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What was the first thing I did on vacation? Made this DIY coconut sugar scrub! My all-natural, homemade scrub for face and body uses only three ingredients to keep your skin soft and exfoliated.
Every December my dad, husband, kids and I fly to the Florida Keys. We love the swimming, restaurants, dive bars (this one’s kid friendly), and surprisingly rich history of Key West. Did you know the tiny island has three Civil War era forts? But, sun, fun, salt water, chlorine, a/c and long walks on sandy beaches can dry out your skin. Especially, delicate New Englander skin that has been protected under layers of clothing for three months.
Benefits of a sugar scrub
Sugar scrubs are all-natural and work better than just constantly slathering yourself in store-bought lotions. They can be used in the shower to help lock in all-day moisture. It depends on your skin and climate, but for some people, a sugar scrub in the shower replaces the need for face cream and body lotion. It could be an all-in-one.
My DIY coconut sugar scrub is vacation-themed and uses three simple ingredients you can pick up at the corner drugstore, small market or grocery on the first day of vacation. I did! Since coconut oil is solid at room temperature, you can easily pack these ingredients in a carry-on or pre-make the DIY coconut sugar scrub before you travel.
Most of us have used body lotions without reading the ingredient list. Well, even if we stopped to read the ingredients, would we understand them? I am an avid reader of skin care ingredients, and I am always encountering some chemical or preservative that’s new to me. DIY body scrubs are made with simple ingredients you can pronounce…and probably already have on hand.
Is coconut oil safe?
Great question. If you have never used coconut oil in your skin care routine or are unsure if you have an allergy to it, test a patch of skin before you slather yourself in coconut oil.
For the vast majority of people, coconut oil is safe and wonderful for your skin. However, there are some people who develop a skin allergy to coconut oil. I know several of them personally, which is why I wrote this other post to encourage people to be mindful even when using natural ingredients in their skin care routine. Test before you slather.
Is coconut oil safer than a lotion that’s full of chemicals? I think so. There’s always one person in a group who says something to the effect of “chemicals are delicious” or “I prefer the chemicals.” But, most of the people who spend time at natural lifestyle blogs are not ‘that person’.
DIY coconut sugar scrub recipe
60% granulated cane sugar
40% unrefined, organic coconut oil
(optional) squeeze of real lime juice
Why am I showing the recipe as a 60:40 ratio of sugar to coconut oil? If you are on vacation, you might not be able to measure exactly. I want to emphasize that it’s more sugar than coconut oil. That’s key to any sugar scrub. It’s usually a lot less oil than people imagine.
Unrefined coconut oil is less processed, which is why I recommend it. With less processing, more of the original properties of the coconut meal are retained, including a bit more of the sweet scent of coconut.
The acid in the citrus adds a little extra exfoliating, helping to clear away old, dead skin cells and bring out fresh cells underneath. If you have sensitive skin, you may want to skip the lime. As always, test your skin’s response before you rub your whole face with the scrub.
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If you are going to keep a sugar scrub in your shower, please use a plastic container. I know glass is more eco-friendly, but reusing plastic containers is a smart way to store your sugar scrubs in the shower. Glass is dangerous in a tiled bathroom. Broken glass in a shower – with all those tiny, invisible shards – is a nightmare. Be careful.
Any other warnings?
Hummm, I’m guess I’m a cautious person. Just looking out for you.
1) Test coconut oil on your skin first
2) Use plastic, not glass for safer storage
3) Be careful, the shower floor could get slippery
On that last point, in our old house, my shower floor used to get slippery all the time when I used homemade sugar scrubs. For some reason, my shower floor doesn’t get slippery in our current home. Maybe it’s different tile surfaces?
Either way, be careful to check and see of your shower floor gets slippery from the oil in the sugar scrub. If it does, just put a little soap in your hand and rub it over the floor to clean it a bit after you use the scrub. Warn anyone who might go into the shower after you that the floor could be a bit slippery.
Enjoy your soft skin
In a few quick steps, you’ve made an all-natural DIY coconut sugar scrub that should make an instant difference in your skin.
With daily use, your skin should be softer and better moisturized. And, your wallet should be healthier too. No need to spend any additional money on expensive, store-bought lotions!