As the light continues to change and the season slows a bit I am finding myself back in the kitchen creating. I’ve felt this strong desire to nest lately to align with the energetic shift that is so present in the air and also because I’m not finished unpacking. Truth be told there is still a room full of boxes I haven’t fully tackled and I know I won’t feel settled here until I take care of that. Our friend is coming to build a bookcase this week so once I have a place for all of my books I’ll be much more motivated to unpack them.
I was up with the sun this morning and started editing images for this post. I’ve been working on a new batch of recipes for our Holistic Beauty section and I am really excited about them. Making these natural body care products is so fun and it’s one of my favorite ways to take care of myself. When I spend time crafting new recipes I learn to connect with my body in deeper ways. As with any preparation of food or herbal medicine, I am continuing to empower myself by not having to rely on someone else to make everything for me. Even if you only ever make one beauty or herbal recipe, you have that experience self reliance in this realm and I feel like that is really important.
Approaching the shift from Summer to Autumn is an ideal time to set in place some new self care routines. Spending an extra minute or two in the shower with a nourishing sugar scrub is at the top of my list these days. I prefer sugar to salt in my scrubs because sugar draws moisture from the environment into the skin and the granules tend to be smaller and smoother than salt. My skin is sensitive and runs a little dry so I stay away from salt scrubs.
Sugar is ideal for body scrubs because it gives us glowy smooth skin without over drying.
Sugar is a natural source of glycolic acid, an alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) that penetrates the skin and breaks down the “glue” that bonds skin cells, encouraging cell turnover and generating fresher, younger-looking skin. Glycolic acid is typically used to treat sun-damaged and aging skin.
I use my scrub twice a week and sometimes three in the winter. Sugar scrubs will also help your skin stay moisturized and is a wonderful way to stimulate the lymphatic system. On the days that I use the scrub I don’t dry brush, that feels like too much for my skin type.
To make this scrub as nourishing as possible I used soothing coconut oil, calendula and rose oil. I’ve been studying calendula lately and it is quickly becoming one of my favorite skin herbs. Calendula is mild enough for babies and has many healing properties.
Calendula is a well-known medicinal herb and uplifting ornamental garden plant that has been used therapeutically, ceremonially, and as a dye and food plant for centuries. Most commonly known as for its topical use as a tea or infused oil for wounds and skin trauma, the bright orange or yellow flower contains many important constituents and can be taken internally for a variety of ailments.
Calendula was used in ancient times in India as well, and according to Ayurvedic healing principles is energetically cooling and has a bitter and pungent taste. It was employed as vulnerary, antispasmodic, alterative and used on minor wounds, as an eyewash, to soothe bee stings, and for digestive disturbances.
And, in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), calendula (called Jin Zhan Ju) is considered energetically neutral and drying and is used to support healthy skin. Calendula is employed to move stagnant blood therefore increasing circulation to the skin.
(Mountain Rose Herbs).
A little rose oil makes so many things better. Rose oil has been used as an antidepressant, aphrodisiac, and anti-anxiety oil. It helps to regulate hormone production and is the ultimate heart healer. Every time I smell roses I smile and soften into the moment. Roses have been used for centuries in beauty rituals.
To brighten up the scrub I added some fresh orange zest and Bergamot essential oil. I love a sugar scrub with citrus notes especially in Autumn and Winter. It makes me feel fresh, uplifts my spirits and is gives a little dose of energy. During the darker, cooler months I don’t leave the house without Bergamot essential oil. Anytime I need a little mood or spirit pick me up, it’s as simple as putting a drop on my wrist and taking some long deep breaths.
If you haven’t ever made a sugar scrub before it’s super easy. I suggest mixing it all up with melted coconut oil to be sure everything is incorporated well. To firm up the scrub (like we did for the pictures!) place it in the fridge. I keep mine in the fridge between uses because I use fresh citrus zest. You could omit that and keep it out for several weeks.
A quick note about sugar, I used organic white sugar because I like the texture and the color makes for better photos. If you have super sensitive skin I suggest brown sugar because it’s very soft. You could also do half and half or use coconut sugar. So many options! Play around and have fun. This is really great to do with kids and it makes an excellent gift.
Bergamot Rose Sugar Scrub
- ½ C. Coconut Oil
- ½ C. organic sugar
- Zest of 1 orange
- 1 Tsp. dried Calendula flowers
- 10 drops Bergamot oil
- 2-3 drops Rose oil
Mix all ingredients in a bowl. Pour into a glass container. Use 2-3 times per week in the shower. Store in the fridge between uses.
*Note I use Floracopeia oils a great deal. They are pricey but the quality is amazing. I am not affiliated with them at all, just love them. The oils I have linked to above are great to get you started experimenting without having to make a huge investment upfront.
images by Asami Zenri