Friday, November 21, 2008

sugar addict

Put this in the category of things I should have thought of long, long ago. Anyone who knows me knows that I love all those exfoliating-type bath thingies, but have a hard time justifying spending the exorbitant amounts the manufacturers usually charge.

Which was why I was thrilled at the idea of making my own sugar scrub. There are lots of different recipes online, but, the basic process couldn't be easier.

You'll need:

1 cup sugar (Brown sugar would be pretty, but I just used regular white sugar. Or try salt if you want salt scrub)

1/2 cup oil (I used light olive oil, but canola, vegetable, grapeseed oil or baby oil would work too)

scent (optional)

food coloring (optional)


Mix the sugar with the oil. Try adding a bit less oil if you prefer a less smooth consistency. Add a few drops drops of scent -- I used vanilla extract and a little lemon juice. Then, if you'd like, mix in a drop or two of food coloring and spoon the mixture into a jar. I used an empty container that had once held pricey store-bought sugar scrub, but a repurposed peanut butter or nutella jar would be perfect.

I used my homemade sugar scrub in the shower this morning. It smelled amazing and left my skin feeling incredibly smooth and soft.

I think this sugar scrub would also make a terrific holiday gift. Though I haven't ordered from these particular sites, it looks like it would be very simple and inexpensive to buy practically any fragrance you might want and pretty much any shape and size plastic (less eco-friendly, but safer in the shower than glass) jars and lids (with or without pressure-sealed liners). Add a handwritten label and a pretty ribbon and, as they say, voilà!


Edited to add: In the comments, Antigone raises an important point about potential spoilage. I've been told that if you use scents (for example, artificial vanilla) that already contain preservatives (check the label), you shouldn't have a problem. But to be absolutely safe, just add an additional preservative to your scrub. The one I've seen recommended most often is Phenonip, a liquid, colorless preservative, available very cheaply both at craft stores and online.

14 comments:

Aunt Becky said...

Sounds lovely, niobe. I may have to try it.

Amelie said...

oh Niobe, that's a brilliant idea. I'll have to try that, Chocolate Mint or not. Mmmh.

My Reality said...

I have used a homemade brown sugar scrub for years and prefer it to store bought.

If you are looking for a good facial scrub, try crushed up aspirin mixed with water or a little facial cleanser.

Magpie said...

And a perfect cheap gift in these trying times.

Do you smell a little like sugar cookies now?

Tash said...

Any recipes for all of these left-over Halloween snickers bars?

Melissia said...

I used a crushed rock salt recipe mixed with baby oil for feet and hands. It is amazing and makes a very pretty gift and looks just like the stuff that is sold as the Dead Sea Salt Scrub that runs about $50.00 at the mall. I can't wait to try the sugar recipe.

Road Blocks and Roller Coasters said...

That is a GREAT idea! I have to steal that one as I have lots of women to make gifts for! :)

thirtysomething said...

YOU ROCK. it is as simple as that. I have been searching for teacher gifts, and this is THE idea I needed. Inexpensive, yet really nice and NOT candy or something to do with apples. I have no fewer that TWELVE teacher gifts to put together and you just helped A LOT.
Danke!

Antigone said...

Be warned - I tried many of those homemade scrub recipes last year with additions like honey and kiwi. They were wonderful if you used them immediately or kept them refrigerated. I learned the hard way that kiwi scrub shouldn't be left in the shower over the weekend.

niobe said...

Antigone: Good point. I've been told that if you use scents (like artificial vanilla) that contain preservatives (check the label), you shouldn't have a problem. But if you're still concerned about spoilage, just add an additional preservative to your scrub.

The one I've seen recommended most often is Phenonip, a liquid, colorless preservative, available very cheaply both at craft stores and online

Melissia said...

That is why I love the salt scrub, you can use a refined salt for the face. but the salt acts as a natural preservative, preventing spoilage.

Sam said...

Trader Joe's has a sugar scrub for about six bucks that I love more than my husband. I prefer sugar because I can use it before or after shaving without the sting of salt.

B said...

Well if you need any more home beauty tips Niobe - I have a book in my recipe cupboard called "Lotions and Potions" which details the recipes of every home product from cough medicine to cleaning products to shampoo.

I also spent a lot of time making up such recipes in my teenage years (with mostly appalling results). a friend and I spent a lot of time with egg white on our face and beer in our hair. I recall a footscrub with crushed macadamia nuts and the ever so gentle addition of the exfoliant - sand!

Your recipes sound much better. I think I will have to try it.

niobe said...

B: Feel free to send 'em all (well, most of them, anyway, my way)