I have incredibly dehydrated skin, and have tried a million different creams and lotions. In the past, I have suffered from eczema as a child, and more recently, psoriasis. I also have incredibly sensitive skin so I’ve found that using natural ingredients has always been good for my skin, whereas using some products, I get breakouts. For example, I cannot use the face wash or moisturiser from Simple, and get quite a bad reaction to Neutrogena blackhead eliminating daily scrub.
I’ve found that if I moisturise well as soon as I’m done in the shower, my skin feels comfortable and relax, instead of dry and taught. Using good quality bath scrubs is the first step of that process. If I use anything too foaming or too abrasive, my skin feels dry and irritated and more prone to spots. To me that is so counter-intuitive because I always thought having drier skin should prevent spots, and oily skin should make you have more spots. So I always used to think that I should avoid oil-based products and use foaming body washes but I just ended up stripping away my skin’s protective oil layer.
My perfect combination is using a gentle body wash first – something like Sanex or Nivea, and then using a gentle and moisturising body scrub. Currently, I am obsessed with using my homemade coconut and sugar body scrub. Follow the simple steps below to make it for yourself.
Start by measuring out 2 cups of granulated sugar into a clean mixing bowl.
Next, measure out some coconut oil – I like mine to be quite ‘strong’ and really scrub my skin, so I use half the amount of coconut oil to sugar. For this batch, I used 1 cup of coconut oil (because of 2 cups sugar), but you can adjust according to your own skin. Aim for at least a 1:1 ratio for a good quality scrub.
I like to leave my coconut oil solid because I don’t want the sugar to sink to the bottom. If you find that the oil is too hard, close the jar it came in, and run it under a hot water tap for about 30 seconds to soften it. If it melts too much, just pop it into the fridge until you’re happy with the consistency.
Give the sugar and oil a good mix – a fork can be helpful, but using your hands is way more fun!
Transfer the scrub to an air tight container that has been washed thoroughly and then completely dried.
Kept like this, the scrub should last several months (and up to a year). To prevent the scrub from going mouldy, make sure it does not come into contact with water.
What I like to do is make a mega-batch like this, using 2 cups coconut oil and 4 cups sugar, then storing it in an airtight jar. After this, I take a small amount (maybe a cup-full) and add 3-4 drops of essential oil to just that amount and store it in a smaller jar. This means that the big batch lasts longer because when you add essential oils, the scrub will only stay fresh for approximately 2 weeks.
These are the essential oils I would recommend (although you can just use it without adding essential oils):
- lavender – stress relief
- peppermint – energy/invigorating effect
- geranium – skin softening
- rose – anti-inflammatory (my personal favourite because of the smell)
Here are some variations on the scrub you could try:
- add a few table spoons of honey for anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory action
- swap out the sugar for dead sea salt for a more abrasive scrub
- crush up fresh mint leaves instead of using mint essential oils
- add 1 tablespoon of freshly squeezed orange juice or lemon juice
Would love to hear what scrub recipes you use and the benefits on your skin!