In the Kitchen: Homemade Olive Oil Scrub


When you’ve lived in one of the coldest urban environments for the past 5 years, you witness how brutalizing the cold can be on your skin. Especially if you have dry skin, like moi.

I thought, in preparation for the colder months ahead, I would share a few skin-saving tips and a less traditional “In the Kitchen” feature, a recipe for a body scrub you can make at home.

Here are a few of my tried-and-true, Minnesota-proof skin-care tips:

Editor’s Note: To view Kate’s current 2020 skin-care routine, head on over here for all the details.

1. Don’t be afraid of oil-based body scrubs. This one leaves your skin feeling soft, moisturized, and clean. You can use this on your face, but it is best to avoid doing so in the winter. A gentler exfoliant would do just fine. I use a Clarisonic brush (and it works wonders). If you do use this scrub on your face, rub very carefully and avoid delicate dry spots, as it can be too harsh on sensitive winter skin. Follow with a thick moisturizer.

2. Keep a really great lip balm on hand. At all times. I’m forever a fan of Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment.

3. Facials. I save up for these indulgences over the summer because they are SO worth it! It’s a nice treat for the mind, body, and soul.

4. Moisturizing masks. I use this biweekly. The trick is to not keep masks on too long—10 minutes is all you need. Wash it off with a nice warm towel.

5. Consider a hydrating serum. I use Dior Hydra Life Serum. It has a lovely citrus-y smell.

6. Water. Most of us never get enough and a girl’s gotta protect her skin from the inside out.

Do you guys have any recommendations for protecting your skin against the elements?

BY Kate Arends - October 27, 2011

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October 27, 2011 8:25 am

Oh Thank you!! Thank you!! I just moved to Grand Forks, North Dakota (and hour from Canada and on the border of Minnesota/North Dakota) and am so so nervous about this up and coming winter. I will be applying all of these practices to my everyday , so thank you so much!
Hopefully you post more on this topic!

October 27, 2011 9:14 am

My favorite for my lips is Karite Lips ( I have used so many lip balms and nothing is better. I have turned so many friends into believers. It mends, not just covering. I would love to hear what you think.

October 27, 2011 9:30 am

what is that sans-serif font? I love it!

October 27, 2011 11:40 am

I’m a big fan of Rodin Luxury face oil. It is a bit expensive, but AMAZING. In the winter I put a few drops of it in my bath at night. It moisturizes your whole body.


October 27, 2011 12:51 pm

I love love love my new clarisonic but I am running out of the sample face wash it came with and don’t know what to get. What do you suggest?

October 27, 2011 2:07 pm

Thank you Kate!
This does and help and you’re lovely!

October 27, 2011 4:20 pm

Oooh, this looks fun. Try the lavender body scrub from Trader Joe’s. It’s like $5 and is super good — plus has a very moisturizing oil so you don’t need extra lotion. Well, maybe in MN you do 🙂

October 27, 2011 4:23 pm

I’m from Holland so it can get pretty cold here as well. I too use olive oil + sugar to scrub, usually in between depilating my legs (and waxing the rest), to prevent ingrowth. For face I would recommend powdered sugar as it’s less harsh, I don’t add oil to that however, just some almond oil afterwards to restore the balance (hopefully, I’m no dermatologist, but it works).

October 27, 2011 6:21 pm

I swear by Aquaphor as a lip balm. My lips used to peel all the time until I started using it upon my dermatologist’s recommendation. Now I keep little tubes of it everywhere – in each of my handbags, in my car, at my desk, by my bed, etc. Super cheap, and you can find it anywhere.

October 27, 2011 6:54 pm

I love this idea! Totally trying this asap.

October 27, 2011 10:29 pm

i so needed this… thank you for all the great tips!

October 27, 2011 11:34 pm

YES great for winter.

October 28, 2011 10:43 am

I’ll definitely be making this scrub – thanks for the tip! As a fellow dry-skinned Minneapolitan, I have been scheming ways for my skin to survive winter, too. I make my own skin oil, and use it every day day (two-three drops in summer, three-four in winter, always mixed with six or seven drops of water): 1 oz. organic almond oil (the best kind you can afford), 10 drops organic rose essential oil, 10 drops organic sandalwood oil, and a dash of vitamin E oil. It’s magic, I swear. In the depths of winter, once a week (or as needed),… Read more »

October 31, 2011 7:15 pm

This scrub makes a wonderful Christmas gift!

November 11, 2011 10:56 am

i made + used this last night – what a treat! perfect. if you have leftovers… does it keep out or should i throw it in the fridge? thank you! <3

November 3, 2012 12:00 pm

this is great? how long can you keep it?

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