Homemade sugar scrubs for skin care

Sugar is one of the best natural beauty ingredients to exfoliate your skin. Sugar scrubs are mild and help remove dead skin.

Brown sugar scrubs. Photo credit: Kara Michele, Flickr Creative Commons

Brown sugar scrubs. Photo credit: Kara Michele, Flickr Creative Commons

Plant-based skin care products are good for you, the environment and your pocket book. In a recent Michigan State University Extension article, “Natural plant based lip balm: DIY!” I explored a natural plant-based lip balm. After receiving a fabulous sugar scrub for Christmas, I thought I would do some research into the benefits of sugar and oil for my winter-parched skin.

Natural skin care products are all the rage – a Google search for homemade sugar scrub brought 473,000 hits at my fingertips within three seconds. With a quick Pinterest search, dozens of sugar scrub variations became available almost instantly too. With so many recipes and variations, here is some information about why sugar and oil are not only good for baking, but good for your skin too.

Sugar is one of the best natural beauty ingredients to exfoliate your skin. Sugar scrubs are mild and help remove dead skin. They also help rejuvenate the skin by cleaning all the dirt from the skin pores. With all the dead skin and dirt removed, the new skin is more radiant and you have a healthier glow. Sugar has a natural anti-aging effect on the skin. It does not allow toxins to attack your skin cells, so it helps to slow down the aging process.

Regular granulated sugar, brown sugar or organic sugar all work well. Brown sugar is the finest and least abrasive, regular granulated is next and works just fine, and organic sugar is the coarsest. Pick the one you like or mix and match until you find your favorite combination. As for the oil to mix with the sugar, coconut oil seems to be the most popular for cooking and for topical skin and hair care.

In some parts of the world, people think coconut oil protects their skin from harmful rays. Coconut oil contains fatty acids that have strong disinfectant and antimicrobial properties. As a result, when you apply coconut oil to your skin with open wounds they heal faster and can prevent microbial infections.

There is plenty of vitamin E in coconut oil, which is essential for healthy skin. Vitamin E repairs wear and tear and protects the skin from cracking. It can also help premature aging. The protein in coconuts and coconut oils also helps keep skin healthy by contributing to cellular health and tissue repair. Coconut oil is also good for several skin disorders such as acne, psoriasis and eczema. Also, one of the best attribute is it does not become rancid.

A very easy sugar scrub is 1 cup sugar mixed with ½ cup coconut oil. You can add citric zest from lemons, limes, oranges or grapefruit if you like, or add a splash of vanilla. Essential oils are also a great option.

Experiment and have fun. Gift the scrubs and use them for yourself. You deserve a little pampering after braving one of the coldest Michigan winters recorded!

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