Tuesday, April 9, 2013

The awesomeness of sugar scrubs

My mom, bless her heart, is baffled by sugar scrubs (don't tell her I said so). She received some for Christmas, and while she thought it looked and smelled nice, she just didn't know exactly what it was for or how to use it. As it turns out, this situation is shared by a lot of people. As someone who has discovered the awesomeness of a good sugar scrub, let me fill you in.

Ok, so, first of all, what's in a sugar scrub? Basically, it's a blend of sugars and oils. Some scrubs might include some other ingredients too, but those are the main two. Soapzilla sugar scrubs are made of a variety of sugars, depending on the type of scrub, and a blend of moisturizing oils. We also use just a little bit of sea salt, which acts as a natural preservative (more about that later) and essential oils for their relaxing properties and great fragrances.

Now, what are they for and how do you use them? Sugar scrubs provide an effective but gentle exfoliation (by way of the sugar crystals) while moisturizing your skin (with the oils). If you have dry or flaky skin, or almost any skin condition, it's very helpful. You take a small amount of the scrub in your hands and massage it (or scrub, whatever feels better) over the affected areas until the sugar dissolves. I used to go get pedicures ALL the time, not so much for the polished nails, but because my feet felt rough and looked dry, particularly my heels. I save myself a lot of money by using sugar scrubs at home. I like to take a hot bath, and after I've soaked a bit, sugar scrub my feet. It takes off all the dead, cracked-looking skin and leaves my feet feeling smooth and soft. It does leave you a little oily, but a quick wash with some soap (something that goes with the scent of your scrub) takes care of that. For the ladies out there- if you shave your legs and then sugar scrub your feet, you can massage some of the oil onto your legs, and it feels SO great. The effect lasts a good long while, too.

As for extra ingredients, you want to watch out for some of them. Some scrubs use chemical preservatives, because, although a sugar scrub on its own will not go bad, if you get any water inside the jar, then it will spoil. We don't like chemical preservatives, which is why we use sea salt. We only use a little, and you should still avoid getting water into the jar of scrub, but we're not fans of chemical additives. On the flip side, ingredients like essential oils can add a lot to your experience. You can read our post on craft beer soap to learn more about the benefits of essential oils, but they vary widely and can be very beneficial as well as relaxing, not to mention smelling delicious. If used as part of a bath, essential oils in a scrub will scent the whole bath and give you an all-over experience.

I never have considered myself a girly girl, and I used to scoff at the kind of person who used fancy soap and sugar scrubs. But I am completely converted- they just feel too good NOT to use. Plus, I make them in all kinds of non-traditional scents that aren't necessarily too girly or floral, like peppermint, grapefruit, white fig, lemongrass, brown sugar vanilla... you name it. And we even make some for the guys, in the same fragrances as our shaving soap, because, really, everybody deserves happy skin.

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