Body scrubs can be a wonderful way to exfoliate the dead skin away, invigorate the skin, add a delightful scent to the room and pamper yourself. They not only exfoliate but lift away dirt, grime and excess oil while stimulating the skin and underlying muscles to promote circulation.
Sugar has naturally occurring glycolic acids which help to cleanse the skin and attract and retain moisture by absorbing water vapors in the air that are then drawn into or beneath the skin’s surface. They are less abrasive than salts. Unrefined sugars have iron, magnesium, and potassium which feeds and replenishes skin, but it’s too abrasive for the face. There only use fine table sugar, which is wonderful for sensitive skin.
Salt-based scrubs not only buff and exfoliate away dead skin but they detox and act as an anti-inflammatory as well. That’s why they are great for athletes and anyone suffering with pain. But they are also more abrasive than sugar and can irritate sensitive skin, using them on dryer areas of the body like the feet, hands, elbows and legs is preferred. Since salt is a natural antibacterial, mixing it with oil and placing the combination in a sealed container can last a year. If you add a teaspoon of flower petals, grated fruit, aloe Vera, water… use within a month.
Oats-based scrubs contain saponins, the part of soap that breaks down oils, so it acts as a cleanser as well. It’s perfect for acne, sensitive, itchy or irritated skin because they reduce inflammation. Alone, it’s best when finely ground up so it has the consistency of flour. Add a sugar or salt for more exfoliating powers.
Coffee grounds are slightly abrasive but still gentle enough to act as an exfoliating agent, don’t dissolve in water, contain antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties that help heal skin, and increase blood flow. Plus, they are readily available anywhere people drink coffee. Use only fresh grounds that have been sealed in the refrigerator for up to a day. Otherwise, they can grow bacteria. Don’t forget to dump them into the garbage when done, they can clog up plumbing.
Here are a few DIY ideas
Decide which base ingredient is best for you. Each will offer different properties-such as organic cane sugar which will give a coarser scrub, fine sugar, a gentler one. Coarse salts are only good for the feet.
Then pick an oil. Coconut is terrific because at room temperature it’s a solid, not a liquid. Avocado, Jajoba, or almond oils work well too. Olive oil is rich in antioxidants and nourishes the skin. Plus, they are a great base for aromatherapy. Add essential oils to the mixture for a personal touch.
1). Sugar Scrub
- 2 cups fine sugar
- 1 cup solid (but soft) coconut oil
- Extra additions (essential oils)
- 2 tablespoons of ground turmeric powder for anti-inflammatory properties.
Mix in a bowl or a food processor. If the mixture starts to warm up and separate, just mix it back together with your fingers before use. Store in an airtight container and it’ll last for months.
2). Coffee Scrub
- 3 tablespoons coffee grounds (4 for a stronger exfoliation)
- 5 tablespoons honey (it has healing properties as well)
- 5 tablespoons olive oil
Mix in a bowl until thick. Apply to damp skin and massage. Remove with warm water and a towel.
3). Fresh Brown Sugar Scrub
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 -1 cup oil if your choice
- 1-15 drops of an essential oil
Mix until evenly combined. Then store in a sealed container.
4). Oatmeal Scrub
Oats are naturally soothing and rich in polysaccharides which bind with water to form a protective barrier on the skin.
- 1 cup quick oats, finely ground
- 1/2 cup brown or white refined sugar
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 8 drops of an essential oil
Mix thoroughly. Apply a small amount in circular motions. Rinse off, leaving some of the oil. Store in the refrigerator. It should last a week.
5). Healing scrub
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 3 teaspoons epsom salt
- 1 teaspoon or roughly 2 tea bags of green tea (a wonderful anti oxidant)
- 5 drops lavender
Mix into a paste-like consistently. If too runny, add more salt, too loose, more oil. Avoiding your face, massage into painful muscles, then rinse.
Some body salts can temporarily disrupt the skin barrier, allowing it to dry out. Applying a lotion immediately after a scrub can lock in not just the moisture, but all the benefits the salts, oils and scents created.
* Don’t get too rough. Gentle pressure and strokes is all it takes.
* Don’t use more than 1-2 times a week.
* Don’t use on irritated skin.
* Rinse area in warm water first to relax and open pores.
* Gently massage in circles for 30 seconds.
* Rinse with warm to cool water and pat dry.
Wherever you use these wonderful scrubs, relaxation and less pain will follow. Know someone who could also benefit from them? In a cute jar with a bow, they make a great gift.