Homemade sugar scrubs

I continue to make all the things.

This weekend, among many other things, I decided to make some homemade sugar scrubs.  I decided to start with this one for mint sugar scrub.  Seemed easy enough, and I actually had mint essential oil and green food colouring.  So it seemed like a good choice.

Generally, the recipe for almost all sugar scrubs seems to be a ratio of 25% oil to 75% sugar, with whatever essential oil you want.  And tiny amounts of food colouring if you want colour.

This particular one called for 1/2 cup coconut oil, 1.5 to 2 cups of sugar, 1 tablespoon peppermint extract (I used about 6 or 8 drops of mint essential oil) and one drop of green food colouring.  Basically, you melt the coconut oil and combine everything until you get the texture you like.

So I did that, and it came together pretty nicely.  It made enough for 2 containers (about 6 oz each).  I put one in my shower to try the next day.  Only to find it absolutely and completely rock hard.  Because coconut oil is solid at room temperature, and I have no idea why I didn’t think of this when I was making it.  But this was more solid than coconut oil.  It hurt my fingers trying to get it out of the jar.  Maybe my house is colder than most people’s (but I don’t think so), or maybe there’s something about adding the sugar to coconut oil that makes it turn into a rock.  So I decided something needed to be done.  I figured I would add some oil that is liquid at room temperature.  So I chiseled all the sugar scrub back into a bowl and I added some baby oil.  I’m not sure how much — I just stirred it until it was kind of gloopy, figuring the coconut oil would make it more solid when everything was done.  It was a new bottle of baby oil, so the amount missing from the bottle is how much I used.

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I put it back into the two jars and let it set.  After an hour or so, I noticed that the baby oil was starting to separate and sit on top of the coconut oil.  No good.  So I opened the jars, stirred everything up to mix them again, and then put the jars in the fridge.  I figured that the cold would help the coconut oil set faster — not giving time for the baby oil to separate.  I further reasoned that once the coconut oil had set, the baby oil wouldn’t separate again.  Because that’s how I wanted it to go.

Then I forgot about it until I went to get some food out of the fridge several hours later.  The scrub had solidified and nothing had separated.  I took the jars out of the fridge and let them set out at room temperature.  Still no separation.  I’ve been using this scrub in the shower the last couple of days and it’s quite nice.  The oils are not separating, it’s easy to get out of the jar, it makes my skin feel really nice and the mixture of mint and coconut scents is appealing.  The texture is kind of like sticky/slightly runny beach sand.  Perhaps a little more runny than most people like their sugar scrub, but I’m really pleased with it.  This is a win!

I also decided to try a honey citrus sugar scrub, which I saw here.  I had clementines on my counter, so that’s what I used.

This one asks for 1/4 cup olive oil, 1 cup of sugar, 1 tsp of honey and 2 tsp of citrus zest.

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I’ll be honest — I didn’t measure the honey or citrus zest.  I put the zest of 1 clementine in.  I also was inspired to put some of the juice in, so I squeezed in half a clementine worth of juice.  I’m pretty sure I used more than 1 tsp of honey.  I also put in some orange extract with the hope of making it smell more orangey, but that didn’t really work — essential oil is what’s needed here, and I didn’t have any orange essential oil.

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The finished product was a little more sticky due to the honey, and more oily than the mint scrub.  I think if I made it again I would add more sugar, as I increased the liquid ratio by adding more honey and the clementine juice.  The colour is really pretty and it feels nice on the skin.  I’d still like more of a citrusy smell, so I’d add some essential oil.

It fit nicely in this small Mason jar — I think it’s an 8 oz jar.

Then it was on to coffee sugar scrub, inspired by this post.

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This recipe called for 1/4 cup grapeseed oil (I used olive oil because that’s what I had), 1/3 cup brown sugar (I used Demerara sugar because I had some that I’d never used and figure this would be a good application for it and also because I’m saving my brown sugar to make fudge), and 3 tablespoons of coffee.  I used Starbucks Caramel coffee because I thought it would smell nice and now I can call it trendy because it has Starbucks in it.  I also added a couple of pinches of cinnamon because I love cinnamon.

So the first thing you need to do here, if you’re anything like me, and you buy Demerara sugar cause it seems cool and you’re sure you’ll do something with it, but you never do, so you end up with a great big sugar rock, is to find a way to get the sugar rock into something you can work with.  A quick way to do this is to put your sugar in a plastic bag or container with a couple of wet paper towels and microwave it for a little while — maybe a minute or so.  Be careful, because the paper towel will be steaming hot.  This works like a charm — I’ve done this a few times with hard sugar.  Apparently sticking a cut up apple in the container with the sugar also works, but you have to wait overnight for that, and who has the patience?

I mixed everything up.  This makes a very coarse grained scrub that isn’t very liquidy and it smells amazing.  I haven’t used it yet because trying out all these scrubs will soon result in my having no skin left.  Apparently it’s supposed to help with cellulite.  I bet that’s a pile of crap.  But it smells good and I imagine it will leave my skin feeling good, so that’s enough for me.

One other thing I tried out, but don’t have pictures of is making a hand scrub.  There’s a post about it here.  Basically you take 5 tablespoons of sugar, add 2 tablespoons of liquid soap of your choice and mix it up.  It makes a really nice scrub for your hands.  However, I found that overnight the soap separated from the sugar and sat on top (other people mentioned the same thing in the comments on the post).  I put them in small containers, so I just mix it up with my finger before I use it, but I’d like to find a way to stop the separation, so I think that I will try it again and add a little more sugar to the mix to see if that makes a difference.  I imagine this will be great stuff to use in the summer when I’m digging around in the garden.

All in all, I’m pretty pleased with this experiment.  Now that I know how easy this stuff is to make, I’m unlikely to be buying anything like this anymore.  One of my next experiments in this area will be to make a sugar scrub body wash.  I see the purchase of a bunch of essential oil in my future.

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