Like the skin cells on your face, the cells on your body regularly shed to reveal new, healthier skin underneath. Using a body scrub once a week will exfoliate and brighten your skin. The exfoliating granules in scrubs help to remove dead skin, and the rubbing action boosts circulation by increasing blood flow to the skin’s surface. After a scrub, your moisturiser will be better able to soothe and hydrate your skin.
The common ingredients in shop-bought scrubs are salt, sugar and crushed nut shells, and some include chemical exfoliants, like alpha hydroxy and glycolic acids, which can help smooth and firm skin, and salicylic acid, which improves the appearance of blemishes. Making your own scrub allows you to use the best ingredients on your body and saves money.
You can make your scrubs using any of the following ingredients: Sugar, ground coffee, ground cloves, oats, honey, sea salt and different natural oils.
1. Sugar scrub
Although sugar is not good for your intestines, it is very good for your skin. Use two parts sugar to one part oil. You may use any oil such as almond, coconut or olive. You may also add half a teaspoon of vitamin E oil or a few drops of essential oil such as lavender or lemongrass.
2. Banana sugar scrub
This is an oil free scrub that tightens your skin. Mix one cup of brown sugar with three mashed bananas.
3. Grapefruit-avocado oil scrub
Grapefruit helps to even skin tone while avocado oil is extremely moisturising to the skin. Mix one cup of sugar with the juice of half a grapefruit and three tablespoons of avocado oil. Do not over stir this mixture as the sugar will dissolve. You want to ensure that the granules remain intact.
4. Lavender-sea salt scrub
This scrub is excellent for managing acne on the body and also eczema. Mix one cup of sea salt with three sprigs of dried lavender from the garden, a few drops of lavender essential oil, and one cup of grape seed oil. You may substitute coconut oil for grape seed oil.
5. Coffee-Coconut scrub
Coffee is invigorating as it ‘wakes’ the skin up, brightens the skin and temporarily improves the appearance of cellulite. This is a good scrub to use before you go on holiday. Mix half a cup of ground coffee, half a cup of sugar, and half a cup of coconut or olive oil.
How to use a scrub
Before you run the water in the shower spend a few minutes using your hands or scrubbing tool to rub your scrub in circular motions onto dry skin. Turn on the water and rinse, using your hands to help remove any remaining granules. Be careful not to over scrub as you may irritate the skin. Always moisturise after you’ve dried off. Do not use a scrub if your skin is irritated, after shaving, or when you have sunburn.
Depending on the ingredients, these natural scrubs can be stored in an airtight container for up to two months. However, the banana scrub will only last a week.