Tuesday, February 15, 2011

How to Make a Simple Scrub

I make various scrubs—some are cold-infused with herbs, some with spices, another with antioxidant-rich cacao nibs.  Scrubs can be made with honey, molasses, agave nectar, or any humectant; they can also be oil-based.  This recipe is for an oil-based scrub.

Since recipes for scrubs aren’t as fragile as balms or creams, you can have fun with experimenting with various ingredients.

A brown sugar & agave scrub scented with ginger.

Mix together:
1 cup solid oil (such as coconut)
1/2 cup liquid oil (optionally combined with a quarter size amount of melted beeswax) 
up to 3 cups ground salt/ sugar
Essential oil of choice 

Simple enough...

Mix everything, adding the sugar/salt last.  Use as much or as little sugar/ salt as you like.  To ensure a uniform consistency, and to save your poor arms, a stand mixer might be helpful.

If you use virgin coconut oil, it will contain a high level (>50%) of Lauric Acid.  In other words, you might just scrub your skin raw with it.  In fact, Lauric Acid will help fight acne and keratosis pilaris (tiny bumps that often crop up on the upper arms) but if you have sensitive skin, be warned: you will need to use another oil such as sunflower.  Combining the oil with a wax will help it form a softening protective barrier over the skin.  Please avoid emulsifying waxes; they always contain Polysorbate-60, a toxic ester.  There are many natural vegan waxes available, such as Candellia.

If you have access to shea butter, use it to replace coconut oil for a foot scrub. 

Your skin WILL feel oily before you dry off.  Try to like the feeling.  Coconut oil is non-comedogenic and mildly anti-bacterial, meaning it will not only not cause breakouts—it will fight them.  Neither will it over-moisturize.  This type of scrub is suited for use on the body.

For facial exfoliation, try patting on a mixture of soy yogurt, ground oats, and splash lemon juice or apple cider vinegar.   Fresh strawberries will help slough off dead skin, as well.

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