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woman's shoulder with towelJoin me each week as I explore the naturally aromatic side of DIY. Helpful recipes for your "scentual" pleasure: from essential oils, herbs, and other botanicals, to soap-making, body care products, and other useful blends.

You have soft, smooth feet from our pedicure of two weeks ago. Your face is aglow with healthy skin after last week's facial. What about the rest of you?

Get ready to pamper yourself (or a loved one) with the gift of relaxation and cared-for skin -- all over!

After the break, I'll share recipes for relaxing bath salts, a detoxifying body scrub, a gentle hand scrub, and body oil, along with packaging ideas to make lovely gifts of these homemade products.

Relaxing Bath Salts

A good soak in the tub is not just relaxing: it can also be detoxifying, restorative, and downright blissful. In her previous post on the topic, Bethany helped us create the perfect ambiance for a bath; now let's make the perfect bath salts.

Mix all the ingredients together well. Use anywhere from 2 Tbsp. to 1/2 c. for your bath. Store in an airtight container: maybe a tin tie bag, or a pretty glass jar or bottle.

Not what you were looking for? Maybe green bath salts are more your style.

Detoxifying Body Scrub

Now that your skin is hydrated, and you're feeling soothed, try scrubbing off some dead skin. While you're at it, you could stimulate your circulation and try to make that cellulite disappear, too!

  • 1/2 c. sea salt
  • 1/2 c. raw sugar (the big crystals)
  • 1 Tbsp. coffee grounds (not kidding, caffeine reputedly helps cellulite disappear)
  • 4-6 oz. rice bran oil or olive oil
  • 2 oz. shea butter (optional)
  • 25 drops lemon essential oil
  • 25 drops grapefruit essential oil
  • 10 drops rosemary essential oil
  • 10 drops cypress essential oil
  • 10 drops geranium essential oil

Mix the dry ingredients and wet ingredients separately, then combine them; you are trying for a moist yet somewhat crumbly texture, nothing too goopy. If you choose to add the shea butter, melt it first, then add it to the liquids. If you leave out the shea, you may want to increase the oil. Find the consistency you like, then store the scrub in an air-tight container, like a blue plastic jar. Glass jars may not be a safe choice if you will have this in the shower with you.

Relaxing Body Oil

After a bath and a scrub, you'll want to slather some body oil onto moist skin to keep it soft and supple. This blend will complement the bath salt blend, but add some deeper notes.

  • 3 oz. rice bran oil
  • 1 oz. jojoba oil
  • 25 drops lavender essential oil
  • 8 drops sandalwood essential oil
  • 8 drops patchouli essential oil
  • 10 drops grapefruit essential oil
  • 5 drops vanilla infusion

Mix the ingredients well, and store the mixture in a disc-top bottle. You can also use this body oil for massage.

Soothing Hand Scrub

You can use the body scrub on your hands as well, but you may just want a little something special -- and more gentle -- to give love to your hard-working hands.

  • 1/2 c. granulated sugar (raw is best due to a higher content of glycolic acid)
  • 1 tsp. ground herbs (any combination of chamomile, rose, mint, lemon rind)
  • 3 oz. rice bran oil
  • 1 oz. shea butter (optional)
  • 20 drops lavender essential oil
  • 10 drops lemon
  • 5 drops chamomile
Make sure the herbs are finely ground in a spice mill, then combine the dry ingredients. Follow the directions above for the body scrub.

After you use the scrub, follow with a hand massage with the body oil, then clean and polish your nails; your hands will be manicure-perfect. You've now given yourself -- or someone you love -- the gift of relaxation and pampering. Ahhhhhh....


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