Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Build Your Own Body Scrub

There are few luxurious, indulgent beauty products quite like a good body scrub. Retailers and spas have been cashing in on this fact for years!  Exfoliation is recommended 1-2 times a week to scrub away dead skin cells, encourage cell turnover, and keep your skin looking fresh and youthful. They make great gifts too, and can suit any budget. And that's the secret!  It doesn't have to cost you big bucks. I'm here to set you free! Free to customize and design your very own body scrub for that silky soft skin that has always seemed so expensive to come by.

Making your own body scrub is very simple--taking only 2-3 ingredients you probably already have--not to mention it's economical! 

All you need to make a body scrub is a coarse solid plus a carrier oil, and if desired, essential oils to target skin care, or other embellishment. I have found a good ratio is the following:

1 tablespoon of carrier oil 
1/4 cup of solid base
2-6 drops of Essential Oils

That give you a nice, spreadable texture and enough oil to condition and moisturize your skin, without being so much oil that it seems soupy.

Now, on to customizing!

The first thing you need to choose is which scrubby base you want. Choose one that meets the quality and texture standards you are looking for.

Salt Scrubs:
  • Himalayan pink salt--pretty, course, and filled with minerals that are great for your skin! It is a little more expensive and would make a really lovely gift.
  • Epsom salts--So accessible, aka, affordable! Moderately coarse, made of soothing magnesium
  • Straight up table salt-- cheap, most fine salt texture 

Sugar scrubs:
  • Sugar in the Raw--most coarse sugar, more like salts, but sweet smelling!
  • Cane sugar--More coarse sugar, although finer than -in the Raw and most salts
  • Brown Sugar--sweet smell, rich color, fine texture
  • Powdered texture--Super fine texture, making a very gentle scrub for sensitive skin

Coffee Scrubs:
IMO, coffee is the most luxurious scrub! Remember to pair oils cautiously, since it has such a strong and distinctive scent on its own.
  • Fresh coffee grinds--full of antioxidants; caffeine can (temporarily!) reduce the appearance of puffy eyes and cellulite; you control texture with the grind
  • Used coffee grinds--some of those good qualities get filtered out in to the coffee you drink, but this is a good way to upcycle

Don't forget you can mix and match, ie, coffee + cane sugar or Himalayan salt + brown sugar--get creative!

A carrier oil is a clean, ideally organic and cold-pressed, plant-based oil. This step may take a little trial and error, especially for a facial scrub, to see which one best suits your skin type. All of these oils have some comedogenic risk (aka, they could clog your pores), but the right one for you will work with your skin, not against it! I have combination skin that has been acne-prone for more than 20 years and my sweet spot is grapeseed + coconut oils. Keep in mind that the skin on your body is different and probably much more tolerant than the skin on your face.

Here is a conservative list of some more economical, easy-to-come-by carrier oils, but don't be afraid to branch out from these!

Coconut Oil:
  • Widely available, has its own cleansing properties, but a higher comedogenic rating
  • Can feel heavy, but moisturizing for dry-normal skin
  • Beware for texture! Its melting point is around 75℉, so if it's cold where you are, it may turn solid
  • Fractionated coconut oil is an option, and has been altered to stay liquid at cooler temps. Keep in mine coconut oil has a relatively strong scent, if that factors in to your choice!

Grapeseed Oil:
My personal favorite for my face.
  • Thin and light, ideal for normal-oily skin, with some nice cleansing properties and Vitamin E
  • Sometimes available in grocery stores

Jojoba Oil:
  • A perennial favorite for normal skin
  • Gentle and often preferred for sensitive and/or aging skin 

Olive Oil:
  • Widely available (probably already in your kitchen!)
  • Moisturizing for dry skin

Similar to carrier oils, there is no shortage of choices for essential oils to use in a body scrub. You could simply choose your favorite smell, or explore their therapeutic properties to choose one that meets your needs. Again, here is a very brief list suggestions for essential oils with both a pleasing fragrance and excellent therapeutic value for skin care.

  • Pretty, floral, slightly spicy scent
  • Go-to for all things skin! You really can't go wrong with a good lavender body scrub!

  • Rich and spicy, luxurious and indulgent
  • Excellent for skin care, especially dry or aging skin

  • Bold, floral scent
  • Balancing for all skin types (one of my preferred favorites for my combo skin)

  • Clean, refreshing scent from lemongrass, tea tree, and rosemary oils
  • Cleansing for oily and acne-prone skin

So, what kinds of combinations can you make?
How about Epsom salts with coconut oil and lavender? Maybe sprinkle in a tablespoon of dried rosemary for color, texture, and aroma...
Or maybe mix up organic brown sugar with grapeseed oil and geranium?
I know! Fresh, fine grind coffee with light jojoba oil and frankincense! See, the options really are endless... 

I hope this will spark your creative juices to whip up a body scrub that is just right for you! Go raid the pantry and get to work!


  1. Love coffee scrub for body but sugar scrubs for my face are nice too

    1. I love coffee for my body too, but I do like a finer texture for my face. It just feels more gentle.

  2. I haven't tried the "do-it-yourself" scrubs, but have been very dissatisfied with the over-the-counter products I have used. I will definitely try some of your suggestions! Thanks for sharing!

    1. Thanks, Diane! I hope you see here hoe simple they can be, and that you find a combo you love!