How to Make Body Scrub (& Why You Should Exfoliate!)

We’re deep diving into How to Make Body Scrub and giving you a few options so you can customize your DIY sugar scrub or salt scrub just how you want it! These DIY exfoliating body scrubs take ingredients you likely already have in your kitchen and turns them into a delicious scented scrub that leaves your skin moisturized and smooth, while saving you tons of money by making it at home!

Homemade Body ScrubHow to Make Body Scrub

The LCK team has been using these DIY scrub for a few weeks now and have been loving it. Not only does it smell AMAZING, but it leaves your skin feeling rejuvinated and moisturized.

We love a good deep exfoliation, especially as spring is around the corner and the winter skin is coming in strong! We were in love with our Chocolate Coconut Body Scrub during the holiday season, so we wanted to expand! Making a body scrub at home is so simple and we’re going to give you the details on how to make body scrub using all natural ingredients, many of which can be found inside your pantry right now. You can customize them based off of your skin needs and use up to a few times a week!

Why is it important to exfoliate your skin

A sugar scrub or salt scrub, also known as an exfoliator, is a purchased or homemade product that helps the skin rid the body of dead skin cells that then reveals healthy, glowing skin. While our body naturally sheds dead skin cells, as we age this process slows down and the dead skin can get backed up causing pores to get clogged, and making skin dry, rough, dull and spotty.

What are the benefits of exfoliating

  • Helps remove dead skin cells.
  • Your other products will work better since exfoliating your face eliminates the dead skin on top, it lets your cleanser, moisturizer and other products penetrate more deeply and work better.
  • Can increase blood circulation (which helps you to achieve healthy and glowing skin)
  • Unclog pores from dirt, blackheads, and other surface impurities so that new, healthy skin may flourish!
  • Exfoliating helps skin turn over its top dermal layer more often, so you can address a multitude of problems such as dryness and flakiness.

homemade body scrub for glowing skin

Who benefits from exfoliation?

All skin types can benefit from a body scrub. Your skin type will depend on how often you use it. People with normal/dry skin might use an exfoliator 2-3 times a week, while people with more sensitive skin might use it just once a week. We don’t recommend using this at all on your face. This recipe for body scrub is intended for the body only (as the name suggests!)

Ingredients in a Body Scrub

A lot of commercially produce scrubs and exfoliators include common household ingredients like salt and sugar and oatmeal, but also contain a lot of other ingredients that may or may not be safe for your body. If you already own a body scrub, or have used one in the past you can check it’s safety from this website here. We love the idea of using household ingredients that can exfoliate and moisturize your skin naturally. Plus it’s so much more economical!

Homemade Body Scrub

DIY Body Scrub

Start with a base ingredient, or the main exfoliant, and then add in your oil, followed by a few fun add-in options!

Base:

You can choose between sugar or salt. There are options below for how vigorous you want the exfoliation process to be.

  • Brown Sugar: This is a a very soft exfoliant and as a bonus adds moisture.
  • Coconut Sugar: This is a larger grain of sugar and is a rougher moisturizer. If using this, depending on your add-in you may need to use a bit more of the carrier oil (see below).
  • Kosher Salt, or other large crystal of salt: This is a rougher exfoliator, and is particularly good with lemon.
  • Pink Himalayan Sea Salt: This is the salt we keep around for cooking. It is a finer salt, so a more gentle exfoliant while also having the added benefit of the minerals it naturally contains.

Oils:

These oils or carrier oils help the body scrub apply smoothly and helps moisturize the skin. You can use one of these or do a combination.

  • Almond Oil: This is high in Vitamin E, can protect your skin from harmful UV radiation, and easily penetrates the skin which can help clean out your pores.
  • Jojoba Oil: This oil is similar to the oil naturally found on your skin. It absorbs fairly quickly.
  • Coconut Oil: This oil is an amazing moisturizer and has natural antibacterial properties.
  • Avocado Oil: This is high in Vitamins A, D, and E and can help sooth inflammation.
  • Olive Oil: Commonly found in our kitchens! It is heavier and absorbs slower on the skin. Be sure to use the best possible olive oil you can find (pure/cold pressed/organic).

Add-ins:

Some of these have specific benefits for your skin while others simply add a pleasant scent that can help brighten your day.

  • Essential Oils (we like lavender, lemongrass, tea tree, lemon and peppermint but feel free to experiment)
  • Finely Ground Coffee (the caffeine and antioxidants are said to be good for your skin)
  • Lemon, Orange, or Lime Zest (this adds a bright scent!)
  • Ground Oatmeal (this is an added exfoliant, plus it soothes the skin)
  • Honey (this is a natural cleanser!)
  • Lemon Juice (a natural astringent, be careful using this with very sensitive skin)
  • Herbs & Spices (suck as thyme, rosemary or cinnamon)
  • Cocoa Powder (this is high in antioxidants)
  • Vitamin E Oil (is said to have anti-aging properties)
  • Aloe Vera (is said to be good on acne prone and dry skin and has anti-inflammatory properties)
  • Argan Oil (is a great moisturizer and can help with acne)
  • Castille Soup (add this if you want your scrub to also double as a cleanser, we like Dr. Bronner’s)

DIY body scrub

How to use a body scrub

How to use them: Soften your skinin a warm shower for a few minutes, cleanse your body if desired, and then grab a dollop of the body scrub and gently scrub in a circular motion on clean, rough skin. Rinse completely. Moisturize afterwards! We recommend about once a week, but you can go up to 2-3 times a week to tackle really dry and rough skin.

Can you over exfoliate your skin

Yes, and some skin is more sensitive than others. Aggressive exfoliation can lead to irritated and red skin. We recommend exfoliating 1-3 times a week!

How to Make Body Scrub

Prep Time 00:05 Total Time 00:05

Ingredients

  • 1 cup sugar or salt
  • ½ cup oil 
  • Add-ins (use 6-12 drops of essential oils if using, or about 2 teaspoons other add-ins)

Directions

  • In a medium combine all ingredients and mix with a spoon until fully combined.
  • Place gently (do not pack it down) in a jar with a tight fitting lid and use weekly or every few days on body.

Recipe Notes

  1. You can tweak your body scrub depending on how you you want it to feel and smell. 
  2. Don't bring glassware into the shower. A reader wrote to us and shared a story of bring a glass jar in the shower and accidentally dropping it and cutting herself. So we wanted to spell this out that for safety reasons if you are using a glass jar keep it out of the shower. Or use a plastic container.
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There may be affiliate links in this post! By clicking on them, or purchasing recommended items I may receive a small compensation, at no cost to you! However, I only recommend products I absolutely love and use in my own home! Thank you for supporting Lexi's Clean Kitchen when you shop! See my privacy policy for more information about this, the information we save, and more!

Want to make body scrubs as a gift?

Grab our free printable labels:

  • Grab any jar you like (these are fun!)
  • We buy these labels!
  • Click here for the page of labels where you can hand write in what type you made!

Corned Beef Brine Recipe (Nitrate Free!)

Corned Beef is more often purchased already brined than it is made at home, but using this easy Corned Beef Brine Recipe it’s so simple to DIY using our pickling spice mixture and beef brisket. We are skipping the nitrates and using whole ingredients you recognize and the best part is the taste of the final product is far superior than anything store-bought and is SO FUN to accomplish!

Brine brisket for corned beefCorned Beef Brine Recipe

Did you know that you could make your own corned beef at home, starting totally from scratch? It’s so easy when you use this Corned Beef Brine Recipe, we promise! And honestly it results in the best tasting corned beef that is so incredibly flavorful–and you control what goes it in instead of putting in some strange spice package of unknown ingredients. Plus it’s one of those cool things to be able to say that you know how to brine your own brisket, right?

What exactly is corned beef?

Let’s start here, because some of you may have some questions! Corned beef is really just beef that has been preserved with salt, also known as brining. It’s flavored with the salt, spices and a bit of a sweetener which essentially means that you are pickling it, so think of it like pickled beef! The name corned beef comes from an old English way of referring to large granules of salt as “corns”, and therefor it just means salted beef, and there is not actually corn involved.

Most commercially prepared corned beef contains saltpeter, also known as sodium nitrate. The sodium nitrate is a curing salt that contributes to the pink color and cured flavor of corned beef. It also prevent the meat from spoiling or going rancid while it is curing. However, since the meat is cooked after it is brined it is not essential to use it. The use of nitrates and nitrites are controversial as to whether or not they are harmful in cured meats because cured meats typically contain such a small amount, and on average a person consumes larger amounts of naturally occurring sodium nitrates in vegetables like spinach, beets, celery and others. But in 2010 nitrates were declared a possible carcinogen by the World Health Organization, so when possible we avoid buying meat with added nitrates. So for this recipe we skip the sodium nitrate all together since it is not needed, and instead used beet root powder to color the meat, though this is optional.

How to brine corned beef

Why do we eat corned beef?

Corned beef is popularly cooked during the American celebration of all things Irish on St. Patrick’s Day. It can be called a corned beef dinner or a boiled dinner, which refers to the fact that corned beef is often slowly boiled with some vegetables. But if you dig a little deeper, our American tradition of corned beef actually has little to do with food that you might find in Ireland, and more to do with the corned brisket you would have found in a kosher Jewish deli at the turn of the century. Corned beef can also be thinly sliced and use in sandwiches such as pastrami, or then remade into several different recipes, like corned beef hash.

What is the best cut of meat for corned beef?

For this recipe we’re using a flat cut brisket! That cut of meat is ideal because it is contains a lot of fat (which equals flavor) and is generally tough, so the brining really helps transform it. You can also make corned beef from an eye round roast.

What is in the corned beef spice packet?

Honestly, anything can be in those spice packets that sometimes come with commercially produced corned beef. Which is why we advocate making your own (or buying a high quality one). For our corned beef pickling spice we use:

  • juniper berries
  • cinnamon
  • whole cloves
  • peppercorn
  • bay leaves
  • mustard seed

Corned beef brine

How long do you brine corned beef?

Traditionally brined corned beef with sodium nitrates can be brined for as long as 10 days. Because we were skipping it, we went with a smaller amount of time brining, about 5-6 days as there is enough salt in the brine to transform the meat in a shorter amount of days.

Why do you rinse corned beef?

This step is important! If the meat has been properly brined it has been infused with not only the flavor, but also the salt. Before you cook the meat you want to rinse it with cool water to remove all the excess salt. Similarly, you want to cook the corned beef in a ton of water to help bring out some of the salt. Don’t worry though ALL of the flavor of the spices is inside of the meat, and a properly brined beef doesn’t need additional spices during cooking because it’s infused inside of it.

best corned beef recipe

How do you cook corned beef?

Traditionally corned beef is brought to a boil on the stove top and simmered for a few hours. Vegetables like cabbage, potato and carrots are added into the pot and they’re boiled in the flavorful stock until just tender. Another method of cooking it would be in the slow cooker on low for 6-8 hours, depending on the size of the beef, and similarly vegetables added in. We’re talking all about how to cook it in the Instant Pot, which is our modern favorite way of cooking it over here in this post.

For this recipe, we used these tools:

  • Large pot
  • Plastic bag with a tight seal
  • Large container to hold curing beef

If you like this DIY recipe, check out these others:

Corned Beef Brisket Brine Recipe

Prep Time 00:10 Total Time 0:10 Serves 4-6

Ingredients

  • 2 quarts water (preferably distilled / filtered)
  • ½ cup coconut sugar
  • 1 cup kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon mixed peppercorns
  • 1 teaspoon juniper berries
  • 1 teaspoon whole cloves
  • 1 teaspoon whole allspice
  • 3 dried or fresh bay leaves
  • 1 tablespoon beet root powder (optional, see note)
  • 3-4 lb. flat cut beef brisket

Directions

  1. In a large pot add all of the ingredients, except the beet root powder (if using), and bring to a boil. After all of the salt and sugar has dissolved shut off the heat.
  2. Let the mixture cool completely. You can let this happen naturally, or you can place the brine in an ice bath by placing the brine inside of a clean bowl and then placing that bowl inside of another bowl filled with ice water.
  3. Once the brine is cool place the beet root powder (if using) and brisket inside a 2 gallon plastic bag and place the bag inside of a large container that will catch any accidental drips. This container has to be able to fit inside of your refrigerator.
  4. Carefully pour all of the brine inside of the plastic bag and seal it. Lay the plastic bag flat inside of the container and place in your refrigerator for 5-6 days.
  5. Each day carefully turn the bag upside down to stir the brine and make sure all of the beef is submerged.
  6. Once ready to cook discard the brine and the spices and rinse the corned beef thoroughly.
  7. See this post for cooking instructions.

Recipe Notes

  1. Traditionally corned beef is cured using a salt that turns the brisket pink. We are purposefully skipping this salt, also known as sodium nitrate because it's been labeled a possible carcinogen and is not necessary in this recipe. Without the sodium nitrate the corned beef is rather gray. We experimented with adding beet root powder to help counteract that and found that the resulting corned beef wasn't super pink, but it did change the color a bit. This is totally optional, and might not be worth buying a package of beet root powder just for this purpose if you are never going to use it again.
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There may be affiliate links in this post! By clicking on them, or purchasing recommended items I may receive a small compensation, at no cost to you! However, I only recommend products I absolutely love and use in my own home! Thank you for supporting Lexi's Clean Kitchen when you shop! See my privacy policy for more information about this, the information we save, and more!

DIY Pumpkin Pie Spice

Pumpkin Pie Spice is ubiquitous come the fall, and we’re not sad about it! Especially because it’s so easy to make your own DIY Pumpkin Spice Blend and you get to control the quality of spices (and quantities) that are added to it!  Plus, you’ll likely already have what you need on hand at home in your spice cabinet so you can make it right now!
What can i substitute for pumpkin pie spice

DIY Pumpkin Pie Spice

I’m all about my pumpkin pie spice in the fall! There are so many great recipes, including so many on this site, that include this spice blend and it’s so simple to make your own DIY Pumpkin Pie Spice instead of purchasing a separate blend when you likely already have the ingredients in your spice cabinet!

The best part about making your own spice blend is that you can control the quality and quantity. When you are purchasing a bottle of it at the store there is always a chance you actually don’t like the taste because that brand may have more or less of the particular blend of spices they are using, and this has definitely happened to me before. If you happen to like one of those spices more than the other in our blend, you can increase or decrease the quantity by a little (start with 1/2 a teaspoon at a time) to suit your taste.

This DIY Pumpkin Spice Blend also makes a great gift! Place it in a cute jar, with a ribbon and homemade label and bring along as a hostess gift!

 

DIY Pumpkin Pie Spice

 

What spices are in pumpkin spice?

Our blend includes cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and cloves! This matches the most common blend of spices you will find in the store! Once made store in a jar with a tight fitting lid for up to a year. After a year spices start to lose their potency, though they are still “safe” to consume.

Let’s talk about ALL THE WAYS to use this spice blend:

 

DIY Pumpkin Pie Spice

Like this DIY recipe? Check out these others:

Watch the video:

 

 

DIY Pumpkin Pie Spice

Total Time 0:00

Ingredients

Directions

  • Combine all ingredients in a jar
  • Store in spice cabinet
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    There may be affiliate links in this post! By clicking on them, or purchasing recommended items I may receive a small compensation, at no cost to you! However, I only recommend products I absolutely love and use in my own home! Thank you for supporting Lexi's Clean Kitchen when you shop! See my privacy policy for more information about this, the information we save, and more!

    DIY Best Ever Chicken Rub

    This DIY Best Ever Chicken Rub is the perfect gift to throw together for the griller in your family! Make a small or large batch, place the mix in a cute jar, and add it to a basket with BBQ tools for an awesome holiday gift this season! 

    DIY Best Ever Chicken Rub

    DIY Gift Week Day 2!

    Yesterday I shared the Espresso Candied Pecans, and today is the Best Ever Grilled Chicken rub from my cookbook! It is a staple. In fact, it’s the only grilled chicken I make! It’s flavorful and delicious. You can easily make a big batch and send it along with some grilling gear to the grill master in the family. I know I’d like that gift! 

    DIY Best Ever Chicken Rub

    Throw together a little basket with the spice mix, these grilling tools, and maybe even a gift card to the local market or his/her favorite butcher! 

    What You’ll Need:

    Mini Jars (any will do- adjust sizes based on quantity you are giving)

    Printable Labels (these have all the info filled in for your grilling gift)

    BBQ Tools (these would make a great gift!)

    Ribbon

    Card Stock (White) Card Stock (Brown)


    DIY Best Ever Chicken Rub

    [yumprint-recipe id=’413′]

     


     

    DIY Best Ever Chicken RubDownload your printable spice rub labels HERE.

    Best Ever Grilled Chicken Rub

    Prep Time 5 min Total Time 0:05

    Ingredients

    Directions

  • Place all spices into your jar.
  • Recipe Notes

    1. 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
    2. 2 cloves garlic, minced
    3. About ¼ cup wet rub [enough for 1 to 1½ pounds boneless chicken
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    There may be affiliate links in this post! By clicking on them, or purchasing recommended items I may receive a small compensation, at no cost to you! However, I only recommend products I absolutely love and use in my own home! Thank you for supporting Lexi's Clean Kitchen when you shop! See my privacy policy for more information about this, the information we save, and more!

    Our Backyard Engagement Party

    I am so excited to start sharing some details of our wedding planning with all of you wonderful people! The first post of the wedding planning series has to be our recent backyard engagement party! We added tons of DIY fun details that I am just so in love with.

    party

    So, the day: We had 75 of our closest friends and family at our house! We totally lucked out with the weather. I think I checked the weather.com app every 20 minutes for two weeks, but PHEW it was perfect- and not too hot! The day/night was filled with food, cocktails, laughter, new & old friends meeting, and so much more. It was just the best. I’m now even more excited for our wedding next summer, since so many people met and got to know each other!

    party1

    _MG_0030

    We went back and forth about what to do catering for a few months (I decided me cooking was out- since I wanted to enjoy the party and would have so much to do prior already), and then Mike and I stopped into this little Mediterranean cafe when visiting Nashua New Hampshire and and fell in love with the food. We asked them if they’d deliver to Boston and they happily agreed!

    We thought it would be the perfect food for an outdoor backyard party, a little more than the traditional BBQ, but still perfect for the summer weather. We had chicken, beef, lamb, grilled veggies, rice, salads, stuffed grape leaves, fresh pita, hummus, spinach squares, falafel, sauces, veggies, and more!

    And now we can’t forget to mention the bar! On the table was my homemade sangria (recipe coming soon), boozy lemonade, pineapple-infused vodka, beer, wine, and mixed drinks!

    PARTY3

    Mmmmm, the cake! Last year for Mike’s birthday Lynn made his cake and NOBODY knew it was gluten-free & dairy-free (unless we told them ;)). We asked her to make the cake again for the party and I couldn’t have been happier with how it turned out. It was EXACTLY what we wanted! I ordered this cake topper, accented myself with the flowers, and there you have it!  

    _MG_0463

    I knew I wanted some little fun element to the party so of course had to bring LCK into the mix! Our Instagram cut-out & props were an absolute hit. I loved watching everyone have fun and get silly with it!

    party5

    Now you’re likely thinking… what about THOSE SIGNS!!!!! The amazingly talented Jen, from Love Always Cards, made all the signs around the yard! From food & drink signs, to a large save the date sign hung in the tree; all of her signs added such an awesome touch to the yard. I highly recommend them and love how you can customize them however you want!

    party4

    The final touch to the backyard party- Honey Jar Gifts! I am so excited that my favorite olive oil company, Kasandrinos, will be bringing honey to their website this Fall! All of our family & friends went home with some amazing, fresh, local honey from this family run business and they were just the cutest ever! 

    party2

    We threw some labels on them, tied the honey sticks with a burlap string and wa-la! Honey sign from Jen, of course!

    Abigail from Abigail Kuzia Photography spent a few hours with us and these are ALL of her amazing photographs. She captured so many awesome moments and all of the details! She was super sweet, fun, and a pleasure to work with!


    Details:

    The Food: Mediterranean, Cedar’s Cafe

    The Cake: Gluten-Free & Dairy-Free Marble Cake, Creative Cakes by Lynn

    The Cake Topper: All Things Angela, Etsy

    Honey Jar Gifts: Kasandrinos International

    Instagram Cut-Out: Social Cut-Outs, Etsy

    Props: Oriental Trading Company (one, two, three)

    Signs: Love Always Cards, Etsy

    Custom Napkins: Gracious Bridal, Etsy

    Photographer: Abigail Kuzia Photography

    Romper: Nordstrom 

    Beverage Dispensers: Amazon

    Globe Lights: Amazon

    Chalk Board Sign: Save On Crafts

    Bar Caddy: Amazon


     

    party6

    A whole ‘lotta laughs!


     Photographs © Abigail Kuzia Photography.

     What is your best wedding planning advice?!

    Kitchen Remodel: Before and After

    You may have noticed that we moved last month. I shared pictures on Instagram of the process, I blogged less, and had long nights filled with quick meals and tons of shopping. It was all worth it and we are so happy in our new home.

    Aside from the important things, like you know… paying a mortgage, dealing with the leak in the basement, etc., I’ve learned a few main things going from apartment living to being a homeowner: I will never take a driveway, backyard, and porch for granted! I mean seriously. What a game changer.

    Our two main things we really wanted to find (aside from more space), were a yard and a nice big kitchen (obviously). Want to see where Lexi’s Clean Kitchen began a year ago?

    OldLCKYep, in that ^ tiny kitchen! I’m not complaining. I had some seriously good times in that kitchen. But seriously? It was time for a major upgrade.

    After months of looking we walked into our home and knew it was the one. People always say ‘you’ll just know…’ well, it’s sort of true, and despite the offers that don’t get accepted and paths that often change, it all works out exactly how it should in the end.

    Let’s talk kitchen, shall we? (See the bottom of the post for specifics)

    kitchenBA2

    We ordered that pretty cool (if I say so myself), Lexi’s Clean Kitchen sign from this Etsy shop. We are Etsy obsessed now. That’s also where we found Valentino Designs for the kitchen island!

    kitchenBA

    The new faucet, soap dispenser, and sink came from my uncle’s store, C&L Plumbing Supply, in Long Island, New York. I fell in love with that faucet instantly! If you’re in NY, I highly recommend checking out my uncle’s store! It’s pretty amazing!

    kitchenBA4

    Valence curtains, breakfast nook bench, and art (I’m thinking copper pots) on that empty wall. Those will be the finishing touches! Update: Mike built a custom breakfast nook bench in the back! 

    kitchenBA3

    The island stools are from Pottery Barn and all of the appliances are GE. Update: I am not in love with my GE appliances.

    What we did:

    1. Painted the walls: Benjamin Moore Windsbreath OC-24 (and removed old shelving on the walls)

    2. Had the cabinets painted and replaced the hardware (similar to these). This was a big part of how we saved money and stretched our budget, keeping the old cabinets! The cabinets were pained with two coats oil-based paint. From everything we’ve learned, and anyone we’ve talked to about it, oil is the way to go for cabinet durability.

    3. Redid the floors. Handsawn Oak Laminate Flooring, special order from Home Depot.

    4. Granite countertops in Polar Vortex from Sudbury Granite (we were going for the White Carrera Marble look, without actually using marble). *UPDATE: 8/2017, our granite is damaged and has not held up well. Sadly we are looking into replacing with a quartz. If you have questions about my experience, message me as I don’t recommend the above.

    5. White Subway Tile Backsplash

    6. Custom Island from Valentino Designs Reclaimed Wood Furniture

    7. The new faucet, soap dispenser, and sink came from my uncle’s store, C&L Plumbing Supply, in Long Island, New York.

    And there you have it! Our kitchen remodel on a budget!

    We kept the old cabinets, and didn’t make any major changes to the plumbing/orientation of the layout. Those were the two major ways we kept the costs low!

    What’s left to do?

    Mike’s building a breakfast nook bench alongside the window. I cannot wait for that! Lastly, valence curtains. I’m not sure how that’s the last thing I’ve waited to do!