Easy Recipe: Homemade Peppermint Exfoliating Sugar Body Scrub

Sunday, July 21, 2013

All-natural homemade sugar exfoliating body scrub
Now that it's summertime and my skin is less dry, I've been exfoliating a lot more with body scrubs. Exfoliating is a great way to get rid of dead skin cells, and an even better way to get soft skin immediately. I've been thinking about ways to make an inexpensive alternative to Philosophy's Candy Cane scrub with ingredients I already have at home, and are natural. I chose to use peppermint essential oil for my particular sugar scrub recipe because I was looking to make a refreshing, cooling scrub for the summertime, but peppermint oil can be replaced with any essential oil you like.

Homemade Peppermint Exfoliating Sugar Body Scrub

This recipe yields enough for about 2-3 showers, but if you are worried about it spoiling or don't think you'll use it up within a week, you can halve the recipe. Alternatively, you can double or triple the recipe if you intend on making enough for a lot of people.

1/2 cup of sugar (any kind will do)
1/4 to 1/2 cup of olive oil, based on preference (any kind of vegetable or nut-based oil is fine)
Peppermint essential oil

Add the oil to the sugar, a little bit at a time, mixing until you reach a consistency that you're happy with. Be sure to test as you go along by applying some of the scrub to your hand, scrubbing, and rinsing off with water. I used about 1/3 cup of olive oil with my 1/2 cup of sugar, which created a scrub that was on the drier side.

Typically I see scrubs that are on the more watery or oily side, but beware that this will leave your skin more oily after your shower. If you want a more liquid consistency, look into adding some vegetable glycerin to achieve a runnier texture without the greasiness. You can also apply your body sugar scrub before washing with soap to wash off some of the greasiness. If you are looking to make a scrub for the wintertime, a higher oil content might be better for dry, winter skin.

Once you have achieved a texture that you're happy with, add your essential oil using a dropper. You can mix essential oils if you'd like, but add the drops carefully, one or two at a time, so you don't overdo it. I wanted a very minty and tingly scrub, so I added 8-10 drops. If you have less sensitive skin or really enjoy mint, I would even as much as 15 drops. Conversely, if you just want your scrub to smell minty but not have a tingly effect on your skin, 4-6 drops is enough. The size of your droplets may vary depending on the type of dropper you're using, so as with the oil, eyeball it and test as you go along. Mix well and store in an air-tight container.

I would advise against using a citrus-based essential oil just because those tend cause photosensitivity, or make your skin more sensitive to the sun. If you really want to make a citrus-based scrub, be sure to apply extra sunscreen to the areas you've applied the scrub, just in case.

You can use cane or raw sugar if you're looking for more exfoliation, or brown sugar if you're looking for something that's a little more gentle on your skin. Many consumer body scrubs instruct you to pat your skin dry before applying the scrub, but I found that white (granulated) sugar is very grainy, so if you have sensitive skin, I would advise NOT drying your skin before using a white sugar scrub. You can also use sea salt as an exfoliant if you choose; I went with sugar because I have some "open wounds" from mosquito bites and the like and didn't want to feel the sting.

Store your scrub in an air-tight container, especially if you're going to be keeping it in your shower. Any water that might get into the scrub, in addition to moisture, can cause the scrub to go bad faster. Your best bet is to keep it in the refrigerator when not in use, and to make small batches at a time.

Let me know if you make this scrub, or if you've experimented with other ingredients to make your own homemade body scrub!

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