With a few kitchen cupboard ingredients, silky soft skin can be all yours.
Salt and sugar scrubs are one of easiest home treatments that truly deliver. Not only is slathering sugar and oil all over your body wickedly pleasant, but the exfoliating factor leaves skin refreshed, vibrant, and as soft as a certain anatomical part of an infant.
But one of the greatest unsolved mysteries of all time is this: Why do beauty product companies charge such exorbitant prices for salt and sugar scrubs? It’s mind-boggling. A quick Internet search just turned up six products ranging in price from $31 to $39.99 for, basically, 14 ounces of sea salt or sugar mixed with oil and fragrance. Seriously.
So here’s an idea. Buy an 8.5 pound bag of beautiful all-natural Pacific sea salt from Bob’s Red Mill for $7.55 which will give you enough salt to make almost 11 jars comparable in size to the commercial products. (Bob's packaging size and price may change from time to time, but it's always within that range.) Invest in some oil and essential oils, and bingo. Same deal for sugar scrubs (a two-pound bag of Fair Trade organic sugar can be purchased for $5.59). It’s really just a matter of mixing a few ingredients together in the right proportions. You get to customize your ingredients, be assured that there are no funky synthetic chemicals involved, skip the excess packaging, and have some glowing skin to show for your not-so-much efforts. Here are some formulas to get you started.
1. Banana sugar body scrubstarting to brown, grab those beauties and put them to use. This one skips the oil and relies purely on the benefit of banana and the gently abrasive sugar.
- 1 ripe banana
- 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
- ¼ teaspoon pure vanilla extract or your favorite essential oil (optional)
Smash ingredients together with a fork into a chunky goop. Don't over-mash or it will become too thin. If you want a banana scrub for your face, reserve some of the banana and mash it separately without sugar. In the shower, pat the sugar mixture and gently massage over your body. For your face, gently massage plain banana there, avoiding the eye area. Rinse off with warm water.
2. Rosemary lemon salt scrubLemon and Thyme Salt Scrub from Food + Words is really quite splendid.
3. Easy peasy sugar scrubEasy Peasy Sugar Scrub.
4. Tomato sugar scrub
5. Vanilla coconut brown sugar scrub
- 1/2 cup coconut oil
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
Mix ingredients together. Rub on skin while in the shower, massage, and rinse.
6. Sugary minty lip scrub
7. Lavender sea salt scrub
- 1/2 cup sea salt
- 1/4 to 1/3 cup sweet almond oil, depending on preference
- 4 drops lavender oil
- a sprinkling of lavender blossoms
Stir it up, indulge in a Provence at the sea shore reverie.
8. Citrus salt or sugar scrub
- 1/2 cup sea salt
- 1/2 cup oil of your choice (jojoba, almond, olive, whatever)
- 1 teaspoon citrus zest (lemon, lime, orange, grapefruit or a mix)
Mix ingredients together. Rub on skin while in the shower (avoiding eyes) and rinse off.
This updated article was originally published in 2012.