As the cooler weather rolls in, we’re more prone to dry, rough skin. Our summer-kissed tans fade, the moisture in the air dissipates, and our bodies beg for a little more love.

Exfoliation is an important step to bringing our winter body back to its original softness. The thing is, this easy step shouldn’t be forgotten: it kick-starts your skin’s renewal system, by removing dead skin  cells, and bringing forward  the fresher skin  underneath. Not only does this skin feel better, it looks better, too.

Because it takes a skin cell 28 days to move from the dermis, where it’s created, to emerge to the top layers of skin, where it’s naturally sloughed off, our body is constantly going through the motions of making our skin the best that it can be.

When we take a little time to exfoliate, we help out the process. Here are our favorite do-it-yourself body scrubs to keep our skin and body looking blissful.

Sugar and Spice Scrub

With the holidays around the corner, this scrub will get you in a festive mood and is perfect for gift giving, too. Sugar, the base of this scrub, is both inexpensive and a gentle exfoliator. Combine 3/4 cup sugar, 2 teaspoons ground cloves, a pinch of cinnamon, 1 tablespoon dried rose petals, 2 teaspoons grated orange zest, and 1 1/2 cups sesame oil in a large bowl. Mix all ingredients until well combined. Using hands or a washcloth, use on damp skin twice a week, rubbing in small, circular motions. Store up to six months in a cool, dark cupboard.

Coffee Ground Scrub

Instead of composting those coffee grounds, consider using them on your body. The combination of coffee and peppermint is perfect for waking you up in the morning, and the sugar crystals exfoliate deeply and smoothly. And the olive oil? It’s the perfect match for keeping you smooth.

Just mix 1/4 cup olive oil, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, 1 cup raw sugar, and about 15 drops of peppermint essential oil. Stir in 1/2 cup coffee grounds from a freshly brewed pot of coffee. Apply handfuls of the coffee scrub to your wet skin, rubbing in circular motions. Follow with washing with your soap or body wash. The scrub will keep for one to two weeks, longer if refrigerated.

Olive Oil and Honey Scrub

A simple scrub that uses honey and olive oil, this scrub is easy to put together and just requires a few ingredients. Even more, honey is a natural form of a humectant, meaning that it draws water into the skin. The addition of sugar buffs away dead skin cells, and the olive oil thoroughly moisturizes. It all comes together with a hint of orange. Just add 1 teaspoon honey to 1/4 cup light olive oil. Add 1 cup of sugar. Mix well. Stir in 2 teaspoons of fresh orange zest. Mix well. Store in a jar for up to six months in a cool, dark cupboard.

Simple Epsom Salts

Epsom salts are cleansing and calming, and this simple scrub is fresh and enlightening. Just combine 3/4 cup Epsom salts, 1/4 cup baking soda, 4 drops of grapefruit essential oil, and enough walnut or almond oil to make a paste. Using gentle scrubbing motion, apply the mixture to your body. Rinse in a warm shower.


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