Over the course of a year, Americans will spend over $400 billion on skin care and makeup. And although natural alternatives are starting to become more popular, the vast majority of this is from conventional cosmetics, generic face washes and lotions. Conventional body care products are a cesspool of chemicals, alcohols, and hormone-blocking ingredients.
I feel like I grew up thinking that our skin was like a plastic baggie that held all of our insides inside, and kept everything bad out. This thinking leads to the belief that what we put on our skin only stays skin deep. This is very far from the truth.
Our skin is our largest organ. This means that our skin is made up of billions of cells, and cells are permeable. Whatever we apply to our skin permeates into our body and into our bloodstream. It took me way too long to realize this, but now that I have, I am way more picky about what I use.
I work at Natural Grocers, and there are so many natural alternatives, and I am so glad that there are! But I found that none of them really did the trick for my skin. I still had the occasional breakout (which I also partly blame on my coffee addiction). Every time I would switch to a new product, I would love it for a few weeks, but then they would come back, and my face would not feel smooth.
Finally, one day I decided to make my own. There were so many recipes for homemade face scrubs, and I just randomly picked one that sounded easy and cheap. I couldn’t believe how much I liked it! The recipe called for coconut oil, sugar, and oats (and a pinch of baking soda if you wanted it!) I made a batch, and could not wait to use it, because it smelled just like oatmeal cookie dough! And the best thing about it, it basically was cookie dough. This recipe is completely edible, which is such a great thing, because if you wouldn’t put it in your body, why would you put it on your body?
I used this scrub all last winter, and had the best skin of my life. Then I got lazy, ran out, and bought some other scrubs and face washes. When I started to notice that my face seemed bumpy and blemished, I decided to make some more. Here are some facts about the scrub:
Coconut oil is a fantastic moisturizer, antibacterial, antifungal, antimicrobial, and is also full of great saturated fat that is so great for plump, healthy skin. There are options for liquid (fractionated) coconut oil, which is much more convenient, but I choose to use pure, unrefined, virgin coconut oil. It does turn solid at room temperature or in the cold, but I decided it was worth it to have to scoop it out to get the full nutrient benefits of the pure coconut oil. It only takes a few seconds to go back to liquid in your hands.
For this purpose, I just used plain, organic cane sugar. The finer granules make for a nice exfoliant. Sugar is also a natural humectant, or moisturizer, and it draws the moisture into the skin.
Oats are naturally gluten free, but I choose certified gluten free oats, just to be safe. For my scrub, I ground them up just a bit so they were smaller pieces. The oats add to the exfoliant aspect, but also help with redness or irritation of the skin.
As far as a precise recipe goes, it is really up to you. But for a basic guideline, I use roughly equal parts of each. It is best to make smaller batches, as it does not last that long, especially if you keep it in a humid bathroom. I usually make about 2 ounces at a time, and that will last me a couple weeks until I need to make more. Or make a big batch and give it away as a easy, cheap, meaningful gift! It would be great for someone who has been struggling with skin issues to try something new, and it is especially safe for young girls who want to combat young skin issues. I would say it is a much better bet then paying big bucks for chemical-laden formulas that do nothing more than dry your skin out, and only work as long as you use that certain product!