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Salt Scrub & Sugar Scrub Recipes & Tips

Salt Scrubs and Sugar Scrubs are both popular and beneficial products in skin care routines. Did you know you do not have to spend tons of money to buy them?! They are so easy, so economical, and so very good for your skin that I prefer to show and tell how to make these than to sell them to you.

Scrubs are a mechanical exfoliant that slough the built-up dead skin cells on skin’s surface that create a dulling of the complexion and a rough texture. Removing this build up regularly allows your skin to absorb your subsequent products better and can help you achieve a bright even complexion. Let’s take a look at the difference between Salt & Sugar Scrubs and what these 2 kitchen pantry ingredients mean to your skin…

Salt (usually) has a larger particles that are more abrasive. Salt is perfect for exfoliating the majority of the body, including heels and the soles of the foot. Salt is very beneficial to skin as it is a natural deodorizer, balances pH, helps retain hydration, and has both antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties. Sea Salt contains calcium, potassium, and magnesium and these are all great for your skin, fighting off bacteria, minor infections, and increasing healing rates. Grandma always had a container of salt in the car when we went on day trips, along with a canteen of water…just in case someone needed a wound cleaned out (yes, it hurts like the old adage says, but it’s better than getting an infection.) Salt water can be used as a facial rinse in between cleansing and toning, too.

*Tip: Salt is also a great anti-dandruff scalp treatment. Part your hair and sprinkle a bit of salt onto your scalp then use wet fingers to massage the scalp gently for about 10 minutes. Bonus points to you if you can get someone else to do this for you because scalp massages are a-maz-ing! When you’re done massaging wash and condition as usual. The results will most likely astound you!

It’s okay to use a Salt Scrub 2-3 times a week, though if your skin is dry or very sensitive then once a week should be plenty of exfoliation. Please note that you do not have to use special salt to benefit. Table salt works just fine for scrubs. If you happen to have a dead sea salt or Himalayan salt then yes that’s better due to the mineral boost your skin will receive, but they are absolutely not necessary.

*Tip: Beach Hair – there are a lot of expensive Beach Hair Sprays. You do not need to buy those to get that look because the active ingredients are water (purified if you want to store it out of the fridge), the conditioner you currently use, and salt. That’s it! So grab a spray bottle and mix 1/2 cup warm water with 1/2 tablespoon of sea salt and stir until the salt is dissolved. Add 1 teaspoon of your hair conditioner (Cats Paw Farm Detangling Hair Conditioner is perfect for this) and shake it all together. Spray onto towel dried hair and scrunch your hair with your hands. Enjoy your beachy hair!

Ok, on to Sugar and Sugar Scrubs….so what does sugar do for your skin? Plenty (and I think you’ll really love this)! Sugar is a natural source of glycolic acid. Glycolic acid is one of the alpha hydroxy acids (AHA), is a humectant (reduces the loss of moisture in skin), helps fade hyperpigmentation, increases luminosity, helps treat sun-damage, encourages cell turn-over, and exfoliates.

There are three types of sugar that are suitable for scrubs and each has its own features and benefits. You most likely have 2 of them and possibly all 3! Brown Sugar is ultra fine and the least abrasive of sugars used in scrubs. Brown sugar is perfect for sensitive skin and for facial scrubs. You can use a brown sugar scrub every other day.

Cane Sugar (unrefined white is best and is probably already in your pantry) is a good all purpose scrub and works for body scrub and for facial scrub. Leave 2 days in between treatments.

Turbinado Sugar may also be in your pantry, and is a coarse granule sugar and is best for body scrubs. Because it is the least processed of the 3 sugars and so has the most minerals contained within. Turbinado scrubs can be used twice a week (or leave 3 days in between treatments.)

Let’s chat about oil for a minute, too. You probably already have 2 or 3 oils in your pantry that are perfect for making scrubs. Coconut Oil is moisturizing and is becoming very well known for its antibacterial properties. It’s also a great hair moisturizer and scalp conditioner (I’ll blog about coconut oil in the future, too.) Avocado Oil (I use this in salad dressings) is supportive of skin elasticity, and it is great for mature skin! The third pantry oil is Olive Oil. Olive Oil is perfect for very dry skin. It is also a humectant and is very good for soothing itchy skin. I love an Olive Oil Salt Scrub in the winter – wonderful for the seasonal itchies! If you have Vitamin E capsules in the cupboard, puncture one end with a pin and squeeze it into your scrub recipe if you’d like. Vitamin E is a natural anti-oxidant and it is great for your skin.

*Tip: Use your Scrub at the end of your shower or bath. This will soften the outer layer of skin (& that dead stuff you want to slough off that’s all dried out!)
Apply the scrub to your entire body in small circular motions. Lean over the sink if you’re just having a facial scrub. Massage for a minute or two. Don’t rub too hard, you don’t have to – let the scrub do the work.
Rinse and enjoy your beautiful, soft, supple, glowing skin.

Basic Salt Scrub Recipe

Salt 1 cup
Oil 1/2 cup

In a small bowl, combine the 2 ingredients and mix well to coat the granules with oil. If you wish to use essential keep it light – a couple of drops goes a long way with essentials.

Store in a glass jar and use within a month.

I don’t personally recommend flower buds and petals in any scrub. They look nice but they are a mess to clean out of your tub, are not going to store well and will eventually mold. If you use these recipes for someone as a gift maybe consider dressing up the outside of the container instead of adding flower bits to the inside.

Basic Sugar Scrub Recipe

Sugar of choice 1 cup
Oil of choice (3-5 tablespoons) added 1 tablespoon at a time until the consistency is sandy, but not soupy.

Optionally you can add a couple drop of essential, or a few drops of fresh lemon juice if desired. If the mixture gets soupy the sugar will dissolve in a few day, just add more sugar if that happens. Soupy won’t exfoliate well, but you can still reap the moisturizing benefits of the mixture by using it as a mask.

Store in a glass jar and use within a month.

Feeling adventurous? Try this one….

Basic Coffee Scrub Recipe

Finely ground coffee beans 1/2 cup
Brown Sugar 1/2 cup
Oil of choice about 1/4 cup, added slowly until consistency is sandy

Coffee is not only a wonderful exfoliant, but our skin can absorb caffeine so this is a wonderful wake-up scrub. (This is also why Cats Paw Espresso Bar soap is so popular! There’s a pot of coffee in every loaf of soap.) Coffee is also an anti-inflammatory.

Store in a glass jar and use within a month.

Need a skin healing boost? Salt & Honey Scrub is really luxurious as well…combine the exfoliation properties of salt with the moisturizing and skin protecting properties of raw honey and this is basically a high end spa treatment at home. I’ve seen this sell for $70 for an 8 ounce jar. You can make it for about $2.

Salt & Honey Scrub Recipe

Salt 1 cup
Raw Honey 1/3 cup
Oil of choice 1/2 cup

Mix the honey and oil together and then mix in the salt. Add a few drops of essential if you wish, but the honey smells amazing all by itself.

Store in a glass jar and use within a month.

I hope you enjoy these recipes and this post. Check out Cats Paw Farm Mercantile for great #cleanbeauty skin care. You can also find us on Facebook, and Instagram, too.

Homemade Laundry Soap + Recipe

Homemade Laundry Soap is simple to make, cost effective, and great for families with members having sensitive skin, who want to get away from toxins and synthetics, and who like to know what is in their cleaning products. The ingredients can be found in your local grocery store. If you do not have extra handcrafted soap to shred, we sell 100% olive oil Castile which has been aged for at least 4 months (most for over a year) which is perfect for this project. We specify handcrafted soap because it is natural and does not contain synthetic detergents like commercial bars. Whatever your reason for making laundry soap it would be counterproductive to start off with a detergent bar, yes?

This is a recipe I came up with in the early 2000’s because I’ve had a detergent sensitivity since I was a child (much to the dismay of my Mom who really wanted her daughter to wash dishes!) It was less of a challenge to create an effective laundry soap recipe than to find a commercial product that didn’t leave me with patches of dermatitis wherever my clothing touched my skin.

Ingredients you’ll need:

  • 3 cups of shredded handcrafted soap
  • 2 cups Washing Soda
  • 1/2 cup citric acid
  • 3 mL lemongrass or lavender essential oil (optional)

You’ll also need

  • disposable plastic pipets for measuring the essential oil
  • grater
  • measuring cups
  • a 1/2 gallon sized bowl
  • either 2 gallon zip seal bags, or an air tight container/lid combination
  • a permanent marker for labeling your laundry soap bag/bowl
  • nitrile gloves (optional)
Grated soap

How to:

  1. Wear gloves if desired.
  2. Grate the handcrafted soap until you have 3 cups. Once grated, continue to crumble the soap shreds until they are as small as possible.
  3. In the bowl, combine shredded, crumbled soap with the washing soda and citric acid.
  4. Mix, mix, mix, mix, mix.
  5. Add essential oil if desired.
  6. Mix, mix, mix, mix, mix. Voila! Homemade Laundry Soap!!
  7. If using zip seal bags, put one bag inside the other. Yes, use 2…you’ll thank me when they don’t burst like a single bag most likely will. 😉
  8. Put the laundry soap into the bags, or into an air tight container.
  9. Label your Laundry soap.
  10. Use it and enjoy your amazing Laundry Soap!
Finished Laundry Soap

You can utilize your Homemade Laundry Soap in HE machines. We use about 1 tablespoon per load in ours. It is appropriate for hand washables, too. If you need a bit more of a boost for extra greasy, dirty laundry try scrubbing it into the stain with a brush and hot water and possibly adding a bit more washing soda directly to the stain and scrubbing. Let it sit for awhile (but not so long the wetted area dries out), and then launder as usual. Check the stain prior to drying.

Thanks for reading! If you want a hard copy of this recipe just let me know. I have them printed on glossy stock here at Cats Paw Mercantile. They’re the perfect size for affixing to the tub you make your soap in or filing for future reference. I’ll send you one.