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Homesteading and Livestock

Self-reliance and sustainability in the 21st century.

Homemade Body Scrubs: My Misadventures in the World of Scrubs

I need to start this post with a spoiler alert for my grandmothers: they should stop reading now. What follows is the story of how I’ve tried four times to make their Christmas gifts, and how it hasn’t worked yet.

The saga began when I decided to make them a body scrub. My grandmothers like their skin to be soft, and I thought making them a homemade skincare product designed to exfoliate and moisturize would be an excellent present.

body scrubI started by looking for recipes, and found a simple scrub comprised of lemon juice, salt, and yogurt. I chose to try sugar instead of salt because I thought it would be less abrasive, and made a half batch to test it on myself before giving it to them.

Unfortunately, it didn’t work very well. It turned out to be a mistake to use sugar, which dissolved too easily. While I measured the yogurt, the lemon juice melted the sugar into mush.

I think I also got the proportions in the half batch wrong by adding too much juice. Instead of moistening the sugar, I created sweetened lemon juice.

When you take the mistakes together, it wasn’t so much a scrub as a thin liquid. I tried it anyway to see whether or not it worked. I’d been looking for a product that exfoliated and moisturized. Instead it gave me acid burns. After rubbing it on, my arms turned red and blotchy; I immediately washed off. In light of the results, I decided I should probably just eat the rest of the sample. I mixed in the remaining yogurt and added a dash of honey. Not very productive as a gift, but delicious.

After my first experiment, I opted to abandon lemon juice altogether, and tried making a salt scrub instead. I improvised a recipe, basing it on one from the book 1001 Natural Remedies (DK Publishing, 2003), by Laurel Vukovic. I mixed a teaspoon of table salt with a pinch of Himalayan salt and a half teaspoon of sweet almond oil. Then, standing by the sink, I rubbed it on my hands and arms.

The salt crystals were large and sharp and abrasive, which is what scrubs are supposed to feel like. Not having planned on using the test scrub in the shower, I’d added a great deal of oil, more than I’d have needed if I’d had shower water to help moisten the salt. My arms felt greasy and smelled strongly of almonds, so I had to turn around and wash it all back off.

A few days later I made the scrub again, using slightly less oil, and asked my mother to test it in the shower. Though it was drier than the last version I’d made, she found it too oily as well.

Recently I made it a third time, using a teaspoon of table salt, three pinches Himalayan salt and an eighth of a teaspoon of sweet almond oil (pictures shown are from this experiment), and I think this time I got it right. I mixed some of the scrub with a little water and rubbed it on. It was still abrasive, but I didn’t have to painstakingly wash it off, and my hands felt very smooth afterward. Still, while I may make it again for myself, I’m not going to give out scrubs for Christmas. I think I may have a better idea; I’ll let you know how it goes next time.

Stay tuned - unless you’re my grandmother.

You can read more of Claire E.'s homesteading adventures on The Happy Homesteader blog pages.

Photo by Wendy, Claire's mom.

jake lee
12/3/2012 5:24:10 PM

Great test and this is a very good Tip

aaron white
12/3/2012 5:02:34 PM

wonderful and clever idea ..............................................

alex railly
12/3/2012 4:03:47 PM

keep it up good work

randy donald
12/3/2012 3:34:16 PM

i can't believe this .this is amazing article

shan rider
12/3/2012 2:53:00 PM

hey dear can we also use this Scrub ?

olga haile
12/3/2012 2:20:26 PM

what a great scrub ,i love it

eve anderson
12/3/2012 1:41:13 PM

Oh yeah this is awesome

smantha parker
12/3/2012 1:17:22 PM

this scrub will make us beutiful .......

nimali singha
12/3/2012 12:30:05 PM

I am going to try it too.i think Homemade Body Scrubs is very good for our skin .it will protect skin

bree brown
12/3/2012 11:34:54 AM

really nice .and this is great great and great

amanda larry
12/3/2012 10:56:27 AM

You are genius ..this is very very interesting

chanika weerasekara
12/3/2012 10:09:46 AM


britny ray
12/3/2012 9:51:04 AM

Thanks for sharing these tips with us ...wonderful

priyani maheshika
12/3/2012 9:39:06 AM

Wow Fantastic .......

kelly kelle
12/3/2012 3:35:03 AM

This is amazing and this is very useful Article ,thank you very much

chanaka weerasekara
12/3/2012 2:39:45 AM

Interesting Article

traci mielke
12/3/2012 2:38:17 AM

Thank-you for sharing your trials. I bet the sweet almond oil makes a wonderful smelling scrub! Keep up the great writing.

rayna prettyman
11/30/2012 8:23:51 PM

I'm not sure what to say. I make scrubs all the time and have never quite had your problems. Try using a little vegetable glycerin or honey if it's way too oily feeling for you. You were on the mark with sugar, it's less coarse and better for dryer skin and salt is better for oily skin (like mine.) If you add the oil to the sugar or salt first, then lemon won't melt it, as it's already coated with oil. Good luck next time!

donna clawson
11/29/2012 11:34:48 PM

My goodness, you sure are persistent! I am SURE your grandmother will love whatever your create. I love your writing style!