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Saturday, December 10, 2011

Homemade Holiday Sugar Scrubs


When I was in college I worked at The Body Shop, and when the holidays approached I always looked forward to that first shipment of the limited-edition holiday scented sugar scrubs. I would gladly hand my paycheck back over at that time of the year and leave with a bag full of goodies. While these memories have always made me associate sugar scrubs with the holidays, sugar scrubs are an especially valuable bath and shower product at this time of the year, as the sugar works to exfoliate dry winter skin and the nourishing oil within the scrub leaves your skin more moisturized than any body wash or lotion you can put on after the shower. So this year I had the idea to make some sugar scrubs of my own to give away as holiday presents!


Sugar scrubs are used to exfoliate and moisturize the body (too abrasive for the face) in the bath or shower immediately before getting out. After washing up, scoop up some of the scrub in your hand and apply it to wet skin, working in a circular motion. The heat from water melts the sugar after you've scrubbed for several seconds. Once finished, give yourself a final rinse, and dry off! 

As for the ingredients, I thought it would be cool to try and keep them as local as possible, so the base of the scrubs is made from Domino sugar, and the various scrubs are scented by McCormick natural extracts or an essential oil from St. John's Botanicals. The remainder of the ingredients include pure organic almond oil and vitamin E, to act as a preservative. I made three different types of sugar scrubs: vanilla orange, Arabian sandalwood, and peppermint. The recipes for each are below:

Vanilla Orange & Arabian Sandalwood Sugar Scrub

Ingredients (makes 4 half-pint mason jars)
1 cup dark brown Domino sugar
2 cups white Domino sugar, divided in half
2/3 cup NOW almond oil
1/2 tsp vitamin e
1 tbsp McCormick pure vanilla extract + 1tbsp McCormick pure orange extract OR 2 Tbsp St. John's Botanicals Arabian Sandalwood

Instructions
  1. Combine 1 cup packed dark brown sugar with 1 cup white sugar, and mix until blended.
  2. Add oils and either extracts or essential oil, and mix thoroughly.
  3. Add final 1 cup of white sugar and mix until uniformly granular.
  4. Spoon into mason jars.


Peppermint Sugar Scrub
Ingredients (makes 4 half-pint mason jars)
2 cups white Domino sugar, plus 1 additional cup
2/3 cup NOW almond oil
1/2 tsp vitamin e
1oz bottle McCormick pure peppermint extract
Instructions
  1. Combine 2 cups white sugar with oils and peppermint extract, and mix thoroughly.
  2. Add final 1 cup of white sugar and mix until uniformly granular.
  3. Spoon into mason jars.



After I jarred the scrubs, I decided to dress up the jars with bells and bows, and label them with homemade tags made from the Domino dark brown sugar box. I took a tag I had on hand and used it as a stencil on the backside of the box, using a hole punch to complete the tag (I was especially proud of these!).


The finished product: an aesthetically pleasing and useful present made from local ingredients, Hon!






7 comments:

  1. Is the peppermint one a total of 2 or 3 cups of white sugar?

    I think I'm going to go buy some sugar to make these! (We don't keep any in the house!)

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  2. The peppermint scrub is a total of 3 cups of white sugar. Just make sure to add the last 1 cup at the very end - it makes a difference in consistency! :)

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  3. So, I made the peppermint and the vanilla-orange tonight! I used a little of both are they are both awesome... can't wait to give these as Christmas presents!

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  4. I tried the peppermint scrub and the alcohol smell is really strong! Any suggestions?

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  5. The alcohol smell in the peppermint is strong in the jar, but I don't notice it when I actually use it. You could swap out the peppermint extract and instead use peppermint essential oil: http://www.amazon.com/NOW-Foods-Peppermint-Oil-ounces/dp/B00028MKRQ - 2TBSP if you switch to essential oil :)

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  6. You could use essential oil instead of extracts they are pure ie no alcohol added much stronger aroma and you will also be able to enjoy the medicinal elements of the oils :)

    ReplyDelete