12 Chemical-free body scrub recipes for glowing skin
It would be fair to describe the Expertrain team as natural beauty addicts (although we should probably use a more manly term to describe our head honcho, Tom Gilbert - natural grooming addict?!) Natural beauty and skincare is becoming increasingly popular as more of us than ever before become aware of the harmful effects of the cocktail of chemicals contained in many high street beauty products. From parabens and dyes to synthetic fragrances and preservatives which have the potential to cause severe allergic reactions, using anything which isn't natural could be seriously bad news for your health in the long term.
Body scrubs are a great way to slough off dead skin cells, revealing brighter, fresher looking skin underneath. They also leave your skin strokeably soft and are a great pre-shaving ritual to use on your legs, bikini line, wherever really! Using a scrub prior to hair removal can help to prevent ingrown hairs, and it's also a fantastic way to prepare your skin for tinted moisturiser or fake tan (natural of course). The best scrubs use natural exfoliants such as almonds, oatmeal, salt or sugar, and we've found a few yummy recipes that you can make in minutes at home and use to reveal soft, glowing skin everyday. Time to get scrubbing!
As none of these recipes contain preservatives, most won't last indefinitely - it's best to store them somewhere cool, in a covered container. Scrubs without fresh ingredients (such as bananas) can keep for up to 6 months in the fridge, whilst those made with fresh fruit or vegetables will last a few days. A little tupperware box in the fridge is ideal - just make sure nobody eats the contents!
#1. Super-Simple Salt Scrub
Forget fancy concoctions, this is our go-to scrub when time is short. Equal parts oil and coarse salt (any sea salt is fine, or you could use Dead Sea Salts) combined with your choice of essential oils creates an amazing scrub! We like to use 1 tbsp grapeseed oil - but you could also use sweet almond or jojoba oil, even olive oil - mixed with 1 tbsp salt and a few drops of sweet orange essential oil for a fruity, zesty scrub.
Image credit: thankgodimnatural.com
#2. Banana Sugar Body Scrub
For a really fruity treat and a great way to use up that over-ripe banana (if yoiu have two, why not blend one into a smoothie or protein shake!), this sugar scrub is perfect. Mix 1 ripe, mashed banana with 3 tbsp granulated sugar - we like to use brown, but white will do. You can add an optional 1/4 tsp of pure vanilla extract or the essential oil of your choice at this point. The mixture will be pretty gloopy, so it's best to apply this in the bath or shower so you don't end up with a banana-covered bathroom!
#3. Lemon and Thyme Salt Scrub
For the more manly amongst us, this fresh-smelling, invigorating lemon and herb salt scrub ticks all the boxes. Sweet almond oil moisturises the skin beautifully, whilst lemon is great for softening your skin and thyme is a natural astringent. You'll need 1 cup of salt, 1/2 cup pure sweet almond oil, zest of one lemon and 2 tsp fresh thyme. Add all the ingredients to a bowl or jar, mix and scrub away! Package this up and take it to the gym for your post-workout shower; you'll have everyone wondering what smells so good!
#4. Vanilla Coconut Brown Sugar Scrub
All our favourite things together in one scrub? Yummy! This deliciously sweet scented scrub is one to make for those days where you have a little more time to relax in the bathroom. Coconut oil does a great job of moisturising and softening skin; it's suitable for even the most sensitive, irritated skin. Mix 1/2 cup with 1/2 cup of brown sugar and 1/2 tsp vanilla extract. Smells just like a tropical island!
#5. Ground Almond and Avocado Scrub
Want to moisturise dry skin whilst you exfoliate rough patches for super-soft, glowing skin from head to toe? Sounds good to us! This scrub uses creamy avocado, packed with good fats, ground almonds and oatmeal to gently scrub you clean. Oatmeal is a fantastic natural exfoliant for sensitive skin as it's less abrasive than some other exfoliants like salt or sugar. Mash 1 medium ripe, peeled avocado in a bowl with 1/3 cup of ground almonds and 3/4 cup of oatmeal (grind it first slightly in a food processor for a finer consistency) then smooth onto your skin in circular motions to reveal soft, moisturised skin!
#6. Coffee Scrub
Body scrubs are a great way to stimulate your circulation and wake you up - this coffee scrub recipe can also help to tackle cellulite. Mix 1/4 cup of olive oil with 1 cup brown sugar, 1 tsp pure vanilla extract, 15 drops of peppermint essential oil and 1/2 cup of used coffee grounds - best to make this scrub after breakfast! It's easiest to apply this scrub on damp skin, and do it in the shower, as it can be messy!
#7. Rose Scrub
Rose essential oil can be expensive to buy, but only a few drops are needed and it soothes sensitive and inflamed skin. So if you're a sensitive type, try this recipe. Mix 5-6 drops of rose essential oil with 1 1/2 cups of brown sugar, 1 cup of coconut oil and 1 tbsp of jojoba or sweet almond oil. This makes a lovely gift with the addition of some rose petals - store it in a mason jar and present it as a birthday present to someone special!
Image credit: mrspotter.com
#8. Coconut Lime Sugar Scrub
Lime is refreshing, zesty and astringent, making it a great choice for oily skin. It's best used in the morning for a serious wake-up call! In a small bowl, combine 1/4 cup melted coconut oil with 1 cup white sugar, 1 tbsp shredded coconut (optional) and 6-8 drops of lime essential oil. Make sure it's the pure essential oil you're buying and not a cheaper, fragance oil.
#9. Honey Bee Sugar Scrub
Honey has antioxidant properties and can help to fade stretch marks and heal wounds - it also leave skin beautifully soft. You'll need a mason jar or any sort of glass jar for this recipe. Half-fill the jar with brown sugar, then add 2 tbsp of honey (we like to use locally-sourced, organic honey) and a little walnut oil. Stir to combine. If your scrub is too thick, add a little more oil - if it's too runny, add some more sugar! The ingredients will separate slightly after use, but just mix them up again and you'll be good to go. This is also ideal to use on your face or as a lip scrub!
#10. Sweet Like Chocolate Scrub
Where would a list of homemade scrubs be without a chocolate one? Far better for your body than chowing down on a bar of the stuff, this chocolatey concoction is actually super-simple to make. Just combine 1 cup coconut oil with 1/2 cup brown sugar and 1/4 cup of cocoa powder- the mixture will keep for around 6 months in an airtight container.
Image credit: Cocoscrubs.com
#11. Chai Spice Scrub
Adding the spices found in Chai tea blends to your body scrub means you'll benefit from the anti-inflammatory, beautifying benefits, whilst black tea has antioxidant, anti-ageing properties! You'll need 1/4 cup black tea, 1 tbsp ground ginger, 1 tbsp ground cinnamon, 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg, 1/2 tsp ground cloves, 1/2 tsp ground cardamom, 1/4 tsp ground black pepper, 1 cup sugar, 1/2 cup coconut oil and 1 tsp vanilla extract. You can use a coffee grinder or a pestle and mortar to grind the black tea leaves to a fine powder. Stored in an airtight container, this scrub keeps for up to 3 months in the fridge!
#12. Almond Joy Scrub
Almonds are an excellent exfoliator, leaving skin silky, whilst cocoa's antioxidants can help your skin to repair itself. The omega-3 fatty acids and antibacterial qualities of the coconut oil make this an amazing scrub! You'll need 1/2 cup almond meal, 1 tbsp cocoa powder, 1/2 cup sugar (we used brown), 1/2 cup coconut oil and 1 tbsp unsweetened coconut flakes. Combine all the ingredients and keep in an airtight jar for up to 3 months. Yum!
Let us know which scrub is your favourite - or Tweet us and share some of your favourite recipes with us!