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Vanilla Bean Body Scrub

Updated on September 11, 2017
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Suzanne is a qualified beautician with experience as a freelance makeup artist.

Vanilla planifolia

Vanilla Bean Body Scrub
Vanilla Bean Body Scrub | Source

Aromatic Vanilla Memories ~

What is it about the scent of vanilla that seems to evoke warmth, comfort and childhood memories? It is a scent and flavor I have always associated with memories.

Using the aromatic vanilla bean now that autumn is here, I immediately think warming and comforting scents as opposed to some of the more floral ones of summer.

Vanilla beans may easily be incorporated into homemade products not just for eating and drinking but in skin care and fragrance recipes in which the memory evoking scent lingers and lingers.

Green Vanilla Plant and Bean

once the tips turn yellow it is ready to harvest
once the tips turn yellow it is ready to harvest | Source

Vanilla and Orchids ~

Did you realize that vanilla beans come from the exquisite orchid flower?

Before my interest in utilizing fresh ingredients it was news and fascinating news at that, to me. It is one of things I find so interesting and exciting; it gets the pulse racing, finding some previously unknown facts about all types of ingredients that may be harnessed into healthy beauty solutions. Vanilla is the second most expensive spice after saffron and it is not surprising.

The business of growing vanilla is hugely labor intensive work.

The flowers must be individually hand pollinated by the farm workers who have to meticulously transfer the pollen from the anther to the stigma on the flower.

Apart from this time consuming work, each flower has a very small window of opportunity, it flowers for less than a day meaning that the workers need to check the plantation daily for new flowers before they die.

Once pollinated, it takes 6-9 months for the long green pods to reach maturity and once they begin to turn yellow at the tips, they are ready to be harvested.

The beans are picked and cured on special drying racks in the sun and some drying rooms. As they start to dry they develop their characteristic dark color, intoxicating scent and delicious flavor we all know and love. Indonesia is the largest producer in the world followed by Madagascar and China even though it is native to Mexico they do not produce the same levels for the export market.

Scraping Vanilla

use in culinary dishes and in homemade beauty recipes
use in culinary dishes and in homemade beauty recipes | Source

Liquid Gold

nectar of the gods, for your skin and health
nectar of the gods, for your skin and health | Source

Benefits of This Body Scrub ~

Making this body scrub could not be easier with these aromatic, nourishing blend of ingredients that are easy on the pocket and healthier with less chemicals, toxins and synthetic fragrance. It also makes an ideal gift considering it has a shelf life of approximately 3 months.

Sugar – the grains of the sugar provide gentle exfoliation of the dead skin cells. We accumulate these continually and removing them is necessary for healthy skin. All subsequent products such as moisturizer and serum absorb into the skin when it is smooth and regenerated. Regular skin exfoliation on the face, lips, hands feet and body are vital and should be part of our weekly regime. If you don’t bother to exfoliate there is really no point applying any creams, lotions, oils or make-up.

Sunflower Oil - This rich nourishing oil is excellent for dry, aged, weathered or mature skins. Rich in vitamins A, D and E it also has a high level of oleic acids, lecithin and unsaturated fatty acids. Sunflower oil is easily absorbed into skin and has a light pleasant odor.

Vanilla Bean – This powerful fruit has a distinctive flavour and scent. It has been used in perfume recipes for many years. Many perfumes actually use synthetic form and not the genuine scent. By using the vanilla pod to infuse products is the best way for obtaining the true scent of vanilla.

Honey – I love honey for the skin - it does everything; so many benefits in one little spoonful. It is a luxurious skin product that will nourish, moisturize and protect while being loaded with antibacterial, anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties.

Peppermint Essential Oil – One of the most widely used and versatile essential oils it brings a mild minty freshness to this recipe. It has the additional benefits of being antibacterial, anti-fungal, antiseptic and antimicrobial. Peppermint may be used in a variety of different beauty recipes including lip balm, mouthwash, skin tonic and cooling body sprays. By diffusing this oil into the air can help many ailments from headaches to upset stomachs.

Fresh Minty Flavor

peppermint is well worth having as one of your top essential oils
peppermint is well worth having as one of your top essential oils | Source

How to Scrape a Vanilla Bean

Vanilla Bean Body Scrub ~

I cup granulated sugar

½ cup sunflower oil

1 vanilla bean (split and scraped)

¼ cup raw honey

8-10 drops peppermint essential oil

1 tsp vanilla extract (optional)

What You Need:


medium - large glass jar with lid

spoon / spatula



  • Add the sugar, vanilla, honey and sunflower oil. Mix together and add 8-10 drops of peppermint essential oil. Mix thoroughly and transfer into your glass container. Secure lid and write your label with product and date.
  • This body scrub will last months, at least 2-3 months and may be stored on a shelf in a cupboard or in the fridge.

To Apply:

  • Remove a tablespoon (with a spoon and not fingers) of scrub and apply to dampened skin in the shower. NEVER use fingers to remove as any water that inadvertently gets into the scrub may cause bacteria to form and any germs on the hands will be transferred into the scrub.
  • Massage in all over the body including very dry areas such as the elbows, heels and knees. Leave for a few minutes and then rinse off in the shower.
  • Pat the skin dry and apply a body lotion, cream, butter or oil. Homemade of course!

Do you use vanilla beans at home?

See results

Body Scrub Tips ~

Use fine sea salt instead of sugar if you prefer. Saltis more detoxifying than sugar and not as gentle. Avoid using salt if you are particularly prone to sensitive skin.

Sunflower oil may be substituted for sweet almond oil or a carrier oilof your choice.

Instead of peppermint you can use sandalwood, cinnamon, lemon, patchouli, lavender.

Recycle glass jars instead of buying them. Make sure they are well cleaned and sterilized.

I would recommend using organic ingredients to be sure of retaining the highest level of nutrients available.

Make up some silky fragrant vanilla body oil while you have some beans.Check out the recipe below the video, it is easy, quick and so worthwhile after the shower for layering your fragrance and nourishing the skin.

Vanilla and Mint Body Scrub

Chopped Bean

vanilla extract is easily made by infusing it in alcohol
vanilla extract is easily made by infusing it in alcohol | Source

Vanilla Bean Body Oil –

For an extra indulgence why not whip up gorgeous infused body oil to use after the shower or as massage oil. It also makes a perfect gift for the vanilla lover.

2 vanilla pods

1 cup jojoba oil or sweet almond oil

1 glass jar

1 glass bottle

Slice the vanilla bean lengthwise and chop into small pieces. Add these to the glass jar and cover with the jojoba oil. Secure lid and give a good shake. Leave the jar on a sunny window ledge, shaking daily to infuse. Leave for a few months, the longer the better. When strong enough, strain the beans through cheesecloth or a very fine mesh sieve. Bottle up your vanilla oil and enjoy. If you want to use a more concentrated form use an extra vanilla bean.

Food for Thought . . . .

Keeping a supply of vanilla beans on hand is so worthwhile. Homemade body scrubs, body oil, body sprays or perfume are doable with the vanilla bean and more natural ways of introducing this lingering scent from the orchid instead of synthetic fragrance.

Vanilla pana cotta is one of my favorite Italian deserts and Vespa's is pure indulgence on a plate, I guarantee you will not be disappointed! One of the many gorgeous culinary ways to utilize vanilla.

Beauty and Food go hand in hand. As a rule of thumb, if it is good for the body, it is good for the skin.

"Creating health awareness through homemade beauty solutions"

Author Info ~

Information on the author, her bio and full body of works available @ Suzie HQ

© 2013 Suzanne Ridgeway


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