Friday, October 24, 2014

How to Make Natural Salt & Sugar Scrubs, Bath Tea, and Bath Salts

On Sunday, I taught a Healing Herbal Scrubs & Soaks workshop at the Pace University dorms. There were seventeen students (my biggest hands-on workshop yet) and we all had a great time!

I'd love to take this opportunity to share with you some recipes, tips, and tricks to creating your own custom natural bath products that will make you smile too.

Basic Salt Scrub and Sugar Scrub Recipe
Make your own awesome scrub (aka "body polish") to exfoliate dead skin, unclog pores, increase circulation, and moisturize dry areas. Your skin will feel so silky after using this!

You'll need:
  • 4 parts Kosher or coarse sea salt for a salt scrub. Use 4 parts sugar (brown or white, or a combo of the two) for a sugar scrub.
  • 1 to 2 parts oil (Olive, almond, coconut, sunflower seed, macadamia nut, hazelnut, and avocado oils are all good for skin health. Choose based on the texture and smell you prefer.)
  • 5 drops essential oil(s) for every 1/4th cup of oil. 
  • dried herbs and flowers (optional)
  • Other natural exfoliators to add to scrubs are ground coffee, ground sunflower seeds, ground almonds, and brown sugar. Honey is soothing, anti-bacterial, and helps skin retain moisture. Consider adding some to your scrubs.
  • jar(s)

Do this:
Combine ingredients in a bowl, starting with less oil than you think you’ll need. Rub some scrub onto the back of your hand. If the scrub doesn’t leave you feeling moisturized enough, then choose to add more oil. If too greasy, add more sugar/salt. You may wanna sprinkle some pretty dried herbs or flowers into the mixture and sprinkle some on the very top before capping. If using ground coffee, a whole coffee bean resting on top would be super cute!

To use: Clean yourself in the shower with soap as usual. (Avoid face, throat, and decollete.) Then scoop out some of this and rub into skin, giving extra attention to rough spots like elbows, knees, and feet. Rinse. No need to moisturize after using this. 

When using scrubs containing oil, be careful as the floor of the tub or shower is likely to be a little slippery. Baking soda is a good thing to clean the tub with after using an oily scrub/body polish.

Basic Bath Salts Recipe
A simple salt bath softens, soothes, and heals rough irritated skin. It also relaxes tense muscles. Include essential oils and you also get aromatherapeutic benefits.

You'll need:
  • 1 part baking soda (soothes irritated skin)
  • 1 part sea salt (Sea salt is healing. Epsom salts are detoxifying and can be a good addition to this recipe or substitute for sea salt, especially if are sick.)
  • 10-15 drops essential oil for each cup of baking soda & salt
  • jar(s)

Do this:
Combine ingredients in a bowl. 

To use: Dissolve entire cup of salts in one tub of warm water or use a few tablespoons in a foot bath. Soak for 20 to 30 minutes and enjoy your bath!

Basic Bath Tea Recipe
This isn't really a recipe as much as it is an idea of soaking yourself in a bathtub of tea made from healing herbs and flowers.  

You need:
  • dried herbs (chamomile, lavender buds, rose petals make a nice relaxing bath.)
  • essential oils
  • old fashioned oatmeal, ground 
  • cheesecloth and twine or tea/spice bags

Do this:
Combine 1/2 cup of desired herbs and a few drops of essential oils in a bowl. Add a small handful of ground old fashioned oatmeal to get more skin soothing action. Divide between 4 small squares of cheesecloth to use for foot soak or put into one large 9” x 9” sq of cheesecloth to use for a full bath. Tie into a bundle with twine. You can also use a cloth tea/spice bag instead. 

To use: Allow warm water to flow through the bundle as you fill tub or soaking basin. Leave the bundle in water while you bathe or soak. Use as a foot soak or for a whole bath.

More Tips & Tricks
While the ingredients in these recipes are natural and safe, please use essential oils mindfully as they are very potent and require lots of resources to produce. For example, one drop of peppermint essential oil contains as much peppermint as 20 cups of peppermint tea!

Experiment with different kinds of essential oils, herbs, flowers, citrus peels/zest, and spices for your scrubs, soaks, and teas. Combine, substitute, eliminate, or swap them according to your preferences for scent and the therapeutic benefits you're looking for. Check out this awesome post on Hello Natural for essential oil blend suggestions.

Lonely and/or broke? Host a Healing Herbal Scrubs and Soaks party. Have a bunch of friends each bring over an ingredient. You provide the snacks, bowls, measuring cups, etc. Together, make big batches of bath products for a fun evening where everyone leaves with something.

Make big batches on your own and save them for gifts.

Don't have time to plan and put together all this but still wanna have some fun? Hire me to come to your school, office, home, or studio to teach this workshop. I bring all the supplies and know-how. Contact me to find out more.

Recommended Reading
Organic Body Care Recipes: 175 Homemade Herbal Formulas for Glowing Skin & a Vibrant Self  by Stephanie L. Tourles.

Get Supplies
Support your local shops by buying as much as you can there. Of course, there are shopping options online too. Mountain Rose Herbs is a great source for fair trade and organic ingredients like high quality base/carrier oils, therapeutic grade essential oils, herbs, and sea salts at a good price.

You can also order everything you need to make scrubs and soaks on Amazon.

Add as much or as little as you need to your Amazon cart from here, and you automatically support my blogging efforts at no additional cost to you. (Thanks so much!)

Have you ever made your own bath scrubs or soaks? What's your favorite ingredient in bath products (whether homemade or store bought)?

Olivia Lane is a Blogger, Green Living Educator, and Health Coach trained at The Institute for Integrative Nutrition. She's also author of Baking Soda & Bliss: The Healthy & Happy Guide to Green Cleaning.   

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