Spring has officially arrived and the weather is starting to warm up – time to start thinking about getting your skin looking and feeling fresh, ready to emerge after months of being wrapped up in jeans and jumpers. Scrubbing away those dead skin cells and nourishing your skin with a hydrating body butter is the best way to prep for the months ahead.
Making your own body scrubs and creams is really simple and you can use all sorts of household ingredients to create something that is just right for your skin type. Using essential oils will elevate them further – oils like geranium, frankincense, myrrh and rose have been used across cultures for thousands of years due to their soothing, anti-inflammatory and re-vitalising properties.
You will also save money, reduce your plastic consumption and benefit the environment as many shop bought products (especially scrubs) contain plastic micro beads which are not bio-degradable and remain in our rivers, seas and oceans long after they have washed down your bathroom plug hole.
You can use a variety of food products depending on your skin type. The most basic and one that I have always used in the past is fine grain pink himalayan salt – its coarse enough to exfoliate well and is full of minerals, if you want something finer then cane sugar is a good option plus it contains glycolic acid which will help to remove those dead skin cells. If you have sensitive skin then oat flour is extremely mild but will still exfoliate.
You can also add in a few scoops your left over coffee grounds to your scrub – it is fairly abrasive so not one for sensitive or very dry skin. The contents of a green matcha tea bag are a nice addition if you want something stimulating to your circulation. Personally, I prefer ingredients such as these as ´add-in´s´ as opposed to being the base of the scrub.
The exfoliator is one part of the equation, the other is the carrier oil you mix it with. For something light but moisturising fractioned coconut oil is good choice but if your skin is on the dryer side then opt for sweet almond oil as it´s more nourishing plus it contains vitamin E, vitamin A and zinc (if you opt for sweet almond oil seek out one that is cold pressed so none of the nuts nutrients have been lost due to exposure to heat). There are other carrier oils you can use but for scrubs I think these two are the best and they also won´t turn your shower into an ice rink as you wash the scrub off!
Body scrub for normal skin:
- 1 mason jar
- 3/4 cup fine grain pink himalayan salt
- 1/4 cup carrier oil – coconut or sweet almond
- 10-15 drops essential oils. Lavender and geranium are a great combination for their nourishing properties but if you want something more stimulating try grapefruit & peppermint (grapefruit is a great cellulite buster but as it is a citrus oil it is also photo-sensitive so no direct sun exposure for 24hrs after use)
- In a bowl thoroughly mix all the ingredients together with your hands or a spoon. Add the carrier oil bit by bit until you get the consistency you want – for a coarser mix use less oil and for something less abrasive add more oil.
- Decant into your mason jar, the scrub will last for about a month in a well sealed jar.
- Wet your skin and start at your feet and work your way up your body giving areas like your knees and elbows and bit of extra scrubbing, rinse off with water.
Body butters are thicker and richer than their cream counterpart – I find that they are more suitable to skin that´s emerging from the wintery months to give you a super hydrating boost. Creams are lighter and for more day to day use and will absorb into the skin quicker.
You can make your own luxurious body butter at home with three or four ingredients. Shea butter is easy to get hold of in most health shops and it is a super hydrating, nourishing, re-generating butter which melts easily, it also stimulates collagen production so really is a winner for your skin. Cocoa butter is another one that melts easily and the fat it contains helps form a protective barrier over the skin to hold in moisture. It´s also rich in natural plant compounds called phytochemicals – these can help improve blood flow to the skin and potentially protect the skin from UV rays so is another great addition.
You´ll also need a carrier oil (like mentioned above for the scrub) coconut oil, almond oil, jojoba, vitamin E, pomegranate, seabuckthorn and rose hip are well known ones and readily available – just make sure they are good quality and organic.
Lastly, essential oils will add another dimension to your body butter, I´d avoid any citrus oils due to their photo-sensitivity, but opt for cell renewing oils like frankincense & myrrh. Lavender, geranium, rose, helicrysum and melissa are also amazing for your skin.
Again, as with the carrier oil, make sure the oils you are using are pure – your skin is your largest organ and it absorbs what we put on it, so take care and only use oils of the highest quality. This is why I use DoTerra oils as I understand the care taken in sourcing and producing these oils is second to none, plus the transparency demonstrated across by board by the company makes them a market leader in what is an un-regulated industry.
Simple Nourishing Body Butter:
- 1/2 cup shea butter
- 1/2 cup cocoa butter
- 1/2 cup coconut oil or sweet almond oil
- 10 drops frankincense, 10 drops lavender essential oils
- Using a double boiler (or a saucepan with boiling water with a glass bowl to cover) add the shea butter, cocoa butter (it does have a strong smell so look for refined cocoa butter if you prefer) and carrier oil and add to the glass bowl
- gently heat and stir occasionally for 10-15 minutes
- once everything is melted remove from the heat
- let it sit and cool for 5-10 minutes
- add your essential oils and stir to combine
- place mix in the fridge for one hour or until set
- once chilled, take out and mix with a hand held mixer – start off slow and increase the speed as the mixture fluffs up, this will take up to 5 minutes. If you want to add an extra ingredient such as 2tbsp of vitamin E oil do it at this point and mix in with the hand mixer.
- Place your mixture in a glass container and store in a cool place
These two recipes are really the tip of the iceberg in terms of what you can make yourself at home, if you want some more idea´s check out the DIY Recipes section on our site or if you are one of our DoTerra customers then you have access to the e-Books section which has downloadable PDF´s on skin care.