When I was young, I loved helping my mother in the kitchen. She taught me all the basics of cooking and baking and most importantly, how to be creative in the kitchen. Living on a small island, if we couldn’t get a certain ingredient, or didn’t have a tool we needed, we couldn’t simply go out and buy it, so we had to be resourceful. Sometimes, after an afternoon in the kitchen, she would “treat” us to a butter-sugar hand scrub. She’d put a small dab of butter in each of our palms, and top it with a bit of sugar and we’d rub it all over our hands. It tickled like mad, rubbing the sugar on the palm of your hands, but when we were finished, and we washed the sugar off, our hands always felt amazing-smooth and soft. A handy, household exfoliant!
I still occasionally use the butter-sugar trick for smoother hands, but I’ve recently become interested in the benefits of essential oils to fight the winter blahs, and so when I saw a recipe for Citrus Body Scrub on the Well Blog I had to try it!
Just like my mother’s butter-sugar mixture, there are two key ingredients: a mild, soluble all natural exfoliant and an oil or fat to soothe and seal in moisture on your newly softened skin. In this case, the added benefits are three bright and aromatic essential oils.
The recipe is simple:
1½ c. white sugar (or a mixture of white and brown, or even all brown)
½ c. coconut oil
5 drops bergamot oil
8 drops lemon oil
5 drops orange oil
zest of one lemon
Mix all the ingredients together thoroughly, and store in a sealed container.
In the shower, gently apply the scrub to wet skin and when you’ve rubbed it in a bit, rinse it off. Just bear in mind that you don’t want to be too gung-ho with it, or you will actually irritate your skin, and it doesn’t need any more irritation than it already gets-especially if you are in the middle of a Canadian winter.
The essential oils – bergamot, lemon and orange – give any blah mood an immediate lift and the coconut oil is not only nourishing to the skin, but always makes me think of the beach!
Check out www.well.ca or your local health food store for ingredients and experiment with different combinations of essential oils to suit your mood.
I’ve discovered a mixture called “Cheer Up Buttercup” by Now® Solutions, that contains orange, lemon and bergamot in a slightly different blend, that would work very well in the scrub. Or, in the spirit of Valentine’s Day, perhaps a more sensual blend like Naturally Loveable oil blend (also by Now®) with jasmine, ylang-ylang, lemon, orange and sandalwood. Don’t like citrus? Skip the lemon zest and citrus oils and try lavender essential oil, one of my favourites for calming and soothing the senses.
A word of caution! As with any other oil-based bath or shower product, this one will make the bath or shower floor a bit slippery, so be careful.