Ah yes, sandal season is definitely here.
This means that in addition to finding not-completely-hideous-yet-highly supportive summer footwear, I have to address the gross, dry “lizard-skin” situation on the bottom of my feet. (Sorry for TMI … dry skin is a well-known annoyance of hypothyroidism.)
What do you do if you have allergic contact dermatitis and react to preservatives in various exfoliating scrubby products, or if you have Lyme, fibromyalgia or another environmental illness, methylation problems, etc., and want to avoid chemicals your body won’t be able to detox?
It turns out the Internet has more recipes for making your own skincare and haircare products than it has cat pictures. And that’s just on Pinterest. If you are not sensitive to the original ingredients, you’re good. (A lot of recipes include essential oils, which many react to, but I usually leave them out and it doesn’t alter the results.)
Many contact allergies are caused by preservatives, and DIY products don’t have any. This means you need to use up products very quickly and make smaller amounts. But products that contain water are the most likely to grow bacteria, and these scrubs contain only oils and salts. Since salts have preservative properties, you can keep these a bit longer.
And all the the recipes I use are very easy and quick to make, because I have zero energy! Plus I’m very busy, what with my exciting, whirlwind life of medical appointments.
1) Sea Salt, Himalayan Salt, and Olive Oil
1/4 cup coarse sea salt*
1/4 cup coarse Himalayan salt*
organic olive oil
*I like to buy coarser salts and run them quickly through a food processor (one or two pulses) to get the grain size I want, because I mainly use scrubs on my feet and therefore need coarser scrubs. If you want to skip the food processing or use the scrubs on more sensitive areas, try fine-grained salts. And remember, avoid salt mill bottles if you don’t want to spend two days waiting for enough salt to come out to even make the damned thing!
Process salts to desired size. Mix. Add olive oil to cover and leave a bit extra for a more moisturizing scrub.
2) Sea Salt, Epsom Salt, and Olive Oil
1/4 cup sea salt, coarse
1/8 cup Epsom salt
organic olive oil
Process the sea salt with one or two pulses (or use fine salt). Add the Epsom salt. Add olive oil to cover with about 1/8 inch extra on top.
This scrub is a bit lighter than the first one. I use it on my legs before shaving. For an even finer scrub, you can just mix 1/2 cup Epsom salt with olive oil.
For variations on this recipe, check out Wellness Mama.
3) Himalayan Salt and Coconut Oil
6 tbsp. coarse Himalayan salt, processed
4 tbsp. coconut oil*
*If you hate the smell of coconut, you might want to try Now Naturals. It isn’t organic, but I have never had a reaction to it. You can get it in health food stores or online (see link above).
Process salt and mix with oil. This one is definitely a harsher scrub that is best for feet.
Here is a variation that adds mint leaves.
You can play with different quantities of salts and oils until your scrubs have the consistency you want. Some people use table salt, but I have had the best results with Himalayan salt, Epsom salt, and sea salt (I like this kind—great in both scrubs and recipes!).
I also like to use a spoon or scooper thingie to avoid contaminating the scrub with bacteria from my hand. (Do I sound like a germaphobe? I am! It’s good to be somewhat OCD when you make home beauty products. Trust me.)
If you have any favorite recipes, please post the links! And happy scrubbing!