To Buff or Not To Buff
Hi and welcome to my very first blog post for Simply Organico's "Live, Simply!" blog. Most people don’t know this but I used to have a beauty blog long, long ago before I started Simply Organico. Back then I was obsessed with makeup and personal care products. I’m still a product junkie but more for natural and hair products than makeup these days.
Before I start rearing off course I’d like to mention Simply Organico’s motto which is “Moisturizing your skin one bath at a time”. We don’t just believe it, we practice it. If you’ve ever tried our products you’ll see just how moisturizing they ALL are. Enough about that, this post is about “buffing” isn’t it? So, one way to help keep your skin soft and smooth and youthful looking is by scrubbing or "buffing" it. Yup, you heard that right, SCRUB IT!
Skin exfoliation has been a practice since ancient times. In fact, the ancient Romans and Greeks would use a mixture of olive oil and an abrasive such as fine sand or ground pumice (volcanic rock) to help remove dirt and dead skin from their bodies. Essential oils were sometimes added to help fragrance the skin and neutralize any odors. A tool called a strigil was used to scrape the dirt, skin and sweat off of their bodies prior to bathing or exercising. The word strigil is sometimes translated as "scraper" or "cleaning spoon". The curved blade of the strigil fit the natural curvature of the body to scrape off the oily residue left behind.
Fun Fact: Gladiators would sometimes bottle their "scraped sweat" and sell it to their fans...gross!
There are many ways to scrub your skin. For instance, you can use a body pouf or an exfoliating glove or even a brush, but in this blog post I’d like to explore the benefits of using sugar for exfoliating purposes.
How does it work?
Sugar works great at scrubbing your skin however, in order to avoid anything too abrasive we recommend sugar in small granules. That way it’s not too rough and won't tear your skin. Now, the information we’re discussing is for body exfoliation, not to be used on your face. For that, I recommend our facial cleansing bars which we’ll discuss at a later blog post. So, getting back to sugar for scrubs…the sugar should be mixed with something else to help with the exfoliation process, otherwise you’re just rubbing dry sugar on your skin which can hurt. Some people suggest using lemon juice while others suggest using honey. While both of these ingredients individually provide skin care benefits, I recommend mixing the sugar with a light oil. That way the sugar is not so abrasive and the scrub glides on smoother. Plus, the oil adds moisture to your skin and helps prevent excessive scrubbing.
For a simple DIY sugar scrub all you need are two ingredients: the sugar and a light weight oil such as olive oil, rice bran oil or sunflower oil for instance. You can also use coconut oil or sweet almond oil though I prefer olive or rice bran oil because they are hypoallergenic.
- Mix one part oil with one part sugar. (Use two parts oil to one part sugar if you want it less abrasive)
- This is optional but you can also add a few drops of your favorite essential oil.
- Let the mixture rest for a while and allow it to settle, then you’re free to use whenever you want smooth skin.
- Since the scrub will leave a residue on your skin because of the oil, it is recommended that you scrub first, then shower afterwards.
- Or, you can add a little bit of your favorite body wash to your mixture so that it will emulsify and rinse off clean.
And now I’ll break down the individual ingredients of our Sugar Body Polish and why I chose to include them in my formulations…
The Individual Ingredients
- Let’s start with sugar, also known as Sucrose. Sugar is an amazing natural ingredient that can be used to scrub your skin. Standard sugar has small enough granules that provide great scrubbing action without being too abrasive or causing tears in your skin.
- We added rice bran oil for moisture because it’s a mild oil and a great substitution for olive oil.
- Shea butter was added for richness. Shea butter has so many wonderful skin loving properties, which we’ll go into detail in another post but for now it’s an emollient that helps soften your skin and create a moisture barrier to prevent dryness.
- Coconut oil has medium chain fatty acids that also help moisturize skin and help with inflammation which is a plus in a scrub.
- Polysorbate 80 is a natural emulsifier that helps with the oily residue of the oils and butters in our body polish.
- Our cream soap is also added to help eliminate an oily residue and allow the body polish to rinse off clean. Our cream soap is made with sodium cocoyl isethionate, vegetable glycerin, distilled water, cocamidopropyl betaine, stearic acid, and a preservative (optiphen).
- Phthalate-free fragrance and/or essential oils are added for their wonderful scents and aromatherapy benefits.
- Vitamin E because it is an antioxidant that helps protect cells from damage in your body and helps your skin look radiant
- And last but not least, we add a preservative (Optiphen) to prevent mold growth since this product will come in contact with water.
Some scrubs have directions that call for you to "use dry hands or avoid contact with water" but that’s practically impossible. How are you supposed to use dry hands if you’re in your shower? Showers were made for getting wet and since your hands will most likely be wet when you scoop from your scrub, the body polish (sugar scrub) will get wet as well. We include a wooden scoop with your scrub which you can also use to “help” minimize the amount of water that gets into your container.
Note: If you find that our body polish is too abrasive for you then you can add more water to the body part you are buffing and soften the scrub up a bit. This will allow you to control the amount of abrasiveness that the polish provides.
I hope this blog post was able to answer any questions you may have had about our sugar body polish. We’ll discuss more about the individual ingredients we use in our shop in later blog posts. To stay up to date with our shop and learn about our process and our products, subscribe to our Live, Simply! blog below.
To shop our current selection of Sugar Body Polish click HERE.
To shop our current selection of Men's Natural Body Scrubs click HERE.
Till next time,