Winter is always a perilous time for our skin. Cold weather, cranked up central heating, our limbs hidden away under multiple layers for months on end without seeing the sun. All of these leave us with dry, dull skin, needing a bit of extra TLC. And do-it-yourself body scrubs are an easy and clean way of making your stuck-at-home beauty regime that little bit more special.
Exfoliation does more for your skin than simply remove the dulling dead skin from the surface. The act of scrubbing and massaging has a whole host of benefits. It stimulates your circulation and lymphatic system helping your skin glow, it unclogs pores and can help prevent acne as well as allowing all your other products to penetrate deeper into your skin. And by creating your own scrubs at home, you can control exactly what goes into them and onto your skin. It’s a win-win.
Body scrubs are super simple to make. Each one involves 2 crucial ingredients.
This will be the ‘rough’, exfoliating element that sloughs off the dead skin. Some great options are:
- Rock salt
- Brown sugar
- Coffee grinds
- Ground almonds
Each of these has a different level of roughness and benefits. Oats are great for more sensitive skin as they offer a gentler exfoliation and help soothe stressed skin. The caffeine in the coffee grinds, on the other hand, is said to help diminish the appearance of cellulite.
This is the carrier that you mix into your rough ingredient to make it into a lovely paste to massage onto your body as well as help leave your skin smooth and moisturised. This can be:
- Coconut oil
- Olive oil
- Sweet almond oil
- Any oil that you like and suits your skin!
Once you have chosen your two main ingredients, simply mix them together into a paste. Add more ‘rough’ if your scrub is too runny and more ‘smooth’ if the texture is too crumbly. You can then add some additional ingredients to get even more out of your lovely potion. Please note, I wouldn’t recommend any of these on your face. The exfoliating ingredients which are great for your body (although please don’t overuse- once a week is perfect!) are too rough for the much more delicate skin of your face and can leave it feeling sensitive and create micro-tears.
I store my scrubs in nice little round plastic tubs as I always get scared that glass will smash in the shower, especially when it is covered with slippery oil. Most of these keep well in the fridge for about 5-7 days.
Here are a few great recipes to get you started.
The Muscle Relaxing One
This scrub is a fab 2 for 1 affair as it not only gets your skin feeling baby smooth but it also has the added benefit of soothing muscles thanks to the addition of Epsom salts. You can add any essential oils you fancy but I find eucalyptus and lavender work nicely to ease aches and pains.
Mix together 1/4 cup Epsom salts, ¼ Himalayan rock salt and ½ cup olive oil. Add in a few drops of lavender and eucalyptus essential oil. Massages into damp aching limbs and rinse off in the shower.
The Invigorating One
This is a great one if you need a zingy lift to get you going first thing in the morning. The grapefruit oil leaves a lovely uplifting scent and the lemon pulp leaves your skin feeling tingly. If the tingliness is a bit intense, simply rinse off with warm water.
Combine ¼ cup Himalayan rock salt, ¼ raw cane sugar and ½ coconut oil. When you’re happy with the consistency, add the juice and pulp of ½ a lemon, a few drops of grapefruit essential oil and 4 tbsp of honey. Scrub your body always going in the direction of your heart to help boost circulation. This one should help you feel energised for the day ahead!
The Soothing One
This a lovely gentle scrub which can also be used as a face mask. The ingredients are designed to soothe stressed skin and leave it feeling soft and glowing.
Stir together 1/4 cup of oats with 2 tbsp of natural yoghurt and a good squirt of honey. Apply to the body and rub in gentle circles for a few minutes then rinse and pat dry. If you are using this as a face mask, apply to the face and leave for 10 to 15 minutes, then rinse off with warm water. Smells delicious and leaves your skin baby soft.
The Good Enough To Eat One
This super simple scrub smells divine and leaves your skin bright and rejuvenated. Mix together ¼ cup of natural brown sugar, ¼ cup coffee grinds and ½ cup of coconut oil. Delicious!
The Clarifying One
This scrub is great at balancing oily and combination skin thanks to the addition of the vitamin powerhouse that is the avocado. Perfect for anyone that suffers from occasional outbreaks on their back or shoulders.
Combine ½ cup of roughly ground oats with half an avocado and ¼ cup of sweet almond oil. Add in one tbsp of honey and a few drops of tea tree oil. Blend well and thickly spread over any problem areas, leave for a few minutes then rinse off.
The Brightening One
This scrub is full of vitamin C thanks to the strawberries and anti-oxidants due to the matcha. This powerful combination helps even skin tone, brightens the skin and is great for delaying signs of ageing.
Blend ½ cup raw sugar with ¼ cup of ground oats, ¼ cup pureed strawberries and ¼ olive oil. Add in a heaped teaspoon of matcha powder. Use this one as soon as possible as the matcha tea oxidises easily and loses its anti-oxidant properties.