Scrub a Dub Dub

My skin isn't enjoying the transitional weather of spring. To combat its complaining, I'm using a few homemade remedies. I used to be a sucker for beauty products. I must've tried everything in the aisle to keep my skin happy. The prettier the packaging, the more likely I was to bring it home. After a while, as no one thing worked better than another, and after I began worrying about the ingredients of some of these products, I decided to make my own. It's quite satisfying and I've been pleased with the results.

At the top right is my body scrub, which I apply with exfoliating gloves while I wait for the shower water to get warm. The recipe is from last December's issue of Sunset. (You can find the recipe here.) While the salt and sugar gently scrub, the oils penetrate very thoroughly and leave my skin feeling quite moisturized. For good measure, I follow my shower with this body oil by Mountain Ocean.

We keep a container of baking soda in the shower, bottom left. Ryan uses it in combination with a cider vinegar rinse in lieu of shampoo. (read more here) I use it to scrub my face two or three times each week. It's extremely fine and very gentle, but leaves my skin feeling incredibly smooth, better than anything else I've tried.

After my face has been thoroughly scrubbed, I follow it with a mask of my own recipe. It's equal parts egg white and buttermilk and a good sized dollop of raw honey. The ingredients are briskly stirred, then applied with a cotton ball. The leftover mask goes into the fridge and is good for several applications. I usually leave it on for about 10 minutes. My skin feels nourished and a bit tighter after the mask.

Finally, in the cobalt blue bottle is Rosemary Acne Serum. The recipe is from Pure Skin by Barbara Close. This blend of hazelnut, apricot kernel, tea tree, and essential oils is my regular moisturizer. I highly recommend Pure Skin. It's stuffed with recipes for natural beauty remedies as well as gorgeous photographs. (Also good is Well Being, by the same author.)


  1. Baking soda is just plain amazing, isn't it? I worked at Bath and Body Works for several years (I'm sorry to say) and it didn't take long to realize that the stuff you buy there is the same as the stuff at the grocery store, but with excessive fragrance. The junk may smell good at first, but actually using it may make people sick. At least, I feel a little sick when people at the hotel bathe in fragrance. And most of those chemicals damage your skin more than they help it. The only products at BBW that ever really worked without causing long-term irritation were those that were naturally-based. But those were crazy expensive and still full of chemicals. Natural products also tend to NOT strip your skin of natural oils the way that so many commercial products do, which forces your skin to overcompensate with oil production, causing you to rely more heavily on MORE commercial products.

    Sorry. I've clearly thought too much about this. Love your ideas here - I'll have to look up that book. Thanks!

  2. You're right about BBW products! In college I used several items in the same scent - you know, "layering" it on so that it would last longer. After a while, my legs became unbearably dry and itchy. It took a while to figure out that all the body wash & lotion I used were to blame. I finally figured it out after hearing from 3 other women that they'd had the same reaction...


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