I personally believe in exfoliating daily and while some might disagree saying it harms the skin, I say just look at the glow of my skin. First, let's talk about skin. Skin is made up of many layers, we won't get into labeling them all but know that there is a few. The bottom layers of the skin is where the skin cells are actually made and as new ones are made it pushes the old ones up towards the part of the skin that we see, the epidermis. However, as the old skin cells move outward, the move farther away from the blood source and eventually end up dying. So yes, all the skin we see is actually dead skin cells.
As is moves to the surface, all the dead skin cells continually build up and form a protective barrier against outside pollutants that would otherwise harm us and they do a really good job of blocking everything, which is why it's so important to exfoliate, especially before you use a moisturizer- otherwise that moisturizer is absolutely useless and you're going to get about as much use of it as your dog would. Honestly.
Think of a babies skin- how soft it is and the rosy glow that it always has. This is because it hasn't had time to form up large layers of thick dead skin cells which become dry and ragged. They still have fresh new skin cells that are highly vascularized. Exfoliating does the same for us. It takes away the thick layers of dead skin cells sitting on the surface leaving us with the younger skin cells showing to the world.
Which brings me to baking soda. Gina suggested this to me about a week ago in the comment section of one of my posts and I'm so thankful she did. Baking soda has over 40 uses and I'm sure if I researched it long enough on the web, I'd find more than that. It's like the little powder that could. The thing I love most about it though is that it's one simple, naturally occurring ingredient- sodium bicarbonate. And while you can use baking soda in cooking/baking (which I do occasionally), in your fridge as a deodorizer and basically anywhere else as a cleaner, my preferred use for baking soda is now as an exfoliator. And what an amazing exfoliator it is.
I mix it in with my Noxema a couple times a week and scrub away when I'm in the shower. It rinses on clean and leaves your skin as smooth as a babies. Honestly. I still can't believe how soft it makes my skin. After I get out I make sure I moisturize and my skin has such a rosy glow that I'm always left in awe.
In summary: Go raid your pantry, pull out your baking soda and start using it immediately. It's free of harsh chemicals, having only one ingredient, so it's gentler on your skin than all the toxic chemicals in other face cleansers. And it's cheap- wicked cheap, which is another reason it's wonderful. I'm always in awe about how some of the greatest beauty remedies are natural and cheap and not found in the beauty section.