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As a complete and utter skincare junkie, I’ve probably spent an embarrassing amount of money of body scrubs and exfoliators. And most of them are a load of cr@p, not to mind ridiculously expensive given how much of them you need to use to get a result.

And seeing as one of my goals for 2020 is to organise my cosmetics, and become better at budgeting, D.I.Y. seems like the perfect answer. I’ve put together two simple recipes, and alternate them myself – I find they complement each other in my search for glowing, smooth skin.

Please note, these are for your body, not your face. Harsh exfoliators can cause untold damage to the delicate skin on your face and neck, and wreak havoc with your skin barrier and pH. (There is only one scrub I put near my own face, which you can find here.) These scrubs are ideal for rough patches on your knees, elbows and feet – and prefect for pre holiday (because we will all be holidaying in our back gardens) or tan prep. Soft, luminous skin always seem to make it easier to be healthy too, a bit like nice gym gear makes it easier to go to the gym, I guess?

Brown sugar and olive oil

This is an old favourite of mine, I think I started using it when I was about 14. Particularly good for legs – as a prep for fake tan, holidays and to prevent ingrown hairs and folliculitis.

  • 1 large mason jar, or jar with a wide opening and a lid
  • Medium-small grain brown sugar (larger ones will scratch your skin). You can also use salt for this, or a mix of both, just always keep to the smaller size grains.
  • Olive oil, you don’t need an expensive one, I also swap in almond oil
  • 20 drops essential oil of your choice. Fresh juice from an orange, lemon or lime can also work, but I find it doesn’t last as long. Adding in some ground coffee can also work, one of my favourite combos is coffee and orange.

Pour some olive oil into a bowl and add the essential oil. Fill the mason jar halfway with sugar, and add the olive oil slowly until you have a mix that will stay in your hand but isn’t too dry to use an exfoliator. Keep adding small amounts of sugar and olive oil until you have filled the jar completely.

For the essential oils, I use either an orange or lime one to add an extra zing to my morning shower, and sometimes make a separate one with lavender for the evening time (although I am rarely this motivated!). Rosemary is another good one as it has anti-cellulite properties and really wakes you up in the morning.

Apply to dry skin before you step into the shower for best skin smoothing effects (just watch out for making a complete and utter mess of your bathroom) and massage in gently. Please note that if you end up scratching your skin, you possibly used sugar grains that were too big, and massaged a bit enthusiastically. Concentrate on knees and elbows, and I find this one is also excellent for bits of fake tan left around the ankles or feet. Wash off in the shower, and you should be left with a lovely sheen on your skin, meaning you can probably skip the moisturiser today!


Baking soda soak

This one is a bit more effort to do, but is fantastic for dry skin on your feet – another downside to running, but an easy one to fix. Mainly for your feet, but you can also use it on you knees and elbows, but be gentle, it’s stronger than it seems.

  • Foot basin filled with warm water
  • 2 tbsp baking soda
  • pumice stone (optional)

Add 1 tbsp to the basin of warm water and place a towel under the basin. Remove all nail varnish etc and soak your feet for 20 minutes. Use the other tbsp of baking soda, bit by bit, to make a paste, and scrub your feet/calves/knees with it. You can use extra if you need to. Rinse feet, dry and hop in the shower – which is when a pumice stone could be used if needed. Apply moisturiser as your feet may a bit sensitive or bare.

As always, I would love to hear how you get on!