Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Homemade Sugar Scrub

The other day I was listening to this, and dancing around the kitchen while making, for the thousandth time, a tried and true Dorie Greenspan recipe for rosemary-shortbread cookies. There is an instruction in the recipe to "rub the sugar with the rosemary until moist and aromatic." This is my favorite step because the sugar does become just that--moist and aromatic. I lift my hands out of the bowl and if I close my eyes I could just as easily be standing on a sunny hill in Tuscany surrounded by flowering rosemary bushes.  While dancing-myself-clean around the kitchen I realized that my hands were not only delicious smelling but silky smooth. I had just gotten a lovely little exfoliation for my kitchen-worn, climbing-worn hands. This is the (duh) light bulb moment. Why buy chemical filled body scrubs at the pharmacy when I could so easily make my own from my pantry staples? So that is what I did. If you don't have rosemary growing in your backyard or if you don't care for the smell or if you want body scrub that will last indefinitely, you can replace the fresh herb with a few drops of your favorite essential oil.
What does scrubbing your skin have to with wellness, you might ask? Skin is the body's largest organ. Through sweat the skin gets rid of excess water, minerals and salts, constantly helping the body detoxify. Skin cells form at the lowest level of the epidermis and gradually make their way to the top where they die and fall off. Exfoliating helps slough off the dead cells and keeps the pores clean and open so they can do their job. Exfoliation also helps improve circulation which helps stimulate cell renewal. And, of course, it makes your skin glow and makes it feel extra soft which is always nice.

This scrub is relatively abrasive so I wouldn't use it more than once a week. You could also opt to use it on just your knees and elbows which are often the roughest patches of skin on the body. Scrub away, and enjoy. Some other time I will get into the virtues of having solo dance parties in your kitchen.

Rosemary Sugar Scrub
1 cup sugar
1/8-1/4 cup fresh rosemary, finely chopped
1/4 cup olive oil (or coconut or other high quality oil)

Pour the sugar and chopped rosemary into a bowl and rub with your hands until the sugar is moist and aromatic. About 5 minutes (longer if the aroma is helping you fantasize about being somewhere other than your kitchen). Stir in the olive oil and mix until everything is well combined. Put in a jar or container with a tight fitting lid and store in your shower.

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