I love polymer clay... except when it's in my fingers, and no matter how many times I wash them, it doesn't go away. It gets between the ridges of your fingers and stays there... until you touch white clay, of course. Then it happily leaves you and stains your white clay.
Working with polymer clay requires constantly washing your hands, which leaves them dry and uncomfortable. Don't you hate that? If you relate to these problems, I have the solution for you: MAKE A SUGAR SCRUB!
When I was just taking my first shy steps into the hobby, a friend told me about sugar scrubs. I'm so thankful she did! Over the last years I've been using it, and it works like a charm. They seem to be fairly popular, so you can find many recipes online (Monster Kookies from DeviantArt has some very interesting ones). This is my recipe, feel free to try it or use it as a base to develop your own.
Sugar scrubs are good for a lot of things: conditioning your hands, exfoliating, pampering yourself, moisturizing, etc. One use I particularly love is using them to clean my hands after a good day of working with polymer clay, but they're also great to remove cookie dough or paint from your fingers. This recipe was specially developed for clayers, but feel free to use it for anything you want.
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Step 1: Materials
Preparation time: 2 minutes
Shelf life: Depends, maybe a month or two?
- A small clean container.
- Liquid soap (optional).
- As many oils as you want: glycerin, coconut oil, sweet almond oil, avocado oil, olive oil, etc.
- Honey (for extra hydration).
- Vitamin E.
- Essential oils.
- Fragrance oils.
Step 2: Pour Your Liquid Soap
You just need a tiny amount of liquid. I start with the liquid soap, just about half a teaspoon. Don't be too precise, let the ingredients guide you.
I use a gentle coconut body wash that smells delicious, it's a good idea to use something with a nice smell.
Step 3: Add Your Oils
Now I add about the same amount of oil, or a bit more. My favorite mixture is sweet almond oil and glycerin... well, actually, those are about the only oils I own. I highly recommend using olive oil, but I save mine for cooking.
I also like to use a few drops of wheat germ oil because it's rich in Vitamin E, but you can use those gel capsules or pure Vitamin E instead. If your hands are really dry add, try using some honey and you will love it! It really softens the skin. I've read wonderful things about raw oat meals, but I haven't tried it yet.
EXPERIMENT! HAVE FUN!
Step 4: Sugar!
Now you want to add sugar... a lot of it. You want to get a mostly dry scrub, or the sugar and oils will separate.
Any kind of sugar works, we had raw cane sugar so that's what I used.
Step 5: Stir and Enhance
Now stir carefully and try not to create too much foam. If it looks to dry, add more oil, if it looks too watery, add more sugar. You want a mostly dry consistency, you don't want to see any oil pooling anywhere.
Now close it tightly, label it, and leave it near your sink. If you come back and the oil is floating above the sugar, it means that you needed more sugar, but that's an easy fix. There's really no way to get this wrong.
Note: If you used any inedible ingredients, make sure to label it accordingly and leave it out of reach from little children, pets, or stupid friends. The sugar can look appealing to any of them.
Step 6: How to Use
First, we have to get our hands dirty.
Create a polymer clay masterpiece. Make some home-made pasta. Paint with your fingers. Work in your garden. Redecorate your house. Play with your children. Instructables has lots of ideas to try.
Dirty? good. Now go to your sink, you want to start with dry or slightly soaked hands. Try and see what works best for you, but don't get your hands too wet or the sugar will dissolve. Grab a bit of your home-made sugar scrub, a little goes a long way so please don't use as much as I show in the photo! It was for photo purposes only.
Now start scrubbing your fingers and hand together, using the sugar to remove all the nasty stuff. I really enjoy this, it feels tingly and a bit like a massage. When you feel like you've scrubbed enough, rinse your hands and admire your clean and soft hands!
Step 7: ANTS!
A word of caution:
After using your sugar scrub, close it tightly.
Make sure no sugar is stuck in the bottom or outside walls.
Rinse all sugar from your sink.
Make sure you didn't spill any sugar in the floor.
Or you will be raided by ANTS! I have no idea how they do it, I don't see a single ant all day until I forget to rinse that invisible speck of sugar. BAM! All over my sink. It's more an annoyance than anything else, but if you rinse the sink they won't find you. Or maybe they will Oo