Homemade Lavender and Peppermint Salt Scrub

lavender and peppermint epsom salt scrub

Ah, nothing says it’s festive season time quite like peppermint. Except maybe cinnamon. Or that unique smell of pine trees. Or even woodstove fire smell! They’re all pretty awesome too and I guess that means actually a great number of things say that it’s festive time. For today, though, let’s just talk about peppermint. And lavender.

I’ve made scrubs before (oatmeal sugar scrub)  and I’ve used peppermint before (body butter, anyone?), but this is my first foray into a peppermint scrub. I’ve seen a few different scrub recipes out there, and I thought it was a lovely idea to use epsom salts (provided you can find a particle size you like) as the scrub base.

lavender and peppermint epsom salt scrub

For one, salt has antiseptic/antibacterial qualities (salt water rinses for colds and sore throats are a wonderful use of salt), making it great for areas like, say, your bikini line where you want to both exfoliate and keep the area free from infection or other inflammation after a wax (IMMEDIATELY post-wax a salt scrub might sting, though, so perhaps hold off there).

As a second benefit, epsom salts are mineral compounds that contain high levels of magnesium – apparently epsom salt is a combination of magnesium and sulfate. (I’m not shilling for any specific brand, but this website has a nice list of the benefits of epsom salts). Magnesium is great for your body as a muscle relaxer, which is why people use it in baths – magnesium helps alleviate muscle cramps and pain. Epsom salts are also supposed to have detoxification capabilities, helping to draw wastes and flush toxins from the body.

Now, while I recognize that your body won’t take in as many of the benefits of epsom salts from this external, brief use (compared to say, bathing in an epsom salt solution), it’s a nice potential fringe benefit. And of course, another coarse quality sea salt will do too, if that’s what you have in supply.

lavender and peppermint epsom salt scrub

Another benefit? Peppermint and lavender essential oils are stress-relieving and help you avoid the use of chemical or synthetic fragrances, found in so many other conventional skin-care products.

So scrub on! I love using this scrub in the shower. It smells wonderful and the warm water in the shower swirls the peppermint smell around. The lavender buds are optional – they look pretty, but quite frankly they mostly just make a mess in the shower before bee-lining straight down the drain. So, your option.

Happy pepperminting. Let this scrub help you be merry and bright!

Homemade Lavender and Peppermint Salt Scrub

  • Author: Backyard Owl
  • Recipe Notes: gluten-free, depending on your choice of oils and salts; delicious-smelling

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 -1 cup epsom salts, or a mix of coarse and fine sea salt
  • 1/4 cup skincare oil, like sweet almond, apricot kernel, jojoba
  • 4-6 drops peppermint essential oil
  • 6-8 drops lavender essential oil

Instructions:

  1. Mix salt and oil together in a small bowl until all salt is well incorporated and appears wet and sand-like.
  2. Add essential oils.
  3. Scoop into your favourite little mason jars or other containers. I like glass jars best – most sanitary and also you can see your scrub through the jar.
  4. NOTE: Unlike with sugar scrubs, I find the oil kind of sinks to the bottom after a while of sitting in the jar. So, after a few uses you might notice you’re able to add a bit more salt to equalize the salt-to-oil ratio.

© Backyard Owl

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Easy Grapefruit Lavender Sugar Scrub for Smooth, Radiant Skin

Easy Grapefruit Lavender ScrubAh, the first golden glimmerings of spring! They’ve been felt at last. The smell of earth, the kind of moist damp feeling in the air, the lightness in your step when you are no longer weighed down by 10 pound boots and a 10 pound jacket. It’s the kind of weather that makes total strangers laugh giddily together as they point and gawk at a faded green patch of grass, because there is something marvellous in remembering that something else really does lie beneath the three feet of dirty snow that has otherwise been part of the landscape for the past four months. Do I exaggerate? Actually no. That really happened to me. Yesterday, in fact. It was glorious.

But more to the point. Not only does this weather put a hop in your step, it is a gentle reminder that soon you will shed your additional layers and be able to show your pale, Vitamin-D starved skin some golden rays (and I am talking about gentle golden rays here, like delicate morning sun). And when you finally show that skin, it would be nice if it were glowing, smooth, and healthy-looking, no?

Sugar ScrubSo here is a recipe for a very simple sugar scrub that you can whip up in short order, slather on in the shower, and feel pretty virtuous about – no bad chemicals, no dubious fragrances – just simple kitchen ingredients. Sugar is great for your skin (topically, that is) – the glycolic acid it contains is a kind of natural alpha-hydroxy acid (AHA), which you would normally pay big bucks for at the store. The granules of sugar also make it a fabulous physical exfoliator. So you have the chemical exfoliant, the physical exfoliant, the moisturizing oil – get excited, because it’s all happening. And if that weren’t enough, golden sugar is just really pretty. And lavender smells good.

Easy Grapefruit Lavendar Sugar Scrub

  • 1 cup golden turbinado or demerera sugar
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar (or an additional 1/3 cup of the same sugar as above)
  • 2 tbsps grapefruit juice
  • 1/2 cup oil (I used sunflower, but you could try olive oil, jojoba, almond, etc.)
  • 5-15 drops lavender essential oil (or vanilla, lime, bergamot, lemon, orange, cinnamon, lemon – or any combination of the above. Go where your nose leads). The amount depends on the odiferous strength of your particular essential oil.

Mix the ingredients together until paste-like. Scoop into glass jars (I like to use oversized jam jars). When showering or bathing, massage firmly into skin and then rinse well.

Easy Grapefruit Lavender Sugar Scrub

Radiant skin is just a scrub away!

Important Notes: the oil may separate from the rest of your mix – not to worry! Just stir it up and continue on your merry way. Also, because this contains oil, use some caution in the shower. I’d hate to see anyone slip and cause injury all in the name of radiant skin.

Also, as I’ve tried to indicate, you can basically add whatever fragrances, juices, zests, oils, or sugar you like. The key is to make a paste that has a bit of heft, so it won’t just fall off your skin immediately. In addition, the more ‘real foods’ you incorporate, the short the shelf-life. Use these scrubs in a month or less, I’d say. If you don’t add any grapefruit juice, I think you can just use the scrub at your leisure.

Scrub it up!

© 2014 Backyard Owl