What a fantastic time for women as we begin the week with International Women’s Day and end with Mother’s Day. After such a difficult year it feel more important than ever to show mothers just how much they mean to us. The way to a mother’s heart is surely through thoughtful gifts from her family.
Here are some ideas to create a DIY body scrub for mothers to enjoy because the best gifts are handmade with love, right? So, forget any ideas you had of sending the same old bunch of flowers or picking up a card at the supermarket, this Mother’s Day it is all about thoughtful, meaningful gifts that are truly unique.
Body scrubs are non-toxic, eco-friendly and edible. The best part is that you can create these products with ingredients that you already have in the kitchen. It is so easy to make from scratch and will leave skin glowing, soft, and supple!
Body scrubs are great for exfoliating your skin, as they aid in keeping it healthy by removing dead skin cells, lifting away dirt and excess oil and stimulating circulation. Glycolic acid occurs naturally in sugar and is helpful for cleansing the skin.
There is a basic formula you can follow when creating body scrubs:
Oil + scrub particles + essential oil (optional) = body scrub.
Here is the breakdown of the three ingredients.
You can use your choice of sugars or fine salt that you have at hand when making homemade body scrubs. Personally, I love Rapadura sugar because it is incredibly soft and can be used for both the body and face, but I encourage you to try the different types to see what works best for your skin type.
Regular granulated sugar is fine to use in body scrubs, but superfine sugar is better to use if you have sensitive skin or want to use the scrub in more sensitive areas, such as the face.
Brown sugar smells delicious in scrubs and is the least abrasive. I prefer to combine it with a fine sugar such as Coconut or Rapadura sugar.
When using salt use the best salt possible. While salt does have plenty of minerals, make sure that you use fine salt as coarse salt has jagged edges that can create micro-tears in your skin. Fine salt is best saved for rough skin where you can gently rub the salt scrub on. You can be creative and add pretty additives like rose buds and citrus peel to your body scrubs. Himalayan Pink salt offers a pretty colour.
Olive oil, grapeseed oil, sweet almond oil and virgin coconut oil are good choices for sugar scrubs. I generally prefer cold-pressed, organic oils for sugar scrubs whenever possible. I would suggest avoiding expensive or exotic oils as this product would be rinsed off and it would be a shame to waste. Rather use those as a nourishing facial oil.
Virgin Coconut oil is widely available, very stable with a long shelf life, and is packed with antioxidants. It is a heavy, greasy oil with moisturizing and conditioning properties. I always add Coconut oil as it provides a perfect thickener to keep the scrub particles suspended.
Grapeseed oil is a light oil that absorbs quickly and is full of antioxidants helping for skin disorders and rashes. Sweet Almond oil is rich in vitamins E and K, which helps skin regenerate and maintain elasticity. It absorbs quickly without leaving an oily residue and is a good choice for all skin types. This oil should not be used if you have nut allergies.
Hemp Seed oil is a dry oil with conditioning and regenerative properties. It is especially good for moisturizing dry, damaged skin and works well for eczema and psoriasis. It reduces skin aging and is anti-inflammatory.
Jojoba Seed oil (pronounced ho-ho-ba) has anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties with a chemical structure similar to the skin’s natural sebum. It is odourless, non-greasy, and penetrates quickly. This is a good moisturizing conditioner and nourishes all skin types.
Apricot Kernel oil is one of my favourite oils. It absorbs well, is non-greasy and works as an enriching emollient perfect for soothing skin and preventing dryness. Best suited for sensitive, dry and mature skin types.
Avocado oil is heavy in texture, yet soothing and leaves no greasy residue. Avocado oil supports skin elasticity, it is nutrient rich, hydrating, and great for mature skin.
Essential oils have recently been vilified. They are volatile, potent compounds, and like most things possessing these qualities, should be treated with caution and respect. They are complex constituents, and each have a unique set of qualities. That said, there are many essential oils that can be added to sugar scrubs for scent and additional healing properties. A few drops are often all you need.
Here are a few essential oils to consider adding to your sugar scrub recipes:
Lavender oil can help balance moisture levels and reduce redness and inflammation in the skin. This is often a good option for sensitive skin as it is a very gentle oil.
Chamomile oil is soothing and can help reduce redness in skin and is also anti-inflammatory.
Geranium oil is said to reduce wrinkles and slow premature aging, geranium also has a lovely floral scent.
Fragonia oil can act as a natural astringent for acne-prone skin. Very similar to Tea Tree oil but not as overwhelming.
Peppermint oil is energizing with a lovely cooling sensation, this is my go-to oil when I am making foot scrubs or attending to sore muscles.
Mandarin oil can help to even out skin tone and stimulate the growth of new skin cells.
Sweet Orange oil is uplifting and energising or reduce stress.
Do I need a preservative?
No, since this body scrub doesn’t contain any water you don’t need to add any kind of preservatives, but you need to ensure that your hands are dry when applying the product. If you are familiar with the use of preservatives, you may add a small amount according to the specifications.
How to make a body scrub
Now that you have your ingredients selected, we can get to the fun part of making our body scrub.
- Add 1 cup of sugar to a bowl.
- Add between 3/4 – 1 cup of coconut oil into the sugar. Since coconut oil is a solid oil, using at least equal amount of coconut oil to sugar, will help keep the sugar suspended.
- Add 1-2 cups of oil, you can even use a blend of different oils. This is based on personal preference. If you prefer a drier scrub, use 1 cup, and if you want an oilier scrub, add 1.5 - 2 cups. One thing to keep in mind is that the more oil you add, the more moisturizing benefits you’re likely to get.
- Once you have a good consistency, add 1-2 drops of essential oils. Remember, a little goes a long way!
- If your oil turns out too dry for your liking, add some more oil. Too oily? Add some more sugar.
- The consistency should be sandy, not soupy. If the mix is too oily the sugars will dissolve in a day or two and not slough the skin.
How to Store Homemade Sugar Scrub
At room temperature, a homemade body scrub will last around one month in an airtight container, like a mason jar with a lid. If you want to keep it longer, you may consider tucking it away in the fridge. Refrigerated, DIY sugar scrubs can last up to three to four months. To increase the shelf life of your scrub, you can add an antioxidant such as Tocopherol (Vitamin E).
How to use your body scrub
Place some of the body scrub in your hand and then scrub your body gently in a circular motion. I prefer to apply the scrub to wet skin. This scrubbing helps to loosen dead skin cells and exfoliate your skin properly. You can use a loofah mitt or an exfoliator glove for even better results.
Make sure your hands are dry when applying the product. It is an anhydrous product and does not contain a preservative. By introducing water from wet hands, microbial growth will occur.
Enjoy coming up with your own sugar scrub for healthy skin that’s glowing, soft and supple!
Now that you have the basics down, you can easily make all kinds of different sugar scrubs. Here are a few of my favourites sugar scrub recipes.
Any time-of-day Body Scrub
Add almond oil to a basic sugar scrub for a moisturizing all-over body scrub. Use whatever scents you like, but I like invigorating essential oils like peppermint and eucalyptus for my morning shower and relaxing fragrances like lavender for before bed.
There are a few extra considerations to take when you are making a scrub to use on your face. Firstly, make sure to use a light oil that doesn’t clog pores like grapeseed oil or even the more expensive jojoba oil which closely matches skins own sebum.
Then, add just 1-2 drops of essential oils like Geranium, Chamomile or Lavender, depending on what your skin concerns are.
Make in small batches of 1/2 cup or less and replace it often, as you do not want any bacteria scrubbed into a delicate area like the face. Remember to use a very fine sugar so that the grains don’t damage delicate facial skin.
Everyone can benefit from a nice hand scrub, particularly in the winter months where hands become dry easily or after a Summer potter in the garden. A hand scrub also comes in handy for those who must regularly wash hands like healthcare workers, artists and chefs.
Using a gentle hand scrub after a day of work is an excellent way to stimulate and moisturize hands before bed. I like to use moisturizing coconut oil and a blend of Ylang-Ylang, Lavender, Geranium, and Bergamot essential oils.
Our feet work extremely hard but are often neglected. For a pampering foot scrub, use coconut oil in conjunction with peppermint oil to soothe, moisturize, and cool feet.
If you have very dry, cracked skin on your heels, you can use the coarse sea salt or a 50:50 combination of brown sugar and white sugar. Just scrub gently as to not damage the skin further.
Gather your ingredients and get creative. It’s time to glow! Feel the difference after the first use!
I would love to know what combinations you come up with. Please let me know in the comments below.
Happy Mother’s Day. I hope you get spoilt rotten.
Photo: by Svitlana
Will look forward to making myself some of this :)