Here in the northern hemisphere, winter still has us in its icy grip and summer is still a good ways away. It'll be a while until we can see flowers and buds poking up through the earth, and in the meantime, we're trapped beneath layers of clothes and boots so we can tramp through the snow and sleet, aching for the days where we can wear sandals and sundresses again. We don't have to let the cold weather wreak havoc on our entire bodies, though! This is where body scrubs come in—read on for some easy, all-natural DIY scrub ideas to revitalize your skin from top to toes.
Winter wreaks havoc on our skin, and whether you’re dealing with greasy, ashy, or scaly “lizard” skin, a little TLC could work wonders. Body scrubs are great for exfoliating: they slough away dead skin cells and nourish the new skin beneath, leaving you soft and glowing all over. Below are a few ideas for DIY scrubs you can make at home, instead of spending a ridiculous amount of money on them at specialty shops.
When you create your own body care products, it’s important to use the highest quality ingredients that you can afford. Everything you put on your skin gets absorbed into it, so take that into consideration when shopping for your scrub materials—try to use organic and fair-trade ingredients whenever you can. One way to keep costs low while still using quality ingredients is to pool resources with friends: decide which scrub you’d like to make, and then share costs evenly between you. An eight-pound bag of sea salt runs around $8 USD, and will create 10+ jars of body scrub, so if a few friends get together and pool cash together, everyone will be scouring themselves happily for months, at pennies per shower.
To create a salt scrub, you basically just need coarse sea salt or Epsom salt, a carrier liquid (like oil, glycerin or honey), and a scent. Feel free to experiment with different oils, salts, and essential oils to see which you like the most, and which work best for your skin.
Citrus Morning Scrub
- 1 cup olive oil
- 1 cup sea salt
- 1 tbsp lemon zest
- 2 drops grapefruit essential oil
Basic Salt and Honey Scrub
- 1/2 cup of sea salt
- 1/2 cup of honey
Mediterranean Olive Oil Scrub
- 1/2 cup of sea salt
- 1/2 cup of brown sugar (like muscovado or demerara)
- 1/4 cup of olive oil
- A couple of drops of orange essential oil
You can use either white or brown sugar for your scrubs, but stick to brown if you want to keep them vegan. Muscovado sugar is softer than turbinado or demerara and will be gentler on your skin, but won’t exfoliate quite as well.
Note: people who are prone to yeast infections should take care when using sugar scrubs. Refrigerate unused portions, and be sure to use these products within 2 weeks of making them. The last thing you want is to scour yourself with anything that might be moldy or laden with bacteria.
Coconut, Brown Sugar, and Vanilla Scrub
A basic, simple sugar scrub that can be whipped together in minutes.
- 1/2 cup coconut oil
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Mix together all ingredients. Dampen skin in the shower, rub scrub all over in firm, circular motions, and then rinse clean.
Rose Petal Scrub
- 1 1/2 cups of brown (turbinado) sugar
- 1 cup of coconut oil
- 1 tablespoon of sweet almond or jojoba oil
- Petals from one rose (pink or red)
- 1 clean mason jar with a lid
This scrub has to be made a few days before you plan to use it, or to give it as a gift. Pour the coconut oil into the jar, and follow it with a handful of rose petals. Then add the raw sugar, and top with the almond or jojoba oil. When you’re ready to use it, mash it all together with a large spoon, slather it all over your body, massage into your skin, and then rinse well.
“Wake Up” Scrub, from Whole Living
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 cup brown turbinado sugar
- 15 drops peppermint essential oil
- 1/2 cup used coffee grounds from a freshly brewed pot
Blend all ingredients together, dampen skin, and massage the scrub all over your body, starting from your feet and working your way up. Be sure to pay special attention to rough spots like heels, knees, and the backs of your arms. Rinse thoroughly and pat dry.
Ground Nut Scrub
Ground Almond and Avocado Scrub
- 1 medium ripe avocado, peeled and mashed
- 1/3 cup of ground almonds
- 3/4 – 1 cup of ground oatmeal
This rich, buttery scrub moisturizes and nourishes dry skin while exfoliating dry skin away. Mix all the ingredients together, and then rub them all over your body from the top down. Massage in gentle circles, and then rinse thoroughly. Be sure to rinse your tub/shower enclosure well afterward.
Note: You can use also use ground hazelnuts for this if you don’t have any almonds on hand.
These scrubs are sure to cleanse and soften skin that winter may be abusing, leaving you soft and radiant all over.