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2:53 PM Mon, Dec. 10th

Practical Saver: Homemade scrub, lotion recipes for soft skin

As a consumer researcher, I enjoy the first-hand testing of information before passing it along to others. Our kitchen has looked like a science lab lately as I have been testing homemade beauty recipes. I was excited to discover that our kitchen cupboard had more than just ingredients to make delicious meals--they also contained items necessary to make products that clean and moisturize your skin. Below are some of my favorite homemade recipes that I have recently put to the test.

One of the easiest mixtures that I tried was for a facial and body scrub. This scrub intrigued me because it uses one of my favorite ingredients, coconut oil. I found this product to be an excellent moisturizing scrub that left my skin feeling soft. It was adapted from the New Nostalgia Blogspot.

COCONUT LIME SUGAR SCRUB

1 part coconut oil

1 part sugar

2 parts lime or lemon juice

(Place all ingredients into a jar and stir. Rub on face/body, rinse with water.)

For soft hands, I came across a partially homemade remedy at www.OneGoodThingbyJillee.com. I was pleased to find that this recipe also uses coconut oil. I was skeptical at first, however, because there are many excellent hand lotions/creams on the market already. But after using this one, I became a believer. It absorbs wonderfully, is very soft and smells delightful. The coconut oil is a natural healer, the vitamin E helps prevent many signs of aging and improves skin hydration and baby lotion is gentle and smells refreshing. The ingredients combine into a fabulous lotion that is also very economical.

BABY LOTION HAND CREAM

1 part coconut oil

1 part Vitamin E cream (found in the lotion isle)

2 parts baby lotion

(Mix ingredients and store in air tight container).

Another product caught my attention because of its odd ingredients. The recipe at www.sublime-decor.com is for a foot soak that claims to remove dead skin from your feet. It did remove dead skin, but there was an added bonus that I wasn't anticipating: It left my feet feeling tingly and refreshed for hours. To make this soak, mix 1/2 cup antiseptic mouthwash, 1/2 cup vinegar, and 1 cup hot water. Soak your feet in the solution for 10 minutes. I highly suggest heating the water on the stove or in the microwave before pouring it in with the vinegar and mouthwash; soaking in a cold solution wasn't very refreshing! Wow, what a wonderful, tingling sensation!

Coconut oil, as we saw above, is a versatile ingredient. It is a natural healer that can be found for under $3 in the cooking oil section in grocery stores and at Walmart. One effective application for coconut oil is to use it for shaving your legs. Simply smooth the oil on your legs and shave as normal. The oil will provide a very close shave and leaves the skin very soft. While you have the oil in the shower, you can also rub it into the cuticles on your nails to condition them and help reduce hangnails.

Another way to make delightful skin remedies is to add an ingredient to your current products. For an effective facial cleanser, simply add 1/2 teaspoon of Epsom salt to any creamy facial cleanser. Place the amount of cleanser that you typically use in your hand and mix in the Epsom salt. Then, gently apply it to your face and neck. My skin was incredibly soft after using this cleanser. Why Epsom Salt? According to www.saltworks.us, Epsom salt actually pulls salt out of your body, as well as harmful toxins. I loved the effect that this extra ingredient provided to my normal facial cleanser.

I admit that I don't usually use eye make-up remover in my facial routine. Now it is simple - add a dab of baby shampoo to a cotton ball and gently rub on your eyes. It is safe and smells good too. It only requires a dab of shampoo, so a travel size bottle will do the trick.

These are just a few of the recipes that I came across. If you have any favorites that you have discovered, please pass them on to me at practicalsaver@yahoo.com.

Kara Rozendaal, a financial planner, wife and homeschool mother of three, has lived in Prescott Valley for 17 years. Kara's website, www.PracticalSaver.com, helps make shopping simple and savings possible.