Whether you'll be spending the summer months in your garden, or have your fingers crossed for a further easing of travel restrictions, now's the perfect time to smooth off dull, dry winter skin and treat yourself to some 'me' time.
Making your own exfoliating body scrub really couldn't be easier: you'll have all the ingredients in your kitchen, and there are endless ways to vary the recipe.
You'll make a product that's just as good as an expensive one with a designer label, for a fraction of the cost.
DIY scrubs make great gifts - especially useful if you're too busy or unable to shop, or you would rather make a thoughtful home made present.
And they are a fun activity to do with others - whether you're looking for ways to keep teenagers occupied, or as a Zoom group activity (how times have changed!)
- A clean jar with a lid (we used an empty College Green bath soak jar)
- Exfoliant: salt or sugar. Make sure the grains of salt or sugar aren't too large as they will be too abrasive, so grind them down if that's all you have so they are a similar size to granulated sugar or table salt. Himalayan salt adds a lovely subtle pink colour to your scrub. (We used Epsom salts).
- Oil: any kind of oil - olive, sunflower, coconut, grapeseed, sweet almond etc (except of course the chilli & garlic one you save to spice up your stir fries!) Milder and lighter oils work better (we used sweet almond oil which should be available in health food stores, chemists or the pharmacy section of supermarkets)
- Optional essential oils - whatever you have lurking in the back of the bathroom cabinet will do (we used peppermint for its stimulating, toe-tingling effect)
To make your scrub:
- Fill the jar with your grains of salt or sugar then tip it into a large bowl.
- Slowly add the oil, mixing it in until you get the consistency of damp sand. How much depends on the amount and type of exfoliant you use. If you use coconut oil you may need to melt it first.
- Add the essential oil. Around 20 drops in a 200ml size jar should be about right and mix well.
- Spoon the mixture back into the jar.
- Add a label.
- You've made your own scrub!
How to use your DIY scrub:
As a body scrub: before you have a shower, take a small handful of the scrub and rub it gently on rough patches of skin - it's great on legs, knees, elbows and feet. Then rinse off in the shower, taking care not to slip on the oil as it drains away.
As a hand scrub: take a small amount of scrub and rub into your hands, then rinse under running water & gently towel dry.
As a foot scrub: sitting on the edge of the bath or after a foot bath, take a small amount of scrub and massage well into your feet, then rinse under the bath tap, or in the foot bath and towel dry.
Make sure you keep moisture out of the jar (don't use wet hands to scoop it out) and the lid screwed on when not in use.
Variations: You can vary your recipe - try different types of sugar, or add a spoon of ground coffee (if you use used coffee grounds make sure you bake them in the oven first to dry out the moisture).
There's lots of online inspiration: the Coconut Mama makes a fabulously scented coffee scrub with cinnamon and vanilla and Eco Living Mama uses a blend of grapeseed, almond & jojoba oils. Mommypotamous uses honey and Himalayan salt to create a face scrub (be careful if you have delicate or sensitive skin), and Blue Peter even has two child-friendly recipes.
For extra pampering, why not first soak your feet in a College Green Warming Foot Bath before using your foot scrub? Its blend of Epsom, Dead Sea, Himalayan & Hawaiian Black lava salts are combined with reviving black pepper, marjoram, rosemary & eucalyptus essential oils for a truly luxurious experience?