As someone who is well versed in the world of green beauty with clean ingredients and no stranger to homemade products, I can think up more than a few dozen recipes for making your own DIY body scrub. A simple internet search will also give you more than enough recipes for homemade body scrubs and DIY body exfoliators. So instead of giving you even more body scrub recipes, I decided I would do a post that breaks down what you need to know to customize your own natural body scrub. Once you read this post you should be able to whip up a simple body scrub using ingredients you probably already have at home.
Start with Base Exfoliating Ingredients
This will be the primary ingredient used to create your own DIY Body Scrub and truthfully anything after this step (other than adding moisture when applying) is optional.
Some of the best exfoliating ingredients for a natural body scrub are:
Sea Salt: Sea salt is my favorite natural exfoliator to use. Just make sure to find a finely-ground version like this one for smoother (but still effective) exfoliation. Not only is sea salt a wonderful natural exfoliator, but it also helps to remove bacteria from the skin which in turn prevents breakouts. Sea salt also contains a host of minerals that provide therapeutic benefits to your skin. Salt, however, is a more aggressive exfoliator so I only recommend use on your body never on delicate facial skin. Is a perfect ingredient for a homemade body scrub.
Sugar: Feel free to use whatever sugar you have around. Sugar is less abrasive than salt due to the granule being rounder. It does not have the same mineral benefits as salt, but it does contain a natural form of glycolic acid which hydrates, brightens, and tones the skin while also promoting cell turnover. Sugar it is also less drying than salt. I would recommend sugar over salt if you have sensitive skin or skin that is on the drier side.
Flour: Specifically flours made from beans, rice, oats, or some nuts and seeds. You can even make your own flours out of these ingredients with a good blender or food processor. Some examples of exfoliating flours known for their skin benefits are chickpea flour and rice flour. The use of these flours as exfoliators are very popular in India and Asia. Using flours like the ones mentioned here are much milder exfoliators and can be used on the face or the body.
Bonus Ingredients to give your DIY Body Scrub a Boost
Now that you have your base exfoliant (which can be one of the ingredients or a combination of the ingredients just mentioned) it is time to give it a beneficial boost by adding one or more bonus ingredients.
A little goes a long way with these bonus ingredients so you only need about one or two tablespoons total of bonus ingredients per cup of your base exfoliator. For whatever you use, make sure it’s dried and ground to a smooth powder using either a spice grinder or coffee grinder.
Here are some options for bonus ingredients that are great additions to homemade body scrubs:
Herbs and Spices: Different herbs and spices can be a great thing to grind up and add to your DIY exfoliator mix. Some good examples of dried herbs and spices to add which will provide additional benefits to your skin and scrub are rosemary, turmeric, neem, mint leaves, flowers like lavender and rose, as well as ginger for a circulation boost. You can also use dried seaweeds, like kelp powder, which are loaded with skin nourishing nutrients.
Fruit Powder: This is probably my favorite thing to add to a DIY Body Scrub as the fruit acids that contain natural vitamins and enzymes help to enhance skins brightness and makes your skin incredibly soft. Most dried fruit powders or fruit peel powders will work but my favorites are orange peel powder, strawberry powder, and papaya powder. Fruit powders can be be purchased online or you can even make your own.
Caffeine: A caffeine boost can be beneficial as it helps to tighten the skin which is said to aid in a visible reduction of cellulite after you scrub. In addition, natural exfoliators that contain caffeine like coffee grounds, cacao powder, and matcha powder (my personal favorite) also gives your DIY Body Scrub a skin improving antioxidant boost.
Make it Smell Divine
Essential oils are an optional step to create a customized natural fragrance for your homemade body scrub, unlike artificial fragrance which can host a multitude of toxic chemicals. Essential oils not only naturally scent your product, but they provide other skin improving and aromatherapy benefits as well. If you choose to work with essential oils and are not familiar with them, make sure you first read the post Essential Oils Guide: Safety and Uses. When adding essential oils to your scrub, keep in mind you only need between 5-15 drops per cup of DIY exfoliator depending on how strong you want the scent.
Some of my favorite essential oils to use for my DIY body scrubs are sweet orange, lavender, geranium, peppermint (especially great when used as a foot scrub), lemongrass, and vanilla (not technically an essential oil but a wonderful natural scent). These are my personal favorites but feel free to mix and match any essential oils in the combination you like best.
Add Oil or Water
The final step in creating your own DIY Body Scrub is to add carrier oil or water to the mix. The key is to add just enough oil or liquid to make it easy to spread but not so much that it takes away the exfoliation effect. It should be a paste-like consistency. You can use the oil of your choice with this but some great and popular options for DIY Body Scrubs are coconut, olive, sweet almond and jojoba. You can also just add water especially if your skin is not excessively dry.
Want to learn the big secret to making your own DIY Body Scrub that will keep a long time without preservatives or the need to keep it in the fridge?
Don’t add oil or water until you are ready to use the scrub!
It really is that simple. Everything else can be premixed beforehand and can store for a very long time without the need of a preservative but the second you introduce a carrier oil, water or another liquid product into the mix preservatives or refrigeration become a must for the longevity of the scrub.
Essential oils (not technically an oil) can be added at either the powder or liquid stage, so do what works best for you. You may choose to add it at the powdered stage for convenience or the liquid stage if you want to play more with different scents. When adding at the liquid stage before use, 1-3 drops is more than enough for a single serving of body scrub.
I like to make a batch of the powdered exfoliator and keep a tightly sealed spice jar in my shower with some of the powdered exfoliator so I can just sprinkle some in my hand when I am ready to use it and combine it with oil or water at that point. Another option is just to mix some of the powdered mixture with water or oil of choice in a small dish for each use. Either way don’t combine until needed. It is best to use a body scrub 1-2x a week but don’t overdo it.
As with any natural DIY product, never use ingredients you know you are allergic to. It’s always a good idea to do a patch test on a sensitive area like the inside of your arm 24 hours beforehand to make sure you do not experience any redness or irritation.
Exfoliating your body comes with many benefits. It promotes smoother, regenerated skin, prevents clogged pores, reduces razor bumps and ingrown hairs, allows your moisturizer to penetrate your skin better, and can even help to reduce stress. So why not give making your own custom homemade body scrub a try! If you would like to try out a DIY Facial Exfoliator check out this 2 Ingredient Cleansing Grains Recipe.
– Elizabeth Hemmings, author of Easy Green Cleaning
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