Salt or Sugar Scrubs: Which Homemade Scrub is Best to Make, Buy, and Use?
I remember many years ago, as a very young woman, visiting a fancy mall with one of my friends. There was an Evelyn & Crabtree Store (I think that was the name), and in that store, there were the MOST amazing potpourris, body salts, skin products, and...the SMELL! It smelled SO good in that store! And, some of these sources of aroma-deliciousness were coming from body scrubs! Ahem.....They were just a little (no, VERY) expensive.
So....Why not make your own scrubs? They're easy and fun to make, and you get to be creative with herbs and scents.
If you are into awesome exfoliating skin scrubs like I am, you have probably wondered which kind of scrub: sugar or salt, is best?
Exfoliating scrubs usually come in two types: Salt and Sugar. Does it matter which kind of scrub you use? I used to think salt and sugar scrubs did pretty much the same thing, and to an extent, they do.
Both salt and sugar scrubs exfoliate the skin wonderfully, helping to get rid of that upper layer of dead skin cells, and leaving behind glowing, beautiful skin.
Salt and sugar scrubs also both help out with circulation to the skin. When you are scrubbing your skin, it causes blood to come to the skin, leaving it oxygenated, rosy, and feeling wonderful.
However, there are some important differences you need to know about, especially if you are planning on making these for yourself or to give away as gifts to special friends.
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The Difference Between Salt & Sugar Scrubs
All About Salt Scrubs:
1) Sea salt is usually used in making homemade scrubs, and it contains wonderful minerals that are great for your body!
2) Salt scrubs are wonderful for detoxifying your skin and helping to purify the skin as well as keep your pores clear!
3) Salt scrubs can be drying to the skin, and you may need to rehydrate pretty intensively after using a salt scrub. I know I sure do!
4) Salt scrubs are not good for use on the face or sensitive skin. Salt has sharper edges than sugar granules, and therefore can really irritate very sensitive skin.
5) Salt scrubs make excellent muscle relaxants, so if you have sore muscles, salt scrubs may be a great help with this.
6) Salt scrubs are AWESOME for those really tough, callused areas on your body. Places like heels, elbows, knees, and even your hands can really benefit from a good salt scrubbing. Those sharp little edges on the salt crystals do wonders on tough skin. Just moisturize well afterward!
7) Salt scrubs can sting! Never use a salt scrub after shaving---OUCH!
All About Sugar Scrubs:
1) Sugar scrubs are wonderful for using on your face because the granules are rounded and won't cut or abrade the skin heavily.
2) Sugar scrubs don't have the mineral benefits salt scrubs have. However, if you use an organic type of sugar, you will still get some minerals.
3) Sugar scrubs are more moisturizing than salt scrubs. Sugar contains acids that help exfoliate as well as moisturize.
4) You can definitely use sugar scrubs more often than salt scrubs. Even a good daily scrub with a sugar scrub is fine.
5) Sugar dissolves much more quickly than salt does, so your scrub won't last quite as long as a salt scrub. Therefore, you'll have to do your business more quickly.
So, Which Should You Use to Make Homemade Scrubs? Salt or Sugar?
Well, you can probably make a pretty good decision for yourself based on the above descriptors. However, here are some additional things to consider---
This is totally a personal thing, and will probably show you just how weird I can be: But I am afraid that I'll have some sticky residue from the sugar left on my skin. I don't want that because I happen to be afraid of bees. Done. I said it. Laugh if you want! :-)
Salt is definitely more drying---so when I use a salt scrub, I do have to moisturize heavily. My skin is very dry. If you have oilier skin or skin with acne, then a salt scrub just might do wonders for you!
In a nutshell, though, what matters is how often you plan to use the scrub and for which areas (face or body or both). It honestly doesn't really matter which you choose to use, as long as you know what your ultimate goal is.
If you are needing some heavy duty work on cracked heels: Go with the salt.
If you are want a nice, gentle exfoliation for your face: Go with the sugar.
If you want a general scrub, you can actually even combine both sugar AND salt in the same scrub! Wouldn't that be pretty cool?
How to Make a Salt or Sugar (or Both) Scrub
What You'll Need:
If you choose sugar, then you'll want a natural, organic sugar. Brown sugar is wonderful!j
If you choose salt, then you'll definitely want a finer ground sea or high mineral content salt. Himalayan salt is pretty if you want a pink color--just be sure it's finely ground.
Grinding herbs into a powder and adding them to your scrub makes for a lovely variation! Lavender flowers, juniper berries, rosemary, nettle leaves, chamomile flowers---there are tons of options! Feel free to experiment! The herbs will add a slight color to your scrub, too. Consider this when choosing the color of the sugar or salt. For example, if you add a powdered green herb to a white sea salt, you'll get a pretty light green scrub.
If you're looking for a scented scrub or a scrub that will add additional healthy skin properties, then you should consider using essential oils. Here are are few, along with their properties:
Peppermint: Refreshing, cooling, and increases circulation
Roman Chamomile: Soothing and smells wonderful
Lavender: Great for the skin, and has mild antiseptic properties
Grapefruit: Excellent for cellulite and smells heavenly
Helichrysum: Amazing for the face!
Lemon: Additional exfoliating benefits and uplifts your spirit!
There are many others, too. Use your instincts, and be sure to research if there are any contraindications for the essential oils you plan to use.
Where do I get my essential oils?
There are many good companies out there that make a high quality essential oil.
If you love Amazon, you can find Plant Therapy there, too.
Oil-- Most scrubs come in a base of some type of oil that is good for your skin. Sweet almond oil, grapeseed oil, and even olive oil are popular choices.
However, with that said, here is my personal opinion of oils: I don't like them in my shower or tub. They are hard to clean off, and they can make things slippery. Just my own weirdness again.
When I make a scrub for a friend, I either use VERY little oil or none at all and let them add their own. That's just me, though. If you want to go ahead and add the oil to the salt/sugar mixture, go right ahead! It's all ready to go that way!
Here's the general exfoliating skin scrub recipe:
Step 1) Measure out 2 cups of salt, sugar, or both
Step 2) Measure out 1 cup (or 1/2 cup or even 1/4 cup---or, if you're like me, none) base oil
Step 3) Combine any powdered herbs and essential oils with the sugar, salt, or both
Step 4) Add your oil to the scrub/essential oil/herb mixture, if you are using any
Step 5) Package it up as you like! I love using four ounce Mason jelly jars with a wide mouth--NOT the ones with the regular mouth. I like the wide mouth best because you can get your fingers in there to get at the scrub. Also, I think they are prettier for gifting scrubs.
Have you ever made an exfoliating scrub with either sugar or salt? Or both? I love making and using these. I love gifting them, too--and as easy as they are, people still love getting them!
I'd love if you'd share your thoughts about scrubs, exfoliating naturally, and anything else you'd like to share in the comments! Which do you prefer and why?
Also, you may be interested in these articles about natural body care:
The Best Every Day Body Butter, and lots more on my site!
Also: If you wanted to make a Lavender Salt or Sugar Scrub, you could pair it with this Homemade Lavender Salve. What a great combination!
There’s lots more over on the blog! Go on over and explore! :-)
Hugs, Health, & Self-Reliance,
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