Fall 2012 –
As the weather grows colder and winter begins to roll in, your skin often needs a little extra help in coping with the elements, whether it be wind, cold, or just the stress of being at college! Body scrubs are a great way to renew your skin, leaving it softer and smoother. They also usually incorporate some great herbs and spices that are great for your nose and make you feel physically and mentally rejuvenated!
To reap all the benefits of these great skin care products, you don’t have to run to the store. Homemade body scrubs can be made utilizing salt or sugar and a variety of natural oils such as olive, almond, or vanilla extract. Throw in some great household herbs like rosemary, lavender, or thyme, and some spices (cinnamon is great) to add some zest for your nostrils. You can also use different fruits and vegetables to give your skin some added nutrients. Tomatoes, bananas, lemons, and other citrus fruits are among some of the best choices to nurture your pores. The nice thing is most homemade scrubs need only 3 or 4 different ingredients, all of which you can pick up on a normal trip to the grocery store, and for much less than the typical $15-20 you would pay for a comparable store bought scrub. Making your own has many more benefits that just saving you money!
The majority of skin care and beauty products including scrubs use inorganic chemical compounds and petroleum-based gels as their foundations. They then leave these on your skin which can contribute to limiting your skin’s natural healing processes, your body’s immune system, and even the health of your eyes and respiratory system that come in contact with these chemicals while your in the shower or in front of the mirror.
One of the most often used and most oppressive chemicals found in store bought beauty products are mineral oil or petrolatum. Mineral oils are petroleum-based oils, not naturally harvested from plants such as olive oil or vanilla extract. These slick, oily chemicals are often used as a moisturizing agent, but have actually been proven to block your pores’ natural ability to expel toxins from your skin, leading to increased acne and aging. Not to mention, petroleum-based oils are made from an unsustainable fossil fuel! By switching to natural oils, you can help cut your own dependence on fossil fuels.
Bottom line: natural, homemade skin remedies are good for your wallet, good for your health, and good for the planet! Here are a couple easy sugar scrub recipes from Treehugger.com contributor Melissa Breyer to start off with:
Banana Sugar Body Scrub
When the bananas are starting to brown, grab those beauties and put them to use. This one skips the oil and relies purely on the benefit of banana and the gently abrasive sugar.
•1 ripe banana
•3 tablespoons granulated sugar
•¼ teaspoon pure vanilla extract or your favorite essential oil (optional)
Smash ingredients together with a fork into a chunky goop. Don’t over-mash or it will become too thin. If you want a banana scrub for your face, reserve some of the banana and mash it separately without sugar. In the shower, pat the sugar mixture and gently massage over your body. For your face, gently massage plain banana there, avoiding the eye area. Rinse off with warm water.
Vanilla Coconut Brown Sugar Scrub
Coconut oil is subtly fragrant and slightly miraculous. This one is a super moisturizer, and can practically double as dessert.
•1/2 cup coconut oil
•1/2 cup brown sugar
•1/2 teaspoon vanilla
Mix ingredients together. Rub on skin while in the shower, massage, and rinse.