Wednesday, June 25, 2014

LEMON-VANILLA SUGAR SCRUB (AND SALT SCRUB VARIATIONS)

Hi, dear reader. Happy summer! 

I tend to associate dry skin with dry winter, and slathering on moisturizing lotion during cold weather. But summer's the time when I really need to exfoliate. Despite my efforts at protecting my skin from the sun, I always end up with some dry skin. And during the season of sunshine and showing off skin, I want it all to be smooth as a baby's bum. Don't you? That means exfoliation, baby.



Sugar and salt scrubs can get pretty pricey (and the cheaper ones have been pretty yucky in my experience). It's so easy to make them at home, though, and extremely inexpensive. Plus you know exactly what you're putting into it: how much more natural could it get? 

The basic formula is sugar or salt + oil + scents (like essential oils, extracts, herbs, etc.). 


I made this little batch for a friend as a gift. 

By the way, my very favorite moisturizing lotion EVER is Trader Joe's Midsummer Night's Cream. I started using it this year and my skin has never been softer.

LEMON-VANILLA SUGAR SCRUB

1 cup sugar
1/2 cup almond oil (or jojoba, grapeseed, etc.)
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons vanilla extract (or two freshly scraped vanilla beans also do wonderfully)

Stir ingredients together until well mixed. You can add oil as you need to for texture. Store in an airtight container. Rub on skin while in the shower, and rinse well. 

VARIATIONS FOR SUGAR AND SALT SCRUBS:

For the scrubber:
sugar, coarse sugar
table salt, sea salt, kosher salt, epsom salt (depending on how coarse you want)
brown sugar


For the oil:
(All of these contain great nutrients for your skin! :))
almond oil
sunflower oil
jojoba oil
grapeseed oil
avocado oil

Notes about olive oil and coconut oil:

A friend recently directed me to this post about oil cleansing, which warns against using olive oil and coconut oil in skin products, writing that many users have experienced breakouts and irritation. Personally, I've never tried coconut oil in a scrub, but I've come across several recipes that use it. Also, I wonder if it's difficult to scoop out once the oil solidifies. Let me know if you try it! As for olive oil, I've never had a problem with it in scrubs, but I've never tried it on my face. Use your own judgement, and as always, leave a comment to let me know how it went!


For the extras:
essential oils (lavender, lemongrass, rose, jasmine, sandalwood)
extracts (vanilla, peppermint, coconut, almond)
ground dried herbs (lavender, thyme, sage)
citrus zest (lemon, orange, lime; start with about 1 tablespoon per cup of sugar/salt, and adjust from there)

See this article about the five best essential oils for glowing skin.


I'm always experimenting and would love to hear your ideas. Let me know if you try some combination you really love :) Hope you're having a great summer!

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