DIY Summer Skincare Recipes From The Body Politik’s Carmen Perez

Welcome to our three-month series in which queer-friendly health and beauty professionals offer accessible ways to show yourself some love! Carmen Perez is the owner and proprietor of The Body Politik, a body-positive, gender-affirming salon in Vancouver, Canada that offers services like waxing, manicures and pedicures, and brow and lash tinting. Below, Perez shares recipes for a body butter and scrub to keep your skin soft all summer long.

Many of us will be logging serious beach time in the coming months — but while the sun may feel good on your buns, all that salt water and wind can be drying for your skin! To keep yours soft and supple, and to help retain your tan, you’ll need a good scrub and moisturizer; and for just a few bucks and 30 minutes of your time, you can whip up enough product to last the whole season.

Moisture-Locking Scrub

Nikolay Litov, bigacis, and Peter Hermes Furian / all via Shutterstock

1. Combine the coconut oil and one cup of the sugar in a bowl and mix until creamy.
2. Add the essential oil (my favorites are cinnamon and nutmeg) while continuing to stir.
3. Add the remaining sugar until you reach your desired consistency (too loose/dry and it will be hard to use, too wet/oily and it will make your tub too slick).
4. Store in a mason jar.

This scrub is inexpensive and simple to make, and the sugar is a gentle but effective exfoliant that leaves skin smooth.

Now that you have a scrub to prep the skin, you’ll want to seal in your moisture. Shea butter is wonderful for this, and feels great on your skin. For a silky smooth body butter that’s easy to make, gather the ingredients below.

Silky Smooth Body Butter

Africa Studio, bigacis, and Natalia van D / all via Shutterstock

1. Put your oils in a blender and process until smooth, making sure to break up the chunks of shea butter.
2. Transfer your mixture into a bowl and put in the refrigerator until it solidifies.
3. While your mixture is cooling, grind your vanilla bean using a coffee grinder until fine.
4. Using a hand mixer, whisk the cooled mixture until it takes on a whipped consistency similar to whipped cream. At this point you can add your ground vanilla bean.
5. Spoon whipped butter into a mason jar and store in the fridge. This will prevent it from liquefying in the heat, and it will feel great fresh from the shower.

I like to exfoliate about three times a week through the summer, following with moisturizer while still damp from the shower to stay soft and hydrated for longer.

Enjoy these recipes, and check in next month for more accessible ways to treat your bod!


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Nora is a writer and shoot producer living in Brooklyn. Send her links to weird clothing and dog videos to nora [at] autostraddle [dot] com.

Nora has written 52 articles for us.

15 Comments

  1. Al

    Thank you for these useful tips. Is there a specific brand of coconut oil you suggest or would any really work?

    • Megan P

      Hello Al I recommend Ecoideas brand for coconut oil. I started using after the technician who fixed my dryer here recommended it. He uses it for his sore knees. I use it for my dry skin. It’s great.

  2. I’m bookmarking this for when I get back in town. There is a large jar of recently-bought coconut oil sitting in my apartment. Where would one buy unrefined shea butter, though?

  3. Liz

    wait oh my gosh this means I can actually use the shea butter I accidentally bought because I thought it was lotion (I’m a winner)

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  8. Megan P

    I recommend coconut oil after the technician who fixed my dryer here recommended it for sore knees.

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