The Secret to Making [Salt] Scrubs

Man plans, God laughs.


A couple years ago, I met with a tech consultant who pretty much told me I had outgrown… everything: my website, my online classrooms, even my newsletter delivery system.

Believe it or not, it’s called a “tech stack” and apparently I needed a new one.

This vast migration of data sent me rifling through years worth of writing, class handouts, and videos... so much information and a lot of it you’ve never seen.

In the midst of all this, I was contacted by a journalist who wanted info on salt scrubs. I threw an old handout his way and kept going. Then I paused.

"Hmmmm… I could use a little R & R," I thought. And maybe you could, too! Scrubs are super-easy to make.

Here’s the deal:

Scrubs are composed of two parts, an exfoliant and an emollient.

The exfoliant’s job is to slough away dead skin cells. It’s also a bit irritating, which draws blood to the area. The blood floods through, carrying away toxins. This flushing is good for circulation and the scrubbing helps keep the lymphatic system moving.

Exfoliants include:

  • ground apricot kernels
  • sea salt
  • almond meal
  • brown sugar
  • corn meal
  • lavender buds
  • ground flax
  • oatmeal (colloidal oatmeal is ground fine like flour and is very gentle)
  • chickpea flour (a gentle choice)

The job of the emollient, on the other hand, is to smooth and soothe the skin.

All cold-pressed oils (as opposed to essential oils, which are distilled, not pressed), aloe, and some teas have emollient properties. There are plenty of things already in your kitchen that will work.

Emollients include:

  • olive oil
  • coconut oil
  • avocado oil
  • sesame oil
  • aloe gel
  • honey
  • marshmallow root or leaf tea
  • chia or flax seed made into tea (and the seeds themselves are an exfoliant!)

All you have to do is choose one exfoliant and one emollient. Add a bit of essential oil for scent and/or therapeutic value and voilà!

A few things to remember:

1. Water + plant material + time = mold.

If you want to create a scrub that has a water part in it (aloe, tea, or a hydrosol), be aware that it won’t keep for long.

2. Oils are slippery and will make your tub or shower slick, so be mindful!

So, next time your plans fall through, head to the kitchen and make yourself a scrub. Nothing like a little self-care to set things right. Or at least righter.

I’m thinking a hand scrub for me. Olive oil, brown sugar, honey… maybe some rose essential oil. Yum! Essential oils really add something to this experience.

My tried and true essential oils:

My new favorite essential oils:

August is a great time to try a few new recipes because Herbiary has all Pranarom essential oils, hydrosols, and plant oils for 20% off all month long! (Use code "besteo" for online purchases.)

Here’s to some R & R time. What will you concoct?


On Herbiary owner Maia Toll's Blog:


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