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DIY Body Scrubs for Soft, Smooth Skin

body scrubs and lotions

A good body scrub is a real treat for the senses. Its ingredients impart benefits for your skin while the abrasive particles gently slough off dead cells to reveal a softer, smoother you. And if it smells good, too, you can indulge in an aromatherapy session at the same time!

There are a plethora of body scrubs to choose from in the stores, but why not make your own? Not only do you get to control what goes in them, but you’ll also save money because you probably already own the base ingredients. It only takes two things to make a simple scrub: an abrasive and oil. Here are a few examples of each: • Common abrasives -- sugar, table salt, Epsom salts, ground coffee • Common oils -- coconut oil, grape seed oil, safflower oil

Olive oil is good for your skin but isn’t often added to scrubs because it has a strong scent. Plus, olive oil can be expensive. When it comes to abrasives, remember that the goal is to exfoliate gently, not irritate or injure your skin. Stick to fine particles rather than chunky ones. Once you master a combination that you like, you can start experimenting with new scrubs by adding one or two fresh ingredients, like honey, mashed banana or grated carrots.

Before you begin, you should invest in a few jars to hold your scrubs. Old jelly jars with screw-down lids or ceramic jars with cork lids that latch down are good choices.

1) Honey Lemon Sugar Scrub

You’ll need these ingredients: • 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted • 1 cup granulated sugar (you can use brown sugar, too) • 1 Tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice • 2 Tbsp organic honey

Warm coconut oil over low heat. Once liquefied, remove from the heat. Add remaining ingredients and stir until thoroughly combined. Transfer to a container with a top that seals. When it cools down, the coconut oil will return to a semi-solid state, but that’s fine. As soon as it comes into contact with your warm hands and skin, it will liquify again. Try different types of acids as you create new batches, such as grapefruit or orange juice.

2) Lavender and Sea Salt Scrub

You’ll need: • 1 cup fine sea salt • 1 cup coarse sea salt • 1/2 cup sweet almond oil • A few drops of lavender essential oil • One or two pinches of dried lavender

Mix thoroughly and spoon into your prepared jar. This scrub not only works great but it looks beautiful and smells divine. Look for dried lavender at your local organic foods market. If you don’t feel like investing in two different grains of sea salt, stick with whichever one you prefer. The mixture is helpful but not necessary.

3) Mocha Coffee Scrub

For this scrub, gather together: • 1 cup brown sugar • 1 cup finely ground coffee • 1/2 cup coconut oil, melted • 2 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa

Mix thoroughly and store. This scrub smells good enough to eat, but it isn’t just a gimmick. The caffeine in the coffee will brighten your skin while the cocoa is bursting with antioxidants. Experiment with adding a few drops of essential oils for an aromatherapy experience like no other. Orange and raspberry are particularly good with this scrub.

4) Oatmeal Honey Scrub

Necessary ingredients are: • 1 cup of uncooked oats • 1/2 cup brown sugar • 1/2 cup grapeseed oil • 1/4 cup honey

Grind the oats until reduced to a nubby powder. Mix in the remaining ingredients and store. Oatmeal is an excellent choice if your skin is feeling sensitive and in need of pampering. The honey is also soothing as well as moisturizing.

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