Use THIS Scrub In The Shower Everyday If You Want To Feel Amazing
Use THIS Scrub In The Shower Everyday If You Want To Feel Amazing
Written by: Sarah Lawrence
WOW, I did something in the shower today and it’s too good to keep to myself!
Before you go duck and cover, let me tell you that it’s a body scrub made with something that you probably use everyday… and it’s scrumptious!
As a veteran kitchen alchemist who’s been making DIY self care products for 25+ years, I’ve honestly never really wanted to shout out a recipe from the rooftops. But this one changes everything and it’s so simple, you’ll be thinking, “no way can this be so good!” But I promise you, it is!
Let me tell you how I even got to be this DIY diva. Time warp back with me to 1990. I was 16, recently diagnosed with thyroid cancer and not in control of much in my life. While I didn’t know then that it would be a 25+ year journey to get back into good health, I craved control of what was going into and onto my body and my mind.
So, I did what I could do. I changed my eating habits, dove into music and meditation, became that girl who reads the natural health mags, started drinking lemon water, opted for a rub of lime in the armpit instead of deodorant, etc. I’m the one who mashes up strawberries and yogurt for a face mask, infuses rose petals in jojoba oil for a luscious moisturizer and, well, you get the idea!
In 26 years of kitchen alchemy, I’ve learned that simple is usually the most successful. For the skin, it’s even more true. Go top off your glass of water and let’s dive into the WHY and then I’ll share my simple shower scrub!
Why DIY Shower Scrubs Is The Better Option
Your skin is the largest organ in/on your body. Fun fact – about 16% of your total body weight is accounted for by your skin (that’s 24 pounds of skin on a 150 pound frame!).
We know that stuff you apply to your skin gets absorbed to some degree. Some things, especially those that cover more surface area (body wash, moisturizer, perfume, etc.) can be more impactful than things like face cream. The good news is that the science doesn’t really support widespread circulation of just anything (if you want to read more about this, click here).
Anyway, I say we err on the side of caution and stick with the assertion that things you put on your skin can end up under it (to a degree). Being mindful of what you put on your skin is good practice.
Looking at body scrub ingredients, you typically encounter the same 3 components:
1. Exfoliant. This is an abrasive material that works to slough away old, dead skin cells to reveal new, soft skin cells. Common choices are salt or sugar, ground oatmeal, rice bran, apricot kernels and coffee grounds.
2. Oil. Oil is used for two main reasons. First, a good oil will moisturize the skin and second will allow for convenient mixing and application. Coconut, jojoba and sweet almond oils are commonly used. For a lavish experience, look for hazelnut oil, macadamia oil, kukui or tamanu oil.
3. Fragrance. Synthetic fragrance is common in commercial scrubs, has little therapeutic benefit beyond aroma and may be harmful because it’s a chemical. Natural fragrance, on the other hand, offers the dual benefit of aromatherapy and potentially a therapeutic benefit from the ingredient itself. Herbs, spices and essential oils can all be excellent fragrance choices.
In general, with body scrubs, it’s the synthetic fragrance that we’re concerned about. So, let’s take away the questionable piece and make something that your skin will love!
I’ve named this recipe the Daily Grind Body Scrub, because it takes advantage of something that most of us have on hand: coffee, that gorgeous, chocolate colored bean, the bearer of caffeine (and a little magic). Let me explain…
How Coffee Benefits The Skin
The caffeine found in regular coffee is a constrictor that helps to reduce swelling and inflammation. Caffeine penetrates the skin and, according to research published by the U.S. National Center for Biotechnology information, topical application of creams containing 3% caffeine had a measurable effect in reducing cellulite (mostly due to the antioxidant content and by how it keeps cells from accumulating excess fat).
Another cellulite-kicking superstar is theophylline. Present in coffee and tea, theophylline is a short-acting diuretic that’s been shown in clinical studies to improve the appearance of cellulite.
To make this scrub smell amazing and add that bomb-digity factor, we’re also working with cardamom. A little exotic, a little citrusy and a lot of benefits…
Why Cardamom Is On Board:
1. Vitamin Boost: Cardamom is rich in vitamins and micronutrients including niacin, pyridoxine, riboflavin, thiamine, vitamin A, vitamin C, sodium, potassium, calcium, copper, iron, manganese, magnesium, phosphorous and zinc… all of which have skin supportive properties.
2. Mood Modulator: The scent of cardamom is renowned as a mood lifter. With potential antidepressant properties, the centering quality of cardamon is something that aromatherapists take advantage of.
3. Germ Buster: Both the ground spice and essential oil of cardamom have been shown to have significant antimicrobial properties.
Your Daily Grind DIY Body Scrub
What You Need:
- 3 tbsp ground coffee (brew your morning pot and tip the grounds into a bowl)
- 3 tbsp soft brown sugar
- 2 tsp ground cardamom or 4 drops cardamom essential oil
- ¼ cup raw shea butter (optional, but worth it for skin softening and a more buttery feel)
- Coconut oil or a light olive oil (or any oil that is non-allergenic for you)
To Make Your Scrub:
1. Mix everything except the coconut oil together in a bowl. If your shea butter isn’t soft, you can mash it with a fork or soften it by placing it in a heat safe bowl and warming it in either a shallow water bath or a warm dehydrator or oven set to 250 degrees for a few minutes.
2. Add liquid coconut oil (fractionated oil makes this a cinch) and mix until you have a consistency that you like. I prefer mine thick and pasty so it’s easy to scoop and apply.
3. Spoon into a container and get yourself into the shower!
Using Your Scrub: Give yourself the benefit of a minute under the shower spray to drench that skin you’re in! I like to shampoo, rinse and get my conditioner worked into my scalp and THEN go to town with the scrub. By the time I’m done scrubbing, the conditioner has done it’s job and I can rinse from head to toe and move along. Couldn’t be easier!
When To Skip The Scrub:
- If you have a sunburn or a rash, don’t use a body scrub. It’s best to let your skin heal and avoid further irritation. Skin conditions like psoriasis and eczema can do well with gentle exfoliation. Trust your intuition. If this or any scrub seems too coarse, opt for something super gentle like fine brown sugar and coconut oil.
- Skip it after shaving if your scrub contains salt, coarse sugar or any chemical ingredients. With sugar scrubs, just be gentle on newly shaved areas to avoid irritation.
- Body scrubs are a below the neck deal. Stay away from your face. Facial skin is thinner and more delicate than the rest of your body, so let’s treat it with tenderness.
If you want a DIY facial scrub, post in the comments below to let me know and I’ll whip something up for you! Otherwise, feel free to share your own favorite DIY recipes!
Sarah Lawrence is a Certified Holistic Health and Integrative Nutrition Coach, Speaker and Reiki Master based in Southern NH. Sarah creates lifestyle transformations by coaching her clients to shift from their current habits into healthier ones. Her philosophy is that small changes, over time, can yield big results. By developing a technique that leverages the benefits of whole foods nutritionals, seasonal detoxification, reiki, aromatherapy, meditation and life coaching, Sarah artfully combines her knowledge from years of study in the fields of chemistry, nutrition and energy healing.
Sarah leads clients from frustration due chronic health issues to elation by attaining and sustaining balanced health. Her intuitive style supports true healing on all levels. Sarah studied at Fairfield University and the Institute for Integrative Nutrition; she is pursuing her Masters in Clinical Nutrition and is dedicated to continuing her studies so she can provide the best support for her clients.
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