The term "exfoliant" refers to both the substances AND the tools used to remove dead skin cells.
There are TWO main types of exfoliation treatments:
1) MANUAL EXFOLIATION
These include: dry brushes, mitts, loofahs, abrasive clothes
AND natural substances such as: salt, sugar, cornmeal, oatmeal and coffee (these are typically mixed with water oils or creams before being rubbed over the surface of the skin)
2) CHEMICAL, ENZYME OR DISSOLVING EXFOLIATION
These consist of chemicals or enzymes that work by dissolving dead skin cells, but they do not overstimulate the skin like manual abrasives can.
After application, the enzymes are washed or rubbed off.
Natural substances such as yogurt, milk and papaya contain acids and enzymes that act as natural exfoliants.