Natural skincare is simple skincare. Really simple skincare.
With just a few ingredients, like a nourishing oil, vinegar, and honey, I’m able to cleanse, tone, and moisturize my skin. Yes, I enjoy makeup (right now I’m obsessed with 100% Pure and W3LL People), and I just recently started using an eye cream in the morning. For the most part, I don’t need a gazillion ingredients and special products to care for my skin.
I was reminded of this fact recently after purchasing an exfoliator online. I had learned about this particular exfoliator from a YouTube video. The product was expensive, but the advertising sucked me in. This is going to make me look ten years younger. I’ve got to try it!
Just admitting that thought probably opens me up to a ton of judgment, but it’s 100% true. (Being real and vulnerable is hard). I’m sure we’ve all been there, right?! We’re bombarded with messages like that every single day.
Friend, I purchased the exfoliator and despite the iffy ingredient list, I started using it. True story.
After just two weeks of using the product, I had a “come to Jesus meeting” with myself in the shower. Why did I fall for such marketing hype? I can’t even pronounce or decode any of the ingredients in this scrub, ugh. Kristin, you need to get back to the basics and stop believing silly marketing messages.
I fell for the hype. The hype that a special lab-formulated product was the miracle product of the 21st century. And somehow the marketing hype made me feel like a simple solution, such as a homemade exfoliator made with sugar and oil, couldn’t possibly be good enough. Crazy, right?!
I tossed the exfoliator that day, right after taking a shower. I couldn’t even bring myself to donating it because of the ingredients.
And a little side note, I’m clearly not against store-bought products. In a couple of weeks I’m going to share my favorite store-bought skincare products. The point of my story is that our choices, whether they concern food, cleaning products, or a skincare routine, should be intentional and informed; not based on marketing hype.
Since that time, I’ve returned to using a homemade exfoliator.
I’ve shared a few homemade exfoliator scrubs in the past (like this charcoal scrub, this honey scrub, and this green tea scrub). Those scrubs are all wonderful, and I adore making them. But I don’t want anyone to feel like using homemade skincare products is a fancy, time-consuming, or complicated choice. There are so many ways to customize a natural skincare routine, so it’s important to know the basics–like how to make a lip balm or exfoliator, and then how to customize those options–like making a honey lip balm or green tea exfoliator.
Right now, in my personal skincare routine, I’m using a basic two ingredient exfoliator/scrub on my face twice a week. I make the scrub in a small jar, and keep it on my bathroom counter for a week or two. Measuring the ingredients, stirring the ingredients, and then applying the finished scrub to my face takes less than a couple of minutes from start to finish. And the best part? It works even better than the fancy scrub I purchased. And I feel so much better about the ingredients.
Sugar: Cane sugar, or brown sugar, is fine and gentle enough to use on the skin. The sweet crystals are used as the “scrub” portion of this exfoliant to slough off dead skin cells and get the blood flowing to the skin. Sugar also naturally hydrates the skin. I recommend sticking with a very fine grain sugar, such as cane sugar or brown sugar, versus a coarse sugar like coconut sugar. If you have very sensitive skin, like I do, then using soft brown sugar may be the best option.
Oil: If you’ve been around Live Simply for long, you know that I’m a huge fan of using nourishing oils in my skincare routine. In this particular recipe the oil moisturizes the skin, as well as removes oils and dirt. There are many nourishing oil possibilities. I like to stick to just olive oil, jojoba oil, or sweet almond oil. If your skin tolerates coconut oil, then you could also use coconut oil. The only issue with coconut oil is that it will harden when the outside environment is cold.
If you’re new to homemade skincare, or you don’t want to fuss with extra ingredients or making a large amount of exfoliator, I think you’ll love the simplicity of this homemade exfoliating scrub.
Two-Ingredient Exfoliator Scrub
- 2 TB organic sugar such as: cane sugar or brown sugar
- 1 TB nourishing oil such as: olive oil, sweet almond oil, jojoba oil
- Add the sugar to a small storage container. Stir in the oil. I recommend adding 1 tablespoon of oil, then adding more oil if needed, until you've reached your desired consistency.
- Scoop a small amount of the scrub on your finger tips. Gently massage the scrub on the face, using circular motions, for about 30 seconds. Rinse the scrub off with a wet washcloth. I usually follow-up with a moisturizer.
Silly question…How do you deal with the slick tub?! I used thi today on my face and arms and LOVED it, but I thought I was going to fall in the bathtub from the oil…
Hey Kate, I usually take a washcloth to the basin of the sink after using it. That seems to help with some soap on it.
Is it really important for the sugar to be organic??
Hey Hila, It doesn’t have to be.
Love this idea. I use jojoba oil and Tea Tree essential oil as my daily cleanser and Frankincense as a moisturizer. I have a store bought scrub, that I do like, but I love the simplicity of using what I already have to whip this up on Sundays.
Does this have a shelf life or is it more of a one time use?
Hey Kendall, It will keep for months as long as water isn’t introduced. But the recipe only makes enough for a few uses.
Oh yes! I’ve been sucked in by the natural product hype too. Aah well we’re only human.
I use a fine sea salt and olive oil for my face and sugar and olive oil for my body. I always use the best extra virgin cold pressed olive oil. It’s so full of good things. You can always add a few drops of essential oil if you don’t want to smell like a salad dressing. ;-D
Hey Loraine, I’m glad to hear I’m not the only one–it’s so easy to get sucked in :). Thank you for sharing what you’re using–that sounds lovely!
Would adding salt compliment the recipe or generally is it more preferable for certain skin types?
Hey Trish, Salt works well on the body, but it’s generally too harsh for the face. Most salt scrubs are marketed as “body use only.”
You are forgiven, Kristin. (Cue the angels to sing.) I had fallen victim to the all natural DIY hype. How many butters, olis, essential oils, etc. does a girl really need?! I too discovered some time ago that the best exfoliant head to toe for me is white sugar and olive oil. It really is the best, isn’t it?! Thanks for keeping it simple, Kristin.
Hey Katie, Thank you ;). I couldn’t agree more. Sugar and olive oil just work so incredibly well!
PS: Did you find no salt added salt ;)…Lol. I’m still laughing about my typo on that one.