Summertime is for gardening, and with that comes wretched hands. Seems everything I do results in horrid hands. I probably wouldn’t care so much if I didn’t have to go to work, which makes having dirt stuck underneath my nail-beds, in all the cracks, callused palms, and torn-up bleeding fingers kind of embarrassing. The only way I can seem to get them free of dirt and crud is with surgical scrub products at work, so I couldn’t understand how the rest of world does it. Believe it or not, I do wear gardening gloves… most of the time.
Throughout the year, my hands go through various stages of being jacked-up. In the fall/winter, I pass the cold months by building/woodworking/interior design and I always have some kind of paint or oddly colored substance adhered to my hands and forearms (face, hair, and legs too). I once had dark brown enamel paint stuck underneath my fingernails for a week after I painted my front door (I’m sure patients thought that looked super sketchy and classy). For these months, I have glorious heavy-duty lotions though, to repair all the damaged skin from all my “making”. But for the summer, I really don’t need these heavy products, just a good cleaner and some silky lotion.
I went to the beach for just a few days last month and in that small amount of time the sand worked wonders on my hands and feet. They hadn’t felt so clean, soft, and smooth in a long time! I did a little bit of research and found that I could make my own hand (and foot!) scrub with products I have in my own kitchen! I was a little skeptical trying this, and I’ve modified the recipes I’ve found to add my own little touches, but friends, I really am pleased with the results. Not only does this scrub get your hands (and feet) super clean but it’ll leave your skin silky and moisturized. You’ll feel like you’ve just left the spa!
Lemon-Sugar Hand Scrub
Makes: 1 cup
– 2/3 c. sugar
– 1/4 c. coconut oil
– 1/2 lemon, juice and zest
– Jar, for storage
– fragrance oil, optional (I used soap fragrance)
I purchased my coconut oil from target, but if you can’t find it, you can use olive oil instead. I also considered using this body oil, which was already scented “Apple Mint”. I may try this in the future, but to keep this generally natural and simple for you, I stuck with organic coconut oil this round 🙂 Also, unrefined coconut oil will harden at room temp, around 70 degrees Fahrenheit, which gives your scrub shape when you can/jar it. You can liquify the oil before making this scrub by popping it in the microwave for a few seconds…or by turning your AC off and allowing your house to get up to 77 degrees, such as in my case…..
1. Add 1/4c. oil to 2/3c. sugar. I used a knife to mix this stuff together.
2. Next, squeeze the juice of 1/2 lemon into the mixture. Add the zest of half the lemon to the mixture. If using, add fragrance. I chose a peach-mango scent from a soap making kit (I used 5 drops). I would also recommend lavender or vanilla scents. Mix until the mixture is the consistency of a slushie (add more sugar or oil if needed). Add it to the jar it’ll be stored in.
I’ve used a small jar and only made 1 cup of scrub because I’ve used fresh lemon juice and zest. It’ll keep about 2 weeks but I doubt I’ll let it last that long 🙂 Give it a try and let me know what you think! I was a little concerned that the lemon juice would sting the cuts I have from my zucchini and squash plants but I was pleasantly surprised there was absolutely no stinging or pain! I am so happy with the way this stuff turned out my creative juices are already flowing, I’m thinking about making some with some fresh aloe from my aloe plant (that is FINALLY growing after 2 years) and another with the honey my neighbor gave me from what her bees made!!
Keeping it on a windowsill or in the bathroom during a shower will keep the coconut oil liquified if you want a softer scrub. If you want a thicker scrub, keep it out of the sun, and the oil will harden!