Friday, August 30, 2013

DIY Body Scrub

So, I must confess my new favorite luxury.  More than just the indulgent feeling I get while using it, these homemade delights have the added bonus of being so economical!

I’ve been making my own body scrubs these days.  Never again will I spend gross amounts of my hard earned money on pre-made scrubs with ingredients that are nefarious at best.  They’re so simple to make; all you need are a few basics and then you can switch up the components on your own to make something completely unique!  They’re great as gifts too; birthdays, Holidays, you name it.

Broken down into they’re most basic factors, body scrubs are nothing but a combination of exfoliators and hydrators.  The former being the abrasive quality that sloughs away dead skin, making it soft, and the latter being the component that keeps your skin soft and hydrated.
Exfoliator: the abrasive component.  This is what will actually scrub all of the dead skin cells away leaving you mink soft.  Typical abrasives are salt or sugar.  When I say salt or sugar, I literally mean the salt or sugar sitting in your pantry probably collecting dust because you bought it in bulk last Christmas and you still have your weight of it left over from then.
You may be asking yourself, which should I use?  Salt or sugar?  It really depends on your sensitivity level.  Salt granules are typically larger than sugar granules and therefore salt scrubs will be more abrasive than sugar scrubs.  If you exfoliate infrequently or have sensitive skin, I recommend using sugar.  The granules are smaller and it won’t tear away 7 layers of your epidermis. 
Truthfully speaking, I like to use two exfoliators in my body scrubs.  However the additional one is in liquid form.  I like to add citrus juices as well to help with dead skin removal.  The mild acidic quality of the fresh juice helps remove dead skin.  It’s like using a chemical peal, but nowhere near as powerful or violent.  Plus, there’s the added benefit of the lovely citrus scent that seems to lend itself very well other scents.
On to the next component.
Hydrator:  The second component of your homemade scrub will be the hydrating component.  This is the loveliest part of the recipe.  This is what hydrates your skin so that you don’t look like a crocodile when you’ve finished sloughing away all your dead skin.  This component is in the form of oil.
There’s a myriad of oils you can choose from.  Jojoba, coconut, extra virgin (yes the stuff you cook with), vegetable (ditto), baby oil, almond oil, safflower.  Choosing which hydrant to use is also dependent on your sensitivity level.  Different oils may react differently on people.  I happen to adore coconut oil.  The only reason I wasn’t gun shy about using it all over my skin is because I happened to have it used on me the last time I got a massage, so I knew that I wouldn’t break out.
If you’re not sure about which oil to use, just try them out in small doses.  Often when you go to a Whole Foods, for example, in the beauty section they’ll have all of these oils and then some for you to try as samples (just like you would at Bath and Body).  Go, try some samples, give it the rest of the day and if your skin feels fine, then consider one of those oils for your scrubs.  After you rule out the breaking-out-in-hives factor, then it’s just a matter of choosing which oil you prefer based on its feel to your skin (smooth, too greasy, etc.) and scent.
As I mentioned before I love coconut oil.  I love the nutty scent, the feel, everything about it.  It makes my skin baby soft.  Touchably soft. {Coconut oil is bought in solid form, but melts as soon as you touch it. Just put a little bit in a pot over the stove to melt it for use in the scrub.}  But, just like I prefer to add a second exfoliator, I also like to add an additional hydrator.  While I change from citrus to citrus (sometimes fresh orange juice, lime, lemon, grapefruit), my additional hydrator is always the same: honey.
Oh, the miracle of honey.  It’s a natural anti-bacterial and anti-fungal agent so it helps speed up acne healing.  It’s sensitive for all skin types so it won’t make you break out and it naturally detoxifies your skin!  AND it hydrates!  What a miracle of nature.
So, yes, I throw that in as well.

Let’s recap:  We have some sugar, some citrus juice, some oil and some honey.
At this point, you’re done.  You have all the ingredients. 
But how much of each ingredient do I put in?!  You never said!
I know this sounds scary but, honestly, you put in however much you think you should put in.
I recommend putting in your liquids first.  That is, your oil, honey and citrus.  And add them in small amounts to start.  You can always add more later.  Once all of your liquids are in, start adding the sugar (or salt).  You only add as much sugar as you want.  If you add some sugar and the scrub still seems a little too liquid-y, then add some more sugar.  If you put in too much sugar, add a little more of one of the liquids.
I find that too little sugar and the scrub isn’t stiff enough for me and I can’t use it as well.
Really that’s all there is to it!
Here are some things that I like to add to the scrub once it’s finished just for scent.
Herbs – dried or fresh.
Mint and lime go great together.  Mash up some fresh mint and add it to the scrub for a super refreshing body scrub in the heat of summer.
Spices – I love adding freshly ground clove to my scrubs with orange juice.  Oh my lord, the aroma of clove and orange is to die for!  I use my grandmothers old mortar and pistol to grind them up.
Play around with them.  The combinations are only limited by your own imagination!
P.S  Get yourself some loofah gloves for when you use the scrub in the shower.  Much easier on the hands.  <3

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