Category

Body Scrub

Category

Scrub for the Sun – EcoTools Dry Body Brush

As the weather improves and the sun shines while the temperatures soar, most of us start showing a bit more skin. That means its time to get exfoliating! To some this is a tedious chore, but I kind of enjoy it. There’s something satisfying about scraping away all that old skin and feeling baby soft when you step out of the shower. Fortunately, there’s a new tool from EcoTools that is an excellent addition to anyone’s exfoliating routine! It is their new Dry Body Brush.

EcoTools’ new Dry Body Brush is very well designed. It has a round bamboo base with gentle yet firm cruelty free synthetic fiber bristles. There is also a cloth strap attached to the back to make it even easier to hold. The size is perfect in that it’s not too big to fit in your hand, nor is it too small to cover large areas of your body in one go. The bristles, though firm enough to remove dead skin, are somehow still soft on the skin. I think part of the secret is that the bristles are not too densely packed, allowing them to spread out and move a bit while in use. I would have to say it is quite possibly the perfect dry brush! Plus, it’s aesthetically pleasing. J

If you’re unfamiliar with the technique of dry brushing, it basically just refers to sweeping a relatively firm brush in upward motions over dry skin, typically before bathing, to help remove dead skin and improve circulation. It is best to always move towards your heart. It can actually feel quite nice and kind of invigorating. I have been dry brushing on and off for a few years now and I have definitely learned that the brush you’re using can make a world of difference!

I originally had been using a Tampico brush for dry brushing that had a handle. It was very stiff with rather inflexible bristles and was very difficult to maneuver due to its long handle. I often ended up up knocking over anything and everything in my way. It left my skin red after use and, though I didn’t mind it, it is probably way too harsh for many people.

Everything that I found fault with in my Tampico brush seems remedied by this new EcoTools brush! My skin is left looking soft and healthy, not red and irritated. Though I probably wouldn’t recommend dry brushing in general for those with highly sensitive skin, the EcoTools Dry Brush is the perfect balance of gentle and effective without being highly irritating. If you have an interest in giving dry brushing a go, definitely start by trying the new EcoTools Dry Body Brush. Retailing for only $4.99, it’s a steal and your skin will thank you for it! J

Confessing My Love…For frank.

I have a confession to make. I am in love. I just can’t keep it a secret any longer. My love? Well it’s a bit unconventional. His name is frank and, well…he’s a coffee scrub. That’s right. I’m in love with frank Coconut Coffee Body Scrub! I had heard a few people mention frank here and there and finally decided I should give him a try too and, well, I’m hooked! frank is just the most amazing, body smoothing, healthy-glow giving thing that I have ever found! The gushing has only just begun, so let’s count the ways that I love frank. J

Firstly, if you’re still a tiny bit confused (which I doubt since you’re all amazing and intelligent people, but my dad was lost when I tried to explain this), frank is a coffee-based body scrub that is intended to be used in the shower. The marketing around this product is sheer genius in my opinion. The scrub is made to sound like a real person and after ordering, you’ll receive updates about where frank is on “his” journey. The back of the package says:

“If you do something for me…” (and it continues with directions on how to use frank) …”I’ll do something for you:

  • like scrub away dry, flaky skin with my roasted robusta coffee and sea salt blend, leaving you feeling soft and smooth.
  • I’ll cleanse and clarify with brown sugar, coconut flakes and coconut oil.
  • Then I’ll soothe, moisturize and tone with grape seed oil and jojoba beads.
  • I’ll love every inch of your bod, because that’s just the kind of guy I am.”
And there you have the basic claims from frank (the body scrub).

frank was born in Melbourne, Australia but fear not if you live elsewhere in the world. He will travel for free to the US and will also go on international excursions! He departs from a warehouse in LA, so you won’t be waiting 60 years to greet frank on your doorstep (at least for US customers). frank is simple in not only his ingredients (they were all spelled out above), but also in his simple foil-lined paper packaging. It’s a really cute, clever design and simply states “frank“ on the front. I think it’s an unusual and appealing way of packaging a scrub. I like the rather simple, albeit rather advanced paper pouch, in that it repels water and keeps oils safely contained inside. frank seals with a standard Ziploc-type closure…he reminds you to “Store me in a cool, dry place with my fly done up.” So cute! No frills. None needed!

Unzip frank’s “fly” and you’ll find basically a bunch of oil-laced finely ground coffee with a touch of salt, sugar, coconut and jojoba beads to scrub away all of your lumps and bumps. It should be said that if you do not like the smell of coffee, you WILL NOT like this scrub at all! It smells strongly of coffee with, in the case of mine, a touch of coconut. There are 4 versions of frank, each with slightly different ingredients, which create a different addition to the coffee scent. I chose the Coconut Coffee Scrub because I absolutely adore coconut and it had so many different awesome exfoliants included! J Anyway, back to the contents. I’m not quite sure how this scrub works so well, but it not only scrubs away any traces of dead skin, but it leaves the skin soft, smooth, moisturized and just all-over healthier looking. I swear it really does help improve the appearance of cellulite as well – I’m sure it’s the caffeine. It’s so fantastic that I find moisturizer almost doesn’t make a difference in the softness of my skin! It’s that softening! You will seriously feel like buttery soft silk when you get out of the shower, after you dry off, and even days later…even if you skip the moisturizer all together! It’s incredible what frank does.

frank does require you to put a little effort into your skin softening endeavors however. As you may have figured out by now, coffee grounds do not simply dissolve or immediately rinse down the drain like a sugar or salt scrub. Fear not though! I find that if I use frank mid-shower, as I usually do, by the time I’ve finished rinsing my hair and am ready to towel off, most if not all of the grounds have found their way down the drain. You willsee a bit of brown from the ground coffee dripping down your skin while scrubbing away, but again nothing that doesn’t wash off. I find the easiest way to use frank is to put a small amount in a little jar and leave the actual package outside of the shower. That’s not necessary, I just find it easier to scoop a bit out of a little travel size jar and keep it in the shower at all times. Perhaps the most unusual part of the process comes when you are to actually start scrubbing. You are meant to turn off the water (so it doesn’t just rinse away as most scrubs do), rub the coffee all over – you can even gently use it on your face if you so choose (and it seriously softens your face too) – and wait about 5 minutes without turning the water back on. I didn’t think I could handle this step fearing I would be freezing by the end of the time, but it actually isn’t bad at all. After this 5 minute period, feel free to resume showering as usual and you will be so happy with the texture and appearance of your skin when you get out! One tip that I will add is that if your hair is long enough to pull up, you probably want to do so just to keep any oils or coffee grounds from getting trapped in your locks. Before I grab frank, I put my conditioner on my hair, twist it up and cover it with a shower cap. Then while scrubbing away, my hair is getting a nice, deep conditioning treatment with no extra time or effort on my part. Win, win! J 

That’s pretty much all I can think of to tell you about frank. He leaves me somewhat speechless. J I highly, highly recommend giving this scrub a try! I feel like frank is even more effective than other body exfoliating methods, including dry brushing! The Coconut version costs $17.95 (includingshipping) for a generous 7oz/200g and you need a pretty small quantity per shower. If you have easily irritated or highly sensitive skin, frank might be a bit harsh for you, but otherwise, this is hands down the best body scrub I have ever come across! If you want soft, smooth, silky, moisturized, touchable and just healthier looking skin that will last for days, you should definitely give franka try!  
You can purchase frank through their website here. Fear not. I gain nothing from you clicking the link! If you’re more comfortable typing it yourself, it’s simply frankbody.com.

Giovanni’s Hot Chocolate Sugar Scrub vs Cool Mint Lemonade Salt Scrub – Which is Best for You?

Giovanni is a fantastic cruelty-free brand that is totally affordable and rather easy to find in local stores. They just happen to make some of my favorite body scrubs – not too harsh, but scrubby enough to be effective. They are absolute perfection! The two scrubs Giovanni makes are the Hot Chocolate Sugar Scrub and the Cool Mint Lemonade Salt Scrub. A scrub is a scrub, right? Well, not exactly. Though these two are quite similar, there are subtle differences that may make one preferable to the other. So let’s examine the two so you can find the one that’s best for you!

Let’s start with how the two scrubs are similar. Both of these are emulsified body scrubs (my favorite type of scrub). An emulsified body scrub is simply one where the ingredients are actually sort of “fused” together. We’ve all seen the oil suspension scrubs where you basically have a pot of oils chocked full of salt and/or sugar. The Giovanni scrubs are basically the less messy cousins of these scrubs. They use a binding agent that blends the oils and the granules together making almost a paste-like texture. So, long story short, the Giovanni scrubs have a thick, not at all messy consistency that is scooped out of the tub and rubbed into the skin. The sugar or salt is a physical exfoliant that literally scrubs away flakiness leaving behind softer, brighter and more hydrated (thanks to the oils) skin. They are both stellar physical body scrubs and I would not hesitate to recommend either one to anyone looking for such a product!

So why this post? Well, let’s talk about the differences! J The most immediate difference between the Hot Chocolate Scrub and the Cool Mint Lemonade Scrub is the scent (let’s state the obvious, shall we? J). The two smell pretty much exactly as they sound – warm, hot chocolate or refreshing, slightly minty lemon goodness. They both smell insanely delicious and pretty dead on to the real thing. You really can’t go wrong, so it’s just a question of personal preference.

The other rather obvious distinction is that the Hot Chocoalte Scrub uses sugar to exfoliate, while the Cool Mint Lemonade uses salt. Both are scrubby and feel slightly rough, though gently so. However, using salt will actually help to kind of suck up the dead skin because salt is a drying agent. This doesn’t mean your skin will feel dry if you use it, it will actually aid in removing the dead skin. The drawback to that is that it’s salt, and salt can burn. If you have any cuts, you’ll find them when using the Mint Lemonade Scrub! Having a small army of cats, this can be problematic for me because I almost always have a tiny scratch somewhere. Because of that, I tend to reach for the Hot Chocolate Scrub most of the time. I don’t really like it any more or less, I just want to avoid scrubbing salt into a wound! J If that’s not a concern of yours, or your heart is set on using a salt scrub, you’re going to want to use it before shaving! Always, always, always use salt scrubs beforeshaving to avoid the horrifying burn of salt over freshly irritated skin! And should salt pose a problem to you for any reason, the sugar scrub will do just as good of a job at physically scrubbing away your scaly bits. J

Another fantastic aspect about the Cool Mint Lemonade Salt Scrub, at least in the summer, is the mint! There are actually little bits of fresh mint mixed into the scrub. I’m not sure if this really serves any function as far as exfoliating goes, but it does have a fantastic cooling effect on the skin! It’s wonderful on a hot day or after a brutal workout. As you’re scrubbing, the mint will work its magic and you will feel kind of a tingly, cooling sensation. So, so nice when you’re hot and sweaty, or just looking for a really refreshing shower. However, during a bitter cold winter it may not your preferred effect. J The Hot Chocolate Sugar Scrub adds crushed cocoa beans, but I don’t find that they really have any added sensation; it’s simply a fantastic all around scrub that won’t irritate cuts, scrapes or burns. Again, which of the two scrubs you chose will likely depend on the season and you’re general preferences.

Bottom line? I can’t tell you which scrub to choose, but I would bet that whether you prefer a cooling Cool Mint Lemonade Salt Scrub or a comforting Hot Chocolate Sugar Scrub, Giovannihas a fantastic scrub for you!

Sugar Body Scrub Tutorial – Last Minute DIY Gift – Using Common Household Ingredients!

Today I have a really quick last minute DIY project that would make a great gift for men or women. It takes very little time, is best made closest to the time it will be given, and you probably already have everything you need in your kitchen! We’re going to be making a Basic Sugar Body Scrub!

First things first – the Materials. You will need the following:

  •        Container to hold the final product (Mason Jars, Bail Jars or other Glass Jars are my favorites)
  •        Rubbing Alcohol
  •        ¼ to ½ cup Oil of your choosing
  •        2 cups Sugar or Medium to Fine Grain Salt (I will be referring only to Sugar, but you can use either – or even a mixture of the two)
  •        Skin Safe Scent (many Essential Oils will work) – Optional
  •        Food Coloring – Optional

You want to start by “disinfecting” your container. Either use a spray bottle filled with rubbing alcohol to spritz the jar and wipe down, or put a bit of rubbing alcohol on a paper towel and clean the container. This should sanitize the container as well as it can be done in your kitchen.

Next, measure out 2 Cups of Sugar and place in a mixing bowl. You can use any type of sugar, or you can use a medium to fine grain salt if you prefer. The finer the grain, the rougher the scrub.

You want to measure out about ¼ Cup of the Oil you have chosen and add it to the Sugar. It is best to begin with a small quantity of oil and add more as you go. 

Mix the ingredients together until well blended. Check the consistency. It should look like slightly wet, but still fluffy sand. Try some on your hand and see how you like it. If it feels too grainy, add a bit more oil.

If you feel the scrub is too harsh or not moisturizing enough, add another to ¼ cup of oil and mix.  Continue this process until you feel the scrub is just right. I find that about ½ cup Oil to 2 cups Sugar is just about perfect. Now you can mix in your scent and color if you’ve chosen to add them, or place the mixture into your containers!

Adding Scent:  The most important thing to remember with scent is to make sure your fragrance choice is skin safe!!! Most Essential Oils are fine for topical use – if in doubt, do a Google search. Some of the popular scents like Peppermint (NOT for pregnant women), Spearmint, Lavender, Tea Tree, Patchouli, Rose, and Sandalwood, as well as many others, should be fine for topical use. You can also use Fragrance Oils that are made for Soap, just check to ensure that the Fragrance Oil is Skin Safe! There are many Fragrance Oils out there that are made for candles only and should not be used on the skin. Fragrance Oils should always be labeled as to whether or not they are safe for use in bath & body products.

Again, it’s best to start with a small amount of scent (meaning a few drops) and add more if necessary. You can’t undo it if it makes the entire kitchen smell like a pine tree!!! JCheck the scent to see if it’s to your liking. Add more if desired. You can stop here and pack the scrub into your container, or you can add some color if you’d like!

Adding Color:  Color, like scent, should not be done in excess. Too much will stain the skin and your bathtub, so start with just a little bit. Keep doing this until you reach the color you’re after. Pack the scented, colored scrub into your container, and you’re ready for gift giving!!! J

Packaging: Be careful not to fill your containers too full. You want to try to avoid having oil seep out of the container. I would say as a general rule, you probably want to fill the containers about ½” below the top of the container. If you’re using a jar with an airtight lid, such as a bail jar, try to gauge where the lowest part of the lid reaches inside the jar and pack to ¼ – ½” of that point. If you overfill the container a little, it’s not a big deal. You may have some oil that seeps out of the lid, but it’s not going to do anything more than make the container a bit messy!

I alternated between uncolored scrub and the scrub with the red food coloring for a candy cane effect.

Storage: It’s best to store this scrub away from water and outside of the bathroom. I know that seems rather silly and inconvenient, but because there are no preservatives in this scrub, any water that comes in contact with the scrub increases the chance for bacteria to grow. Yuck! You can avoid this by adding a preservative, but they are not readily available so I haven’t included one in this tutorial. Also, be sure to inform the recipient that the oil in this scrub will make the floor a bit slippery, and to be careful!

If this sounds complicated, it’s really not! It does not take much time, uses ingredients you probably already have lying around, and it doesn’t even make a mess! JIf you plan to give this as a gift, it’s nice to add a tag that includes the ingredients, the date it should be used before (about 3-4 months is usually a good window), some directions for use, and of course a warning that it can make the floor slippery!
Now you’ve made a great gift to help your loved ones stay soft, smooth and hydrated this year! I hope you enjoy making this scrub, and feel free to make it your own with different oils! Also, try experimenting with different exfoliants. Himalayan Pink Sea Salt makes the scrub naturally beautiful with its lovely pink hue! Try adding a bit of activated charcoal (look for capsules in the vitamin section) to detoxify and add a natural black tint, or try some black sea salt! Look around the baking aisle at the grocery store and let your imagination run wild! J

If you try this scrub yourself, I’d love to see photos! Tweet them with #MGPDIY so we can all see your creations! J Until next time, thanks so much for stopping by and I will see you again soon!!! J


Spa Wisdom Africa Ximenia & Salt Scrub from The Body Shop – Reinventing the Scrub?!?!

I have a love-hate relationship with salt scrubs. I love the way they exfoliate, but they always seem to be horribly oily messes. I was intrigued when I came across The Body Shop’s Spa Wisdom AfricaXimenia & Salt Scrub. This doesn’t look like the standard salt/sugar-suspended-in-oil concoction. For one, it is solid! Hoping that it wouldn’t be so messy and difficult to use, I thought I’d give it a try! To see my thoughts, keep reading….

Like I said, this salt scrub is solid. It kind of looks like solid, but softened shea butter. That could be because it contains Community Trade shea butter from Ghana to moisturize and soften the skin. It also has Community Trade Organic beeswax to not only moisturize and condition skin, but also to help seal in moisture by acting as a barrier against the elements. To further soften skin, The Body Shop has included an oil harvested from trees native to Africa that is called Ximania oil. Together, these ingredients will moisturize, soften and protect the skin, while the salt grains gently exfoliate away dead skin. All that, and it won’t run all over the shower, drip out of your hands, or make a nice slick floor that increases the chances that one will fall on his or her bare arse! J

This scrub is quite gentle, yet still effective. I find it rare that a scrub fills both shoes. The salt grains in this scrub are fine in texture, as opposed to the rather jagged sea salt so commonly included in scrubs of this type. The fine grain salt feels gentle on the skin, but still gives that scrubby sensation that leaves you feeling as though you’ve actually done something to exfoliate your skin. I feel like the solid moisturizers that carry the salt granules also help protect the skin from a direct salty assault as well.

Since the scrub is solid, it is much easier and less messy to use than the oily scrub varieties. You just scoop out a bit– I tend to take enough for one portion of the body at a time before shaving (after shaving may burn due to the salt coming in contact with slightly irritated skin) – and simply rub it in to damp skin! No drips, no grease, no mess. I do step out of the main shower stream to avoid immediately dissolving the scrub because it does turn into a creamy body wash as it comes in contact with water. This scrub is amazingly convenient to use and it doesn’t turn your shower floor into a giant oil slick!

This milky exfoliating body wash not only exfoliates and moisturizes, but it also cleanses the skin with a very subtle unisex aroma. The scent is quite mild and kind of spa-like. It smells a bit like straight shea butter to me. It’s definitely a very gentle unisex scent, so I think anyone would gladly use it without objection. Finally! An all-in-one body washing scrub that moisturizes without smelling like a field of flowers! J

The scrub does exactly as it claims. It gently exfoliates, it softens and hydrates the skin, and you leave the shower feeling clean and silky without the oil! I really enjoy this scrub! I find that, though adding moisturizer afterwards makes me feel even softer and more hydrated than using the scrub alone, I can definitely get away with just exfoliating with the salt scrub. I still feel soft and hydrated after showering, without feeling greasy. No sticking to the sheets! I love that it’s a cleanser as well as a moisturizing salt scrub. It eliminates a step, though I often skip the cleanser when I use a scrub anyway, but then I never feel quite as clean. I would definitely recommend checking out the Spa Wisdom Africa Ximania & Salt Scrub from The Body Shop the next time you’re looking for a body cleanser orexfoliator. This is a great all-in-one creamy cleansing shower exfoliant.

The Body Shop’s Spa Wisdom Africa Ximenia & Salt Scrub comes in a generous 13.5oz flip top heavy-duty plastic container similar to other oily salt scrubs. They always remind me of homemade canned jams. I will say that the packaging is not the greatest, especially for travel, but I’m not sure how else it could be easily dispensed. It can be difficult to keep the jar out of the water stream, and the latch on the lid is rather awkward. It does have a water-tight seal, which also makes it more difficult to close, but it’s all worth the minor hassle for such a wonderful cleansing scrub!

The Body Shop’s Spa Wisdom Africa Ximenia & Salt Scrub retails for $28, though The Body Shop almost always has some sort of sale or special promotion running. I would definitely recommend checking it out! J

Best of 2012 – Hair & Body Products!

Sticking with skin products, I’m going to move on to body care and hair care favorites for 2012. I do not really have a whole lot of stand-outs in these categories, so it should be relatively short. If you missed my 2012 favorites in skincare, you can find them here. If I have reviewed a product previously on the blog, the product name is linked to it so you can easily find more information about it. So let’s get on with some more favorites!

 

Starting with body products:

            First, I love the Buffy Body Butter from Lush. It is a solid bar of vegetable butters with chunks of various scrubbies that you use while in the shower. To use it, I step out of the water stream and rub the bar over my skin. Then I get back into the shower stream and rinse off any bits of exfoliants that may remain. Done! It exfoliates wonderfully, while moisturizing my skin. When I get out of the shower, I don’t need to add any additional moisturizer! My main complaint with Buffy is that the bar disappears rather quickly – definitely get one of the Lush tins to keep it out of the water when it’s not being used!
            My next body product is not really specific. It is simply antibacterial liquid soap. I use the Bath & Body Works Deep Cleansing or Moisturizing Soaps. The reason I’m including plain old antibacterial soap is that I use it religiously just for shaving my armpits – well, I use it to wash my hands as well, but not in the shower. Bacteria is what causes armpit odor and, though I’ve never had too much trouble with odor, I would rather be safe than stinky! J I love the scents from Bath & Body Works which is really the main reason I use their soaps. If you are planning to use these soaps for the body, I would NOT recommend getting the Foaming version because it evaporates rather quickly. It also does not create much of a barrier when shaving, but the regular pump versions work just great!

 

            Finally, I would highly recommend the Nubian Heritage Hand Creams. They are all great, but they are slightly different. The scent varies between each one as does the consistency. My favorites are the Mango Butter Hand Cream and the Olive & Green Tea Hand Cream. These creams absorb into the skin almost immediately and they hydrate hands beautifully. I do find that I need to use them more regularly than some other hand creams, but I don’t mind because they are not even remotely greasy. Some of the scents are rather strong, but they will fade after awhile. The Mango Butter Hand Cream probably has the least noticeable scent – it smells of oranges – and it is a bit thinner than some of the others, so you don’t need too much. The Olive & Green Tea Hand Cream is a bit thicker and has a refreshing green scent – maybe bamboo? (I know that’s kind of a weird description, but it’s the best I can do!) It is also not one of the stronger, more prone to linger scents and it is very nourishing. These are beautiful hand creams that absorb into the skin better than any I have come across – and no grease!!!

 

Moving on to hair products. To keep my hair in the best shape I can, there are the products I’ve found to be lifesavers this year:
            Once I ran out of my prior Leave-In Conditioner, I started using the It’s a 10 Miracle Leave In Product. It detangles my hair better than anything I have ever tried. My hair is left more manageable without being greasy, and I really don’t think I could get a brush through my knotty mane without this stuff! Most of the year, I used the Healthy Sexy Hair Soy Tri-Wheat Leave-In Conditioner which is also great, but once I tried the It’s a 10 Treatment, I haven’t gone back!

 

            I’ve been using the Macadamia Natural Oil Nourishing Leave-In Cream on and off for most of the year and it definitely makes a difference in my hair. I use maybe a nickel to quarter-size amount and run it through damp hair before spritzing with the It’s a 10 Treatment. The Macadamia Treatment seems to help my hair dry faster and helps control frizz. It also helps any heat-styling hold better and last longer than without it!

 

            If I’m planning to heat-style my hair, I like to mix some Straight Sexy Hair Darn Straight Straightening and Polishing Lotion with the Macadamia Oil Leave-In Treatment. This works for curling hair as well as straightening it! It helps to protect the hair from heat, keeps my hair a bit more manageable, and holds the style longer.

 

And those are the products that stood-out in 2012 for hair and body!

By continuing to use the site, you agree to the use of cookies. more information

The cookie settings on this website are set to "allow cookies" to give you the best browsing experience possible. If you continue to use this website without changing your cookie settings or you click "Accept" below then you are consenting to this.

Close