Homemade sugar scrubs, are they good for you? Learn about the benefits of using homemade sugar scrubs and how to use homemade sugar scrubs.
One of my favorite homemade gifts for the holidays is sugar scrub. I talk a lot about sugar scrubs here and here and here and here on the blog, but I have yet to talk much about the benefits of using a sugar scrub or even how to use them – until now!
You may be wondering why I talk about sugar scrubs so much. The main reason I talk so much about sugar scrubs is the mere fact that I have dry skin. The kind of dry skin that hurts, cracks, peels and drives me batty – especially in the winter. Especially in Ohio in the winter.
I seem to always be searching for relief from my dry skin that doesn’t include moving. I’ve tried all kinds of moisturizers and wearing gloves, but it never prevents me from battling with my dry skin.
Benefits of Using Homemade Sugar Scrubs
You should know, I am not a dermatologist or healthcare professional of any type. I’m a woman who has had dry skin her entire life. I’ve done research through the years and today’s advice is based solely off my years of living on planet earth in a place called Ohio and my ongoing battle with dry skin. If you have serious issues, skin allergies or are looking for professional advice, you should consult your dermatologist or healthcare provider. The tips I’m sharing with you today are quite simply what’s working for me. I hope they help you, too!
Now that I have that little disclaimer out of the way, let’s take a look at some of the benefits of using homemade sugar scrubs.
1. All Natural Ingredients: One of the best benefits of making your own sugar scrub is the fact that when you make things yourself, you don’t have to wonder what the ingredients are and whether they are safe for you to use. There are no preservatives or artificial ingredients.
2. A Natural Source of Glycolic Acid: Glycolic acid is a type of alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) found in sugar cane and most commonly used for skin conditions such as dry skin, wrinkled skin, sun damaged skin or even acne. AHA seems to work by removing the top layer of dead skin cells and promotes cell turnover. Some studies have shown that AHA can also increase the thickness of deeper layers of skin, promoting firmness.
3. A Natural Humectant: Since sugar is a natural humectant, meaning it draws moisture from the environment into the skin; it retains moisture and ensures skin is kept hydrated. So when you apply a sugar scrub to your skin, it will help hydrate your skin and retain moisture.
4. Ideal for Sensitive Skin: Since sugar is a natural humectant, it makes it perfect for sensitive or delicate skin.
5. A Natural Exfoliate: As mentioned in benefit number 2 above, sugar is a natural exfoliate. Gentle on the skin and rinses away easily. Exfoliating your skin once or twice a week helps to speed up the skin’s natural regeneration process.
6. Helps Skin Care Products Work More Effectively: You may even find that using a sugar scrub regularly will help your skin care products work more effectively as your skin is exfoliated, pores are unclogged and your skin is able to retain more moisture.
7. Fights Skin Aging: What? Yep! Scientific evidence states that AHA found in the glycolic acid in sugar helps promote cell turnover, which increases the thickness of deeper layers of skin, promoting skin firmness.
Now that we’ve talked all about the benefits of using homemade sugar scrubs, let’s take a look at how to use them properly.
How to Use Homemade Sugar Scrubs
There are different types of homemade sugar scrubs: body scrub, hand scrub and face scrub. Each scrub is intended to be used on a specific part of your body. Regular hand and body scrubs should not be used on your delicate face. Here’s a look at the best applications for each.
How to Use Homemade Body Scrubs:
• Body scrubs should only be used two to three times a week.
• Begin with wet skin in the shower, using warm water to help soften the skin and prepare it for exfoliation.
• After the skin is good and wet, pause your running water and gently apply the sugar scrub to elbows, arms, legs, feet and hands in a circular motion. Be sure to only use gentle pressure.
• Rinse with lukewarm water.
• After showering, pat your skin dry, but leave some water on the skin. It’s important to leave some water on the skin as this water will act as a carrier to absorb and draw in the moisturizer.
• Apply moisturizer to your damp skin. A body oil actually works best as your pores are open to absorb oil best.
• To finish, simply wear a robe for 30 minutes, giving your body time to absorb the oil/moisturizer before getting dressed.
How to Use Homemade Hand Scrubs:
• Hand scrubs, like body scrubs, should only be used two to three times a week.
• Begin by wetting your hands with warm water.
• Apply a marble or quarter size amount of sugar scrub to your hands and gently rub onto your hands, between your fingers and along your nail beds. Apply more sugar scrub, if needed.
• Rinse hands thoroughly in lukewarm water.
• Pat dry.
How to Use Homemade Face Scrubs:
• Please keep in mind that everyone’s skin is different and you should follow a routine that is safe for your skin type.
• If you have oily skin, you should not exfoliate your face more than 2-3 times a week. I’ve read that by removing natural oils from your skin, you can actually trick your skin into producing even more oil. On the other hand, people with extremely oily skin, might benefit from daily exfoliation.
• For dry skin, you should aim to exfoliate no more than 1-2 times a week, being extra careful to not irritate your skin.
• For sensitive skin, you need to be very cautious and maybe consider an oil exfoliation, such as jojoba oil, instead of a scrub.
• Brown sugar is safer for use on the face. Don’t use white sugar, cane sugar or salt on your face unless directed to do so by your healthcare professional.
Again, I am not a dermatologist or healthcare professional. Listen to your body. If your see red or irritated skin, stop scrubbing. If you have questions about the best exfoliate routine for your skin, please consult your healthcare provider.
I have only ever used a salt based scrub once and I simply didn’t like the coarseness of the scrub. Sugar granules are generally much gentler than salt. Salt granules (and exuberant scrubbing) can cause microscopic tears in the skin. Salt scrubs can strip skin of natural oils.
So, there you have information on the benefits of using homemade sugar scrubs and how to properly use homemade sugar scrubs. These tips apply to body scrubs, hand scrubs and face scrubs.
I haven’t used a sugar scrub on my face before, maybe I should?! I do recall reading one time that a scrub made from brown sugar and honey made for a good facial scrub. I may have to do some more research on that and see what I can come up with that I actually like.
Do you use a sugar scrub regularly? What do you think about the benefits of using homemade sugar scrubs?
I’d love to hear about it! And if you have a favorite sugar scrub recipe, I’d love to hear about that, too!
By the way, did I mention that I think homemade sugar scrubs make for great homemade gifts? They really do! If you’d like to check out some of my sugar scrub recipes and printable labels, you’ll find some of them below:
- Sugar Hand Scrub Recipe – This sugar scrub is great for really cleaning hands and moisturizing at the same time. Perfect for use after gardening or greasy jobs and a great all around cleaner/moisturizer.
- Vanilla Pumpkin Pie Spice Sugar Scrub – Made with brown sugar (gentler than white sugar) and infused with vanilla extract and pumpkin pie spice. It moisturizes and gently exfoliates. Plus the aroma!
- Lemon Sugar Scrub – Full of lemony goodness and an amazing moisturizer!
- Sugar Scrub Bicycle Labels
- Man Hand Scrub Labels
- Floral Sugar Scrub Labels
- Floral Bicycle Sugar Scrub Labels
- A list of all the printable sugar scrub labels can be found here.
or just simply search for “sugar scrub” and you’ll find all sorts of sugar scrub recipes and printable labels.
By the way, printables, including the extensive list of printable sugar scrub labels, are available exclusively to subscribers of The Birch Cottage newsletter. You can sign up below:
Once you sign up, you’ll receive an email message from The Birch Cottage with a link to the entire Subscribers Resource Library. I do hope you’ll sign up!
Til next time…