Sunday, July 6, 2014

Homemade Body Scrub (that has MANY uses beyond skincare)

There are many advantages to exfoliating skin regularly. Exfoliation softens and brightens dull skin, removes dead skin and keeps pores from clogging, speeds up renewal, aids moisturizers to penetrate more efficiently, helps with acne, discoloration, fine lines, wrinkles and cellulite. With all of these benefits, who wouldn't exfoliate? (Ehem..boys, I'm looking at you!)

Various body scrubs purchased in stores tend to use fillers, chemicals and plastic exfoliating beads. Gross, right? On top of that, I've found a common problem with most exfoliators, whether from stores or made at home. These scrubs that contain sugar or beads, happen to be extremely harsh on the skin. Both can cause microscopic tears and cuts, which is counterproductive when exfoliating for benefits. This especially goes for on the face, as this can create the breeding ground for acne. In my personal opinion, baking soda is THEE best exfoliator. It has finer granules than that of sugar or beads and it scours the surface of your skin evenly and efficiently. Along with this, a common ingredient in body scrubs are base oils (olive, jojoba or the worst..mineral oil) which when used, can keep the dead skin on the surface of your body. And trust me, I can personally attest to this. Following the use of an oil based scrub and drying off after a shower, I found rolls of oily, dead skin on my body when I rubbed a towel across my skin. I've discovered that when using vegetable glycerin, it helps glide the baking soda, and easily rinses off of you, taking the dead skin with it! The results are fresh, silky skin.

You will need:
Baking Soda
Vegetable Glycerin
A wide mouth glass jar
A spoon

Lavender Oil or any preferable essential oil.

*Side notes about the ingredients list* You can purchase the baking soda and vegetable glycerin for under $10 dollars total. And you will get quite a few batches with these two specific ingredients. If price (or shipping price) is an issue, you can find vegetable glycerin for $8 at your local health food store (depending on their pricing). You can also find a $.50 box of baking soda at your local family dollar store and name brand baking soda for under a dollar a box at Walmart or any grocery store. I suggest buying baking soda in bulk because you'll get more bang for your buck AND it can be used for many, many things from diy beauty and health to home cleaning products. A simple Google search will show you the vast uses of baking soda. I absolutely cannot live without it!

If you don't mind an unscented scrub, you don't need to use essential oils for this recipe. Although, if you want to spice things up a bit, I suggest using an essential oil or two to scent your scrub. My personal favorite is lavender, but, you can use anything from ylang ylang to tea tree to rose hip. I should also mention that essential oils are quite beneficial to your skin in use with this scrub, so do some research on them if you're curious! A one ounce bottle of lavender oil can be purchased on Amazon for less than $6. Or, you can support your local health food store and buy it there. Regardless, essential oils may seem expensive, but they go a long way. My two ounce bottle lasted me a little less than a year.

You can find wide mouth glass jars at art and craft supply stores, thrift stores or Goodwill. All between $1-2. Can you tell that I'm a bargain shopper? : ) Now, to the body scrub recipe!

To create this scrub, fill your jar 3/4 of the way with baking soda (I suggest doing this over a sink). Then begin adding the vegetable glycerin. Slowly, pour in and stir with a spoon...until the scrub is the consistency of a paste. Be very careful not to add too much glycerin, causing it to become runny. Don't fret if you do, just add more baking soda to your mixture. If using essential oils, add a few in (5-15 drops should be good). Hey, that's it! Super simple, yet highly beneficial.

example of what the consistency should be like

Here are some techniques for effective results. Drench yourself in a warm shower. Soak for a bit to soften the skin. Turn off the water and rub the scrub all over from face to feet. Gently rub in circular motions over your body, paying extra attention to the legs and and areas where skin tends to be rough. Use a body brush to get the back area. Sometimes I will take a wash cloth, while the scrub is on my skin, and glide it over in circular motions to keep my hands from getting that weird numb feeling from scrubbing (you'll know what I mean if you use this scrub all over your body without the washcloth haha). Sometimes I will add a few drops of peppermint castile soap to the scoop in my hand, to act like a body wash (this will make you feel tingly clean!). Turn on the shower and wash off. Feel that fresh, soft skin! Great, right? Now, when you are done in the shower, use your favorite moisturizer. I use a hemp seed oil body spray...this stuff is the ultimate! Again, if prices are a concern for you but you'd still like to try an oil as moisturizer, I recommend grapeseed oil. It is a little more lightweight than most base oils, yet very moisturizing for the skin. Usually, while still wet in the shower, I will spray oil all over my body, blend it in, and then pat myself dry with a plushy towel. I promise you, if you follow these steps, you will be gifted the softest skin you've ever had. Enjoy!

Here are a few extra uses that I've discovered from this life saving scrub:
-it is great at removing paint, wax, oil, stain and inks from the hands
-in conjunction with a pumice stone, it works fantastic at softening rough feet
-along with tea tree oil, it is a great itchy scalp remedy
-with a few drops of castile soup, it is the perfect face wash for oily skin and ALL make up remover (this includes the nasty, waxy waterproof mascara all over your hands from trying to clean out an old mascara container -_-)
-perfect for scrubbing dishes and soap scum off of tubs and sinks
-in a pinch, with ONE drop of peppermint or wintergreen essential oil, it works fantastic as a toothpaste (don't worry, vegetable glycerin is safe for use in mouth AND it tastes sweet ; )

If you create this scrub, I hope it makes your life a little simpler as it has for mine. Please let me know if you find other uses for it!

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