Monday, September 22, 2014

DIY Vanilla Tea Sugar Scrub

I’m a big fan of do-it-yourself beauty products. I find that they are just as effective as store-bought products, and lack nasty chemicals that may or may not cause cancer. Of course, I haven’t quite been willing to make the jump to natural shampoo, although I've been considering it more, but every spa treatment begins in my kitchen.

I've blogged about sugar scrub before. It’s a simple indulgence for every shower that helps my hands and feet stay exfoliated, and it’s really easy to concoct. It’s also easy to modify with whatever ingredients you have on hand. For example, I've switched to using only coconut oil in my sugar scrubs, but canola oil works just fine as well. 

Inspired by my Friday Trader Joe’s trip, I decided to make a sugar scrub using tea leaves. I bought a box of 48 packets of English Breakfast Tea, and decided to use them as the highlight of the scrub. I mixed in a few other teas for variety, and again, you can use whatever teas you have on hand. Of course, I’d recommend that they be composed of 100% tea leaves, with no additives.

The recipe below is more of a template: you’ll need roughly two cups of sugar and ½ cup oil, but what sugars and what oil you use are up to you. One word of caution on your oil choice: don’t use an oil that is very pungent, like olive oil, unless you want to smell like Italian food. I used canola oil for so long mainly because it doesn't have a strong smell. I think the combination I made below is one of the best sugar scrubs I've made thus far, but I leave room for your exploration so you don’t panic if you lack an ingredient.

Vanilla Tea Sugar Scrub


1 cup brown sugar, packed
1 cup cane sugar
3 bags of black tea
1 bag of mint tea (I used Mint Mélange from Trader Joe’s)
1 bag of green tea
1 tsp. vanilla
½ cup coconut oil


1. Pour the sugar into a bowl. Cut open the bags of tea, empty the contents into the bowl, and add the vanilla. Stir the ingredients together.

2. If your coconut oil is solid, measure out ½ cup and melt it. Mix in with the sugar and tea.

3. Use at the end of your shower on any dry patches of skin, such as hands and feet.

This recipe fills a 16 oz. jar.

I’d avoid using the scrub on your face. I think it’s a little too harsh for a facial scrub. Perhaps the only exception would be a once a week deep exfoliator. I don’t use it for my face at all.

I’ll admit, I went a little crazy on the tea bags. Having 48 unopened tea bags is just too exciting. This scrub would work with as little as 3 tea bags if you don’t want to use up so many! I loved the energizing kick from the mint tea bag, however, so I’d recommend sneaking at least one mint tea bag into your scrub.

I’d love to hear if you've made your own scrub before! What are your favorite combinations?

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