Winter skin has been an issue for me, for as long as I can remember. All summer long I swim, garden and hike around in the Southern California sun. Occasionally I will leave my skin outdoors for too long, turning it bright pink (never the deep, creamy brown my mom and sister have) but it always bounces right back to my soft, milk-white and freckly skin.
In the winter months however, my skin completely dries out on me. Winter is when my skin should love me! I'm indoors a lot more during the colder months, and pay more attention to diet, lotions, and even the temperature of my showers... and yet without fail, every year my arms get itchy and dry patches that resemble the lower half of Daryl Hanna in Splash.
This year, I'm fighting back against winter skin with a homemade sugar scrub. I have probably spent thousands of dollars on bath products over the years, but the idea of making a moisturizing scrub at HOME, never occurred to me... until last year, when I had to make serious cut-backs to my personal spending.
This scrub not only feels amazing, it also smells amazing, is so cheap to put together, and it requires only FIVE ingredients.
Whole Vanilla Beans
Olive Oil (Or Mineral Oil)
Almond Extract (Or Vanilla extract, mint extract, lavender essential oil- Whatever you've got handy!)
I started this project by putting some white sugar in a jar with two vanilla beans, and leaving it alone for a few days. Vanilla sugar is great to have around the house for baking, sweetening tea, and it would probably makes cereal a lot yummier too, but I thought that some vanilla-scented sugar would make for a great base to my scrub. (Spoiler alert- it did!)
After a day or two in the jar with the vanilla beans, your white sugar will be ready to use. The vanilla is totally optional, so feel free to skip it if you need an emergency sugar scrub and don't have any in your pantry...
Next, choose a container for your homemade scrub. This will dictate how much sugar you need to use. Plastic is ideal since this is going to be used around the tub. I only had glass jars, so that's what I used.
Measure out equal parts vanilla (or plain white) sugar and brown sugar in a bowl, and mix. You will get a sandy looking mixture like this:
Pack your container with the 50/50 brown and white sugar and slowly pour in olive oil. I poured in a tablespoon or two at a time and let it seep in.
Once the oil had penetrated about half of the packed sugar, I added about a teaspoon of almond extract, let that seep in as well, and then dumped the entire contents out into a bowl to mix it up.
I then re-packed my jar with the sweet-smelling mixture. The almond extract complimented the brown sugar scent perfectly, and it did a great job of masking the faint olive-smell.
I put a label and a ribbon on my new jar of Sugar Scrub, sat back and admired my work.
Then, I tore off my clothes, and unscrewed the lid of the jar to try it out in the shower!
Heavenly, heavenly, HEAVENLY! The scent of my skin during, AND after the shower was intoxicating. The sugar was a gentle abrasive, but made mean work of my little patches of dry winter skin, and the olive oil felt nourishing and satiny.
I would ABSOLUTELY recommend making this scrub to use the night of a romantic date, or after a long and exhausting day when relaxation is a must. I felt like I was glowing after using this.
* Hi friends! A little update: If you are going to keep your sugar scrub in your bathroom, you may want to use a tongue depressor or spoon to scoop out your mix. If you use your hands (like I do) you might consider keeping your scrub in the fridge to keep the possibility of bacteria at bay... If you use all of your scrub within a day or two (*cough* like I did!) this shouldn't be an issue :) Happy scrubbing! And thank you reader for bringing this to my attention!