I absolutely love the area of london that I live in as it’s quickly becoming the culinary centre of south east London and with a major art college up the road there is always an influx of new, interesting and creative people filling my surroundings. Once in awhile though, due to its interesting character and somewhat tumultuous history, when I mention it to certain people all it seems to inspire in their memory is dodgy dealing Del Boys or scissor wielding Desmonds (ask a British person if you want more explanation). During even just the time period I have lived there the area has been continually improving and so on one lovely saturday I visited a food market in the morning and spent the afternoon wandering around a craft fair in a local high rise building (which now is inhabited by Yoga Studios and a retro vinyl selling record shop which also doubles up as a coffee shop and mobile barbers….I am starting to confuse even myself now). Ok, back to the point. Upon my meanderings around this craft fair I stumbled across an interesting stall with a manned by a guy selling a Bath Salt made from a mixture of salts he had combined along with rose petals and then scented with essential oils. I really liked what he had done and so decided to buy it even though I knew I had all of these same ingredients at home. I always like to try and support this type of enterprise over and above the large brands (although I don’t think my love for Chanel will ever truly dissipate into the ether). I used his product in my bath and really liked it and so it inspired me to create a similar mix but to improve on his recipe and develop it into a lusciously exfoliating body scrub.
On a different saturday night whilst sitting watching some sort of trashy TV that we are both slightly ashamed to admit we quite ‘likey’ my boyfriend and I took turns with a pestle and mortar grinding down big rocks of Pink Himalayan salt into a fine enough powder that would exfoliate well. I can tell you now with some authority this was not an enjoyable way to spend time and I really don’t ever want to have to do this again in my life if I can help it! Once we had the jar full of the ground salt I then knew the other necessity of this body scrub was to moisturise the skin. So I turned to two of my most trusted friends, almond oil and coconut oil.
Almond oil traps moisture in the skin and has a high lubricating quality. It also supposedly has a calming effect on people with skin allergies and inflammation able to soothe as well as treat skin allergies. I have heard it claimed that even as far as to help with minor wounds, chapped skin, and other skin infections almond oil is praised. It absorbs into your skin really well and therefore is also used in many spas for its less fragrant and less greasy qualities. People with dark marks on their skin claim that is lightening abilities help dramatically particularly by just mixing some almond oil with some honey and applying on the affected area. Almond oil contains vitamins that help it delay the appearance of wrinkles and help reverse the damages brought about by sun exposure. Ultimately Almond oil can be used in various ways as a facial moisturiser, eye cream, stretch mark removal, makeup remover and as a base oil to prevent moisture from evaporating.
Coconut oil is known across the world for it’s amazing uses, particularly in relation to skin. As always I am no doctor or scientist so I am relating either other’s experience and knowledge mixed with my own testing. So I believe that it is the saturated fats in the coconut that when applied to the skin make it so smooth to the touch and retain the moisture in the skin. The three fatty acids (Capric/Caprylic/Lauric) have disinfectant and antimicrobial properties and help stop infections and the vitamin E is great for healthy skin growth, repair and wear and tear. This helps to stop ageing, cracking and wrinkles and has good antioxidant properties. These all work in conjunction with the proteins which help the skin repair itself even helping repaired scarring over time. However possibly the best property of coconut oil is that is doesn’t become rancid and so can be kept for a long period of time without going off!
So I felt that these two would be a great choice for my scrub along with the Pink Himalayan Salt for the properties contained and so my next step was to focus on the smell. For this I decided upon a mixture of three essential oils: Peppermint, Grapefruit & Orange. The main reason for me was the combination of the scents but they all also have amazing properties, (to the extent that I can only list a couple here but if you are interested there is so much information available online):
Peppermint Oil creates a cooling sensation and nourishes dull skin and improves the texture of oily or greasy skin. It also really helps to increase blood circulation the amount of good this does for the body I can’t even begin to mention here
Grapefruit Oil cleanses the skin and is particularly good for treating oily skin and acne. It has a refreshing feeling and can help to treat stiffness and cramps in muscles. Grapefruit essential oil can cause skin irritation if exposed to strong sunlight after application so that is one thing to be aware of.
Orange Oil serves as a detoxifier, boosts immunity and is very good for maintaining healthy, smooth and glamorous skin. It also helps to cure acne and dermatitis.
Now I have to be truthful here and admit that my first attempt at this was a bit of a failure. After all of the hard work I think my mixture was far too heavy on the coconut oils which when allowed to cool down set too hard and turned the body scrub into quite a thick paste. This was not too bad a thing for personal use as when you started to rub some of it in your hands the oils warm and become malleable and then are fine to rub on your skin and use to exfoliate.
However if someone were to try and sell this as a product in a shop I think no one would buy it just from the appearance alone. Whenever I use coconut oil I have to heat it up either in my hands or by leaving it near a radiator or putting it in the microwave so I guess this shouldn’t have been a huge surprise. I really loved using this first version and knew I was on the right road but I knew it wasn’t quite right, mostly in terms of consistency.
So I went back to the drawing board and changed the amounts slightly to improve my recipe. I am so close now to having it just how I want it and to it doing exactly what I want which is to exfoliate my dead skin cells really well but at the same time moisturise and take care of the new skin equally well too! I think I now have it just about right but I am going to keep testing and working on it just in case I can make it absolutely perfect….if I manage I think I should probably get some jars and make up some labels to start selling them as after all this hard work and dedication it seems a shame to be selfish and keep the recipe for myself ^^.
This is a great recipe and one of my favourite things I have ever made for myself. It does the job perfectly and the ingredients used are just wonderful to smell, touch and use. So here is the recipe that I made in the proportional quantities, however I made a larger amount to fill my jar so just multiply the quantities appropriately:
6 tbsp himalayan salt
2 Peppermint essential oil
5 Grapefruit essential oil
2 Orange essential oil
4 tbsp almond oil
1 tbsp coconut oil
Mix together all ingredients in a bowl and transfer them in a jar.
Use this body scrub once a week before a shower or a warm bath. Rub on skin, massage, and rinse. Your skin will be sooo soft and glowing!
Ever made your own body scrub? Which ingredients do you use? Let me know below!