- Sea-salt or sugar scrubs are mixed up easily and make excellent body or hand exfoliators. Salt and sugar are both course enough to give an invigorating buff, but melt away under water for a luxuriant feel and easy use. Mix sea-salt crystals or chunky brown sugar grains with a base oil, such as almond, jojoba or olive. The texture of the scrub should remain grainy with enough oil to coat all of the ingredients. You can add a few drops of a favorite essential oil for aroma. Popular fresh-smelling oils include tangerine and lavender. Or, you could use a mild, sweet scent, such as rose or vanilla. For a pretty gift, add dried lavender or cinnamon sticks. These also infuse with the product to give an aromatic quality.
- Blend a base oil, such as rice bran or almond, with a few drops of essential oil. This yields a body moisturizer that is also ideal for massage. Oil is also a good gift for anyone with dry hair and scalp, as you can use this as a wash-out conditioning treatment. Traditional oils for the scalp include coconut and almond.
- Mix powdered milk with dried herbs, lavender or dried rose petals. These ingredients are all available from apothecaries and herb suppliers. Make sure you keep all of the ingredients completely dry and seal them in an airtight container when packing as a gift. This ensures the product stays fresh. A handful of this mixture will scent a bath and soften the water. Other dried ingredients, which infuse with the soak to produce a natural aroma, include crushed vanilla pods and citrus peel.
- Package your gifts in pretty glass jars. In addition to looking special, glass jars are good at preserving and protecting cosmetics. You can buy good-sized glass jars and bottles, such as Kilner jars, quite cheaply in cookware stores. They often have rubber seals and are a plain, rustic style, which perfectly shows off a homemade, pampering beauty product. Make the product look extra special with a handwritten label that is tied on with pretty ribbon, or wrap the glass container in bright tissue and tulle instead of regular gift wrap. Tie together with dried flowers, herbs or berries.
- If using essential oils, you must mix them into a carrier oil or base, so the concentrated formula is never applied directly to the skin. When making the scrub or body oil, simply ensure that the essential oil is blended well into the product. Aromatherapist Daniele Ryman recommends that a safe quantity of essential oil is two drops per 5 mls of base oil. Aromatherapy oils should also be avoided during pregnancy. Gentle dried-herb infusions are a suitable option for sensitive skin.