2. More Natural Ingredients!
Sure, some of the scrubs list a plethora of natural oils and extracts, which are entirely possible for you to obtain, too, if you wish to get super serious about bath product making in the future. (I can provide more posts on that later on!) But for today let’s keep it simple, keep the good natural stuff and keep out the artificial.
It’s a fact that commercial scrubs need to use various preservatives to maintain a shelf life in the stores. While the scrubs you make at home may supposedly have a limited shelf life, I have personally never had a problem using a scrub that’s been sitting in the closet for…(embarrassed to say how long!) a few months or so.
Commercial scrubs also use chemical ingredients to improve the texture, make it consistent or less oily. That’s fine, but just like you do when you use all-natural peanut butter: if the oil rises to the stop, just stir it back down!
So let’s look at the ingredient list of one of these products, this one being the Spa Redi mint sugar scrub:
Ingredients: Paraffinum liquidum, sucrose, Silica, Citrus, Aurantifolia, (Lime) Extract, Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond) Oil, Zea Mays (Corn) Oil, Gossypium (Cotton) Seed Oil, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil,Triticum Vulgare (Wheat) Germ Oil, Persea Gratissima (Avocado) Oil, PhosPholipides, Squalene,Glyceryl Linoleate, Tocopherylacetate, Soy Lecithin, Octyldodecanol, Parfum, D&C Green #6 (Cl 61565) D&C Yellow #11 (Cl 47000) Benzyl Benzoate, Lillial, Coumarin, Hydroxycitronellal, Limonene.
Ok, this starts out sounding good, sugar and coconut oil, beeswax, pumice, blah blah, coconut shell powder, apricot seeds, some of these sound great! But what about these blah blahs?
Like…Laureth-3 and Phenoxyethanol? Well, after doing some research, I find that Laureth-3 is a chemical found in shampoos and other cleansing products, and it’s perfectly safe. (Necessary in a scrub? I don’t know about that, but let’s go on..)
But what about Phenoxyethanol?
Here’s what I learned from The Dermotology Review: (http://www.thedermreview.com/phenoxyethanol/)
“Phenoxyethanol is glycol ether used as a preservative in cosmetic products and medicines. This is a kind of ether alcohol with aromatic properties that can enhance a skin product’s scent. The substance is a colorless liquid that is oily in nature, and is considered an organic chemical found in natural form in chicory and green tea. However, Phenoxyethanol is also manufactured artificially, in the laboratory, for use in cosmetic and pharmaceutical products, as it helps create a more potent chemical with less impurities.
Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Approval for Phenoxyethanol
“FDA has issued warnings revealing that the ingestion of Phenoxyethanol can be toxic and harmful for infants. Accidental ingestion can produce depression of the central nervous system and lead to the occurrence of diarrhea and vomiting. Also, the combined presence of Phenoxyethanol and Chlorphenesin in a product may cause the depression in the respiratory system of infants and those already in poor health. Because of these potentially dangerous side effects, the concentration of this chemical in any cosmetic or other products should not exceed one percent of the total contents. Further, mothers of newborns should avoid the application of cosmetics containing Phenoxyethanol if they are breastfeeding, to prevent possible transmission of the chemical to the child.
Side Effects of Using Phenoxyethanol
“Phenoxyethanol is believed to cause damage to the brain cells and the central nervous system when used in large quantities. Some other possible side effects of using the chemical include; skin irritation, allergic reactions, cancer, inflammation in the lungs and eyes, dermatitis, and a severe skin reaction in people dealing with Eczema. If you’re going to use products with Phenoxyethanol, make sure to keep an eye out for any unexpected skin reactions, and ask your dermatologist if the chemical may exacerbate any skin problems you already have.”
Ok, let’s get to the recipe! As promised, just 5 steps to a simple, natural scrub and beautifully nourished skin!
1. Measure your ingredients:
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup coconut oil
1/4 tsp. (about 25 drops) spearmint essential oil
(*Note: Essential oils are highly concentrated natural oils. Some people have allergies to certain oils; therefore they should never be ingested or applied directly to the skin without diluting them first. Rosemary oil, the oil in this recipe, is not recommended for pregnant women; therefore, please omit it if there is a chance you may be pregnant. A nice substitute for rosemary might be lavender, which is usually safe for everyone, and quite relaxing!)
2. Melt the coconut oil.
Place the coconut oil in a glass Pyrex measuring cup (or similar microwaveable container) and heat for about 30 seconds or until melted. Stir it to completely dissolve any remaining lumps.
3. Mix the coconut oil into the sugar.
The mixture may look soupy at first, but coconut oil hardens as it cools…
…and the mixture will eventually become more like wet sand.
Note: Hours later, when the coconut oil has had a chance to completely harden, (though sometimes in the summer time it may still be gooey), you may want to tweek the recipe by adding either a little more oil or a little more sugar, if you like the texture to be either harder or softer. It’s totally up to you; you’re in control here!!
Add the essential oils; mix well.
4. Pour into a clean, plastic jar.
You can purchase clean plastic jars in bulk on Amazon.com. Having a few extra jars makes it handy when you want to make an extra large batch of scrubs to give as excellent gifts!
You may also clean and reuse a jar you already have, such as one that contained bath salts. Plastic is prefered, as the scrub leaves a bit of oily residue on the jar and you wouldn’t want to accidentally break a glass jar in the shower!
Finally, the last step; and we’ve saved the best for last!
If you actually went to a spa and had the scrub applied to your skin as part of a massage, you would appreciate the trained massage techniques of the professional esthetician or masseuse. While you are certainly saving a lot of money by making your own scrub and using it at home, you should still make the best use of your homemade product by using it properly.
When taking your shower, allow the warm water to run a few minutes and wait to apply the scrub until you have completed your normal cleansing routine, so that your skin has become warm and porous. Turn off the water, scoop out a small handful of the scrub and apply it to wet skin, rubbing it in a circular motion. Use enough pressure to perform a good exfoliation treatment, focusing on rough spots such as elbows, knees, heels, etc. Rinse and let yourself “drip dry” a few moments, before gently patting yourself dry, allowing any remaining oil to be absorbed into your skin. You may follow up with body lotion, if desired; however, you will hardly need any; your skin will already be soft and moist from the scrub!
I hope you enjoy making this simple recipe for a sugar scrub. It is so quick and inexpensive to make, you’ll find it no trouble at all to add a bit of pampering to your routine on a regular basis! You may even want to experiment with other natural ingredients and scents that you can add to future recipes. I have enjoyed making handmade soaps and bath products for over 15 years, and would love to share more of my recipes here on Jennerosity Living. It’s all part of my desire to live a wellness lifestyle with intention; using our creativity and resourcefulness to make healthy choices in how we live. Sign up below so you won’t miss the next post!
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