Who doesn’t love a good salt scrub treatment? Even though we can’t all get behind paying a hundred dollars at a ritzy spa for such a luxury, thankfully we can still access do-it-yourself salt scrub recipes to keep our skin healthy and our wallets happy. When it’s gift-giving time, we can even keep our family, friends and neighbors satisfied with this fun, customized beauty treatment in a decorated jar.
The formula for making a salt scrub
A nice salt scrub generally has at least three basic components: a helping of salt, an oil base and some sort of pleasant fragrance. If the oil base already smells nice, you can actually just add in salt for a quick, two-ingredient scrub. If you want to make a fancier mix, however, you can add in multiple scents as well as additional soothing or scrubbing agents. Here’s a look at what types of products are commonly included in a beauty scrub for skin care.
Yes, you need salt for a salt scrub
Captain Obvious is here to say that a salt scrub requires salt. Table salt is cheap and the granules are nicely-sized, but you can alternatively opt for whatever suits you best including sea salt or epsom salt, two bath-time-friendly products.
And, you need an oily base to make the skin-care magic happen
For the scrub to work, you need a spreadable, liquid base to hold the salt. Because the rough granules will exfoliate, you should opt for a nice oil base that will moisturize well.
Olive, coconut, grapeseed and jojoba are all great oils to choose from, but you can realistically use whatever kitchen oil you already have on hand. If you’re making a quick batch for yourself and you’ve already got some soybean or canola oil in the cupboard that’s ready to go, perfect.
If you’re making a batch to give to friends and co-workers, you may end up wanting to stick to a more luxurious-sounding oil so the label reads nicely. After all, a “Coconut Scrub” tag sounds a bit more polished than a label that basically communicates “Here’s Some Old Stuff I Found in My Kitchen.”
A natural fragrance is optional but highly appreciated
If you’re mixing up a small batch to do some serious exfoliating for your feet, for example, you may not particularly care if the scrub smells like delicious almonds or heavenly vanilla. But, adding a few drops of an essential oil can do more than just make the mixture pleasantly fragranced.
Choose your favorite scent like peppermint, orange, lavender or grapefruit, which all have beauty benefits outside of just smelling nice. If you want to double-check that your preferred oil and preferred fragrance blend nicely together, go ahead and make a small test batch before producing the scrub in bulk. You can also add multiple essential oils together if that sounds more refreshing to you personally.
Of course, you’re in control and you can do whatever you want
The idea behind making your own salt scrub is that you can use whatever ingredients suit your personal preferences. Here are a few aspects to consider when customizing this recipe for yourself or a friend.
A do-it-yourself recipe is perfect for avoiding any products you’re allergic to since you have complete control as to what goes into the final mix. Even though the salt scrub is obviously meant to be topically applied and not eaten, some people with food allergies still react to skin treatments so be careful when mixing up a batch to stay away from anything that doesn’t get along with your body.
You can easily substitute out any product that doesn’t suit your needs and replace it with another product that achieves the same results. For example, those with coconut allergies can easily use a lavender or olive oil instead for the base. Additionally, if you are unsure about your friend’s sensitivity to nuts, you can play it safe by flavoring the scrub with a few peppermint drops instead of almond essential oil.
You can stick to the kind of options you feel most comfortable with, whether that means getting completely organic picks from your favorite health food store or choosing from what happens to be on sale or in the clearance bin this week. Similarly, if you want to use a cheap vanilla extract instead of a vanilla essential oil, that’s your call.
Some fun salt scrub recipes call for the addition of mashed up bananas or slices of tomatoes. If you’re making a salt scrub to use immediately, these creative takes on skin care scrubs can provide great results, but if you’re shooting for a recipe that can sit in a mason jar for two weeks with no problem, you may want to avoid using any sort of fresh produce in the mixing process.
You may have noticed that we’ve yet to discuss proportions. Salt scrub recipes vary drastically one from another, largely because personal preference is what dictates how much of any one ingredient to use.
When baking, there’s certainly some flexibility in measurements, but there’s also a balance that has to be maintained. For salt scrubs, the possibilities are mostly limitless. If you want a salt scrub paste, you can mix one part oil for every two parts salt.
If you want a stronger moisturizer than exfoliant, you can reverse the proportions. Some people like to have equal amounts of salt and oil and some people like to replace some of the salt with uncooked, ground oatmeal or brown sugar. Experiment until you find what suits your needs best.
Ideas for turning the scrub into a gift
If you’re making a salt scrub for yourself, you can dig out an old tupperware from the back of a cupboard, but if you’re looking into recipes in order to gift a scrub, you may want to consider buying some new bottles or jars.
Mason jars are cost-effective solutions that will get the job done, but you can also visit a local craft store to see what fancier options may interest you more. You can make your own cute tag by hand using scrapbook paper or you can digitally create one to print out in mass.
In addition, you can come up with a clever pun or simply title the scrub so the receiver knows this is a vanilla coconut salt scrub rather than a lavender jojoba pick. Good luck!