I’ve decided that it’s finally time to start thinking about DIY Christmas gifts. I usually give cookies or other holiday treats to friends and neighbors but this year I want to give gifts that are more useful (and less fattening). I’ve already posted several things that would make great gifts, so when you have a minute (ha,ha) check out Oreo Truffles, Miracle Skin Salve, Lemon-Rosemary Sugar Scrub, and Lavender Bath Salts. I wanted a gift that had a more Christmas-y feel and so today I’m going to make Candy Cane Sugar Scrub made with real candy canes that smells divine. Ho, ho, ho!
I’ve been tinkering a lot with sugar scrubs lately, trying to solve a few problems. The first problem is that if you use a liquid oil it will eventually separate and sit on top of the sugar. The second problem is that I often feel like the exfoliating process would be a little slicker if there was something like soap involved to make it, well, slicker. So for this recipe I’ve added castile soap and, because soap is an emulsifier, it has solved both problems beautifully.
The candy cane smell in this sugar scrub comes from peppermint essential oil and ground up candy canes. You don’t have to use the candy canes as the peppermint essential oil is plenty strong but it does make the sugar scrub look really pretty. If you use candy canes make sure it is blended into a fine powder. I used a small food processor but you could also use a blender or a spice grinder. I sift mine through a sieve just to make sure there are no large pieces which could be sharp. As for the peppermint oil I only pure certified essential oils . Your skin is the largest organ in your body and what you put on you, you put in you, so whatever brand you use make sure it says For Dietary Use on the bottle.
All you have to do is put all the ingredients in a bowl and mix it up really, really well, If you are adding candy cane powder do it after you have mixed up everything else and then just gently fold the candy cane in. If you decide not to use the candy cane then split the batch in half, add a couple drops red food coloring to one half and leave the other half white. Then just alternate the pink scrub and white scrub in your container to make it look like a striped candy cane. Kind of a pain but totally cute!
The simplicity of this recipe is like a little Christmas gift to yourself during this busy time of year. I suggest you make some for yourself while your at it. The uplifting peppermint scent will keep you going when all you want to do take a nap until January.
Candy Cane Sugar Scrub
1 3/4 cups white sugar
1/2 cup sweet almond oil
2 tbsp. castile soap (or use any soap that you would wash your body with)
2 1/2 tbsp. powdered candy cane
15 drops peppermint essential oil
Process candy canes in a food processor or blender; set aside. In a medium bowl put sugar, almond oil and soap. Stir until completely blended. Add peppermint essential oil and candy cane and fold in just until color is consistent throughout. Place in a glass jar with a tight-fitting lid and attach a cute label. Use within 1 year.
Note: Since I know someone will ask, I got the glass jar in the first picture from Walmart. It comes in different sizes and has a tight fitting glass lid. The jar in the last picture is one that had bath salts in it and when it was empty I reused it for this scrub. Save those glass bottles, people! I also love using a 4 oz. mason jelly jar.