- the cost is often a fraction of the shop price,
- the ingredients tend to be simpler and you know exactly what they are,
- you can tailor the product to meet the needs of your own skin.
Making your own body products
At this time of year, most women are starting to think bikini. If you want soft, supple skin with a glow, why not make your own body scrub? A basic scrub is really simple to make and you can give it a fragrance that you design yourself, to harmonise with your lifestyle and preferences.
Skin-Sweet Sugar Body Scrub
- 1 cup sugar (any kind will do, brown sugar doesn’t look quite as pretty as white, but it makes no difference to the exfoliating effect)
- 1/2 cup olive oil (don’t use your extra virgin for this, basic olive oil is just as good for your skin)
- A few drops of a scented oil (don’t use any phototropic oils, such as bergamot or any citrus oil, if you intend to use the scrub in your morning shower as such oils can react to sunlight to cause burns)
- 1 glass jar with a plastic screw-on lid.
In a glass or china bowl, mix the sugar and olive oil. Don’t use a plastic bowl as your preferred essential oil may penetrate the plastic and give it a permanent odour. Choose an organic oil to fragrance your blend: lavender is soothing, as is chamomile, while ginger and ylang ylang add tropical notes. If you like woody fragrances try cedar or marjoram. For zingy morning freshness, choose peppermint, and if you have somewhat spotty skin, especially on your back, use tea-tree oil to help counteract oil and to provide an antibacterial treatment.
You can also add dried flower petals to the blend too, which looks fantastic: marigold gives spikes of orange to the mixture, while lavender adds pretty purple specks. This scrub works best in the shower: rub it all over dry skin, especially the legs, buttocks and upper arms, where winter can have wreaked havoc, and then rinse off. Dead skin cells are sloughed off and the remaining soft under-layer of skin is gently moisturised and scented.
Because the oil will lift and the sugar will settle after a while, use a pretty chopstick that fits inside the jar as a stirrer to reblend the scrub before you use it. The reason commercial scrubs don’t separate is the various emulsifiers and stabilisers that stop it happening, so simply stir the mixture and feel happy that you’re not putting unnecessary chemicals on your tender skin. Don’t use any scrub more than twice a week, as they can strip oils from the skin along with old skin cells.