Why not save money and live a little more green?
Using common ingredients right from your kitchen can help you to do that, and make your skin smell yummy and feel baby soft. Follow these easy instructions, and try it out for yourself!
Gentle yet super effective on your skin
I stumbled across this recipe one day after I had run out of my trusted over the counter facial cleanser. Running late and in a panic, I hit the web like any self respecting twenty-something, just looking for a quick fix until I could hit the store. I stumbled across several recipes, but the one that appealed to me the most was simple with just two main ingredients: extra virgin olive oil and brown sugar.
I experimented with this after my most trusted source - my mother, told me I was crazy for putting oil on my face. She said it would clog my poCredit: Wikimedia Commonsres and make my skin super oily. Well mom, I hate to say it, but you were wrong (but shhhh, don't tell her that).
I mixed the sugar and oil to the consistency I wanted, and tried it out. I instantly noticed that my skin felt super soft, even before I applied moisturizer. Over the next few weeks I still used my typical face wash, but swapped it out for the DIY scrub every other day. I realized that it eliminated my need for any other exfoliation, like my expensive luxury face scrub and my micro-derm pads. After about a month I switched only to using this sugar scrub on my face, and within two months I noticed a huge difference. My skin was softer, and if I forgot to moisturize, it wasn't the end of the world, even in the bitter cold winter. My pores looked smaller, and both black and white heads were fewer and farther between. But the biggest difference, that almost made me jump with joy? The cystic acne, which I typically get around that special time each month since I was a teenager, had not made an appearance since the switch. I was amazed.
I'll be the first to admit, I'm forgetful, and on those extra long work weeks, a little lazy sometimes. So, after a successful couple of months with my new found miracle scrub, I ran out of brown sugar and fell back into my old routine. Within weeks my skin was less clear and much drier, and I had a painful cystic pimple on my chin. Ouch. I have since smartened up, but definitely learned my lesson. Don't mess with your skin's health. Not to mention they sometimes add all kinds of stuff that's bad for your skin in commercial products, like alcohol which can cause dryness, and who knows what else.
In my opinion, it's cheaper and easier to get environmentally friendly and organic cooking ingredients than skin care products, which often cost a small fortune. For less than twenty bucks you can make yourself two month's worth of facial cleanser and have enough left over to cook with. Buying cheap plastic containers, like the ones below on Amazon, that are safe for storing beauty products, means that you can wash and re-use the same container for years.
For me, the sugar scrub eliminated the need for a daily facial cleanser and any other scrub/exfoliation product. That essentially eliminated two plastic containers I bought several times a year, and condensed it into one container that I could wash and re-use. You can also take it a step further and use a container you already have at home.
Saved me hundreds in a year
Calculating my personal expenses for my daily skin care regimen in one year, it added up to about $400. Calculating what I spent on brown sugar and olive oil, it was probably around $110 tops, which saved me over $250 for the year. In the beginning I used organic stuff bought from my grocery store which works just fine, but eventually I started buying the olive oil from my farmer's market, which gives a small boost the local economy instead of some no-name corporation.
This part could definitely fall under any of the other reasons, but I felt it deserved it's own special recognition. Around the holidays I usually make home-made things for friends and family, and this past year I gave them each a jar of my scrub. Everyone loved it, and wanted to know my secret. It was an inexpensive and thoughtful gift, which proved a huge hit.
Credit: Wikimedia CommonsBut it doesn't just have to be for your face, which is one of the best things about it. I use this on my lips as well, especially in the winter time, and it keeps them soft and scrubs away any dead skin. I'm not afraid of the effects if I swallow it, because it's stuff I eat all the time. I also use it on my chest and back, especially in the summer time, to prevent any body acne that may pop up due to heat and extra sweat (TMI? sorry). My at-home mani-pedi wouldn't be complete without the sugar scrub either, which softens and moisturizers cuticles and rough knuckles and soles.
How to make it work for you
While it does take some trial and error to find a consistency you like, I suggest with pouring just a little olive oil into your sugar, until the sugar has the consistency of wet sand. You can certainly add more of either ingredient later, but that is usually the perfect blend for my combination type skin. Adding more oil would probably work best for drier skin types, while more sugar would work best for oilier skin.
I've also experimented with adding other ingredients like
- Sea salt or white sugar for a coarser scrub to use on my feet during a pedicure, and as a deeper exfoliation for my face if needed
- Cinnamon or other spices for scent and additional health benefits
- Coffee grounds for a DIY caffeine facial
- Pure essential oils like vanilla or lavender for an aromatherapy experience
- Ruptured vitamin capsules, which allegedly have anti-aging properties, like vitamin E
Remember to wash off thoroughly, or your face will feel sticky/tight from the sugar. I can't say this method will work for everyone, but it worked wonders on my acne-prone combination T-zone skin. Why not give it a try for yourself? And be sure to come back and let me know how it goes!