Great Homemade gifts
Body scrubs are wonderful because they...
- Remove the dead layer of cells on your skin's surface, revealing the younger cells beneath, and leaving your skin feeling soft and smooth.
- Contain natural oils that moisturise and feed your skin.
- Contain essential oils with aromatherapy properties. You can combine scents to relax, soothe, energise, or create a romantic mood.
Homemade body scrubs are really easy to make. Whether you want to make them for yourself, or as gifts for your girlfriends or relatives, this page will show you how. I'll cover how to make sugar scrubs, salt scrubs, oatmeal scrubs, coffee scrubs, and more.
(By the way, if you'd like to try other bath and body recipes, you might like to have a go at making your own and .)
A bit further down the page, I'll give you some easy homemade . But first, I'd like to give you an explanation of the basic ingredients. That way, you'll be able to come up with your own personalised homemade body scrubs :-)
Homemade Body Scrubs 101: The basic ingredients
All body scrubs, even ones you buy in the store, contain just three primary ingredients:
1. An Exfoliant
Basically a gritty substance of some sort. Sugar and salt are the most common, and have the benefit that they dissolve in water so they don't leave any mess in your bathtub.
Salt is great for relaxing your muscles. Some people prefer to use sea salt, because it is less processed than table salt, contains a wider variety of trace elements and minerals, and is said to be kinder on the skin. Personally I've tried sea salts, table salt, and epsom salts, and found all of them to be fine. Your mileage may vary depending on your skin type (mine is fairly normal, perhaps slightly dry). Whatever salt you use, I'd recommend grinding it finely, i.e. to a similar consistency to table salt, because coarse grains can feel a little too exfoliating.
Sugar feels slightly gentler on your skin than salt. You can use either brown or white sugar. I prefer brown, because it smells yummy, especially if you mix it with a little vanilla essential oil.
Ground coffee smells divine, and the caffeine may even have some benefits for your skin. Caffeine is a vasoconstrictor, meaning that it causes blood vessels to constrict, so it can temporarily reduce varicose veins and rosacea. Intriguingly, experiments have shown that caffeine applied to the skin of mice makes them less likely to get skin cancer... but we don't know yet whether this works for humans.
Oatmeal is the gentlest of the exfoliants. It is an emollient, meaning that it softens and hydrates your skin. People have used it for decades as an effective home remedy for dry, itchy skin. Unlike salt and sugar, you can use it with a bit of water instead of a carrier oil.
Other options include almond meal, flax meal (ground linseeds), rice bran, wheat bran, and ground nut shells. I haven't tried any of these so I can't really comment, though I've heard that ground nut shells can really be quite scratchy against your skin. (If you'd like to share your experience with any of these exfoliants, then .)
I have used sugar, almond meal and ground nut shells before in my homemade body scrubs. You probably know what the sugar feels like, but the almond meal is really nice- suggest you try it! It's kind of soft, and it's scrubby, and it leaves my skin nice and soft. Only problem is that it doesn't dissolve in water so I always end up with a ring around my tub or on the floor of my shower. The ground nut shells were not a pleasant experience, to be honestly honest. It was too exfoliating for my skin and left it raw and sore. Although, it is pretty good for feet!
2. A Carrier Oil
Also called a base oil, the oil in a homemade body scrub holds the mixture together, and moisturises your skin. Most body scrub recipes use about 1/3 cup of oil for each cup of exfoliant. There are many carrier oils to choose from. Unless your skin is very dry, I'd recommend choosing an oil with a fairly thin consistency so that it will wash off easily and won't leave your skin feeling too greasy. Some popular options are
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