19 December 2011

"Non-Edible" Kitchen Creations (Holiday Gift Edition): Exfoliating Sugar Scrub

Still need some gift ideas? Well, do you know how easy it is to make your own inexpensive and eco-friendly "spa" gifts?
Answer: Ridiculously.

Clove-Orange Sugar Scrub
On top of that, you don't have to worry about what you or your loved ones are putting on their skin.
I firmly believe that what you put on your body is as important is what you put in your body.
The skin is your body's largest (albeit least vital) organ. The compounds and substances you put on your skin can be absorbed directly into your bloodstream in varying percentages.1 Pharmaceutical companies take advantage of dermal2 absorption as means of administering medications - think nicotine or contraceptive patch. The rate of absorption is dependent on a several factors; concentration and length of contact being only a couple. Bubble & Bee Organic has an interesting and unbiased blog post on skin absorption.

Like all of my "non-edible" kitchen creations, this is technically edible. Unlike the Natural Deodorant Nugget however, you might actually quite like to eat this one... eh, but probably not in the shower.

This scrub has few ingredients and numerous benefits. Let's list some of them, shall we?
  1. Unrefined Virgin Coconut Oil:  Moisture retention; natural antibacterial, antifungal and antioxidative properties.3
  2. Organic Cane Sugar: Exfoliant (cane sugar produces Glycolic Acid - a natural hydroxy acid; the sugar crystals also provide an exfoliating action)

OK. I guess that was only two, but they are the most important. This is the base for your scrub.
For the "recipe", start with this basic ratio:
  • Three parts sugar 
  • One part coconut oil (I used Nutiva). 
You can adjust from there, depending on how moisturizing you want your scrub to be. Sweet Almond Oil can be substituted for some of the coconut oil - avoid this option for those with nut allergies.

If you prefer simple, you can stop with just the sugar and oil, or you can be as creative as you like with  fragrances and additional healing ingredients. Ground clove or cinnamon can be both stimulating and soothing  (be aware, when gifting; some people may be sensitive to the natural oils in these spices). Citrus zests are fragrant and invigorating.  Organic flavor extracts (vanilla, almond, peppermint...) also add fragrance.
Add 1/8 to 1/4 tsp of pure Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) powder for an extra antioxidant boost that may help smooth wrinkles. Aloe vera gel4 is soothing and healing.

Remember, this scrub is essentially a food, with no funky, synthetic preservatives. The coconut oil will naturally help to preserve the life of the scrub, as will cloves and ascorbic acid. Still, it will be in the shower, exposed to tap/unfiltered water and grubby5 fingers. If you think the scrub will be hanging around for a bit, add a bit of lemon juice, citric acid or a few drops of Grapefruit Seed Extract.

Package your scrub in a cute jar, and your gift is ready for a lucky recipient... if you can manage to try not to keep it for yourself.

Create a Fabulous Day!

1. There are several claims of percentage of absorption but no conclusive studies.
2. Of the dermis; like, you know... skin.
3. There are so many benefits, but we'll stick to topical for the purpose of this post.
4. REAL aloe vera gel; the kind you could/drink. NOT that weird neon-green stuff they market for sunburn.
5. This isn't meant as an insult to anyone's hygiene. Bacteria just naturally hangs out on the surface of the skin; it's a fact.

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