It’s kind of a crime that not every apartment has a full bathtub! If you’ve lived with only a stand-up shower for any length of time, you know what a relief it is to finally have a tub of your own. While taking a bath may not be the most time-effective way to bathe, it certainly is the most relaxing by far.
Making your bathroom into your own personal spa is a great way to make sure you catch some me-time here and there. We especially love a luxurious bath on a Friday night after a long, stressful week. Once you’ve experienced that pre-weekend soak, we’re sure you’ll agree that not having a bathtub in your apartment is a tragedy.
But it isn’t just about the tub. Getting the most out of your soak is also about ambiance and, most importantly, bath products. If you’re truly committing to the soak, you’ll need a good body scrub to pamper yourself properly.
And while you can use a body scrub on a regular basis in your usual daily shower, we think they really shine as part of your own personal spa treatment. Plus, if your scrub is infused with essential oils (hint: it should be!), you get the added bonus of that gloriously scented oil wafting up from the water after you rinse it off.
Not all body scrubs are created equal, so let’s talk about what you should look for in your new favorite product!
A Simple Oil Base
If you like to keep it natural, you’re probably used to scanning the ingredients of skin products and cosmetics to make sure you’re not using something jam-packed with unpronounceable mystery chemicals. While body scrubs can (and probably should) include some ingredients that don’t feel familiar for preservation purposes, you’re going to want to find something that has a moisturizing oil base. As a rule of thumb, it should probably be something you have in your kitchen!
Olive oil is a great base for body scrubs. It’s super moisturizing and is thought to help reduce the appearance of stretch marks. However, olive oil is on the greasier end of the spectrum when it comes to oils you might use on your skin, so while it’s great for a body scrub, it might not be your best bet if you’re prone to acne or want a body scrub you can also use to exfoliate your face.
If you do want something a little lighter, grapeseed oil is a good choice. It’s actually thought to help with clogged pores and acne, so if you’re worried about the ingredients in your body scrub doing more harm than good to your oil-prone skin, you’ll want to look for this guy as your base.
Almond oil is also commonly used in body scrubs, and in any blend that contains essential oils—it’s a great carrier oil to help make essential oils more palatable to your skin. Almond oil is high in Vitamin E, which is key when it comes to healing and protecting your skin from damage. Like olive oil, however, in large concentrations Almond oil can be greasy and comedogenic, so skip this one, too, if you’re prone to body acne.
Coconut oil is another great oil for body scrubs. It’s super shelf-stable, which means you’ll need fewer preservatives, and it’s full of skin-loving antioxidants. It’s a pretty heavy oil, but it is often used for skin care purposes and has a lot of great benefits to your skin.
The Right Essential Oils
In our humble opinion, one of the most important ingredients in your body scrub is essential oils. While the base oil keeps the essential oils diluted so they don’t harm your skin and delivers crucial moisturizing benefits, the essential oil is what’s going to set the mood. So it’s important to really give it some thought when you’re debating the best oils for body scrubs!
Since we love a good relaxing soak, we’d tend to lean toward oils like lavender oil and chamomile oil. Both are known to have a calming effect and will help you get the most out of your self-care experience.
They’re both generally very gentle on the skin and may help calm any redness or irritation you’re experiencing. Our Destress body scrub is a great option if you’re looking to let the stresses and troubles of the day scrub away… along with anything that may be troubling your complexion!
Another great oil to look for in a body scrub is tea tree oil. It may sound familiar if you’re into skincare because it’s often in toners. That’s because tea tree oil has astringent properties, which can aid in clearing your skin and fighting breakouts. Definitely a value add when it comes to your body scrub!
We also love adding something floral to the mix, especially if lavender oil isn’t really your jam. This will just make the whole experience a bit more fun and pleasant and give your mood a little boost while you bathe. If you’re not sure which floral essential oil to choose from, think about your favorite essential oils to put in your diffuser, and look for something along the same lines.
Lastly, one of the best oils for body scrubs is definitely peppermint oil. With its gorgeous, cooling scent, it works wonders for sore muscles—a body scrub with peppermint oil is definitely one you want to get down with after a long week, especially if your feet could use a little TLC after being on them all week. It also has an energizing effect, so you’ll feel totally refreshed when you’re done.
Really, though, the essential oils in your body scrub can be whatever you like! It just depends on your personal tastes, as well as the benefits you’re hoping to get. As long as they’re properly diluted by the oil and you’re sure you don’t have an allergy, you can get as crazy as you want, especially if you’re making your body scrub at home.
Exfoliation So Good You Can Eat It
The last main ingredient to any body scrub is crucial: it’s the “scrub” part of the equation. While some body scrubs may use artificial plastics or other non-natural components to create the scrubbing effect, we’d recommend you look for something a little more natural. You want your scrub to be made out of something that you could eat if you wanted to.
It goes without saying, but just because you can, doesn’t mean you should eat your body scrub. Essential oils aren’t meant to be ingested! So don’t forget they’re part of the mix, no matter how good it smells.
A lot of body scrubs use sugar to get the scrubbing effect. This can be simply granulated sugar or even brown sugar. If you’d rather go savory than sweet (okay, we’ll stop talking about eating your bath products now) sea salt is another great option for body scrubs.
It is, however, a lot more coarse than sugar on average, so you’ll want to either make sure the salt is super fine, or you’ll want to reserve its use for tougher areas of your skin. Too much abrasiveness around sensitive, thinner areas of your skin can irritate it, rather than exfoliate it.
Another delicious option is a Coffee Scrub. Not only is it good for exfoliating, but the caffeine is amazing for your skin—just remember that it can be absorbed through your skin, so if you’re sensitive to caffeine, it’s probably more of a morning spa session than a before bed wind down kind of mix. Coffee scrubs also smell absolutely luscious, which is definitely a bonus.
While body scrubs may not be part of your routine just yet, we think they totally should be. Whether you’re working them into your week as part of a bathtime pamper sesh or just giving your body a good scrub during your daily shower, they have a wide range of benefits.
Body scrubs are great for sloughing off dead skin cells and giving your complexion a new lease on life. They’re also great for giving your legs a bit of exfoliation before you shave to make sure you’re getting the closest shave you can!
On top of keeping your skin fresh and bright, if you take some time to consider the best oils for body scrubs, you can also get a healthy boost of moisturization from the base oil—we love this benefit most in the winter when our skin tends to be more dry and dull. Add in some essential oils for scent and health benefits, and once you start scrubbing, you’ll never go back.
The Effect of Olive Oil on Prevention of Striae Gravidarum: A Randomized Controlled Clinical Trial | National Library of Medicine
Anti-Inflammatory and Skin Barrier Repair Effects of Topical Application of Some Plant Oils | Internal Journal of Molecular Sciences
The Role of Vitamin E in Normal and Damaged Skin | National Library of Medicine