Winter and the holidays are coming. We can see and feel that our skin is turning dry already. The deep winter itch is creeping over us. Days of gray will turn into weeks. It will be months before spring arrives with the promise of renewal.
Within you flows an eternal spring.
Most of us would guess that face and body scrubs are needed only in the summer when we need to forcefully remove sunscreen, insect repellent, spilled food and drink, summer funk, and let’s stop there. I’m willing to bet that you wouldn’t entertain the thought of using a scrub past September.
The best time to renew is always now.
You’ve been missing out on gently exfoliating and nourishing your skin when it needs repair most—during winter—when unnatural forced air heating dries us out like sundried tomatoes without the oil. Like the Tin Man in The Wizard of Oz, we need our oil.
And I have just the recipes for us all.
Scroll down to see more photos and read more about Gift Ideas: Face and Body Scrubs.
“The lemon smells good! The sugar feels nice, and the oil isn’t heavy like other face scrubs.”
Lisa, my mom and I decided to make face and body scrubs for the first time. We had purchased them from many different sellers in the past, costly but simply put together, so we thought, “Why not make our own?” I had purchased a kit of essential oils: Lavender, Lemon, Peppermint, and Tea Tree. I also bought the base oil: Liquid Coconut Oil. Other base oils can be used such as jojoba oil. The key factors are lightness (of oil) and price. How light do you want your wallet to be after you pay?
Seriously, liquid coconut oil makes for an excellent base oil as far as viscosity, color and playfulness with many essential oils. It serves as such a good base that we formulated a base recipe for three face scrubs and one body scrub. The only variable was the essential oil or fresh coffee grounds.
Making face and body scrubs is more like cooking than baking. Exact amounts won’t work so well. The process is more about feel, given the distinct personalities of each essential oil. And there is personal preference to consider. Some might want a lighter (more oily) or heavier (more sugary) scrub.
Don’t let the word “scrub” scare you. It’s not like I’m setting you up to scrub your face with a toilet brush. If I’m the guinea pig, it’s not going to happen.
There is a madness to my method.
Here is the base recipe for face scrubs at 4-ounce batch sizes:
2 tablespoons of liquid coconut oil
3 tablespoons of white crystal sugar
1 teaspoon of white crystal sugar
Then we add essential oil. Personal preference and the unique quality of each essential oil will make us chefs and not bakers for the next part. We were satisfied with a medium-weight face scrub. The essential oils were added like so:
9 drops of peppermint oil, or
12 drops of lavender oil, or
25 drops of lemon oil
We also concocted a coffee body scrub. Because the coffee grounds were so dark, we thought to go with brown crystal sugar. The softer and more mellow nature of the brown sugar also lent itself to experimentation with the ratio.
Here is the recipe for coffee body scrub at a 4-ounce batch size:
1/4 cup fresh coffee grounds
1-1/2 cup crystal brown sugar
1/8 cup liquid coconut oil
No essential oil is needed. The fresh coffee grounds provide the fragrance and properties. There was a little overage, so consider that a bonus. It is a body scrub, so it will feel more “wet” than face scrubs. The crystal brown sugar tended to soak up the liquid coconut oil and the residual moisture in the fresh coffee grounds. Because the coffee grounds are a fresh food product, please keep in mind that the coffee body scrub will need to be stored in the refrigerator until use, probably good for a couple weeks. These are simple, natural recipes without all the preservatives and chemicals that put up a wall of shelf life that prevents us from being in touch with the pure ingredients as nature intended them to be.
Lisa was first to try her lemon face scrub. First, she mixed the scrub with her tiny spoon. It’s good for mixing and doling out just enough for each use. Then, she lightly wet her face to prep her skin by making it smooth and moist. This helps the sugar distribute and dissolve more easily. Finally, she applied her scrub in light circular motions. Lisa straightened up, almost as if awakened, and said, “The lemon smells good! The sugar feels nice, and the oil isn’t heavy like other face scrubs.” After rinsing, Lisa patted her face dry. She touched her skin, adding that her skin felt “really smooth.”
My mom was next to try her lavender face scrub. While Lisa tried her lemon face scrub in the sink, my mom opted to try it in the bath. She told me that she had scrubbed gently and found that the scrub became very smooth. The lavender essential oil also mixed with the hot water turning my mom’s bath into a refreshing lavender-infused spa experience. She said, “The lavender was very relaxing. The next morning my friend noticed that my face was shiny and radiant!”
I chose to make a peppermint face scrub and coffee body scrub. The peppermint is supposed to be revitalizing, invigorating and cooling. The coffee is supposed to stimulate and energize the skin. Never on the same day.
I mixed my peppermint face scrub with my tiny spoon. It looked just like the expensive boutique stuff, but this was fresh and made the day before with just a few ingredients. I started to work the scrub in my hands, then applied the scrub in light, circular motions. I thought to myself, “The peppermint essential oil feels cool, brightening my face from within!” After a shower, I couldn’t get over how soft and smooth my face felt, and it felt that way all day.
I tried my coffee body scrub the next day. This was more wet than the face scrub. Less is more. It smelled like a cup of fresh coffee and spread so smoothly. My skin softened immediately. I stood there and wondered, “Is it my imagination or do I feel my skin feeling somehow recharged?” There is indeed a caffeine response from the skin to topical coffee products. I wonder if cafes will start installing showers?
“The lavender was very relaxing. The next morning my friend noticed that my face was shiny and radiant!”
My mom is amazing when it comes to putting special touches on holiday gifts. These treatments can be had easily at stores such as Dollar Tree. Small spoons can be found for free at ice cream shops like Baskin-Robbins. C’mon, take one for the team. Transforming simple 4-ounce Mason jars into cute and pleasing holiday gifts is a fun, easy event that adds to the wonderful memories of the holidays before they even begin.
For the record, lavender essential oil is supposed to be soothing, normalizing and balancing. Lemon essential oil is supposed to be refreshing, cheerful and uplifting. We all chose our essential oils, and face and body scrubs aligned with these descriptions and our needs. Everything was as described. These face and body scrubs were easy and fun to create, and they were inexpensive, handmade, small batch goods—simple luxuries.
To see more photos of Gift Ideas: Face and Body Scrubs, follow my Instagram page at Instagram – The Simple Luxuries