Friday, August 17, 2012
how to make your own body scrub
This post is sponsored by Floral and Hardy.
As most of you would know, I love plants and gardens. I don’t know if I am a gardener though, per se. I do try. I borrow books from the library about “easy” gardening but immediately get lost when a chapter descends into soil pH levels, hybrids, pollination….I do not have a good enough grasp of the science I think you need to be a good gardener. Perhaps I am an “aspiring gardener”? ;)
But I love to grow herbs. They are the low maintenance/aspiring gardener’s best friend as they are almost impossible to screw up – plant, water and pick seems to be all you need to do! I grow rosemary, bay (the two trees are the ones that were on the main table at our wedding reception, still going two years later) and parsley. One day I hope to have a greenhouse like my father-in-law does, which smells rich and earthy with tomatoes, coriander and basil. For now I keep my small patch of earth going as best I can and I’m sure when I eventually have a large garden to myself one day I’ll want to call in the professionals as garden design is not my forte!
Herbs have such practical uses too – as well as eating them, you can use them in home remedies and beauty products, something I am a huge fan of. Lots of beauty products are easy to make yourself, particular the more high end things like body scrubs. I use them a lot as exfoliation is a big part of my beauty regime when in training because it’s a good way to avoid chafing. I don't tend to chafe all that much (probably thanks to the exfoliation regime!) but when I do I get it under my arms after a long run. I find that exfoliating my whole body at least once a week tends to make it an occasional thing rather than a frequent one. And it makes my skin glow too!
So when Floral & Hardy contemporary garden design asked me to come up with a natural beauty recipe that included ingredients you can grow in your garden, a body scrub was the first thing that came to mind as they are so easy and cheap to make at home yourself. All you need is oil, salt or sugar, and some “flavourings” and off you go!
My body scrub features mint and chamomile – two plants that are very easy to grow in an English garden. They both have excellent therapeutic qualities which make them ideal for a home beauty product. Mint is a stimulating smell so ideal if you want to feel alert and refreshed; it is also known to help with muscular aches and pains. Chamomile tempers the mint by introducing some calmative and anti-inflammatory properties. It is also excellent as a relaxant and good for muscular aches and pains. Perfect for the long distance runner!
A bonus – you can also make a beautiful homemade herbal tea out of them to drink after you’ve given yourself your beauty treatment. Mint and chamomile is one of my favourite herbal tea combinations so I had a feeling a body scrub would be just as good!
Mint and chamomile body scrub
1/3 cup finely chopped fresh mint leaves
1/3 cup finely chopped (or smashed in a pestle and mortar) dried chamomile flowers
2/3 cup dark brown sugar
1/3 cup oil
5 drops lavender essential oil
1 large jar or empty body butter container, to mix and store
1. Gather your dry ingredients – mint leaves, chamomile flowers and sugar and place in the container you’re going to store the scrub in. Mix the dry ingredients thoroughly.
You can use salt or sugar for this scrub – an ordinary table salt or sugar would work fine. I chose dark brown sugar because from what I read it was a good idea to use it if you have sensitive skin as it's softer. If you want something more gritty use salt.
2. Get your oil ready – you can use olive oil, baby oil, almond oil, even vegetable oil. I used an unscented bath oil which is a blend of sunflower, apricot kernel and wheat germ oils. The rule of thumb when making a body scrub is to use 1 part oil to 2 parts sugar or salt. So in this case, I used 2/3 cup of sugar and 1/3 cup of oil (the mint leaves and chamomile flowers added a little bulk but not much).
3. Mix it all together. To add a final touch to the symphony of divine smells, I added 5 drops of lavender oil. You could use any oil you like but I love lavender (which you can also grow easily in the garden). I think a citrus oil would have worked very well here too with the mint and chamomile.
4. Use the scrub with an exfoliation mitt or gloves. Step into the bath, put your mitt or gloves on, a scoop of the scrub in your hands and get to work! Spend extra time on the elbows, knees and feet, and on any problem areas (in my case, under the arms). You’ll feel like you’re in a fancy spa, the smell is amazing!
5. Rinse off when you’re done and then pat dry. Your skin should feel soft and moisturised. You should smell nice too!
The scrub will keep well for a week or two – to prolong its life you could keep it in the fridge but I haven’t found that necessary so far. It’s such a gorgeous and refreshing smell. I think the aromas have deepened and intensified as the days have worn on….the only chore is cleaning the bath after I’m done!
What are your favourite herbal combinations? Have you tried making your own beauty products before?