I’ve always loved exfoliating my face. I don’t know why, maybe it’s because there’s such an immediate brightening result. Maybe I just like the itching. More likely it’s the feeling of doing something special, that once or twice a week pampering, unlike the daily routine that gets so hum-drum.
I’ve tried so many facial exfoliating scrubs since the first one when I was a teenager (it was the original formula, back then). That one stayed my favorite for many, many years, up until a few years ago when I started converting to natural solutions and started experimenting with mixing up my own concoctions.
After a few failed attempts with cornmeal (too rough), and staying far away from salt (that stuff burns, why would you want to exfoliate with it???), I fell back on sugar. I really like the combination of regular white sugar and brown sugar, the brown sugar is softer and makes the scrub less harsh. Also, the sugar dissolves so easily that rinsing is a breeze, and it tastes good if you get bits in your mouth unlike all of those store-bought kinds. Though I do not recommend eating it. Even if it is kinda tasty.
The ingredients are so simple: white sugar, brown sugar, olive oil. That’s it! How much cheaper can you get? The sugar and tea comes to maybe $0.75, the oil is less than a dollar, and even if you buy some of the more specialty oils it still is a bargain.
Don’t worry about the olive oil clogging your pores, most of it is wiped off when you rinse and what is left acts as a gentle moisturizer. I have combo/oily/patchy dry skin, and the scrub helps to keep my skin clear and looking great. I can definitely tell when it’s been too long without using it!
I also use this as a body scrub. After doing my face and before rinsing I’ll use the extra left on my fingers to exfoliate my hands, and they feel soooo nice after.
In my latest batch I decided to add some loose leaf tea – a few years ago it was all the hype to use caffeine in your beauty routine. Why not? It won’t hurt anything, and it smells divine. You could also try a couple of drops of essential oils – but be careful, a little bit goes a long way!
Note: This isn’t going to be the best solution for everyone, and you may have to tweak it to fit your particular skin type. If you have sensitive or delicate skin, try putting a little of the scrub in your palm and adding a few drops of water to make a paste and melt the sugar crystals a little, making it less abrasive. You can also try other types of oil, such as almond, flax, sunflower, or grapeseed.
Sugar Exfoliating Scrub
makes a little over 1 cup
½ cup white sugar
½ cup brown sugar
¼ cup olive oil, plus a Tbsp or two
1 Tbsp ground loose-leaf tea, optional (I used chai)
Combine the sugar, ¼ cup olive oil, and tea, mix thoroughly. I use the whisk to pound the lumps out of the brown sugar as well as for stirring. You want the mixture to resemble damp sand. Add additional olive oil 1 Tbsp at a time until the desired consistency is reached. Store in an airtight container – like a pretty glass jar. It should last 3-6 months. You may have to add a little more oil every now and then and/or give the scrub a stir to keep it moist.
For your face – Using a teaspoon or two of the scrub, massage it on the skin in small circles avoiding the eyes. Rinse with warm-to-hot water. Use once or twice a week.