Exfoliating Homemade Body Scrubs
with Simple Sugar & Salt Recipes for the Home Kitchen
Body scrubs have always been a beauty must. Cleopatra’s slaves rubbed her down with granulated honey and myrrh, an upscale version of the scrubs of pumice, barley hulls and goat’s milk used by lesser Egyptians of the day. Body scrubs have proliferated lately, with recipes including grains, nut shells, sea shells, salts and other minerals scrape-scrape-scraping away the layers and leaving fresh, new skin behind.
It’s Simple to Make
Your Own Body Scrub at Home
You may have noticed that you’re paying a lot of dough for a handful of scrub. Read the ingredients: you’re paying for sexy packaging! Most scrubs contain salt, sugar or nut shells and you can buy any of those things for well under fifty cents a pound. But the seven ounce coconut scrub from The Body Shop sells for $17. How long does it take to use up less than one cup of body scrub? Not long!
You choose the natural ingredients to exfoliate
Make your own body polish! Choose your favorite fragrances, control the granularity of the scrub, avoid ingredients that you may be allergic to, and create a big potful of body polish with about $10 worth of ingredients. Or you can make a cupful for under a dollar and decide if you like the recipe. It’s a breeze: you’ll need a spoon, a bowl, and a container for storage.
Using Sugar as the Exfoliating Ingredient
Try it sweet. Sugar isn’t as harsh as ground nut shells: it melts fast when it hits moisture, so if your skin is delicate, you’re probably not going to over-scrub it. The other benefit is the fact that sugar, unlike pumice, ground shells and other insoluble ingredients, will melt instead of sticking in your bathtub drains. Here’s what you need to make a large batch:
Homemade Sugar Body Scrub Recipe
- 8 Cups turbinado (raw sugar) or light brown sugar
- 1 ½ to 2 Cups avocado, untoasted sesame oil or jojoba oil
- ½ to 1 Cup apricot or peach kernel oil
- essential oil (we used ginger and vanilla)
- honey for smoothing the texture
Try Using Different Sugars for Different Skin Smoothing Results
If you use turbinado (raw sugar), you will probably want more oil because turbinado has a coarser texture than light brown sugar. Turbinado, being a specialty ingredient, also costs a lot more than brown sugar. You can use either form of sugar, just make sure that with the brown sugar, you’re keeping a careful eye on the liquid ingredients so your scrub doesn’t dissolve into a thin paste. Use honey only if you find your scrub is too dry, or just increase the amount of oil you use instead.
Sugar Scrub Mixing Instructions
Mix oils into the sugar slowly, stirring to keep the consistency smooth, and stop when you can form the mixture into a slightly wet ball without it dripping through your fingers. Add the essential oils last: they are for fragrance, not moisture, and you’ll only need a few drops—maybe eight—to get the aroma strong enough. Never use “fragrance oils”—they are chemical fakes that have never been near a plant and can cause irritation or even allergic symptoms. Instead, make sure to use essential oils, which are the true plant oils expressed by pressing or by steam distillation from the actual plants. Before choosing an essential oil, make sure that it is considered to be good for the skin—some essential oils are irritants and are meant for other purposes. Some skin friendly oils include rose, rosemary, lemon, mandarin, lavender and chamomile.
Using Salt to Exfoliate Your Skin
Salt recipe. In this body scrub, you can substitute 8 cups of coarse or kosher salt for the sugar in the recipe above. The nice thing about do it yourself scrubs is that you can then vary the ingredients to make your own favorite scents. Instead of essential oils, you may decide to add cocoa or coffee for a chocolate or mocha body scrub. Add vanilla; your scrub will smell fantastic. Here’s how:
Homemade Salt Scrub Recipe
- 8 Cups coarse pickling or Kosher salt.
- 2 Cups avocado, untoasted sesame oil or jojoba oil
- 1 Cup apricot or peach kernel oil
- 1 Cup unsweetened cocoa or ¼ Cup freeze dried coffee crystals
- 2 Tablespoons vanilla extract
- honey for smoothing the texture
When you make your own scrubs, you can afford to use the best ingredients. Add a handful of ground dried white tea leaves to your body scrub and follow it up with natural cucumber extract for a soothing, summery fragrance. With some practice, you’ll understand how to make practically any scrub you want. And they make terrific gifts: buy some pretty jars and labels and package your own recipes for your friends!