3 DIY Body Scrub Recipes for Summer Exfoliation

1 min to read
Karen Williams
06/14/2024

Skin Needs Extra Care in Hot, Dry Weather

As someone who calls the breathtaking landscapes of Montana home, I know how the dry, hot summer can take a toll on our skin. The intense sun and arid winds can leave my skin feeling parched and rough. Exfoliation is one of my favorite skincare practices for dry weather. It sweeps away the dull, dead skin cells and unveils a fresh, glowing complexion that’s ready to embrace the summer sun. 

In this post, you’ll learn how exfoliation helps remove dead skin cells, and supports the health of newer skin cells. You’ll also learn:

  • Why plant-based carrier oils are so nourishing for skin in the summer.

  • My favorite ingredients for skin-smoothing summer body scrubs.

  • 3 luxurious DIY body scrub recipes you can make today.

The Benefits of Exfoliation

Our skin is in a constant state of renewal. Deep within the epidermis, new skin cells are born and make their journey to the surface, eventually dying and shedding off. Exfoliation gently removes these lifeless cells, revealing the vibrant skin beneath. This process not only smooths and evens out the skin texture but also enhances the skin's ability to soak up moisturizing oils, stimulate circulation, and prevent clogged pores.

Ingredients for DIY Summer Body Scrubs

Choosing the right exfoliants and oils is crucial for effective skin care. Salt and sugar are both popular natural exfoliating ingredients for DIY body scrubs. I prefer to work with salt as my main ingredient, especially in the summer. (I don’t want any traces of sweetness lingering on my skin to make me smell tastier to bugs!) 

For hydration and nourishment, I rely on plant-based carrier oils packed with skin nourishing essential fatty acids, antioxidants and anti-inflammatory tannins. These oils help support healthy cell formation, boost collagen production, and soothe micro-abrasions caused by exfoliation.

Plant-based carrier oils are full of skin-nourishing essential fatty acids (which are not produced by the body) antioxidants and some minerals.

Here are a few of my favorites:

  • Coconut Oil (Cocos nucifera)

    Renowned for its deep moisturizing properties, coconut oil is a staple in many skincare routines. It’s rich in fatty acids and has natural antibacterial and antifungal properties and has vitamins K known to bring healing to broken capillaries and E that is helpful in protecting the skin from environmental stress. Its ability to penetrate deep into skin’s layers ensures long-lasting hydration, which is essential after exfoliation. 

  • Baobab Oil (Adansonia digitata)

    Cold-pressed from the seeds of the baobab tree, this oil is rich in oleic acid, which helps to rejuvenate and renew skin cells. It also contains vitamins B, and E. It’s particularly effective in softening the skin, helping it retain moisture, and soothing burns.

  • Marula Oil (Sclerocarya birrea)

    This luxurious oil is harvested from the nuts of the marula tree. One of the oils produced by our skin is palmitic acid, so marula oil’s rich palmitic acid content makes it easily absorbed. It’s packed with antioxidants, is deeply hydrating, and can soothe irritation.

  • Red Raspberry Seed Oil (Rubus idaeus)

    Extracted from the seeds of red raspberries, this oil is a potent source of fatty acids and antioxidants, including vitamin E, which help to protect the skin from environmental stress. Red raspberry seed oil offers a layer of mild sun protection (though it’s not an SPF), making it an ideal choice for summer skincare.

Essential Oils for Body Scrubs

I often keep my body scrubs free of essential oils. The carriers are so nourishing and rich in and of themselves! 

That said, you can add any essential oils you like to your body scrubs. Citrus oils and conifers are beautiful in the summer, evoking bright, warm weather, and fresh green forests. If I’m adding essential oils to a body scrub, I use about 5 drops or less of essential oil per 1 fl oz (30 ml) of my carrier.

Avoid any hot, spicy oils, such as Cinnamon Bark (Cinnamomum verum) or Clove Bud (Eugenia caryophyllata) as well as high menthol oils like Corn Mint (Mentha arvensis). These oils are too strong for the bath or shower (where we’ll be using a body scrub). 

These recipes each make about 6 fl oz (180 ml) of body scrub. You’ll need an 8 fl oz (240 ml) PET plastic jar. You’ll have a little space left over in the jar, and this prevents your scrub from overflowing when you dip your fingers in to scoop up some of the salt.

The directions for each recipe are the same (though the Coconut Lime Body Scrub may require an extra step, which I’ll tell you about below).

For each recipe, all you have to do is put the salt into your jar, add the carrier oils, and then add any essential oils you’re using. Stir gently with a glass stir stick or the handle of a spoon. 

3-scrubs

3 Summer Body Scrub Recipes

Sunrise Body Scrub

This is an excellent recipe for your morning shower, preparing your skin for a day of sun. The red raspberry seed oil gives you a light layer of sun protection (though I still suggest using sunscreen).

  • 4 oz (112 gm) pink Himalayan salt

  • 2 fl oz (60 ml) Red Raspberry Seed oil (Rubus idaeus)

Sundown Body Scrub

After a day in the sun, I like to give my skin additional support to restore itself after the stress of heat and UV exposure. (However, if you’re a little sunburned, skip the body scrub until the burn heals.)

  • 4 oz (112 gm) salt

  • 1 fl oz (30 ml) Baobab oil (Adansonia digitata)

  • 1 fl oz (30 ml) Marula oil (Sclerocarya birrea)

  • 10 drops Siberian Fir essential oil (Abies sibirica)

Coconut Lime Body Scrub

This is the only recipe with slightly different directions—because pure unfractionated coconut oil can be either liquid or solid, depending on the temperature it’s stored at.

If your coconut oil is solid, just scoop it into your jar, and then sprinkle the salt on top of it and add the drops of essential oil. Use a stirring stick or the back of a spoon to “smoosh” it all together.

  • 4 oz (112 gm) pink Himalayan salt

  • 2 oz (56 gm) Coconut oil (Cocos nucifera)

  • 10 drops distilled Lime* essential oil (Citrus aurantifolia)

*Please ensure you’re using distilled Lime essential oil. Many producers craft their Lime oil through cold-pressing. This results in an essential oil with phototoxic properties. If you apply the oil to skin, and then that skin is exposed to the sun, you could experience reactions such as burning or blistering. (Learn how to use phototoxic oils safely here.)

However, distillation creates Lime essential oil that is NOT phototoxic. You’ll be safe when applying this blend to your skin.

My Takeaway

Incorporating regular exfoliation and luxurious DIY body scrubs into my skincare routine has been a game-changer, and I believe it can do wonders for you too! It helps reveal a smoother, more vibrant complexion that's absolutely ready to soak up the joyful summer sun.

Using natural ingredients like fine-grain salt and deeply nourishing carrier oils such as marula, baobab, coconut, and red raspberry seed oil, I've found that my skin not only looks radiant but also feels deeply nurtured and cherished. I'm excited for you to experience the same beautiful results. Here’s to a summer of joyful exfoliating!

Are you eager to dive deeper into the world of our wonderful carrier oils? Our short course, Working With Carrier Oils, is a great place to begin!

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References

Cardoso, C.R., Favoreto, S. Jr, Oliveira, L.L., Vancim, J.O., Barban, G.B., Ferraz, D.B., Silva, J.S. (2011) Oleic acid modulation of the immune response in wound healing: a new approach for skin repair. Immunobiology. Mar;216(3):409-15. doi: 10.1016/j.imbio.2010.06.007. Epub 2010 Jul 23. PMID: 20655616.

Chen, C.C., Nien, C.J., Chen, L.G., Huang, K.Y., Chang, W.J., & Huang, H.M. (2019). Effects of Sapindus mukorossi Seed Oil on Skin Wound Healing: In Vivo and in Vitro Testing. International journal of molecular sciences, 20(10), 2579. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms20102579

DebMandal, M., Mandal, S. (2011) Coconut (Cocos nucifera L.: Arecaceae): in health promotion and disease prevention. Asian Pacific Journal of Tropical Medicine. 2011 Mar;4(3):241-7. doi: 10.1016/S1995-7645(11)60078-3. Epub 2011 Apr 12. PMID: 21771462.

Ispiryan, A., Viškelis, J., & Viškelis, P. (2021). Red Raspberry (Rubus idaeus L.) Seed Oil: A Review. Plants (Basel, Switzerland), 10(5), 944. https://doi.org/10.3390/plants10050944

Komane, B., Vermaak, I., Summers, B., Viljoen, A. (2015) Safety and efficacy of Sclerocarya birrea (A.Rich.) Hochst (Marula) oil: A clinical perspective. Journal of Ethnopharmacology. 2015 Dec 24;176:327-35. doi: 10.1016/j.jep.2015.10.037. Epub 2015 Oct 31. PMID: 26528587.

Nair, M.K., Joy, J., Vasudevan, P., Hinckley, L., Hoagland, TA., Venkitanarayanan, KS. (2005) Antibacterial effect of caprylic acid and monocaprylin on major bacterial mastitis pathogens. Journal of Dairy Science. 2005 Oct;88(10):3488-95. doi: 10.3168/jds.S0022-0302(05)73033-2. PMID: 16162522.

Varma, SR., Sivaprakasam, TO., Arumugam, I., Dilip, N., Raghuraman, M., Pavan, KB., Rafiq, M., Paramesh, R. (2018) In vitro anti-inflammatory and skin protective properties of Virgin coconut oil. Journal of Traditional and Complementary Medicine. 2018 Jan 17;9(1):5-14. doi: 10.1016/j.jtcme.2017.06.012. PMID: 30671361; PMCID: PMC6335493.

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About the author

Karen Williams - Aromahead Institute

Karen Williams

R.N. Certified Aromatherapist, Educator

I love to create amazing blends that inspire and promote a healthier lifestyle. I got my start many years ago as a registered nurse working in the hospital system. I wanted to help people more holistically. Then, I discovered essential oils, and my approach to life changed forever. Now, I’ve made it my mission to share what I’ve learned about aromatherapy with my friends, family, and the world. Because - life is so much better with health, happiness, and community.

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