It’s been way too long. Truth is, the school garden is in full swing and I’ve been busy getting small hands dirty—turning over the winter cover crop, preparing the beds, planting sugar snap peas, packaging and selling spring seeds—it is that time of year. Time to get dirty…. and then time to get cleaned up!
And nothing does the trick better than a handmade sugar scrub. Upon completion of this practical project, you will have a novel and crafty cleanser-softener-smoother-moisturizer combo guaranteed to tempt even the most stubborn grimy kid into the tub. In fact, you and your crafty team will be inclined to make oodles of these scrubs for deserving friends, dedicated teachers or for yourself—yes, even you are entitled to a complete body exfoliation with invigorating natural citrus scent. Not only will your skin be healthy, it will feel smooth and smell delicious.
Natural sugar scrubs are fun, simple, and inexpensive concoctions. No cooking is necessary, and most ingredients can be found right in your kitchen cupboard. Make a big batch, keep some, and give some away.
You’ll need the following:
- A small, clean plastic or glass container with a lid. A short, squat, wide container is best. This could be found in your recycling bin or at a thrift store.
- Sugar. Coarse natural brown or white granulated (raw sugar works great), or a mix of both will work to exfoliate the skin. Do not use soft brown baking sugar.
- Oil. Any oil that originates from a nut or fruit will work as a moisturizer, and will leave your skin soft and hydrated. Light apricot, olive, avocado, jojoba, coconut are good choices. Do not use cooking oil like corn oil—this will make a funky smell and a too-slick feel.
- Natural additives. You may add a small amount of any of the following: citrus juice (orange, lemon, lime, grapefruit), honey, aloe vera, vitamin E oil, essential citrus oil (sweet orange, lemon, grapefruit)
Before starting, remind everyone that some ingredients used can sting eyes and that the resulting concoction smells really yummy but tastes really horrible. Yuck!
In general, you’ll want to measure 2 parts sugar to 1 part oil. Add enough oil to turn your sugar into the perfect slushy snow mixture. Pour all ingredients into a small bowl. Stir until ingredients combine. Pour into clean container. Label your container. Cover the label with transparent packing tape.
At the sink, or in the tub or shower, scoop a small amount of the scrub into your hand and massage gently onto your damp skin for a minute to exfoliate and moisturize. Wash it off with water. Pat your skin dry with a clean towel.
You can keep the remaining scrub in the sealed jar. Use the sugar scrub no more than once a week.
For a pick-me-up: An easy way to make your scrub even more luxurious is to add a few drops of your favorite essential oil. Try citrus oil like grapefruit, sweet orange or tangerine.
For extra-dry skin: Add a small amount of Aloe vera gel or vitamin E oil as a moisturizer.
Nice mixes to try: Grapefruit and peppermint; orange, clove and lemon; almond and orange.
Add herbs or flowers to the mix: Shredded ginger, orange peel, lavender flowers, linden flower—all of these are great options.
- Because you can never be too careful when it comes to your skin, before you use the scrub, do a patch test on the inside of your arm to see how your skin reacts.
- Do not use citrus oil (such as sweet orange, lemon or grapefruit) on your skin before you plan to spend the day in the sun. Your skin is more likely to get sunburned.
- Do not use on your face or neck. And never use it on irritated skin. If you have a sunburn, rash or cut, skip the scrub.
- Also, as with anything that contains oil, a body scrub will make the tub or shower slippery. Do not apply the scrub to the bottoms of your feet while in the shower. You may slip. Also, be sure to give the tub its own “scrub” when you’re done.
BODY SCRUB RECIPES:
O.J. Coconut Scrub
In this scrub, sugar granules gently exfoliate the skin. The combined power of coconut, mango and orange provide nourishment.
1 ½ cup sugar
½ cup coconut oil
2 Tbsp freshly squeezed orange juice
¼ cup mango puree
To do: Chop mango into small pieces without peel. Place in blender to puree. Mix sugar into coconut oil in a small bowl and stir well to combine. Stir in orange juice and mango puree.
Grapefruit, Aloe Vera Scrub
This scrub makes your skin feel moisturized and fruity fresh.
1 ½ cup sugar
4 Tbs jojoba oil
2 Tbs extra virgin olive oil
2 Tbs fresh grapefruit juice
2 Tbs aloe vera gel
2 drops grapefruit essential oil
To do: In small bowl, combine sugar, grapefruit oil and juice. Stir well to combine. Add remaining ingredients. Stir well.
Sweet Orange and Lime Scrub
This tropical scrub exfoliates and leaves skin silky smooth.
1 cup sugar
4 Tbs coconut oil
2 Tbs fresh lime juice
6 drops vitamin E oil
2 drops sweet orange essential oil
To do: Mix sugar and oil in a small bowl. Stir to combine. Add remaining ingredients and stir well to make a paste.
Honey and Orange Scrub
Honey is a natural humectant, which means it attracts moisture and keeps it where it should be—under your skin. This scrub hydrates, moisturizes and protects your skin.
1 cup sugar
4 Tbs dark organic honey
2 Tbs fresh orange juice
To do: Mix ingredients until you have a smooth paste.
Salty Sugary Scrub
This scrub leaves your skin soft and moist. Just perfect for dry skin.
½ cup coarse brown sugar
½ cup sea salt or kosher salt
2 Tbs coconut oil
2 Tbs fresh lemon juice
2 Tbs dark organic honey
To do: Mix all ingredients until you have a smooth paste.
I originally published this article in Whip Up’s Action Pack Magazine for kids (Issue 6: Zap and Zest). This downloadable high-quality ad-free e-magazine by Kathreen Ricketson is chock full of quality projects for creative curious kids who love to do stuff. Diagrams and photos illustrate each boredom-busting step-by-step kid-friendly project—make a lemon battery, a citric acid fizz popper, cinnamon sticks, wooden jewelry and handmade chalk! For more hands-on projects like this one, click HERE.