Thursday, March 4, 2010

Homemade Beauty, Part I: Sugar, Sugar

By Brianne Harrison

Many of us are in full-on recessionista mode, trying to trim spending wherever we can. Since I, like so many others, spend quite a bit of money supporting the multi-billion dollar cosmetics industry, I started to think that that might be an area I could save a little by rolling up my sleeves and making my own. As it turns out, I was right: you can make a startling number of beauty products yourself; in many cases, using ingredients you already have in your home!

I started simple with a sugar scrub that turned out to be luscious and quite effective. You can easily adapt this recipe to suit your tastes—take out the cocoa for a straight-up sugar scrub, add some lemon or orange zest, or the essential oil of your choice—the possibilities are endless!

Chocolate Sugar Scrub
1 c natural sugar (you can substitute white or brown as well, particularly if you have some brown sugar that’s dried up and can’t really be used for baking anymore)
3 T unsweetened cocoa powder
A few drops of the essential oil of your choice (I recommend lavender, vanilla, orange, or peppermint)
Enough light olive oil or grapeseed oil to make a paste (about 4 T)

Combine all ingredients and mix thoroughly to combine. Store in a jar or Tupperware container (this doesn’t need to be refrigerated). Use liberally in the shower to slough off dead skin, especially on rough areas like elbows and knees.

Since this is made with all natural ingredients, you can also use it as a (delicious!) lip scrub.

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