A fun, customizable salt scrub with just 3 ingredients to exfoliate and moisturize your skin.
It’s easy to get frustrated when you’re suffering from dry, flaky skin. This skin condition can arise due to genetic factors, harsh environments or products. For example, did you know that most conventional beauty products contain ingredients like silicone in them that can dry out skin over time? Spending too much time out in the sun without the right sun protection can also have the same result.
Once it sets in, skin dryness can be extremely stubborn and difficult to cure. Luckily, there’s a simple, household product that can help you to reset your dry skin: salt! A salt scrub helps to replenish moisture to skin, and is easily customizable to your skin type, needs, and preference.
Benefits of a salt scrub
Physical and chemical scrubs made with harmful synthetic ingredients may do the trick in a jiffy. While your skin may feel fresh, these products can weaken skin over the long term. That’s why we prefer using a salt scrub. A salt scrub is made entirely out of natural ingredients, and it exfoliates without drying out your skin. Here are the reasons why making a salt scrub could prove to be one of your best skin care hacks yet:
Salt makes a great exfoliator
Exfoliating can have important benefits for your skin in summer and winter months alike. If you suffer from dry skin, an exfoliator is a great way to slough off gunk and start afresh. It helps remove dead skin cells, excess oil, bacteria, and dirt that can end up clogging pores.
A salt scrub is also an intensive moisturizer.
When making a DIY scrub with salt, you can experiment with adding different oils and other nutritious ingredients to moisturize and nourish while you exfoliate. For example, you can add in anti-aging plant oils to help rejuvenate your skin tone, or essential oils to tackle different skin conditions. The exfoliation will actually prep your skin to receive the nutrients from the other ingredients by clearing your pores of dead skin cells that would otherwise block the absorption of moisture. The result? Happy, smooth, soft skin!
How to make a salt scrub
The best part? Making a salt scrub is simple and also highly customizable. That makes it a fun activity to make with your gal pals or partner. To make a DIY salt scrub for soft, moisturized, revitalized skin, you only need 3 basic components: a salt base, a carrier oil, and an essential oil. Ready to get started?
Choose your salt base
For your salt base, you’ll use either fine sea salt or epsom salt. If you have sensitive skin or you’re worried about over-exfoliating, you should use the fine sea salt, which is the gentler option of the two. If you want to enjoy the benefits of epsom salt, which is rich in skin-nourishing minerals, try this option instead. If you’re using epsom salt, you should make sure to exfoliate as gently as possible, and less frequently too.
Combine it with an oil carrier
Mix the salt with a base oil of your choice. The oil carrier will moisturize your skin while helping the salt to glide smoothly over it. If you’re a natural remedy junkie like us, you probably already have at least one option at home. We recommend that you choose from the following:
Coconut oil: Coconut oil is rich in healthy, fatty acids, including lauric acid. These fatty acids have antimicrobial properties to help stave off harmful bacteria and replenish moisture. It also contains antioxidants that can help reduce inflammation in the skin. That means it’s an excellent option if you’re fighting eczema!
Sweet almond oil: Sweet almond oil contains high levels of vitamins E and A. These vitamins help the skin to heal itself by stimulating cellular regeneration. Sweet almond oil also contains fatty acids to moisturize the skin and protect it from harmful bacteria. It’s wonderfully light and compatible with skin, so it’s great for acne-prone skin.
Avocado oil: Avocado oil is also rich in fatty acids and vitamins. It contains vitamins A, D, and E. Avocado oil has comparable antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, and moisturizing effects to the other oils listed above. Avocado oil’s unique superpower is its efficient absorption into the epidermis. Another win for oily or acne-prone skin!
Jojoba oil: Jojoba oil contains healthy vitamins and fatty acids, but it also has a superpower of its own. Jojoba oil benefits skin by mimicking the skin’s natural oil, or sebum. This means that it’s especially effective when it comes to moisturizing the skin. It also means that jojoba oil can help balance the skin’s oil production by tricking the skin into thinking it has already produced enough oil.
Now add an essential oil
Essential oils make a great supplement to a salt scrub for skin. Just a few drops of a given oil can have powerful benefits for skin. Essential oils also add a relaxing or invigorating scent to you formula. Try adding one of the following oils for a DIY salt scrub that feels spa-worthy:
Tea tree oil: Tea tree oil is excellent for dry skin and eczema. It has both antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties, and can even help to treat scarring. We recommend that you use this oil in conjunction with coconut or avocado oil.
Lavender oil: Lavender oil is commonly found in spa products due to its relaxing smell. The benefits of lavender oil are numerous, though. It can help to fight acne on the face and body, prevent the skin damage associated with aging, and deeply moisturize dry skin. We recommend pairing lavender oil with jojoba or sweet almond oil.
Peppermint oil: Peppermint oil is used in aromatherapy to relieve anxiety. This oil also has antiviral and antifungal properties to fight body acne and skin infections; antioxidant properties to fight damage from free radicals and promote healthy cell growth; and radioprotective benefits to prevent future skin damage. We recommend that you use peppermint oil with coconut or avocado oil.
Eucalyptus oil: You may recognize the scent of eucalyptus oil from spa steam rooms, where it is often featured due to its relaxing smell and other healthy properties. It has antimicrobial and antioxidant properties, and can help to boost the circulation of blood to the skin. We recommend using eucalyptus oil along with jojoba oil or avocado oil.
(For more essential oil ideas, check out our guide to the best essential oils for skin!)
(Optional) Consider a bonus ingredient
Consider adding adding one of the following bonus ingredients to your salt scrub for an even more beneficial formula. You could use honey, a natural humectant, to further moisturize skin; yogurt to gently exfoliate and soften; or lemon juice to boost exfoliation and nourish with vitamin C.
Combine them all together!
Once you’ve chosen your ingredients, combine them using the following proportions: 2 cups of salt
¾ cup of oil
8-10 drops of essential oil
1 tablespoon of bonus ingredient (optional)
Mix the ingredients together in a large bowl, tossing or stirring them together until they’re evenly combined. This is important to avoid over-exfoliation of your skin when you apply the scrub. Once you’re done, get started on using it! You can also store your scrub in a sterilized jar for future use (or even for gifting to family and friends).
How to use a salt scrub
To use your salt scrub, start with clean, dry or damp skin. It’s ideal to use your scrub right after taking a warm shower or bath, as the warm water will open up your pores and prepare them to receive the scrub’s nutrients. Before using the salt scrub all over your body, make sure to test a small amount on your wrist to ensure that your skin does not have a reaction.
Standing or sitting in your shower or bathtub, take about a tablespoon of the salt scrub in your hand and apply it to a section of skin. Gently rub the salt scrub into your skin in small, circular motions. Repeat on another section of skin, trying to focus on each section of your body (calf, thigh, etc.) for about 20 seconds.
Once your whole body is exfoliated, rinse the scrub away with cool water to seal your skin’s surface and lock in the moisture. Pat your skin dry with a towel, making sure not to wipe away the residue oil, which will continue to moisturize your skin.
With just a few key ingredients in the right combination, you can achieve spa-like results in your own home and make dry skin a thing of the past. We recommend that you exfoliate one or two times a week, and follow up with an extra potent body lotion in the days after you exfoliate. We also recommend that you try following up your DIY salt scrub with a meditation session, a relaxing cup of tea, or another healthy treat. What’s your favorite salt scrub recipe?
Tired of the same ol’ dry skin? The fight isn’t over yet: