I am a big believer in exfoliation. I use a gentle exfoliating cleanser on my face every morning and do a deeper exfoliation every 1-2 weeks. But what about the body? Doesn’t the body deserve a good exfoliation as well? Of course it does! Exfoliating our bodies has the same benefits as exfoliating our faces. Skin cells on our body shed just like those on our face. The turnover process slows as we get older, so a body scrub helps to sluff off that dead skin to reveal healthier skin underneath. The physical action of the body scrub also helps increase circulation and helps with lymph node drainage due to the increased circulation to the skin’s surface. Removing the dead skin also allows the new skin underneath to more readily absorb your luscious skin care products, as well as helps prevent ingrown hairs.
Body scrubs are usually made up of larger exfoliating particles than a facial exfoliator because the skin isn’t quite as delicate on your body. They can consist of salt, sugar, crushed nuts, shells, coffee beans or seeds. They can also contain chemical exfoliants like glycolic acid, salicylic acid or alpha hydroxy acid, which can help smooth, firm or improve the appearance of blemishes or redness. The exfoliating particles are usually mixed with a variety of carrier oils and essential oils. You are not only exfoliating your body, but hydrating it as well. Just check the label and make sure it doesn’t contain any harmful ingredients that are on this list.
The big dilemma isn’t “to scrub or not to scrub, ” it is choosing sugar or salt. Both have their benefits. Sugar scrubs tend to be more gentle, as the granules are round and even. It is less drying and dissolves more easily in water. Salt granules are more jagged and uneven so it gives you a stronger exfoliation. Salt has the added benefit of adding trace minerals that can help promote relaxation and improve circulation. Neither should be used if you have any open wounds on your body. If you have a cut and use a salt scrub, you quickly learn the meaning of “rubbing salt in your wounds.” You will also find different consistencies in body scrubs. Some scrubs just contain oils and exfoliants, while others add emulsifiers to make them more of a blended consistency. All of them work to rid your skin of rough, dry areas and nourish it, as well.
So now that we have covered the reasons why we should use body scrubs, let’s talk about some body scrubs that I love. I probably use a body scrub every 3-4 days. I have made my own body scrubs for years. It is super easy to do and you can customize it to your liking. I will put a basic recipe at the end of this post that you can use to create your own special blend if you prefer a DIY option.
There are many brands that I have tried because I collect them, like all other skin care products. I use both types and I enjoy salt and sugar scrubs equally. All the scrubs I have listed are clean of any toxins or unhealthy ingredients. Here are some of my favorites:
One Love Organics Vitamin C Body Polish is my most recent body scrub acquisition and one that has quickly become one of my favorites. You open the jar and suddenly you are transported to the tropics. It smells like a delicious, fruity pineapple drink. It has the same scent as another one of my favorite OLO product, the Vitamin B Enzyme Cleansing Oil. The smell is so unique that I quickly checked the label and did a little research to confirm that it was all natural. It is stronger than any other green beauty product that I have used and it took me by surprise. The label lists “Parfume/Fragrance” which ordinarily has me running for the hills. After doing some research, I quickly learned that with OLO, the use of the vague “perfume/fragrance” does not contain anything synthetic or toxic. Here is a direct response from their website:
We only use ECOCERT certified blends of 100% natural origin. One Love Organics uses a proprietary blend of ingredients found in nature including therapeutic essential oils, fruit and plant extracts and oils to compose our wonderful and healthy fragrances. Our natural fragrances are free of phthalates, parabens, sulfates, chemical sunscreens, petrochemicals, formaldehyde donors, peg’s, dea/tea and 1,4 dioxanes. ECOCERT expressly prohibits synthetic perfumes and our products proudly bear the ECOCERT seal.
This body scrub is made with raw, organic sugar. The oils used are sunflower seed and shea oil. It contains an ultra concentrated form of Vitamin C to brighten the skin. This polish is in a thicker, blended form and actually foams up a tiny bit when applied. It feels amazing on my skin and due to the thicker, cohesive blend of the product, you feel that every drop is working on doing magical things to your skin…exfoliating, brightening, hydrating. I have come to love this OLO scent and this scrub is one of my favorites.
Indie Lee Coconut Citrus Body Scrub is another sugar scrub that is more of a gelatinous consistency. It has a light, luscious scent of lemongrass and coconut that turns your bath into a tropical retreat. It is super gentle (it can even be used on your lips) and it leaves my skin feeling smooth, hydrated and smelling delicious. Because of the consistency of this scrub, it washes off easily and doesn’t leave your skin feeling too oily. This scrub is a mix of coconut, jojoba, lemon balm, lemongrass and vanilla. Seriously, you may be tempted to eat it!
Tata Harper Smoothing Body Scrub is another sugar scrub with a gelatinous texture. I received this as a Christmas gift from my wonderful husband. My first experience with it was at one of the Tata Harper Master Classes and it is a true luxury. What makes this scrub different is that along with organic cane sugar, it also contains 4 other biodegradable exfoliants: pink Himalayan and Hawaiian sea salts, cranberry fibers and apricot seed powder. It has a light, heavenly scent of Calendula and Jasmine that truly gives you that spa felling at home. It doesn’t hurt that the package is gorgeous!
100% Pure Body Scrubs have been part of my skincare routine the longest. I discovered them many years ago and continue to keep them in rotation. They are made with potent antioxidants, vitamins, fruit acids and nutrient rich plant oils that leave your skin silky smooth. They come in either sugar or salt depending on the scent you choose. I am currently using the Blood Orange which is a sugar scrub. It is super hydrating and nourishing using powerful antioxidants like Pomegranate, Acai, Grapeseed and Apricot Oils and smells like a Tuscan orchard.
Osmia Organics Himalayan Body Buff is a very special treat. It has an amazing scent reminiscent of rosemary, lavender, pine and citrus. It is a salt scrub made with Himalayan Pink salt and a special Osmia oil blend made up of coconut oil and organic jojoba, kukui, avocado, almond, hemp, borage, rosehip, sea buckthorn, berry and evening primrose oils. This oil smells so amazing and is incredibly moisturizing. You can tell from the photo that the jar is empty. It will be replenished very soon! For an extra special treat, apply this scrub to your body before you get in the shower, rinse it off, then apply one of the Osmia Organics Body Mousses when you get out. I have the Rosemary, Lavender and the Sandlewood and they are each a delight to the senses! You can read my post on this ritual here and you can thank me later!
Another noteworthy salt scrub is the Prim Botanicals, The Debauchery Detox Body Scrub. I received this scrub in an Art of Organics subscription box and it was definitely the highlight of that month’s box. If you like the smell of coffee, you will love this scrub! It has Hawaiian Black Lava Salt, epsom salt, activated charcoal, organic Philippine Baroko Coffee and eucalyptus to help release toxins and Amazonian, Andiroba and Pracaxi oils to nourish your skin. It really helps wake me up and get energized in my morning shower. What is better than having your coffee IN the shower? Just be aware that the coffee grounds can be a bit messy.
Whichever scrub you use, make sure you apply it to dry skin to get the most benefit, then just rinse off in the shower or tub!
Homemade Sugar Body Scrub
Clean Glass Jar
3 parts Course Sugar (Turbinado)
1 part oil (I use a combo of Almond, Avocado and Jojoba)
15-20 drops Essential Oil (my go to mix is Grapefruit, Lemongrass and Lavender)
Optional Add-Ins like zest, dried flowers or herbs (I love rosemary and lemon)
Mix all together in jar and use a scooper to dole out some goodness.
Homemade Salt Body Scrub
1 Part Course Sea Salt
1 Part Oil
Essential Oils or other add-ins of your choice
Get creative and make a blend full of scents and oils that appeal to you!
Next time you are in the shower or bath, take a few extra minutes and give your body the love it deserves! Rid yourself of dead skin and clean your pores, while moisturizing your skin. Have you ever made your own body scrub? Leave a comment, as I would love to know your favorite combinations!
Just a little side-note, since October (Breast Cancer Awareness Month) is right around the corner…when applying your body scrub or body oil, it is a great time to complete your breast exam. Just sayin’!