Sugar body scrubs help keep your skin healthy by removing dead skin cells, stimulating circulation, and lifting away dirt and excess oil. Sugar contains natural glycolic acid, which dissolves dead cells and cleanses the skin. Make your own sugar scrub so you can keep track of the exact ingredients that you're allowing to touch your skin. Although gentler than salt scrubs, sugar scrubs may still irritate extremely sensitive or thin skin. Use them with caution if your skin is prone to irritation.
Place the brown or white sugar into a clean glass jar. Brown sugar is more gentle on sensitive skin, but both types provide the same exfoliating benefits.
Pour in the oil to the sugar and stir well to combine. Use any type of vegetable or specialty oil, such as coconut, safflower, olive, jojoba, grapeseed, apricot kernel, avocado or wheat germ.
Sprinkle in dried herbs and stir again until all of the ingredients are combined. Include shredded ginger as an exfoliant, lemon peel to alleviate lethargy and increase energy, lavender flowers to promote relaxation, or ginseng to increase energy and circulation.
Add essential oils to the sugar mixture and combine. Use your favorite scent, or an oil that imparts the desired mood or effect. Incorporate a citrus oil, such as lemon or orange, for its refreshing qualities; cinnamon or clove to stimulate circulation; or lavender for relaxation.
Place a lid on the glass jar, label the contents, and store the mixture in a cool, dark place when not in use. For maximum freshness, use the scrub within six months. To use, massage 1/4 to 1/2 cup scrub onto moistened skin in a circular motion, then rinse.
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- Purchase fragrance oils at craft and hobby stores and use them in place of essential oils. Use vanilla to complement a brown sugar scrub, or rose and jasmine to create a floral-scented scrub.
- Use more than one essential oil or fragrance oil, but don't exceed 15 to 20 drops.
- Body sugar scrubs make great inexpensive gifts. Attach a decorative label with the recipient's name and instructions for use. Tie a ribbon around the jar to create an attractive, spa-inspired gift.
- Do not use mineral oil to make natural body sugar scrubs, as it cannot penetrate the skin and may clog the pores. For best results, always use a vegetable-based oil.
- Do not use sugar scrubs on delicate areas of the body, such as the face, throat or genital area.
Willow Sidhe is a freelance writer living in the beautiful Hot Springs, AR. She is a certified aromatherapist with a background in herbalism. She has extensive experience gardening, with a specialty in indoor plants and herbs. Sidhe's work has been published on numerous Web sites, including Gardenguides.com.
Michael Gann/Demand Media