There’s nothing like putting up a new calendar, full of empty white boxes, so full of promise and expectations, to make you evaluate your life and your goals. If one of your resolutions for the new year was to lose weight or eat healthier, you are one of many (myself included!). But what to do with that giant bag of sugar sitting in your cupboard, if not to make cookies?! Why, use it to make a sugar scrub, of course!
It wouldn’t be completely outrageous to assume that most people have heard of a sugar scrub. If you are one of the lucky ones who have actually experienced the spa-service-version, then wahoo! While I cannot deny the relaxation that accompanies such a treatment, many of us either cannot afford such a service or prefer not to have a stranger rub that vigorously all over our wobbly bits (thank you, Bridget Jones, for implanting yourself forevermore into my brain). Luckily, it’s amazingly simple and cost efficient to make your own home version. In fact, I took the crafty (and the “I’m-broke”) route this Christmas and gifted several friends and family members with my homemade concoction. It’s amazing what a decorated mason jar can accomplish without looking tacky!
A quick Google search will pull up about 2,460,000 websites and blog posts decided to making a DIY sugar scrub. Do I need to be 2,460,001? Not really. But as my blog is directly related to my business website, I figure maybe a massage client, pregnant mama, or Average-Joe looking for something fun to do may stumble upon this and get inspired. Also, I can’t always be “scary” blogging about things like fluoride, can I? Lol.
As there are so many recipes and variations out there, I’m by no means breaking the mold. In fact, I’m going to be super simplistic.
DIY Sugar Scrub
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup jojoba oil
There. That’s it.
Oh, how badly I’d love to just end it there. But alas, I’m much too wordy.
I’m not much of a measurer anyway (preferring to cook by dash, sprinkle, and taste) and this recipe is very much customizable.
Jojoba oil is a great “carrier” oil that brings with it many benefits for the skin, including healing inflammation (including acne, eczema, psoriasis, wounds, and aging). Since it aids with skin ailments such as eczema, it’s a really gentle, soothing oil – a good bet for those of you who struggle with allergies or sensitive skin. Coconut oil is another great option if you don’t have jojoba oil. I buy Unrefined Organic from the grocery store, which is a solid until you hit about 72 degrees F. If you don’t want to deal with that, you can always use fractionated coconut oil, which is always in a liquid form. Really cheap? Try olive oil!
Depending on how you prefer the consistency, you may want to add more or less oil. I prefer a sandy texture, myself.
Now, this recipe alone is .. how do you say… a little boring? That’s where essential oils can come in!
I’m not going to use this post to go into depth on essential oils; if you want to learn more about how I incorporate them into my massage practice, you can check out my website. I did want to list some of my favorite combinations (the choices are limitless.. well, almost). Now remember, I’m not a big “recipe” person, so I’m not going to list drops. Really, just use your nose – what I may like may be too strong or weak for you anyway.
Some of my favorite essential oils for sugar scrubs include:
-Peppermint (so invigorating)
-Lavender (alone is very relaxing, or can be blended with pretty much any other oil)
-Lavender, Ylang Ylang, and a hint of vanilla extract (see? you can put lavender with anything!)
-Cinnamon Bark, Orange and Pine (for those hardcore Christmastime lovers)
-Lemon and Rosemary (a little more intense – you either love it or hate it)
-Grapefruit (invigorating and also rumored to be beneficial to those particularly-flabby areas we love so much)
-Orange, Cedarwood and Ylang Ylang (just so peaceful)
-Vetiver and Cedarwood (super calming, a great “man scent” too)
I’ve also used these blends for bath salts, lotions, etc.
If you are making these as gifts or you just really are a presentation-oriented soul, you can add a little bit of food coloring (note to self: this works best with CLEAR jars).
Or, if you are REALLY crazy-ah.. I mean, crafty- you can experiment with other ingredients. For example, I recently used not only white sugar but also brown sugar and honey (and EOs) to make a “Pumpkin Pie Spice” scrub, or as my husband would say, a “brown sugar scrub” (because, let’s face it, brown sugar is olfactory-wise pretty intimidating).
I’m courteous enough to save the benefits of sugar scrubs for last. I know how it is when all you want is a recipe Gosh-darn-it! but you have to scroll through a dozen photos and text before you find it at the very end (especially when you are on a 3G smart phone). I figure most people will probably read this blog for the recipe alone, but for those of you who are interested in the benefits…
Benefits of Sugar Scrubs
1. Exfoliation (rub off dead skin cells to promote healthy and oh-so-soft skin)
2. Stimulate lymphatic system, which is especially beneficial for those struggling with fatigue, fibromyalgia, edema or swelling, or just want to detox (also, check out the Manual Lymphatic Drainage, or MLD, massage technique)
3. A “pick-me-up” in your morning shower (peppermint) or unwind before your nightly bath (lavender)
How to Scrub (because, hey, you may not know and that’s ok!)
I prefer to stand in the shower (because it can get messy) and do my scrub, then turn the water on and rinse it off; however, sometimes if I’m pressed for time I will do it in the shower in place of my body wash.
To get the most lymphatic benefits, you want to scrub out to in. Start at your fingers, scrubbing towards your heart, then at your toes up towards your pelvis. When you do your tummy, always go in a clockwise motion. Sometimes I will even dry brush the same path with a loofah before I do the scrub – this just gives you some more exfoliation and lymphatic benefits.
When you rinse the scrub off, you will notice how soft your skin is! Applying a great, non-toxic lotion afterwards will help keep your skin softer longer (should my next post be on lotions?).
Easy-peasy! Google, here I come!