Make your own body scrubs

To exfoliate is defined as ‘wash or rub with granular substance to remove dead cells from the surface of the skin.’

Removing dead skin cells helps to clarify and renew skin. Regular and proper exfoliation with the right ingredients, can give one glowing and clearer skin. In addition, this ensures better absorption of moisturizers and serums. Make-up can also be applied better on exfoliated skin for optimal results. Read here for more about exfoliation.

DIY scrubs recipes for face and body are a dime a dozen on the Internet. Some good places to look for recipes include Crunchy Betty, Thrifty & Green and Hilda Blue.

One similarity you will find in the above recipes is the use of food ingredients. If it is good enough to eat, it is certainly good enough for your skin. Our largest organ is the skin, and when applied directly to the skin, food ingredients are easily absorbed, despite a short period, working to making you beautiful inside out.

Many food ingredients especially herbs and fruits are brimming with potent goodness such anti-oxidants (protective substances that neutralize damaging oxidation reaction, and thus have properties to help preserve younger-looking skin and phytonutrients (anti-inflammatory plant compounds that promote healing). Many cosmetic products now include these powerful nutrients- AHA, BHA, collagen – to name a few. The fact remains that only a minute amount is added to these ‘natural’ beauty products, only to be refined and preserved before reaching your hands.

Making your scrubs fresh ensures your skin gets a larger dose of full benefits direct from the source, and only for a fraction of the retail cost. You can choose to surf various websites and blogs until you find a recipe you like or simply make your signature scrub using ingredients already in your fridge or food pantry.

A basic scrub recipes calls for only these staples-

  • Exfoliating ingredient: coarse or granular food is the main worker in physically removing dead skin cells. These include sugar, salt, coffee grounds, ground oatmeal/ citrus peels or even dried beans.
  • Liquids which include oil, honey and milk act as the wetting agent. They provide the moisturizing effect and aid in the applying of the exfoliating ingredient. The choice of liquids depends on your skin type or simply your mood of the day!
  • Feeling like Cleopatra? Reach for your milk carton or yoghurt tub. Want to look gorgeous like Sophia Loren? Olive oil is your best bet!
  • An added scent can be therapeutic and is purely optional.

Simply mix and match one ingredient from each of the groups below and enjoy a scrubilicious treat.

Chemical scrubs and peels may be staple beauty regime for the modern women. These include treatments such as Microdermabrasion and AHA peels. One can either choose to pay chunks of hard-earned money on processed ingredients, or simply just sprinkle brown sugar on papaya peel and apply to the face. Just as raw food keeps one in the pink of health, raw fresh ingredients bring out the best of your skin.

Benefits of some food ingredients

  • Oats: Well-known for soothing sensitive and itchy skin. You can learn more about using oatmeal for skincare here.
  • Sugar and salt: Proven for effective skin exfoliation. While common sugar and salt are good for easily removing dead skin cells, mineral sea salt and organic cane/ brown sugar may just give extra boost in the nutrient factor.
  • Coffee grounds: Besides proven as an excellent exfoliator, the caffeine in the coffee is an effective cellulite fighter. Many slimming products list caffeine as one of the main ingredients. Now you can enjoy the full benefits of unadulterated caffeine for a glowing skin and an uplifting experience.
  • Oils: Nature’s liquid gold are the famed olive oil and extra virgin olive oil (which less processed as its made from the first pressing of the olive). These oils are rich in oleic acid, the moisturizing base used by Romans, Greeks since centuries ago. The liquid gold continues to be an excellent skin moisturizer even in these modern days.
  • Coconut oil/milk: The aromatic tropical fatty liquid is a proven super beauty ingredient. Numerous studies show the anti-bacterial and anti-fungal benefits of this powerful food.
  • Jojoba oil: This rich waxy oil is known to have sebum closest to our skin’s, making it easily absorbed while moisturizing lightly.
  • Raw honey: Another beauty super-food which can multi-task a face cleanser, moisturizer and hair conditioner. Read more about this incredibly soothing and effective ingredient and its numerous uses.
  • Milk, buttermilk and yoghurt: The dairy is rich with lactic acide, a form of AHA. Milk can also act as a whitening agent, while the cultured milk are full of live bacteria making it an excellent cleanser as well.
  • Essential oils: Well known for numerous therapeutic benefits, its scents are also key to making your signature beauty scrub.

References

- Healing Spices: How to use 50 Everyday and Exotic Spices to Boost Health and Beat Disease  by Bharat B. Aggarwal, PhD with Debora Yost

- The Holistic Beauty Book: Over 100 natural recipes for gorgeous healthy skin by Star Khechara

- Babushka’s Beauty Secrets: Old World Tips for a Glamourous New You by Raisa Ruder and Susan Campos

Article contributed by Santhi

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