Sugar Scrubs, Salt Scrubs or Bath Salts?
Sugar scrubs naturally contain Alpha Hydroxy acids which are great exfoliators. Exfoliation helps you get rid of dead skin cells and in turn retain moisture. Salt scrubs, on the other hand, are generally coarser and better suited to the more dry areas like knees, elbows and heels. Plus salt contains antibacterial properties and help remove toxins. Bath salts were created to mimic natural springs and hot springs. They are useful in the removal of toxins, to alleviate tension and soreness and have a calming, relaxing effect. Which do you prefer? Not sure?
Well the answer to that question is two-fold and you can solve your dilemma by answering the following two questions.
Question number 1 - Do you prefer baths or showers?
If you answered baths, then obviously bath salts are the way to go. They are perfect for relaxing and anyway, they won't work in a shower. But if your preference is showers, then sugar or salt scrubs can be your go-to shower treat. But be careful, they will make the tub slippery! Always use caution and wipe down the tub afterwards to avoid accidents.
Now, for question number 2 ... But which one - sugar or salt? Can't I just love them both?
Of course you can! And anyway, isn't two always better than one? Personally, I love relaxing in a hot tub but a busy life requires quick showers. Finding a little balance my life affords me both of those pleasures. And luckily, all three are simple and inexpensive to make. Best of all, you probably already have most of what you need anyway. Any of these little luxuries make wonderful homemade gifts to use as hostess gifts, teacher gifts, or holiday gifts when you need something small but thoughtful.
So let's start with a basic sugar scrub. (Next week - It's all about the Salts)
All you need for the absolute basic sugar scrub are 3 simple ingredients: sugar, oil and fragrance. If it's just for yourself, any plastic container with a cover will do. Why plastic? Remember, they can be very slippery and if you drop a plastic container in the shower, at least it won't shatter (like glass) and wreak havoc in the tub and glass in the tub can be pretty dangerous. But if you're making a gift, you'll want a nicer container, one that you can label as well. (Each recipe will contain a link to free down-loadable labels for your sugar scrub. Plastic mason jars and other types of jars are readily available on Amazon. You can also purchase wooden or plastic scoops or spoons to attach to your gift jars.)
I prefer to use organic cane sugar, but you can use regular white granulated sugar, brown sugar; whatever you have on hand. My oil of choice is coconut (unrefined, organic - the kind that is a soft solid but will melt at 76 degrees). However, extra virgin olive oil or grape seed oil also make a nice sugar scrub. You can even combine oils if you choose. Fragrance can come from essential oils or even the zest of citrus fruits. Once you have mastered the basic recipe, you can mix in other ingredients as well. We'll get to that in just a minute.
Basic Sugar Scrub Recipe
2 parts Sugar
1 part Coconut Oil
5-20 drops of essential oil (varies by essential oil and/or personal preference)
Use a glass or metal bowl (it will be easier to clean)
Measure out coconut oil and gently melt (in a double boiler or in a glass jar/cup placed in very hot water.) If using olive or grape seed oil you can obviously skip the melting step. If using a combination which includes coconut oil, melt before combining.
Measure out sugar and pour into glass or metal bowl. Slowly add melted oil as you mix. Once oil and sugar are well combined, add essential oil. Mix a little more to incorporate scent. Scoop into jars. Enjoy ! Click here for free labels.
Remember - Sugar Scrubs can leave the tub very slippery! Be careful!!
Note: This recipe is a 2:1 sugar to oil ratio (i.e 1 cup sugar to 1/2 cup oil) You can easily increase it or decrease by doubling or dividing in half) Also, keep in mind, it is not an exact science, so you don't need to weigh out your ingredients. Some people like their sugar scrubs a little more fluid. Just and an extra tablespoon or so of oil if you prefer that kind of consistency.
I save small plastic containers from pesto or other supermarket purchases as well as those very small to-go containers from leftovers at restaurants for my own sugar scrubs. Some of the supermarket containers are nice enough to use for gifts. You can fancy them up with a pretty ribbon with a scoop or spoon attached. Be creative! You can even use those little holiday themed gift containers from the dollar store or Walmart.
Now, let's get fancy! Cranberry Sugar Scrub is a great idea for Christmas because of the timing, but it's also perfect for Valentine's Day. You know, it's right around the corner and it's RED! You can probably still find fresh cranberries in the supermarket. And this one is super simple.
Keep in mind that whenever you are using fresh fruit, it will last much longer if refrigerated. And always use organic fruits if you can.
Cranberry Sugar Scrub
1/2 cup pureed fresh cranberries (replaces 1/2 of the sugar)
1/2 cup sugar of your choice
1/2 cup oil of your choice
10 drops Essential Oil of your choice ( I used Grapefruit)
Puree enough cranberries to yield 1/2 cup. Mix all ingredients together in a glass or metal bowl. Add essential oil and incorporate well. Scoop into jars, label and enjoy!
Click here for your free labels
Lavender is my absolute favorite essential oil. It's been a go to healing herb for centuries. It is calming, soothing and healing. Lavender is also very easy to grow and there is so much you can do with lavender from tea to cake to headache relief. You name it, lavender can probably do it!
Lavender Sugar Scrub
1 cup sugar of your choice
1/2 - 2/3 cup oil of your choice
1 tbsp lavender buds
10 drops of lavender essential oil
1 tbsp alkanet infused sunflower oil for a touch of color (optional) *
OR 1-2 drops of liquid lilac or purple soap color (optional)
Combine all ingredients in a glass or metal bowl. Scoop into jars, label and enjoy!
PS This is especially good for nighttime to help you fall asleep. I like to add a little extra lavender essential oil because it is so calming.
Click here for your free label.
* click here for instructions on how to make alkanet infused oil
PPS: I saw a blog once about whipped sugar scrub and you know how much I love my Whipped Body Butters, so I tried to search for that blog post, but sadly, I never pinned it and unfortunately I couldn't find it again. I'd like to give her credit for the following recipe but I can't. So whoever you are and where ever you are, thank you for the idea of whipped sugar scrub. I decided to make Whipped Lavender Sugar scrub because, well, lavender is my favorite. Obviously this is a modification of her recipe since I was unable to find it. It turned out to be spectacular! Here's my version.
1 cup organic cane sugar
2/3 cup coconut oil
1 tbsp Kukui oil
1 tbsp lavender buds
10+ drops lavender essential oil
Combine and stir all ingredients in a deep glass or metal bowl. If you don't have Kukui oil, try Argan oil or just omit the extra oil. With a stand mixer, mix on lowest setting in bursts for about one minute. The sugar scrub will become creamy like butter. The texture will be smooth and silky, not grainy (Hopefully you can see it in these pictures.)
Click here for Whipped Lavender Sugar Scrub labels.
One day I was browsing around the cosmetics counter in a department store and saw a coffee sugar scrub. Coffee scrubs are great for combating cellulite. It had a pretty hefty price tag so I wrote down the ingredients I could pronounce and decided I'd try to make it on my own. I use it at least once a week. Let me warn you - this one makes a big mess in the tub. You will really have to clean up afterwards, but it is yummy on your tummy. And your thighs!
I used the coffee grounds from the coffee pot. If you are using k-cups, you'll probably need to open up 2 used ones. Also, my picture shows cacao nibs, (because I ran out of powder). I used cacao powder in the recipe, but if you have nibs, you can grind them into powder.
Coffee Sugar Scrub
4oz coconut oil
2 oz pink Himalayan Salt (fine or coarse) I used fine
8 oz of organic cane sugar (or sugar of your choice)
2 tbsp coffee grounds (from brewed coffee)
1tbsp cacao powder
1 tbsp raw honey
Pour all ingredients into a glass or metal bowl. Mix well. Scoop into jars, label and keep refrigerated until ready to use. The smell of coffee is sure to excite your senses in the morning.
Click here for your free Coffee Sugar Scrub labels.
Don't you just love the smell of oranges? I do. And the vitamin C is so skin loving too. So let's try this easy Orange Vanilla Sugar Scrub for a twist on the classic citrus based scrubs. Essential oil is optional here because the peel of an orange is so fragrant. If you are a good zester, this will be a breeze. I'm not, so I peeled the orange (organic, of course) and put the peel in the food processor and pulsed for a bit. Then I used about half. You can use the other half to make citrus vinegar cleaner by simply adding enough vinegar to cover the peels. Let that sit for 4-6 weeks in a dark cabinet, strain and it makes a great grease cutting cleaner.
This is about the consistency you'll need.
Orange Vanilla Sugar Scrub
1 cup of sugar of your choice
1/2 cup of oil of your choice
1 orange peel or the zest of 1/2 an orange (organic)
1 tsp Pure Vanilla Extract (not imitation vanilla flavoring)
Orange Essential oil (optional)
Zest or peel and grind your orange peel. If grinding, you'll only need about half. Combine with oil, Vanilla extract and sugar. (If you happen to have Madagascar Vanilla Beans, you can definitely add a touch to the mixture.) Mix well. The fragrance of the orange zest/peel is probably enough, but you can add 5-10 drops of orange essential oil if you wish. Scoop into jars, label and enjoy!
Click here for your free Orange Vanilla Sugar Scrub labels.
Do you love honey as much as I do? I hope so because this last sugar scrub is so yummy you can actually eat it! Or just lick your lips. It makes a silky body scrub and a delicious lip scrub as well. So get your jar of raw honey and let's get started. Honey is hard to measure precisely because it sticks to the spoon. It's not a big deal if you just eyeball it or add a little extra. By the way, you'll want your honey to flow nicely so it mixes well. If necessary, microwave it for about 10 seconds.
Honey Vanilla Sugar Scrub/Lip Scrub
1 cup sugar of your choice plus 2-3 extra tbsp
1/2 cup coconut oil or oil of your choice
1 tbsp more or less raw organic honey
1 tsp pure Vanilla extract (not imitation Vanilla flavoring)
Pour 1 cup of sugar in a glass or metal bowl. Add honey and Vanilla extract and mix well. Add your oil. At this point, the mixture will be more fluid than any of the other sugar scrubs due to the Vanilla extract and honey. Add extra sugar 1 tbsp at a time until mixture reaches desired consistency. Scoop into jars, label and enjoy!
Click here for Honey Vanilla Sugar Scrub labels.
Adding a ribbon or other decoration to your jars and including a scoop or spoon are totally optional for your gift scrubs, but it sure does add a nice touch.
I hope you enjoy these delectable sugar scrubs and the free labels. All labels are compatible with Avery 22808, 22818 or any Round label 9 labels per page.
Let me know which sugar scrub is your favorite. You already know mine.
See you next week for The Salts!
Welcome! My name is Kim. I'm a wife, mother, teacher, grandmother, avid crafter of all sorts and yoga enthusiast. Kimsoapia Kreations is my latest kreative endeavor. Everything is kreated with love and healing in my heart. I hope you enjoy.