Taking care of your skin is important. After all, your skin is the largest organ in your body. It accounts for about 15% of your body weight and protects you from a whole slew of contaminates and foreign invaders.

With skin so vital to your well-being, treat it right by giving it a little “sugar.” Sugar? Yes, sugar. Added sugar is usually something that we try to avoid in our diets, but when it comes to your skin, sugar can help keep it healthy.

Sugar is a natural humectant, which pulls moisture from the environment into the skin, keeping it hydrated and moisturized. Sugar is also a natural glycolic acid, which penetrates the skin, encouraging cell turnover and giving you healthier, younger-looking skin. Sugar is naturally coarse and acts as an exfoliant when put it into face or body scrubs.

Making a sugar scrub is easy and fun to do. It also makes a great gift for someone you may want to pamper or a gift for yourself when you need a little “me” time.

When making a sugar scrub, consider what part of the body you will be using it for, because certain parts of the body – such as the face — can be more sensitive than other parts of the body. For example, brown sugar is finer and softer than granulated sugar or raw sugar.

Adding in different essential oils for aromatherapy purposes can be relaxing and revitalizing.

Stop and pamper yourself or someone special today. This is an easy way to show someone how “sweet” they really are.

Peppermint Sugar Scrub

1 1/3 cups granulated sugar

1/3 cup almond oil

2 drops peppermint essential oil

Food coloring to make it look pink

Mix sugar, oil, peppermint and food coloring together well. Store in an airtight container and use 1 to 2 times per week.

Emily McMillan is a registered dietitian for Hy-Vee stores in Rochester. This information is not intended as medical advice. Please consult a medical professional for individual advice.