Now that I am no longer a student receiving financial aid, I am taking the idea of saving money to heart even more than usual. In addition, I have had some spare time to look into homemade beauty products. Being on a rather small income doesn't mean that you have to forgo all of life's little comforts, it just means you have to be a bit more creative about it. One that is particularly easy in the area of skin care is making your own salt or sugar scrubs. They will leave your skin both moisturized and exfoliated and provide a perfect little pick during these short winter days. They also make great inexpensive gifts.
I purchased the oil I used at Marshalls of all places for $6.99, the Epsom salts from Wal-Mart for about $3.00 and the sugar came from my pantry. For the same price you'd pay for one jar of salt scrub from the store you can make a years supply at home!
Sweet and Salty Body Scrub
1/2 cup of Epsom salts
1/2 cup of white sugar
1/4 oil of your choice, I used walnut
Mix the salt and sugar together and then add oil. Store in a clean jar of your choice. I used some funky little half pint mason jars.
The recipe I took this from on Sunset used sunflower oil, but I had read that walnut oil was also a good choice. I especially like it because as opposed to a lot of store bought body scrubs I've used, the scrub with walnut oil is much lighter and I don't feel greasy afterwards. I accidentally bought toasted walnut oil because I was in a hurry, but aside from the scrub itself smelling like freshly toasted nuts (and you might be into that sort of thing), the smell does not linger on the skin.
If you want to add a scent, you could also add a few drops of your favorite essential oil, but make sure it is cosmetic grade which is different from the oils you'd use for aromatherapy. I don't know what the difference is but all the sites I've looked at warn about that.
Feel free to experiment with different oils (jojoba, olive, emu, sesame), but do a google search on whatever oil you plan to use first just to be safe. Also, as I did with my walnut oil, test it out on one arm first to make sure you don't have some weird reaction to it before you cover your whole body with it.