 layers morphing, changing and filling with keratin as they finally land on the top layer of skin called the stratum corneum. After a skin cell performs all its functions, it dies and is shed by flaking off or washing. The average time it takes for skin cells to rejuvenate varies depending upon age, hormones, nutrition, sun exposure, illness and stress. The table below summarizes the profound differences in the skin cell rejuvenation cycle.

As the skin rejuvenation process slows, cells accumulate on the surface of skin causing sagging and collapse of their structure or what we see as fine lines and wrinkles. No matter your age, bacteria can become trapped in spent skin cells leading to blemishes and breakouts. Trapped damaged skin cells cause discoloration and sometimes more serious skin conditions. 

As the skin rejuvenation process slows, cells accumulate on the surface of skin causing sagging and collapse of their structure or what we see as fine lines and wrinkles. No matter your age, bacteria can become trapped in spent skin cells leading to blemishes and breakouts. Trapped damaged skin cells cause discoloration and sometimes more serious skin conditions. 

How to & why exfoliate your skin

Simply put, exfoliation promotes forced skin cell turnover, allowing old dead keratinocytes to shed and new healthy skin to come toward the surface. Exfoliation can smooth rough patches and fade acne scars / dark spots—but that’s not all. It can also reduce redness and brighten your complexion. Your dead cells re-accumulate every day, which means exfoliating on the regular is important.

If you have sensitive skin, start off by doing a skin patch on the inner part of your arm and watch this area for any reaction for at least 24 hours. For optimal results, it’s best to begin an exfoliating scrub once a week for a few weeks, slowly working your way up to 3 to 4 times per week.

Full body scrubbing should begin at the end of your extremities and work in a sweeping and circular motion toward the heart to aid circulation and lymphatic drainage. It’s best to work scrubs into your hands before applying them, thoroughly mixing the ingredients together. Having a light hand is the key to exfoliation. Protect the barrier function of your skin by avoiding overworking any area which could cause inflammation, irritation and permanent damage to your skin and capillaries.

Things to consider when choosing an exfoliating scrub

The most traditional type of scrubs provide physical or mechanical exfoliation which gently sloughs away dead skin cells from skin’s surface through motion rather than by employing the use of chemicals (for example acid). Mechanical exfoliation works by physically shearing or loosening skin cells. Using small granules in an oil, lotion or soap base, scrubs can be used on the body and/or face.

Many exfoliants use synthetic microbeads as a “scrubbing” medium, while other natural and organic scrubs are made with sugar or salt. Compared to microbeads, salt and sugar offer additional humectant and antibacterial properties AND because they are biodegradable, these types of scrubs are much kinder to the earth and your plumbing pipes.

Using organic brown sugar or sea salt to exfoliate in combination with a skin healing oil (such cold pressed organic coconut oil) leaves your skin smooth, hydrated and luminous. The addition of organic essential oils make at-home exfoliating body scrubs a decadent experience.

While DIY skin scrub recipes are plenty, sourcing optimal ingredients can be difficult, especially during the pandemic. Homemade exfoliators can also be messy to make. Organic Fiji’s collection of USDA certified organic,  island inspired natural body scrubs make your exfoliating skincare regime easy. Made with just three or less plant based ingredients that work synergically, these coconut oil based exfoliators offer a truly evocative tropical escape.

Organic Fiji body scrubs come in various essential oil based aromas: Fragrance Free for sensitive skinLemongrass TangerineLavender, Coconut Lime, Pineapple Coconut or Peppermint. All variations are certified USDA Organic by Oregon Tilth, as well as being vegan, cruelty free, gluten free and ethically sourced. 

Different types of body scrub experiences

Whether you’re looking for a sugar scrub for acne, a salt scrub for your feet, a gentle body scrub for sensitive skin, a healing body scrub for keratosis pilaris, a smoothing body scrub for psoriasis or a moisturizing body scrub for dry skin patches – there’s something for everyone!

For those who are feeling the effects of increased hand washing at the moment, a natural hand scrub is the perfect compliment to your moisturizer and its polishing action will help with skin healing, cracked cuticles and will hydrate nails elevating home manicures. The less cracks there are for germs to hide, the safer the surface of your hands! 

Taking the time to do full body scrubs goes beyond surface level action and adds a bit of decadence to bathing. It is also just as important for a flawless self tanner application as it is for extending the life of your tan. Traditional rituals such as Turkish baths include a body scrub to enhance the health of the skin’s foundational layer before soaking in the sun rays. 

Personally, I love foot baths that incorporate scrubs. Their simple yet luxurious spa-level feel encourages relaxation on every level. With that in mind, I’ve put together a DIY Sea Salt Foot Scrub Tutorial to help you get started on your way to rejuvenation.

Getting your feet ready for summer begins with some essential foot exfoliation. Using a sea salt foot scrub is ideal for foot treatments because salt has natural antibacterial and skin softening properties. To further your spa-at-home experience, essential oils such as peppermint offer additional healing and sensory benefits too.

To avoid any skin sensitivity, refrain from exfoliating over open cuts or scrapes. Freshly shaved legs might also be too sensitive for some users. 
What you will need:

  • One large shallow bowl 13” in diameter or larger. Alternatives: Ice bucket or cooking pot
  • Fresh cut lavender flowers or rose petals
  • Tepid water
  • Sugar or salt scrub – I prefer Organic Fiji Peppermint Salt Scrub for its uplifting , soothing and cooling effects
  • 1 large towel
  • 2 hand towels


  • Place a large towel on the floor underneath your soaking bowl
  • Create a sole soothing foot bath by placing small river rocks or glass stones on the bottom on your soaking bowl, scattering lavender buds or rose petals
  • Add tepid water to your ankle line
  • Scoop about 1/4 teaspoon of body scrub into the water and allow the oils and salt to melt


  • Soak your feet for 7-10 minutes
  • For pressure point stimulation, rub feet on top of stones several times
  • One foot at a time, lift your foot out of the water onto a hand towel and apply a small amount of scrub
  • Thoroughly exfoliate by rubbing the foot starting at the heel using circular thumb movements to further breakdown product and loosen skin cells in areas of build up
  • Perform this circular movement on the bottom and top of your foot
  • Next, focus on your sole using knuckle dragging movements downward toward the heel
  • Pulling on each toe, distribute scrub around the nail bed, softening the cuticle
  • Spread the bottom of your foot just below your toes to provide relief to your foot pad
  • Resoak your foot and repeat the process on the opposite side
  • Using one hand towel per foot, thoroughly dry your feet and wrap in the towel for about 5 minutes
  • For added benefit, use heated towels at the end of this service. This will allow the organic coconut and salt scrub ingredients to soak into your skin and essential oils to further work their magic

Tip for heating towels:

Roll towels tightly and place the center under running water so moisten. The towel should be damp, not wringing wet. Place towels in a microwave for about 1 minute. Keep towels warm by wrapping them in a larger towel until ready for use.

Importance of self care

Allowing time to relax and improve your quality of life is important especially during times of stress. This is what creating a spa-at-home experience is all about. Using products that are formulated with clean organic ingredients, ups the feel good factor. Enjoy an island escape while stimulating your skin and your senses with routine body polishing. Be sure to check back for more wellness tips and ways you can turn your self care routines into pampering rituals. 

Unique benefits of Organic Fiji’s Sugar Scrubs and Salt Scrubs for exfoliating:

  • Exfoliate with raw organic brown sugar or raw organic sea salt 
  • Moisturize & heal with certified USDA organic cold pressed coconut oil
  • Unique moisturizing & healing properties due to lauric acid content and molecular structure
  • Unscented or scented available. Aromas created using pure and organic essential oils
  • Vegan and cruelty free ingredients, sourcing and production
  • Clean pure & plant based – free of chemicals, synthetics and harmful toxins
  • Environmentally friendly ingredients
  • Ethically sourced and produced

Organic Fiji’s says NO to:

  • GMOs
  • Gluten
  • Parabens
  • Phthalates
  • Sulfates
  • Animal byproducts
  • Artificial colors
  • Artificial fragrances
  • Chemicals & toxic ingredients

Organic Fiji’s mission is to bring you the traditions of island life and all the benefits earth’s harvest has to offer your body and soul. The active ingredient in all our products is certified organic, cold pressed, extra virgin coconut oil. We create unique, artisanal personal care and culinary items, inspired by the tropics of the Fiji Islands. We will never compromise the quality of performance or the cleanliness of ingredients when designing our organic wellness range.

⚠️ ORGANIC FIJI COVID-19 UPDATE: We are open, we are getting your orders out the door within 24 hours and we have lowered pricing / free shipping minimums to better serve you during this challenging pandemic. Read full COVID-19 address here.