Its August and the hedgerows are full of my foraging favourite Blackberrys, packed full of nutrients and antioxidants these little berries are everywhere and it is worth making the most of them whilst they are. And with the cooler August we're having- you still have a good few weeks to get outside and start picking. Blackberries come into season alongside many other fruity joys- apples, elderberries, plums and figs also all come into fruit in the next few weeks. So its a great time to pick up free seasonal fruits, always remembering to try and pick away from roads (especially busy ones) and higher than the area dogs may have peed- i would also recommend wearing long sleeves and trousers as brambles and nettles are good neighbours in the fruity hedgerow.
Blackberries are high in antioxidants which help control free radicals (one of the leading causes of skin damage). They are also high in vitamins A<B< C and E along with a host of key minerals (potassium, magnesium, calcium) and these vitamins and minerals which can help to boost collagen production (the protein that is responsible for skin elasticity) so Blackberries are sure to help maintain healthy vibrant glowing skin. Now of course you can do this by eating them and I do ALOT. Every year- with the seasons I have a few classic recipes that I like to make so I can preserve some of my foraged favourite dishes for later in the year. Blackberries are no exception and I tend to fill the freezer with enough to last many months as well making jams, cordials and deserts. But this year I have also decided to have a go with a few blackberry beauty recipes starting with this one shown below.
Blackberry AND BAY scrub
What you will need
1/2 cup blackberries (washed)
1/3 cup coconut oil
3 cups of sugar (read below for sugar choosing tips)
2 dried bay leaves
A small sprig of rosemary (optional)
A tsp vitamin e (optional)
A blender or mixer
A sterilised jar
what you do
Wash the blackberries
Chuck it all in the blender
Check consistency- too grainy (add more oil), not abrasive enough (more sugar)
Store and label in your sterilised jar/ container
Will keep in fridge for up to 4 weeks or 1 week at room temp
Apply a generous layer to body in shower or to face at sink
Massage over skin gently
Rinse off with warm water
Pat dry- no need to moisturise after :)
why its good
Apart from the benefits listed above of the mighty blackberry- its probably worth mentioning some of the other choice ingredients. As one of the best parts of DIY beauty is you can then tailor your own scrub to suit your own needs.
Coconut oil- keeps skin hydrated by trapping moisture and bolster the skins protective barrier. Also has anti-inflammatory properties so can soothe irritated skin, anti-bacterial properties to keep skin clean and prevent break outs as well as contributing toward increased collagen production. And lastly CO has a high fatty acid content so works well as a moisturiser. You can swap coconut oil out for other skin loving oils and Ive seen alot of recipes using honey as well. I personally love CO and as one of my main soaping oils and fridge staples i tend to always have a lot on hand so it works well for me.
Sugar- In this recipe I have used a soft light brown sugar (partly as this was the first to hand) but there are some slight differences in sugars. White sugar is coarser and you will get a harder scrub using it- this may be more desirable if you want to make a body scrub. Brown sugar is finer so maybe better suited for a facial scrub- again have this in mind because brown sugars can vary alot but get a softer sugar if you want a softer scrub. Sugar itself is a natural exfoliator that can help get rid of dead skin cells to leave skin smoother and both types of sugar contain glycolic acid, an agent that helps skin cells regenerate faster for a more youthful appearance and loosens the bonds of dead skills making them easier to scrub away. It is also possible if you want a rougher scrub for the body to use salt- Salt can have a drying effect on the skin, while sugar is a natural humectant, meaning that it pulls moisture from the air and into your skin. So this again is up to you and what you want the scrub for- although salt is not generally recommended for facial scrubs. I wanted to make something suitable for my face so a softer brown sugar worked well for me.
Bay- anti-inflammatory, helps to retain moisture and reduce puffiness- has also been used in acne treatments.
Rosemary- helps to soothe skin, reduce redness, swelling and puffiness of the skin . Useful in the treatments of conditions of eczema, psoriasis and dermatitis. An antioxidant that will prevent damage from free radicals
Vitamin E- Nourishing whilst it also protects skin from damage from UV and free radicals. Anti-inflammatory so can soothe skin and hydrate it whilst providing protective barrier. Also an anti-oxidant it can prolong shelf life by preventing the oxidisation of oils.
And lastly scrubs are good because they make our skin all nice and smooth- removing and cleaning away all the dead cells and leaving nice fresh skin behind, skin which can soak up moisture and goodness better. Great for the body before a shave they can help pull the hairs up so preventing and getting rid of ingrown hairs. Helps circulation and heathy skin regeneration! This scrub is fairly gentle and I hope I've added enough info on tips that you can tailor it to your own needs. Honestly it takes maybe 10mins to make and you can always swap herbs and oils around to your skin needs or to what you have available. Also half or quarter the recipe if you only want to make a small batch to try out or double if you want to make some for friends.
Enjoy and have a berry merry time