Because an exfoliant is fundamentally abrasive, it’s a good idea not to exfoliate more than once or twice a week.
A skin-safe abrasive substance that is, that break down safely includes salt and brown or white sugar. You can also use coffee grounds. Commercially available abrasives can consist of the ground shells of nuts. Be aware that different abrasives can cause an unpleasant reaction.
For example, the salt will irritate broken skin. Sea salt can scratch your skin before it breaks down. Coffee has claims to reduce cellulite’s look, but it can stain either your skin or your bathtub. Nutshells can be finely ground to exfoliate, but some nutshells can cause an allergic response. To avoid an unpleasant response, start with brown sugar.
Choose Your Oil
Almond oil has a sweet fragrance that makes an excellent scrub addition, but it can cause an allergic response. Fractionated coconut oil has the same qualities. Peppermint oil can also be used as an exfoliant addition, but it can be expensive. Grapeseed oil is a terrific carrier oil and can be found at moderate prices.
Unless you’re making large batches, strive to buy small oil containers and mix your homemade exfoliants in small batches. Oil, once exposed to air, can get stale or develop a rancid odor. While olive oil is a common ingredient in many cupboards, it has a fragrance of its own. It will work as an exfoliant oil, but you may be stuck smelling like olive oil unless you add a lot of essential oil.
Choose Your Fragrance
Plain sugar and plain salt have no fragrance. If you want a citrus scrub, either of these is an ideal abrasive. Use simple grapeseed oil or solid coconut oil with a bit of hot water for the first blend. Once the coconut oil is set up again, add a few drops of essential oil to the mix’s top, and seal the container.
Brown sugar lends itself to sweet fragrances. For example, a brown sugar scrub blended with almond oil and vanilla or geranium essential oils could be both a wonderful treat for yourself or a great gift for the holidays.
Do your best to avoid the use of any essential oils that can irritate the skin. For example, a grapefruit essential oil scrub will freshen your skin and make your bathroom smell sparkly clean, but a lemongrass essential oil scrub could irritate your skin if you use it too often. Be aware that cinnamon and ginger are also potential skin irritants. Instead, use vanilla for a fresh scent.
Blending and Storing
Mix your scrub in small jars. If you’re giving them away as gifts, use plastic containers, seal them up tight and place them inside a zippered plastic bag with a sturdy wooden stick for stirring up any separated scrub. While a glass jar may look prettier, these containers can get very slippery once opened.
Consider making up a label for your scrub. You want to keep these blends out of the light to avoid the risk of the oil turning rancid, and a label will help keep the oil inside the container more stable.
Go for the Full Spa Effect
In addition to a homemade exfoliant, add some other spa touches to your bath. Install a free-standing or wall-mounted Towel Warmer. Keep Vitamin E in small bottles on the edge of your tub and apply this product to particularly dry patches or on old calluses.
Treat yourself to a toweling robe that you can wear while your skin dries after your exfoliant bath. After you exfoliate, your skin may be tender. In a toweling robe, you can let your skin dry naturally so the oil in your exfoliant can soak in thoroughly.
Keeping your skin healthy all winter long will also require moisture from the inside out. As you increase your use of oils and lotions, be sure to bump up your intake of plain water. It’s easy to drink coffee, tea, and other warm beverages in the winter, but they can dry you out.