DIY do and don’ts: Lush Ocean Salt attempt

Am I the only one who is incapable of picking a decent bag of avocados? Either they are all rock hard and go bad before they go ripe, or they all go ripe at the same time and I end up having an avocado marathon….which reminded me of a DIY I’ve wanted to do for a while, Lush Ocean Salt! Pretty much everyone I know who has tried Lush loves Lush, and one of the most often recommended product is the Ocean Salt. It claims to unclog pores, eliminate blackheads, brightens and hydrates–sounds like exactly what I need right now. I did a couple DIYs before, with sugar scrubs, lip scrubs and rose water–all have met with success and inflated my ego. There are DIY recipes available but they did not use coconut oil or lime extract in vodka, which are used in the original Lush Ocean Salt recipes, so I decided to come up with my own DIY recipe from scratch.LushOceanSaltIngredients

For some reason if a brand is natural, I naturally think “no paraben”, but Lush actually use paraben a lot in their cleanser/toner/moisturizer, altho from a cursory glance it doesn’t seem they use it in masks or solid bars. I guess I’ll be skipping Lush skincare then. Anyways, since ingredients lists are usually from the highest concentration to the lowest, I just looked at the top 10 and figure out which ones can be easily acquired/used for DIY: fine sea salt, fresh grapefruit infusion, coarse sea salt, fresh lime extract in vodka, avocado butter and coconut oil. Other ingredients I won’t use include stearic acid, Sodium CocoamphoacetateGlycol Cetearate and Triethanolamine. They are all stabilizer and emulsifiers, so instead of adding them, I’ll just add a bit extra coconut oil and make sure to mix well. With all the ingredients gathered, it’s time to play!


Recipe (for body use)

As always, make sure to wash your hand and clean/sanitize all containers, utensils, and ingredients before starting the DIY. Since there is no preservative, it’s better to whip up a small batch every week or so instead of a large batch to sit for several month, so you can treat part = teaspoon.

  • 6 part salt
  • 3 part grapefruit infusion
  • 2 part lime extract in vodka
  • 2 part coconut oil
  • 1 part avocado

Since the lime extract needs to sit overnight, that’s what I made first. I couldn’t make out from the lush video whether they used the whole lime or just the peel, which is what most extract use, so I stuffed the peels of one lime into a small bottle of vodka, then added 10 drops of lime juice and let it sit. The vodka will turn green while the peels turn yellow.

Then I made the grapefruit infusion, where lush website mentioned chopping it finely and infuse in boiled water, so I chopped up my organic grapefruit then soaked them in boiled water.

Lastly it’s time to mix everything. Since coconut oil is solid at room temperature, if you add liquid straight to it you may get little chunks of solid coconut, so I mixed the sea salt, coconut oil and avocado first. The sea salt helps to break apart the coconut oil/avocado and when they are thoroughly mixed, I added the lime extract and grapefruit infusion. Voila! Now it’s ready to use.


Test Drive

Since it’s got acid and vodka, of course I first tested it on my hand. It felt LOVELY on my hand/body. The salt is abrasive enough to give me a good scrub and the coconut oil left my skin feeling like velvet after I rinse it off. 

Filled with hope and a sense of accomplishment, I then tried it on my face……. It stings, there’s no way around it, it’s not a “refreshing” or “tingling sensation”. It. Stings. I should have known better, this is my first time working with acid and alcohol, AND it is also the first time I’m coming up with a DIY by myself from scratch. While my skin didn’t look red, I was panicking inside, convinced that I ran out of DIY luck. When I woke up the next morning…my skin is nice and soft probably due to the oil and my pimples are smaller probably due to the alcohol and acid. My stubborn streak prodded me to go for the Darwin Award try making a DIY of it again for facial use, but roxystar4 helped me come to my senses. I already have facial scrubs I like, and I don’t have to like the same thing that other people do, so there’s no reason in subjecting my skin to this abuse. =(

By the way, I picked up a sample of the actual Lush Ocean Salt from Lush…..and yup, it stings. It doesn’t feel as creamy as my DIY and the skin does not feel as velvety afterward since I used more coconut oil, but the stinging sensation is almost as strong. So it looks like my DIY didn’t go horribly wrong, it’s just a tad more potent than Lush due to a little too much lime extract. The stinging appears even when I smear the scrub on but don’t rub, I deduced it’s from the lime extract so it would probably be reduced to tingling if I use 1 part lime extract instead of two, but I’m not about to test it out on my face again. There were no stinging sensation or any kind of bad sensation whatsoever when I use it on my body and the scrub left it velvety smooth but not greasy, so I would actually whip up another batch for body use after I finished my current supply of scrubs. 

Lesson Learned

Some ingredients are more lenient/better for DIY than others and even if the ingredients look the same, you don’t know the concentration or how the chemical balances each other out to produce the final result. The scrub I made is lovely on the body, but with all the time and effort I spent, I’ll just buy those damn face scrubs instead of DIYing away. I might still DIY more harmless things like hydration mask, since accidentally put in too much honey sounds much less harmless than accidentally put in too much vodka/lime juice. For now at least, it’s not like I am short on skincare products. =X

I posted the recipe because while it failed as a face scrub (unless Lush Ocean Salt does not sting for you, in which case use only 1 part lime extract and try it at your own risk), it is a great scrub for the body, and personally I like it better than the lush one. While parabens have not shown to cause cancer, better safe than sorry. I used all fine sea salt instead of coarse ones so it’s not as abrasive/scratchy, and the coconut oil left my skin velvety smooth and hydrated after rinse. If you do have bumps on the skin or want the brightening effect, then leave the lime extract in, otherwise feel free to take it out.


20 thoughts on “DIY do and don’ts: Lush Ocean Salt attempt

  1. Thanks for sharing! Sounds like it wasn’t a total disaster, but it’s probably not worth the effort for a body scrub if there are plenty out there that are cheaper, less time-consuming, etc.
    If you do a DIY hydration mask, or have a recipe already, I’d love to hear about it!

    1. Yeah, it’s a good scrub if you find sugar scrubs too oily and salt scrubs too drying, and for some reason REALLY don’t want to buy Lush Ocean Salt. I’m not too picky with my scrubs, so meh.

      I have combo skin so for DIY hydration mask I like honey + plain yogurt + oats. The honey and yogurt hydrates while oats mattifies, you can also rub it off after it dries for a little exfoliation. I haven’t made it this winter because I’m on a sheet mask binge, but I think I’m almost over it so I might go back to this again. =)

  2. Ahh i’ve been waiting for this!!! Interesting, But too complicated for me! I’ll stick to Honey ,Sugar, Lemon Juice, and Coconut Oil.
    I have tried the Ocean Salt from Lush, And i LIKE it a lot! But the parabens got me, No thanks. I wouldn’t buy the full size, But i made my face really soft and smooth and only stung a little after a minute.

    Anyways, i loved reading this! 🙂

    1. Honestly I don’t think the grapefruit infusion did anything so it can probably be replaced with water. The only complicated part is making lime extract using vodka, other than that it’s just mixing. I like mine for body use, there are too many good non-stinging facial scrubs for this (and Lush Ocean Salt) to be worth it. Now I’ve got a bottle of homemade lime extract, think it’s time for some baked goods. =P

  3. Cool post! The only DIY I’ve ever made was toner and it was just organic apple cider vinegar and water. It worked very well, but I could never get over that vinegar smell. >_< I still go back to it from time to time if I feel like my skin is negatively reacting to everything and it really does help treat the skin. Your post did inspire me to make some guacamole though!

  4. This is not related to beauty in any way but… I buy avocados rock hard and then stick them in the oven when I want them to ripe, takes like two days.

    1. Unless you put preservatives in your DIY, they should be refrigerated. I would say DIY skincare can keep at least for 1-2 weeks. Any longer depends on the ingredients, my homemade rosewater and hair oil mixture kept for months while my oats and yogurt mask kept for 2 weeks. Avocado doesn’t last very long, so try to make small enough batches for ~1-2 weeks at a time.

  5. I’m thinking this would be a great foot scrub/mask as it might break down callouses etc while letting you feel soak and get softer.

    1. You can, but the benefits would change. Actual avocado is more creamy to make it into a paste, but if you use avocado oil then it would be more like those oil/crystal scrub that separates…more moisturizing maybe but also might not stick as well to the skin? Either way they are both good stuff, so experiment however you like. =)

  6. I love lush ocean salt! Its just the Best bodypeeling ever!
    But yeah, really expansive!
    I try your diy. Made the lime Wodka thingy already.
    But i’m thinking about the preservation….isn’t the salt keeping it the way it is? (sry for bad english) thats why people back then put meat in (a lot of)salt.
    I will make little glasses for christmaspresents, i’m looking forward to the result 🙂

    1. Salt and alcohol do have an anti-bacterial/preservative aspect, but the main problem is avocado. If you’ve ever made mashed avocado or guacamole, you will know it’s impossible to prevent it from browning after 1-2 days no matter what you add. Browning = oxidation = bad (that’s why we love antioxidants in food and skincare). =)

      It sounds like a wonderful DIY present, but I would recommend mixing everything EXCEPT avocado together then give it with a cute little tag that says “just mix in 1tbsp avocado and scrub away!” or something. Without avocado, if you sanitize and sealed it properly, it should last you for months with no problem. I hope the DIY works and good luck on the presents!

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