Luxurious Sugar Scrub Recipe

sugar scrub Luxurious Sugar Scrub Recipe

FACT: Sugar is not good for your intestines!

FACT: Sugar can be very good for your skin…

Those expensive sugar scrubs you see in department stores and spas… they cost pennies to make! Sugar scrubs are a simple beauty recipe with countless variations, and they can be incredibly moisturizing and exfoliating to the skin.

If you are new to making your own beauty products (or even if you are a veteran natural beauty alchemist) I highly encourage you to try out these sugar scrub recipes.

They can be used on face, body, and (especially) feet, for silky skin. You can add endless ingredients for your desired outcome, and they take under ten minutes to make.

Convinced yet?

Here’s The Basic Recipe:

Use 2 parts sugar (regular white or brown sugar work great) to 1 part oil (almond, olive and coconut are great), add 1/2 tsp Vitamin E oil (or the gel from a few capsules), add other optional ingredients, and mix well.

Sound simple? It is!

Here are a few of my favorite combinations:

These last on the counter for up to 2 months (or more) and smell good enough to eat… Actually, they are good enough to eat, but don’t… sugar is bad for your intestines!

All of the ingredients (except the sugar) are available in high quality organics here.

Ever made your own sugar scrub or facial products? What is your favorite combination? Let me know below!

Reader Comments

  1. gina says

    I made sugar scrubs for my female friends for Christmas last year (2010). I found the cutest Christmas tree jars and made peppermint scrub…they came out so cute!

    • Jaime says

      I’m going to make one with natural raw sugar, chamomile extract from tea, coconut oil, ground oatmeal, honey, and vanilla.

      • Kim says

        I use used grounds. What’s important is the coarseness of coffee but not substitute coffee with sand or things like that. Coffee, like sugar is skin friendly. The aroma of the coffee is a bonus which gives the skin its fresh scent.

    • Susan Mendoza says

      hey ya!
      how do you keep the coffee grounds and rest of ingredients from going moldy?
      Is it possible to store the scrub? Or use it immediately?
      thanks!
      peace
      Susan

      • Kim says

        In a covered container or Ziploc, then store in the fridge. This will keep for weeks. Saving your daily coffee grounds will be too much, tough, if you do this.

  2. says

    I made my one with sugar, cinnamon, coffee grinds and olive oil. Just fantastic! My skin feels so soft and not dry at all. Normally my skin will get dry and itchy after a shower even if I do lather myself in lotion. Gives me ideas .. I bet this could be turned into awesome Birthday and Christmas gifts for my friends and family.

    • Katerinaheddell says

      Texture, sugar is usually softer on your face than salts, and any other grounds because it is much smaller (especially brown. White sugar is a little closer to a salt feeling)  If you are using the scrub everyday on your face  you’ll probably want a soft exfoliant because the harder ones take off more skin and can do camage over time. But for your body any of the above will work perfectlt. It all depends on what scents you favor.

  3. says

    I cannot use a topical vitamin E in any of my lotions or soaps, as they make my skin break out in hives, whereas I can ingest it…and yes, I experimented with various things and the common ingredient every time was the E :-p

    Anyway, is there another oil or something that can replace the E in these recipes? I know in the shampoo one (which I plan on making ASAP) someone mentioned using jojoba, but not sure if that would translate over into a scrub or lotion as well.

  4. kbl says

    Thanks for the variations! I use, and really like, a brown sugar, oatmeal, olive oil scrub. I’ll have to try one of your recipes though.

  5. kerry says

    I’ve made a scrub like these before but the olive oil totally coated my whole bath tub. It made is very slippery and hard to clean- anyone else have this issue? What did you do?

  6. Melissa says

    So I made a batch of scrub yesterday, and I used it on my hands shortly after I finished and I loved it! However, this morning, I was going to use it in the shower, but it was as hard as a rock, I guess due to the coconut oil hardening? Is there any way short of keeping it a warmer temperature to keep the coconut oil from hardening?

  7. says

    I made mine with brown sugar, coconut oil, peppermint essential oil, vitamin E oil, and a splash of vanilla extract. It gave it a very warm scent. Yes, the tub gets very slippery, but I spray it with scrubbing bubbles after my shower and let it sit for about 10 minutes and rinse. So far, no one has fallen :)

  8. says

    I made this with coconut oil and used some lemon and tangerine essential oils…it was glorious. Tip on easy clean up: Add 2 cups white vinegar, 1/4 cup baking powder and 30 drops leamon essential oil to a spray bottle, spritz the tub and shower after getting out and wait go dry off anf primp then come back and rinse away! That easy!

  9. Victoria H says

    A few days ago I made a great invigorating sugar scrub. I used 1/2 cup white sugar, 1/2 cup epson salt, 3-4 Tlbs almond oil, and 1 tsp lemon essential oil. I mix all of the ingredients together and placed them an air tight jar. I think it would be good to use on my entire body during a shower but, so far I have only used it to scrub my hands in the kitchen. It feels and smells so good, and leaves my hands smooth and fresh. I have to make myself rinse because I get caught up in the moment.

    • Hope Clark says

      Did you put essential oils in your scrub? I bet that’s what made you itch. I use essential oils all the time but if I put them into a product I’m applying to myself I get super itchy and it kinda burns. I put extracts in my scrub. The stuff in the baking isle. I have only used pure extract but I suppose imitation would work as well. I make a sugar, honey and almond extract scrub that’s smells amazing! Also, people with sensitive skin should stay away from the salt scrubs. The sugar is gentle and wont leave you looking and feeling like you were scrubbed with a Brillo pad.

      • Cait says

        Exfoliating your face everyday is so bad for you. You can end up with broken capillaries etc. Try once a week or once a fortnight….

        • Patricia Underwood says

          It depends on what you’re exfoliating with. When ‘scrubs’ first came on the scene, they were made with crushed/broken almond shells & such. Those tear & injure your skin & the abrasions just LOVE bacteria. Things that dissolve – like sugar or salt – don’t cause that kind of damage because the ‘sharp’ edges soften almost immediately. If you have dry skin, though, salt is a bad choice.

  10. Natalie says

    I just made this, using a mix of olive, coconut & avocado oil. This is the first time I’ve made any home-made beauty products. I’m so sold! I scrubbed my feet & they feel amazing, as well as my hands! I love it!

  11. Maggie Trilik says

    How often would you recommend using this? I currently don’t have a skin care system since I’ve been having some trouble finding good skin care products to use. I want to go au naturale so I’m thinking about making a combination of the oil cleansing method and this sugar scrub. Do you think this would be a good way to go for daily cleansing?

  12. AmandaDawn says

    I mix brown sugar with raw honey. It leaves me face clean and super soft, plus the honey kills the bacteria that causes acne. I use it once a week, sometimes 2-3 times a week if I am having major breakouts. Honey can clear acne and it is a lot less smelly and cheaper than store bought products!!

  13. Tara Motten says

    The one I made is white. I love it! Is there a chemical free/organic way to dye it pink? Preferably a method that would not require refrigeration. I want to make it as a party favor for a baby shower. Thanks!

  14. Olivia D says

    I made this yesterday, using brown sugar, olive oil, sunflower oil, Carmel extract and Castile liquid soap. It smells so yummy. Hands and face are soft as a baby….

  15. Ana Happypants says

    Do you use this as cleanser and moisturizer, or do you still moisturize afterwards? So far, I only used it on my hands, but they feel nice and moist without adding anything else to it. Just curious what the recommendation would be. Thanks!

  16. Paola says

    silly question ;-)

    how much is 1 cup? ;-D
    is it 250ml or 200ml?
    I would like to do a bit less then it’s in most of recipes.

    Thank you!

  17. Mandy Noble says

    I love making sugar scrubs, especially considering how expensive they are to buy. I personally use a recipe of sugar, oil (vitamin e or olive) and 5 drops each of juniper berry and orange essential oils; it smells amazing! I’m glad I found your site, now I have more recipes to try :)

  18. Anya Table says

    I was just wondering for the facial scrub could I use brown sugar instead of white and could I use peppermint instead of lavender oil?

    • Waynette says

      Brown sugar works fine, I mix brown and white sugar, Try adding a tablespoon or so of cocoa powder also. Smells wonderful, made some for my daughter-in-law and son. They love it.

  19. says

    Has anyone tried adding castile soap to improve its cleansing properties? I’m definitely going to try it, but wanted to know what you guys thought about proportions? Love the pumpkin pie variation, perfect for fall :)

    • Staci 'Grainne' Corcoran says

      You might want to try it first, I am finding that my face actually gets surprisingly clean with oil-cleansing, I’d expect sugar-scrub to be very similar. Good luck! :)

    • Susan says

      Hi,
      I would think that if you are very careful to NOT use wet hands to scoop the scrub out and NEVER let even a drop of water get in it ,it should stay “good” and bacteria free for weeks…BUT what are the chances of that ?? Please always be careful with any water getting in the container and make small bathes.

  20. says

    Almond oil and coconut are great! As the author of many DIY skin care books, I enjoy using almond oil a lot in my own recipes. Rosehip seed oil is a great alternative and it has an added benefit of healing scarring faster. Thanks for sharing your recipes. :)

  21. Gretchen Butts-Shaw says

    When using coconut oil, does it come in a liquid form? The coconut oil I cook w/ is solid, in a jar. So, so you use this sold form for the scrubs???

    • Andi Surface says

      Coconut oil melts to a liquid around 74 degrees. I found out in accident when I went for my jar this summer and found it a little different than when I left it. Body heat melts it right away. Also I saw a comment that the heat from a warm shower will melt it perfect to use.

  22. Ginamarienj71 says

    Hi. I worked in a spa for years and a quick tip : keep a magic eraser in your shower and wipe the walls/ tub / floor down prior to getting out and obviously, after you use your scrub. Best for keeping your shower clean , soap scum and oil slick free. I highly recommend elizabethvanburen and mountainroseherbs for excellent, clean and healthy products. Best

  23. palet says

    Tis the season to grind up all of that peppermint candy that will never be eaten, I think we have about 5 pounds of it around here. I will grind it in the food processor and I am thinking about using pure glycerine for the oil. I am sixty years old and truly remember the glycerine/rose water moisturizer my grandmother used. She is still alive and lively so anything she ever did, I am doing and she still has beautiful skin. Any opinion about the glycerin? It is a very thick liquid. I do love all of these other recipes and will try the out.

  24. Haley says

    I found a recipe
    – Olive Oil
    -Sugar( brown or white)
    -lemon juice
    Mix in as much as you want and then wash and dry your hands :)
    I just made and my hands have never been so soft.

  25. Alecia Dawson says

    I was wanting to make some of these for my sisters baby shower to give away as favors. But I need to make a label for them and don’t know what to put on the directions on how to use. Can you help me out???

  26. Willow Hoaglund says

    Hello! I love making sugar scrubs for gifts! Here’s the one we make most often- 2 parts white sugar, one part coconut oil, 5 drops of peppermint essential oil, and crushed leftover candy canes! mixed in :) Yum!
    We make the brown sugar spice combo too… amazing.

  27. Elizabeth Chase says

    I am making a coconut sugar scrub, just a stupid question?…When I apply to my face and scrub…how do I remove it and/or clean my face after the removal?

  28. Lynda Schiere says

    Is it okay, or wise, to do an oil cleansing and a scrub on the same day? I have a 10 year old grandaughter that has terrible skin, and I’m trying to find ways to help her.
    Thanks

      • Lynda Schiere says

        Thanks, Katie.
        She loved it when I did the oil cleansing. I’ve actually been able to convince her to keep it up on her own. Dietary issues…that is probably very true.
        Appreciate your website very, very much!

  29. Cindy says

    For these recipes using 1 cup sugar, 1 cup almond oil and your essential oil….what size jar does that need for your final product? I’m trying to make these are favors for my daughter’s 10th bday mani-pedi party and need to get the amounts right.

  30. Stephanie says

    Can you mess around with different oils? Like using jojoba and almond oil or olive and almond or olive and jojoba? I read that jojoba and almond are both carrier oils and am not sure as to that statement, but I figured they’d be okay with this mixture? I only ask cause I buy a lot of jojoba oil and olive oil, I use it for oil cleansing too! :)

  31. Carol Durham says

    I am making a scrub for the first time and my recipe calls for epsom salt. Can that be substituted for these recipes I see above? What is the main difference between using sugar or salt? Does the sugar and salt eventually melt in the oil? What is the shelf life of a scrub? Any feedback would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

  32. Jean says

    I have some honey that has gone sugary. I used it in a scrub and it worked well – 1 part sugar, 1 part sugared honey, 1 part oil (olive, almond, etc.). Add whatever other essential oils or spices you like for scent or other benefits.

  33. Glenda Borrello says

    Glad I found your site, very good information with easy recipes. This is my first time making a homemade scrub and like the others I’m hooked too.
    Here’s my tip. I wanted to use the scrub on my feet but because of the oil I wanted to be very careful and avoid slipping in the shower. So I put a washcloth under each foot when I showered. Worked just fine.

  34. Melanie R. says

    Hi. Nice blog! I’m learning a lot. Is it true that the Vitamin E oil will make the scrub last longer? Thanks.

  35. Sassy X says

    Plenty stupid questions….

    will appreciate responses please, thank you.

    I live in Africa, where the temperature is mostly warm, can someone please tell me if scrubs have to be refrigerated to have long shelf life and whats the maximum time that they can be used.

    Does vitamin E darken the skin tone? also in using honey, do you mean raw honey with the combs or store bought honey in jars, well processed honey i mean. will either work or one works better than the other.

    lastly, can one add orange, lemon zest, grated into the sugar scrub??????? (i know, weird and silly, yes??)

    xxxx

    • says

      With just sugar and oil, it should last even if not refrigerated. I’ve never heard of Vitamin E darkening skin. Either honey should work and zest can be added, but then it will need to be refrigerated.

      • Therese B. says

        If I add honey to one of the recipes you have here ( 1c. brown sugar+ 1/2 c. coconut oil) How much do I use???????? Have a child with acne.

  36. Cindy says

    I made a sugar scrub with coconut oil, cane sugar, table salt and vanilla extract. I used it as an all over body scrub in place of soap. Since then I have washed with soap several times, but for the first time ever I cannot get rid of a strong underarm odor that no longer responds to soap. I have tried disinfecting the area with rubbing alcohol and, on a separate occasion, with hydrogen peroxide 3%. Nothing works. Could the coconut oil sugar scrub have clogged the pores or trapped the odor somehow? Is there a way to completely remove the residue of the scrub from the underarms? Thanks.

    • Erin says

      It is very possible that the natural bacteria under your arm are feeding on the residue of the scrub, as bacteria LOVE sugar. Very possible. Just a thought.

        • Cindy says

          I haven’t had luck with the DIY deodorant. It works for a few hours, then it’s off to the races! Plus, w/ the aluminum-base deo, you can go every other day w/ showers, but w/ the DIY natural deo, it’s hell’s bells the next day.

          • Nancy says

            I’ve had good luck with Primal Pit Paste. I did just change to their stronger version but in regular deodorant I used a stronger version too. My husband, who works outside a lot in 90 plus temps uses Primal Pits regular concoction and is satisfied with it.

    • Some not so smell guy says

      the bacteria from your underarm is feeding off the extra sugar, that is why you have a stronger body smell. peronally i do not think you can get rib of it now with any of these type cleaners as the are not addressing the bacteria.

      I started making my own deordorant because I never used commercial products and i had a very strong body ordor, i have figured out how to kill the underarm bactria using simple products, but i am currently talking about selling the reciepe so i can not post it.

  37. Ann Fure says

    I would like to make sugar or dead sea salt scrubs to sell –
    Is it not a good idea with the sugar because it only has a too short shelf life? How long is it?
    What kind of shelf life does a dead sea salt scrub have?

  38. Erika says

    I tried this yesterday and am so glad to have found your site!

    To keep the scrubs affordable, are you using processed white sugar (e.g., store brand white)? The only sugar I have at home is rapadura which worked very nicely as a scrub, but it’s not cheap and I feel a little angst watching it go down the drain :) Also, do you think it matters if you use coffee grounds after they’ve been made into coffee? I love the idea of using something I was going to compost anyway.

  39. terry pierce says

    I am pre-diabetic. Will a sugar scrub add itself somehow, into my inner organs/ Through my pores,mane?? Is it safe for someone with pre-diabetic issues?

    Thanks,

    Terry

  40. Lisa says

    Just made a scrub by adding ground cacao nibs to the Vanilla Brown Sugar Scrub. Used white sugar and increased the almond oil a little. Smells so yummy!!!!!

  41. Jena says

    I made my first sugar scrub with a few tablespoons of sugar, a little olive oil, and the juice from an orange that was too dried out to eat. It was really nice!

    The next I made was for my mom’s tea-themed gift for Mother’s Day. I call it Green Tea Lemonade. I used sugar, olive oil, the tea from 1 tea bag, lemon zest, and lemon juice! You can’t smell the green tea, but the tea made it a nice green color and of course is very good for skin! So that made up for it. I also made a lemon scrub or myself and my sister. Excited to start giving different variations as gifts!

  42. Jan says

    Just made some of this with olive oil, white sugar, and tea tree, peppermint, and orange essential oils to use as foot scrub. It smells and feels terrific! Some is going in a basket with homemade foot soak for my mom for mother’s day. Thanks for the recipe. I may even try to whip up some of your lotion and scent it to match.

  43. Hannah says

    I am going to try this. I was wondering about using grapeseed oil instead of the coconut oil. What do you think?

  44. Criss says

    Hello Katie, I discovered your blog yesterday through the article of 101 use of coconut oil and since then I spent hours reading it :D Your articles are so helpfull, your readers are so wonderfull and everybody is talking from experience and actually giving great advices! Thank you and and thank you, “mama readers”.
    I am about to make my first ever scrub (olive oil, coconut oil, white sugar, a bit of castor oil and grinded coffee) and I wanted to ask if this scrub should be used on a daily basis or only 2-3 times a week. Also, should it be used only on the body or on the face too?

    Hugs from Romania!

    • says

      A lot of that will be down to personal preferrence and skin sensitivity. Generally it’s better to limit abrasive scrubs on your face, so while you can use it there, I’d keep it to once or twice a week. Otherwise, use it as often as you want! If you are not certain what your skin will tolerate, start slow and work up.

      • Criss says

        Hello,
        I tried it yesterday and my skin feels so hydrated now, I will definately continue use it instead of my normal products and I will try some of your recipes after I will buy vitamin E, almond oil and some other ingredients. Thank you for all your help and keep up the good work!
        Kisses!

  45. helena says

    I use a sugar scrub, and add tumeric, or papaya or pinapple juice. Made in small batches with each use. enzymes in papaya and pineapple really good for skin. cranberry juice is also good.

  46. Melissa says

    Do you recommend a specific container? I would like to use a 4oz. Do you have anything in mind? I would like to know if it matters if I use a container that is BPA free. Does it matter?

    Thanks.

  47. Alice De Luca says

    I use:
    Sugar
    Coconut oil
    Mint
    Vanilla extract
    Lemon juice
    Water
    It works for my whole body I use maybe once or twice a month. I got it from my sister who is “naturalist” and I live by it :-)

  48. Brent says

    I’d be a little wary in using vanilla extract in a scrub, definitely not a facial scrub. Vanilla extract is a tincture, meaning its base is ethyl alcohol, which might be counter-intuitive. Of course, the oils in the scrub might counteract that, but I think a better option would be to use vanilla bean paste. I bought mine at Williams Sonoma (Nielsen-Massey is my all time favorite brand for anything vanilla, and lots of groceries carry it now.) It includes the pod seeds, which could also add to the exfoliating properties of the scrub. You’d use the same amount of paste as you would extract. Just thinking out loud.

  49. Margaret says

    My 11 year old daughter has had kp (Keratosis Pilaris) all of her life. It is not terrible but is more noticeable at times on her face. As of now, it does not bother her BUT she is 11 and I’d like to find something natural to help it before she gets to the age that she does care.

    Cutting back on grains and dairy has helped and I am slowly cutting those things out completely for other reasons as well.

    Thanks so much and I love your site. I made some of your lotions yesterday, added DMAE to one, and am going to make the bug repellent bars and sunscreen bars today. We live in South Florida and spend alot of time in the sun and in the Keys so both will come in handy!

  50. Margaret says

    I use Kerr 8 oz 1/2 pint) wide mouth canning jars, I bought mine at Ace Hardware but you can get them on Amazon- They were cheaper at Ace….

  51. Tierra says

    What brand of brown sugar to get? And what brand of olive oil to get? And do I get extra virgin olive oil? How long to keep it on my face? I’m new to this whole exfoliating thing.

    • says

      I’d aim for all organic if possible, and yes, use extra virgin olive oil from a reliable source to make sure it is pure. You don’t need to really leave it on long, just massage in gently and rinse clean.

  52. Criss says

    Hello there :*
    Do you think that I could use the scrubb based on sugar on a daily basis? Some people say that sugar is too exfoliating and that it should be used only once a week. Did anybody try use it daily? These days is so hot outside (around 35 Celcius) and if I try use oils for the skin, they just aren’t absorbed because of the fact that I am always sweating (I don’t have AC at home). I really want to keep my skin mosturised and using the scrubb makes it feel so hydrated :)
    So as a final conclusion:
    Is it safe to use sugar based scrubbs on a daily basis or should I use coffee instead of the sugar?

  53. Donna says

    I made the pumpkin pie sugar scrub last night. I was really excited to make this but when I used it on my hands, afterwards they were extremely greasy. I also do not smell the pumpkin pie spice at all, even after dumping more in. I might try this again cutting way back on the coconut oil or just use a different oil all together. Are my hands suppose to feel very greasy and repel water after using this product?

  54. Christina says

    Hello,
    I want to make the brown sugar vanilla scrub for my daughters birthday party. The kids (8yrs old) will be making them. How much does your recipe yield? And also do you have and other kid friendly scrubs you recommend? Or anyone?
    Thank you!!!

  55. Becky says

    Have made up several batches of the sugar scrub now, and love it. However, I’m concerned about the coconut oil going down the drain. Any way to keep the oil from building up?

  56. Cindy says

    Hi Katie,
    I’ve been making and using a sugar scrub recipe a friend gave me awhile ago- organic sugar, coconut oil, lavender essential oil, and lavender flowers. Fell in love with it from the first time I tried it. I use it on my face and body. Problem is I get a red “rash” under my breasts that itches. (It almost looks like a rash on a baby’s bottom.) If I put neosporin on it it takes the rash away. I really want to keep using sugar scrubs but don’t want the rash. (I’ve had to switch back to using commercial soap until I figure out the problem, really didn’t want to do that as I’ve been trying to slowly switch to natural products. Love your deodorant recipe btw.) I’m pretty sure it’s the sugar. It’s really hot where I live so I’m thinking the sugar combined with hot, sweaty, enclosed area is the culprit. Does that sound plausible to you? My other question is, is it good for your skin to use salt instead? Can I use just plain ol table salt or use sea salt? Thank you so much!!!

  57. Susan says

    I loooove sugar scubs. They are like 2 in 1; they’re exfoliating and moisturizing on the same time! It leaves your skin so nice and smooth :)

  58. BEDA says

    What do you all think about adding Activated Charcoal to a sugar scrub? … I’m thinking maybe it would be great for pulling toxic gunk (that’s a technical term ;) ) out of the pores …

  59. Bell says

    Just made the Vanilla Lavender scrub and I just LOVE it! I only tried it on my hands, but it made them nice and soft. I added a half tablespoon of raw organic manuka honey to the recipe too. Thank you so much for your recipe. I can’t wait to make a big batch of this and give them out as presents for Christmas! <3

  60. Kat says

    i wonder what some of ya”ll use to clean your shower/tub drains. I’m thinking about oatmeal and coffee grounds going down the drain. Even sugar or salt with coconut oil would eventually clog the drIn when the oil cools and solidifies.

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