How to Upgrade Your Summer Skin Care

Last Update: February 25, 2024

Summer rays can be harsh for your skin, but a secret ingredient can help revive you from head to toe: sea salt. This kitchen must-have can help you achieve baby-soft skin in a matter of minutes, and it’s oh-so-easy to whip up treatments with pantry staples—we’ll show you how to make homemade body scrub below. But before we get into the recipes, don’t miss our primer on how sea salt is harvested, plus some of the benefits of using it in your skin care routine.

What Is Sea Salt?

Sea salt is gathered from water, then dried in the sun and evaporated. Depending on the clay deposits or algae found in the water, sea salt can take on a variety of hues. No matter which kind you choose, sea salt enhances an ingredient’s inherent flavors.

How sea salt is harvested

The scale of sea-salt harvesting will depend on the size of the operation, but general techniques are similar. Harvesting sea salt begins with shallow ponds. Exposed to sun and wind, the water eventually evaporates and leaves salt concentrates behind, which start to crystalize. From there, a harvester scoops the salt to transfer it to a washing area, where it’s rinsed in a brine to remove any impurities.

What is the difference between kosher salt and sea salt?

The key differences between salts are in the flake’s shape, use, and flavor profile. Kosher salt is mined from underground caves and made with the dried saltwater of ancient seas, while sea salt is made from drying saltwater (which turns into crystals). Chefs often gravitate towards kosher salt because of its consistency and the ease of pinching the flakes when grabbing a bit for recipes.

Sea Salt Benefits for Skin

Sea salt dates back to 6050 B.C. when it was used in Egyptian ceremonies and began to be traded throughout the Mediterranean. Loved by wellness experts for centuries, sea salt can be used in a variety of ways.

  • Body scrub: The simple combination of sea salt with a gentle oil (like EVOO) quickly helps remove dry skin. It’s an especially effective treatment on rougher areas like knees and elbows.
  • Foot bath: If your feet need some extra TLC, soak them in a saltwater bath with a few drops of essential oils—they’ll start feeling restored in no time.
  • Sore-throat remedy: As an alternative (or complement) to drinking lots of hot lemon water, gargling warm salt water is another way to help ease the symptoms of a sore throat.
  • Balance electrolytes: While too much salt in your diet can be problematic, the right amount may help keep your electrolytes in balance.
  • Sea salt bath benefits: A foot bath is just the start. Try soaking your entire body in sea salt. One study found just a 10-minute soak helped reduce fatigue and stress.

Body Scrub Ingredients List

diy beauty scrub

For any DIY spa day, keep these homemade body scrub ingredients on hand to create a truly relaxing experience.

  • Sea salt: To maximize your scrub (and reveal baby-soft skin) you’ll need an ingredient that can exfoliate with ease. Sea salt is affordable and a great base for your favorite scrub recipes.
  • Brown sugar: Like sea salt, brown sugar is also an abrasive ingredient that helps slough off dead skin cells.
  • Coconut oil or grapeseed oil: To bind your scrub together, you’ll need a soothing oil, like coconut, olive, almond, or grapeseed oil.
  • Essential oils: While you can certainly make a DIY body scrub without essential oils, they add a pleasing aroma to your at-home spa experience.
  • Loose leaf tea: In lieu of essential oils, you can try adding loose leaf tea. We have a recipe for jasmine tea below, but try Earl Grey, black, or another favorite flavor. Bonus: in addition to providing aromatherapy benefits, tea acts as a gentle exfoliator as well.

DIY Sea Salt Scrub Recipes

Making your own DIY body scrub is easier than you might think, and you probably have all the ingredients you need right in your pantry. Here are some of our favorite recipes!

Relaxing Lavender Scrub Recipe

Pamper yourself with only three ingredients, including the soothing scent of lavender essential oil.

2 cups sea salt
1 cup almond oil or coconut oil
20 to 30 drops Thrive Market Organic Lavender Essential Oil

Add Epsom salt into a bowl along with oil of choice. Add enough essential oil until you achieve the scent you want. Use immediately, or refrigerate in an airtight container for one week.

3 Ingredient Body Scrub

Invigorate your senses with a splash of lemon juice. This fragrant ingredient goes a long way, especially when combined with coarse sea salt and soothing almond oil.

2 cups Thrive Market Mediterranean Sea Salt
1 cup almond oil or coconut oil
¼ cup lemon juice

Stir all ingredients in a mixing bowl until combined. Use immediately, or refrigerate in an airtight container for one week.

Coffee Body Scrub Ingredients

The next time you brew coffee, save the grounds for this three-ingredient scrub. The fine granules stand in for sea salt and will help exfoliate your skin.

½ cup Thrive Market Organic Virgin Coconut Oil
½ cup coffee grounds
1 to 2 teaspoons of olive oil (depending on the consistency you want)

Combine coconut oil and coffee grounds in a small bowl. Stir in 1 tablespoon of olive oil, adding more as needed until your desired consistency is reached. Use immediately, or refrigerate in an airtight container for one week.

Jasmine Tea Body Scrub

Tea body scrub

The intoxicating fragrance of jasmine tea makes this scrub an irresistible addition to your self-care routine. Grapeseed oil helps soften skin while sugar gently scrubs away dead skin.

Fresh Rosemary Scrub

Salt scrub

As one of the most fragrant cooler-weather herbs, rosemary makes a real impact in a soothing scrub that only uses three simple ingredients: EVOO, epsom salt, and fresh rosemary.

Cinnamon Sugar Lip Scrub

While you’re beautifying your arms and legs, don’t forget about your lips! A cinnamon sugar scrub is the best way to gently exfoliate your pucker (and makes a great gift idea, too!)

Raw Honey Citrus Sugar Scrub

raw honey citrus sugar scrub

This refreshing scrub uses granulated sugar instead of salt but achieves the same effect. Citrus zest and raw honey makes this treatment extra sweet.

Best Body Scrubs

If you’d rather not add another DIY project to the mix, just fill your Thrive box with our member-favorite skin care products.

ACURE Brightening Facial Scrub

Get glowy with this award-winning ocean-based scrub that’s suited for all skin types. Super-nutrients derived from sea kelp help soften and detoxify the skin, lemon peel and French green clay gently cleanse and keep your moisture barrier intact, and madonna lily adds a brightening effect.

Beecause Peppermint & Eucalyptus Body Scrub

Made with non-GMO ingredients like sugar, jojoba oil, and eucalyptus oil, this gentle scrub will leave your skin feeling extra refreshed.

Giovanni Hot Chocolate Sugar Scrub

Talk about a decadent skin treatment. Giovanni makes its vegan and paraben-free scrub with exfoliating sugars, shea butter, and cocoa seed butter.

Level Naturals Body Polish, Lavender & Chamomile

Use this all-over polish from head to toe! Gentle sugar crystals reveal smooth skin while lavender and chamomile help you embrace a sense of calm.

Eco Lips Brown Sugar Lip Scrub

Made especially for the delicate skin on your lips, this organic scrub is formulated with brown sugar, coconut oil, and jojoba oil to leave your skin feeling extra moisturized.

Pacifica Underarm Detox Scrub

Transitioning to natural deodorant? Treat your delicate underarm skin to a coconut and charcoal-infused detox before you make the switch.

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Nicole Gulotta

Nicole Gulotta is a writer, author, and tea enthusiast.

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