Thursday, July 19, 2012

Lemon Vanilla Sugar Scrub

Welcome to my first DIY!  It's a very simple one to help ease me into creating tutorials but I hope you like it. 

I love the idea of handmade bath products because you can customize them to your liking, you know exactly what is going into them, and you can often save a lot of money compared to store bought products.  Handmade sugar scrubs are a great spa product that I think of as being kind of luxurious because its definitely not a part of my daily routine (or even my weekly routine for that matter) and I think most of us consider it to be kind of a pampering item. 

I dismissed the idea of using them in the past because a lot of them were expensive and I didn't think I'd have the time to use them because I'm usually in a rush while showering in the morning.  I decided to try a handmade scrub because I thought it would be great to have some as a hand scrub.  I have super dry skin, probably due to very frequent hand washing (saying that I'm a bit of a germophobe might be an understatement).  Sometimes they can get a bit flakey, so exfoliation is a must.  I experimented with a couple of different recipes to make my sugar scrub.  The first one did not turn out at all like I had hoped, but I ended up loving the second one which is explained in detail below.


1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon lemon extract
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
Lemon zest

Right now I am in love with citrus scented bath products, so a lemon scrub seemed like the perfect way to go.  First, I poured the cup of sugar into a mason jar, added the oil and mixed really well.  I added the lemon extract and then zested a lemon into the jar.  I didn't measure how much lemon zest went into it so it's up to you how much you add.  I used lemon zest because it not only adds an extra punch of lemon scent, it helped to add some color to the scrub as well.  I wanted the mixture to have a yellow tint without having to add any dyes.  Lastly, I poured in the vanilla extract and this gave it a slightly sweet smell, which was a nice balance to the tartness of the lemon.

This makes a relatively small batch but you can easily make a larger quantity by altering the amounts for the sugar and oil.  A two parts sugar to one part oil ratio should result in the same consistency but you can easily play around with that.  The extract amounts might be a little trickier and I would recommend increasing them incrementally until you are happy with the strength of the scent (you can always add more, but you can't take away).

I love how soft my hands feel after rubbing this yummy sugar scrub all over them.  Hopefully this will help to reduce the callouses on my hands too.  I go to the gym at lunch to lift weights and while I may be getting stronger, it has taken a toll on my hands.  And after looking in the mirror and seeing the awful condition of my lips, I'm thinking this might be great for exfoliating those as well! 

Before I came up with this recipe, I tried to make a scrub that was more decadent by mixing brown sugar with the granulated sugar.  A lot of other sugar scrubs I've seen call for using extra virgin olive oil and I've read that it's really good for your skin, so I figured that would be a good oil to use.  The problem is that the smell of it is very overpowering and even after adding a good amount of vanilla extract, all you could really smell was the olive oil.  I tried tempering it with some peppermint extract but even that was mostly drowned out by the olive oil smell.  The scent of the scrub was very important to me, so while the first scrub is still usable, its definitely not one I will be putting up to my nose as I give my hands a good exfoliation.

There are some different variations that I want to try out, so you may see some more sugar scrub recipes in the future.  Until then, I hope you enjoyed this tutorial and that you're having a great week!


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