After a positive response to my prior post about the multi-functionality of Coconut Oil, I've been thinking about all the other multifunctional items I incorporate into my daily beauty routine. As much as I love makeup, lotions, creams, balms & all things beauty, I also really appreciate a clean, tidy, organized space. Because of this, I prefer to have only a few really wonderful products that I can use for multiple purposes; it's nice not to have handfuls of products cluttering up my counters.
Sugar is AMAZING for exfoliating the skin. The molecular structure of sugar is 8-sided which causes it to be rounded instead of square or jagged. Because of this, sugar doesn't cause micro-abrasions to our skin, the way salt or walnut shells might. Exfoliating with sugar is gentle enough to be done a couple times per week and it does an incredible job of removing all the yucky dead and dry skin that sits around, clogging pores & making a mess of our complexion.
Although there are many companies that sell salt-based scrubs, I find that sugar is just as effective & much more gentle. I have had hundreds of clients come to me with sensitive skin & my homemade sugar scrubs have worked wonderfully. I always recommend a sugar scrub for all my clients with an upcoming special event. As long as you apply this scrub gently (as you should any time you apply any cream, lotion, or scrub to your face) there will be no redness or sensitivity. As an added bonus, sugar is all-natural!
Pre-shave scrub: Mix 1/4 C granulated sugar with 3 TBS gentle, fragrance-free lotion, jojoba oil, or olive oil. Mix sugar with lotion or oil to create a thick paste & scrub legs in a circular motion for 3 to 5 minutes. There's no need to apply pressure while scrubbing, the sugar will do all the hard work for you & slough off all the dry skin. The sugar may begin to disintegrate as you scrub & that's okay. Once you're finished, rinse well & shave as normal. You'll notice your legs will feel incredibly soft & smooth. Additionally, the exfoliation helps to prevent razor burn or ingrown hairs; this is especially helpful in the armpits. Exfoliating helps avoid bacterial build-up by removing dead skin, & therefore may help reduce sweat-odor. Exfoliation helps prevent bumps, blemishes, & ingrown hairs by unclogging blocked pores & hair follicles. This mix also works wonders for dry elbows or knees. *NOTE: avoid the bikini area with this mixture.
Lip Smoother: Mix 1 TBS granulated sugar with 1 tsp. skin-friendly oil of your choice (vitamin E, jojoba, olive oil, grapeseed, coconut oil), you may also want to add a drop of spearmint, peppermint, or cinnamon essential oil. Create a thin paste & scrub over lips in a gentle, circular motion. This gentle scrub is totally safe, edible, & gentle; it will leave your lips completely soft & smooth, eliminating all dry skin. This is a great treatment for dry/cracked lips, especially followed-up by a rich, moisturizing lip balm. (This recipe is similar to Lush's lip scrubs, which are far more pricey to purchase than to make yourself).
Dandruff Eliminating Scalp Scrub: Before mixing your scrub, part & clip your hair into 1 inch sections. Mix 3 TBS shampoo with 1/4 C brown sugar and 1/2 tsp. water. Mix thoroughly & use quickly (as the brown sugar will begin to dissolve). Apply the paste along the parted sections of your hair & scrub, gently into your scalp for five minutes or until the sugar has dissolved. Rinse thoroughly & condition, dry, style hair as normal. *NOTE: I recommend using a sulfate-free, phthalate-free shampoo for this mixture, particularly if you have a sensitive scalp. As an inexpensive, commonly-available brand, I like Organix which is widely available at most chain drug stores.
Facial Scrub: This is my personal favorite recipe for using sugar in my beauty routine. I use this mixture, on average, once or twice per week. I mix 4 TBS granulated sugar with a couple squirts of bottled lemon juice (fresh lemon juice is better, if you can squeeze it, but I don't usually have the time for that). I make a thick paste with these two items & gently scrub my face in circular motions for a few minutes while showering. Avoid the eye area & don't scrub too firmly; a light touch is sufficient because the sugar does all the work removing dead, dry skin. Rinse thoroughly and moisturize well. *NOTE: Even though this mixture is gentle enough for the most sensitive skin, it is important not to exfoliate more than twice per week for extended periods of time. Exfoliating too often can cause thinning of the skin, which isn't apparent immediately, but it causes visual thinning of our skin as we age. For those who may already have thin-looking skin, a chemical exfoliation is likely a more appropriate choice (lactic acid from dairy products is a great, all-natural, gentle option).
The final use I have for sugar in my beauty routine is 'sugaring'. Sugaring is a hair removal process by which you boil sugar, water, & lemon juice to create a thick, sticky, glob (for lack of a better word). You then, use the sticky, candy-like, sugar mix to remove hair from the body, similar to waxing. I am not include a full description of this process in this post today, however I will create a dedicated post in the future. Sugaring is very inexpensive & easy to do. It is also a process that has been widely used for many, many years. More info to come...
For now, I hope you enjoy these super simple, easy sugar beauty recipes. Are there any sugar uses that I missed? Please let me know.