DIY: Three-in-One Mosquito-Repelling Body Scrub

Happy Independence Day, everyone!

After I made the DIY: Mosquito Repellant, I discovered I’d run out of my homemade body scrub and was about to make some more when it hit me: why couldn’t I make this batch a three-fer? After all, I use the scrub all over my body, so why not make it an anti-mosquito one as well as exfoliating AND moisturizing?

My regular scrub is made with sugar and oil. In the winter, I use olive oil because it’s a more occlusive and protects my skin from the harsh winter weather; my skin just drinks it up in the winter. But olive oil is way too heavy to use during steamy NYC summers, so I switch to Neutrogena Fragrance-Free Light Sesame Body Oil. I love that it never feels greasy and I have my friend K to thank for suggesting it to me several years ago. Sometimes I’ll use Trader Joe’s Lavender Body Oil which is lighter than olive oil but a step heavier than the Neutrogena sesame oil. You can use antioxidant-rich grape seed or avocado oils, or another neutral oil of your choice. Jojoba oil is nice too. Just an FYI: if you make a huge batch at once, it’s going to be in your shower for a long while and edible oils could go rancid before you can use it all up.

As you may have inferred, this scrub is very easily customizable, which is why I decided I’d give it some anti-bug properties. I can’t believe I didn’t think of it sooner! I use sugar because it’s a great exfoliant that dissolves easily in water, so you can just rinse it off without losing the moisturization of the oil. You can also use table salt.

You’ll need a canning jar, which you can buy at your local kitchenware shop, yard sales, The Container Store, farming supplies store, and of course, online. In NYC, you can buy these jars at the Broadway Panhandler. It can be hard to find them during canning season, so you may have to really look around depending on where you are. Be sure you get the right size rubber gasket for the lids! Whatever jar you use must have a very tight-fitting lid that you can easily remove and replace in the shower–you don’t want water getting into this scrub because the sugar will begin to dissolve.

I use this scrub in the shower and then spray myself down with the DIY: Mosquito Repellant in the same way people layer their perfumes, and so far so good! This scrub makes a nice I’m-broke-as-a-joke-but-donwanna-look-like-it gift. You can cover the lid with a pretty piece of fabric and tie around it with a ribbon threaded with a tag listing the ingredients (in case of allergies) and the recipient’s name.

Whoops, I forgot to include the bottle of citronella essential oil in the lineup!

a190de4e, Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone App

The oil seeping down into the sugar

Three-in-One Mosquito-Repelling Body Scrub (yields 16 oz)

  • One 0.5-liter (16-oz) hermetic jar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4-1/2 cup light, fragrance-free oil (you can use grapeseed, avocado or jojoba oil)
  • 15 drops lavender essential oil
  • 6 drops lemon eucalyptus essential oil
  • 5 drops citronella essential oil
  • 5 drops tea tree oil

Put the sugar into the jar. In a separate bowl, mix the oils and pour over the sugar. Mix with a disposable chopstick or plastic spoon. Use enough oil so the sugar is saturated but not so much that it puddles on top after it’s all been mixed in. Make sure the rubber gasket is on the inside of the lid, and clasp it shut.


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