2 Recipes for Homemade Body and Facial Scrubs

Health & Wellness on 12.05.12
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Photo: Katherine Martinko

Our family has the same goal every Christmas: to make as many homemade gifts as possible. It always seems like a great idea in the early fall, when I have all the time in the world (or so I think), but as the weeks go by, I find myself in the same situation, trying to think of fresh ways to channel my limited creative abilities to come up with interesting gifts. One idea I came up with combines my love of mixing ingredients with my passion for all-natural body care products. I’ve decided to make homemade facial scrubs, body exfoliants, lip balms, and lotions as Christmas gifts for the women in my family. I’m excited because these gifts will be different, unique, and completely personal.

I did some trials last week, following some recipes I’d found in an excellent book called There’s Lead in Your Lipstick: Toxins in Our Everyday Body Care and How To Avoid Them by Gillian Deacon. After a quick trip to the local health food store, I successfully rounded up all the ingredients. Within a few minutes, I’d created a jar of divine-smelling lavender facial scrub that made my face feel wonderfully smooth. Here are the two recipes I tried and have been using over the past week, with great results.

Homemade Oatmeal Scrub with Almonds, Lavender, and Chamomile

(Almonds are moisturizing, oatmeal exfoliates, and lavender and chamomile are soothing.)

2 tbsp ground almonds
4 tbsp oatmeal

1 tbsp cornstarch

1 tbsp chamomile flowers (I used the contents of chamomile tea packets)

2 tsp sweet almond oil + 5 drops lavender extract — OR — 2 tsp lavender oil

Place all ingredients in a blender or spice grinder and blend well until mixture is a soft granular powder. To use, put half a tablespoon of this mixture in your palm and add just a couple of drops of water.
 Rub hands together to make a paste. Gently rub and massage it onto damp skin in circular motions to exfoliate.
Wash off with warm water and a washcloth; end with a splash of cold. Keep the scrub in a well-sealed glass jar.

Scented Garden Body Scrub

(The salt draws impurities from the body and its coarse texture gently removes dead skin cells.)

1 cup sweet almond oil

1 cup Epsom salts (or a mixture of fine and coarse sea salt)

10 drops essential oils (I used lavender, but geranium, orange, lemon, rose, and chamomile would all be nice)

Stir all ingredients together with a spoon until a thick oily mass results. Spoon into a glass jar.
 At the end of your shower, scoop out a handful and scrub it all over your body for a satisfying exfoliation.
 Rinse quickly, then step out of the shower and pat skin dry gently. The scented oil will act as a perfume and moisturizer.

Note: This scrub felt weird when I applied it because I’m not used to smearing oil all over myself. Once I’d toweled off, though, my skin felt wonderfully smooth and very moisturized, so now I’m a total convert.

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