The hard nut that creates naturally soft skin

There is nothing unfamiliar or startling about the walnut. But – despite their familiarity – walnuts can be used as an attractive exfoliating ingredient in any natural skin care range.

Walnuts are well known and loved as a food. They have associations for the Western consumer of treats – cakes, Christmas holidays, luscious puddings, chocolate fillings, rich toffee sauces, salad oils.

Walnut wood has associations of luxury and style with its deep richly coloured patina and quality finish. The nut itself is visually intricate and appealing.

By taking these existing associations and using the shell of the walnut in a skin care product cosmetic scientists can create a different and more unusual marketing story.

Exfoliatiing has become an accepted fourth step in the cleanse, tone, moisturize mantra of modern skin care. Whether for the face or body women who are interested in the state of their skin now recognize that exfoliation should be an essential part of the skin care routine.

Exfoliating creams and scrubs help remove dead cells from the surface layers of the skin and porepare the skin to take moisturisation and anti ageing treatments. Exfoliating is also an instantly rewarding activity – unlike much skin care the consumer doesn’t have to wait to see the results.

Regular exfoliation can almost instantly help skin feel softer, smoother, more moisturized, more even in skin tone, and appear brighter and healthier. Not only that but results get better as exfoliation is built into a regular skin care routine at least once or twice a week.

As levels of consumer understanding about the benefits of exfoliation have risen so demand for exfoliating products has increased – throughout the year and in all climates.

In the summer months exfoliation is essential as winter skin is suddenly exposed and consumers want to slough off blemishes or prepare their skin for self-tanning applications. In winter exfoliating is the first step in deep moisturisation of the skin to protect it from the extremes of centrally heated interiors and cold weather.

For body applications, walnut shells are ground to fine particles, and sterilized before packing. They come as light brown particles which are clearly visible in a cream and ideal as a superb body exfoliant. Walnut shells are extremely hard and do not break down in the product. Their hardness makes them a highly effective natural body scrub coping very efficiently with even thick deposits of dead surface skin.

These larger particle sizes are not recommended for the face as they can break down delicate skin around the eye area. Nonetheless walnuts can be used effectively in natural facial exfoliants when crushed to a fine powder.

Crushed walnut shell is a hard fibrous material ideal as an abrasive. Walnut grit is extremely durable – in fact larger paricles sizes are used as abrasives in engineering and stone polishing plants.

The angular and multi-faceted minute particles of walnut powder retain the extreme hardness of the walnut shell – yet because of their fine particle size – they will act as a soft abrasive in a cream or lotion. The fine powder which is insoluble in water is ideal for use in a a natural facial exfoliant or scrub where a polishing or refining action is required.

Walnut shells can be used in a wide range of natural skin care applications – facial scrubs, skin cleansers, peeling creams and lotions, body exfoliants – giving an unusual twist to a familiar natural product.

(Further background information about the walnut family: juglans regia and juglans nigra)

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