I made this decadent DIY sugar scrub and I don’t know why I didn’t start doing this years ago. It’s incredibly easy and it will cost you a fraction of the price of a fancy manufactured scrub.
I’ve gotten into the habit of buying a bouquet of flowers at the grocery store when I do my weekly shopping. I had a moment with bright and bold tulips, then fragrant hyacinths, then massive Oriental lilies. I usually go for the best looking, seasonal bunch, rather than favoring one particular kind of flower. Last week, I was happy to see peonies, my absolute favorite flower, on offer. They’re so elegant, so luxurious. They’re simple, yet complex and there is nothing modest about them. Peonies are kind of the Naomi Campbell of the botanical world. I could see this flower throwing a cellphone at a maid and showing up for community service in a Dolce & Gabbana dress. Peonies have a short season, from April to mid-July. So I knew if I didn’t grab them, I might not get another chance until next year. I believe the bunch I got are of the Douglas Brand variety, with a deep red bud that blooms into a dark pink.
When my peonies eventually began to die, even the pile of fallen petals were beautiful. It seemed a shame to just throw them away. So I scooped them up and quickly decided I would make a much needed DIY sugar scrub using the fresh petals. I paired the peony petals with lavender oil, and chamomile tea for a calming, floral fragrance. The base of the scrub is coarse sugar and extra-virgin olive oil. Coarse sugar makes for a great exfoliant and it’s an inexpensive way to brighten and polish your skin at home. I don’t know about you, but I’m getting a lot of sun these days. I can definitely benefit from regular exfoliation to shed dead skin.
For the oil, I went with olive oil over coconut oil, another very good choice, because the fragrance of this DIY sugar scrub was important to me. Though I love coconut oil, I find the smell of it to be pretty overpowering. If you choose to use coconut oil, I suggest going with scents that complement the unmistakable smell of coconut. Also, I like the feel of a thicker olive oil over the thinner coconut oil, for this application. Be sure to go with an extra-virgin olive oil over a “regular” olive oil, as EVOO has the least amount of processing and will be better for your skin. Extra-virgin olive oil is full of vitamins and anti-oxidants, but I don’t know how much is left in the over processed stuff.
This DIY sugar scrub is great for dry skin (a perpetual problem of mine), with peony, chamomile and lavender all packing an anti-inflammatory punch. I used this for a mid-shower scrub and it made my skin feel amazing. And the smell is heavenly! I almost felt guilty for using it. I’m making this a DIY staple and I have a feeling I’ll be giving it as gifts also. When peonies are not in season, go with rose petals.
Peony, Lavender & Chamomile DIY Sugar Scrub
1 1/2 cup of coarse sugar
1/4 cup of extra-virgin olive oil
7 drops of lavender essential oil
2 bags of chamomile tea
1 generous handful peony petals
Into a food processor, combine the sugar, olive oil, lavender oil, contents of the chamomile tea bags and the peony petals. Process until just mixed. Stir by hand to evenly combine and scoop into a glass, or BPA-free, airtight jar.
Apply to clean skin, in the shower, and rinse off. A jar should last about two months.