With the start of the new year comes our plans to recalibrate ourselves and either refocus on, expand, or start our healthy living routines. In fact, the new year is the perfect time to make a decision to no longer use toxic products in our lives, especially on our body.
My personal journey into living a DIY #LifeFromScratch started when I was a teenager and played around with making some homemade lip balm.
I had fun with it but it was more of a hobby than anything. It was about two years ago that I got focused and started in earnest.
It all stemmed from my making a decision to become healthier — both mentally and physically — by joining a whole foods detoxification program. I felt better than I had in many years and fell in love with all things health. This led me to cutting out unhealthy and processed foods and taking care to purchase locally grown (whenever possible), organic, and pastured food.
Once that started, I expanded my own gardens so I could be more self-sufficient. After that, I started making my own staples (such as beans, grains, sauces and the like) through proper preparation. Through all this, I ended up buying two chest freezers for food storage!
After that, I realized there were so many toxic ingredients in my household and body care items (yikes!) so I ditched those…
… learned about and bought the essentials, and began to make my own products for myself and for my household. It’s been a slow but steady journey for me, but I love the knowledge I gain each time I learn to make something else from scratch. I love how my mind races every time I am in need of a body care item…What can I make?! How can I make it?! What can I make it from?! It’s invigorating.
Today, on this cold winter day, I am going to teach you how to make a hydrating winter body scrub out of healthy ingredients that will exfoliate, nurture, and moisturize your dry winter skin.
There is really no need for manufactured lotions and oils (which quite often lead to clogged pores and overly oily or dry skin issues) when nature provides us with whole plant oils, whose chemistries interact so perfectly with ours to help produce radiant and moisturized skin.
Any time you take a shower or bath, after you wash with soap and water, finish up with scooping out some of this scrub. Rub it into your skin with small, circular motions all over your entire body and rinse off with water. Use caution when getting out of the bathtub as the oils can cause a slick surface. I always put a little castile soap onto a washcloth and use that to get the oil residue off the tub after I get out, just for safety’s sake. I’ve used this scrub a couple times now, and my skin has felt so hydrated and moisturized with no need for additional lotions or oils, even the next day!
It’s important to remember that our skin is the largest organ on our body and it absorbs everything that we put on it.
Please take care to purchase the highest quality ingredients that you can afford for making your own body care products at home and using organic and fair trade whenever possible. If you do not have any local options, there are online shopping outlets such as Mountain Rose Herbs (our favorite!), Amazon, and other places to help you find quality ingredients.
So, What’s In It?
Coconut Oil – The medium chain fatty acids work as an antimicrobial agent to help kill bacteria and other viruses. It is very similar to our natural sebum secretion. All of this leads to moisturized skin, fewer breakouts, and clearer complexion. For DIY recipes (and for cooking) keep in mind that refined coconut oil has no scent while unrefined coconut oil will have a noticeable coconut scent. Find our favorite coconut oil here.
Sweet Almond Oil – The amino acids and vitamins in this oil go on light and smooth and also help the coconut oil penetrate more deeply. It absorbs easily and softens very well. Take note that sweet almond oil has virtually no scent, whereas almond oil will smell like almonds. Find raw, unrefined, organic sweet almond oil here.
Avocado Oil – The proteins, omega 3 fatty acids, and antioxidants in this oil make it a great moisturizer for dry or aged skin. It absorbs deeply into the skin and helps to increase collagen to keep your skin supple. Find raw, unrefined, organic avocado oil here.
Green Tea – The antioxidants and polyphenols in green tea help to remove free radicals from your skin and rejuvenate skin cells. Although fluoride is a debatable issue, non-organic green tea contains fluoride and we recommend going with an organic green tea. Just to be safe.
Lavender Essential Oil – A great oil for all skin types, it helps soothe skin and reduce bacteria that can cause acne. Find high quality, wild, and pure Lavender essential oil here.
Roman Chamomile Essential Oil – An oil that has long been used for its skin healing properties; it also helps diminish spots and scars on the skin and face. Find high quality, wild, and pure Roman Chamomile essential oil here.
Ylang Ylang Essential Oil – By far my favorite oil, not only does it have a rich and heavenly floral (yet not overpowering) scent, it helps control oil and minimize breakouts while regenerating skin cells and improving elasticity. Find high quality, wild, and pure Ylang Ylang essential oil here.
Brown Sugar – The particles in brown sugar are smaller than in white sugar, making it a gentle natural exfoliator. It also contains glycolic acid (an alpha hydroxyl acid, found in many pricey skin care items) which keeps your skin glowing and healthy.
Sea salt – The minerals in sea salt relax your muscles and increase circulation. I recommend using a fine salt so as not to irritate your skin (especially your face). Find sea salt perfect for scrubs here.
- 1½ cups brown sugar (organic, if possible, like this)
- ½ cup coconut oil, melted (this is the coconut oil we use in Scratch Mommy's skincare products)
- 1 Tbsp sweet almond oil (raw, unrefined, organic almond oil like this)
- 1 Tbsp avocado oil (raw, unrefined, organic avocado oil like this)
- ¼ cup fine sea salt, (unrefined like this)
- Dry leaves from 2 Green Tea bags (organic if possible)
- 20 drops Lavender essential oil (like this)
- 15 drops Roman Chamomile essential oil (like this)
- 15 drops Ylang Ylang essential oil (like this)
- Mason Jar (or upcycled glass jar of some kind)
- Combine all of your ingredients in your bowl until everything is incorporated.
- Spoon the scrub mix into your glass jars for storage. Use whenever you take a shower or bath.
Loved this! Love your story. Love the recipe and understanding why a scrub is worth my time. Love the ingredients and now knowing what they do. So cool, so approachable. You rock! Thanks for the great article!
I am so glad to hear that you enjoyed this recipe and my story as well. I know the importance of understanding ingredients and why they are being used, so I love to be able to break that down in my posts. I hope you get the chance to make this scrub and to experience the benefits of it firsthand.
You could just use the dry tea leaves. Introducing something with water on it is what could make this spoil if not used promptly. Alternatively, you could steep the tea leaves in the oils and then just leave them in when mixing with the other goodies, to get all the tea goodness in the scrub. 🙂
Thank you So Much for bringing this to my attention. We take great pride in sharing only the best DIYs. I am a stickler for ensuring that no water enters any of my DIY body products (unless it’s a perfume, air spray, etc) and you’ll see that mentioned several times on our site. This one slipped through and I’m grateful for you bringing it to our attention. Amanda, the post author, is an excellent DIYer…but right you are…(as originally written) unless this recipe is used very promptly after being made, it wouldn’t keep very well. We have adjusted the recipe, per Amanda’s suggest, with which I fully support. Again, thanks so much for your comment and for reading along in our #LifeFromScratch journeys here on Scratch Mommy!
I appreciate that you caught my slip-up and brought it to light via commenting. I strive to only publish the best possible DIY recipes, and although I knew better, this step in the recipe got past me in development. I have made sure to update the recipe to what it currently shows: using dry green tea leaves. I do love your suggestion of infusing them in the oils though, and may very well try that method the next time around! My goal as a #LifeFromScratch DIY’er is to always be gaining knowledge and improving my skills with each and every recipe I create.
~ All My Best, Amanda
I am crazy about ylang ylang too. I can’t wait to make this!
I hope you love this scrub as much as I am loving it. The recipe makes a decent amount, and I am almost through my 2nd jar of it. My skin is feeling fabulous! And there is something about the tropical, yet not overpowering scent of ylang ylang that makes it a spa-like experience.
Thanks for this nice and informative blog, Glad to come on this blog..
We are so happy that you found the Scratch Mommy blog!