Nourishing Homemade Sugar Scrub

Got rough dry hands and feet? This Homemade Sugar Scrub is the perfect addition to your natural beauty routine. No chemical additives and it saves tons money over store scrubs. Use essential oils for a lovely smell naturally - without any toxins.

In order to keep as many toxins out of our home and off of our bodies, I try to make as many homemade personal care items as possible.   My repertoire includes Homemade Eye Makeup Remover, Alcohol-free Hairspray, Nourishing Lip Scrub, Nourishing Hair RinseHand and Body Cream, and Tooth Powder.

Today I’ve got a great new DIY beauty care recipe to share with you–a Homemade Sugar Scrub.

If you’re anything like me, dry hands and feet (and dry skin in general) is a problem for you.

I never tried anything like a scrub until one evening at an antique car show where a woman was selling beauty products and offering free hand scrub demonstrations.

Hesitatingly, I tried the scrub, feeling skeptical (I’m pretty skeptical about a lot of things….see my post on Are Essential Oils a Scam? ~ A Skeptic Looks at Thieves Oil for an example of my skepticism).

Well, I just loved how my hands felt and looked after rubbing that scrub all over my hands and rinsing it off.  Smooth and revitalized and younger-looking.

However, I didn’t like the price or the ingredients.

Today I looked online to verify what the “incriminating ingredients” were, and though the exact product I tried isn’t there any longer, get a look at the list on one of their comparable products:

  • butylene glycol
  • sodium methyl cocoyl taurate
  • polyacrylamide
  • C13-14 Isoparaffin
  • Laureth-7
  • Fragrance (who knows what’s really in that :-?)
  • DMDM Hydantoin
  • Iodopropynyl Butylcarbamate
Sheesh.  And the price was $16.00 (marked down from $18.00) for only 6 oz.
Fast forward several years.   For some reason, I just never really thought about making my own sugar scrub and continued my quest for a good hand lotion.
Then, one day, a sweet friend from church blessed me with a handmade sugar scrub.

I loved it!  And her beautiful presentation in that squat mason jar with a beautiful ribbon made makes it extra special!

Well, looking around online, I found that there are tons of recipes.

I finally found one that I like, though I’ll probably tweak this a bit in the future.

Got rough dry hands and feet? This Homemade Sugar Scrub is the perfect addition to your natural beauty routine. No chemical additives and it saves tons money over store scrubs. Use essential oils for a lovely smell naturally - without any toxins.

How much will you save making your own Homemade Sugar Scrub?

Here’s a sampling of what you might expect to pay:

Granulated sugar is $2.68 for 5 lb at Aldi (that’s $.54/lb)

Grapeseed oil is $6.75/ltr at the buying club I run out of my home.

My Cost:

Sugar: $.27

Grapeseed Oil: $1.59

Essential Oils – approximately $.14, depending on the oil chosen

(I didn’t include the mason jar because you can reuse it unless it’s for a gift!)

So, compared to retail price of the “packaged version” at $18 for 6 oz., you can make homemade sugar scrub for only $2.00!

And you don’t get questionable ingredients or wasteful packaging!

Looking for other frugal and good-for-you Body Care Recipes?  How about:

I think this would make a fabulous gift!  Like for Mother’s Day. I’ve included it in my Easy Mother’s Day Gifts Round Up.  I think you’ll love what I’ve pulled together from all over the internet.

There will be more where that came from, so stick around!

Have you ever used sugar scrubs?
What fragrance would you most enjoy?

These comments do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Whole New Mom.


    Speak Your Mind


  1. I use walnut or almond oil. Brown sugar is awesome as well n leaves a nice fresh glow.

  2. What is the shelf life of this scrub? Also, can u reccommend where to find the jars that u used? Will the metal lid change the properties in the scrub? Thanks!

  3. I have an extremely dry skin and was very eagerly searching for something which would really make my skin soft, smooth, remove tans, and at the same time be natural and harshless.

    Very excited to prepare this in the coming weekend. Could you please tell me if I can avoid the essential oil part and just make the scrub out of sugar and olive oil. And for how many days can I store it and in what temperatures.

    Good wishes, 🙂

    • Hi. Of course you can omit the oils. I just keep it in the fridge – you basically have to store it like olive oil. Once the oil is rancid you won’t want to use it. Hope you enjoy it!

  4. Adrienne! I’ve been dabbling in making scrubs for Christmas gifts and I had a question: Does all olive oil have a strong smell? I’d really like to use olive oil but I wondered if there’s a certain type that would be less potent so the scrub wouldn’t smell just of olive oil. I made a tester today with extra virgin olive oil and added vanilla, but it didn’t smell of vanilla at all! Help? Suggestions?

  5. can you use rubber maid containers

  6. Ok thank-you. They are very thick.

  7. Tabatha F. says:

    I know you said glass container and the first thing that came to mind was a mason jar but the no metal got me. Aren’t the lids of mason jars metal? Thanks for posting this though! I’m thinking of making some for my sister!

    • Yes, this is a hard thing to think about. I am not too worried since the metal is just touching part of the mixture. But perhaps someone else could advise better. You can also buy plastic lids for mason jars if need be.

  8. sorry if this has been asked but I don’t always have time to read every comment. years ago I tried a sugar scrub and loved how it made my skin feel. The problem was my bath tub got really slippery. Kind of scared me cause I almost fell. Has this been a problem for anyone else and how did you deal with it?

  9. I’ve had the same problem . keep a small container of baking soda in your
    shower and just sprinkle some around the shower floor. This doubles as a
    scrub for your feet and a slippery floor remover.

  10. Hi,
    Has anyone found out or asked a Dr. about the Sugar absorbing in the skin. For those of us who have to avoid sugar for health issues?

    • I did some poking around and it didn’t look like it’s an issue: Here is one link. You could always use xylitol if you are concerned but here is another link that appears to show this isn’t a problem.

      • I know this is an older post but if sugar is an issue for anyone salt can be used in place of sugar. Just don’t use it on open cuts because it will sting. You can also purchase fine ground pumice online that is inexpensive, jojoba beads would work also but they are more expensive.

  11. What size jar?

  12. Tori milner says:

    I am making some for my mother, and it has turned really runny and I tried some on my hands and I know have red spots all on my hands!! Is there something wrong with using vegetable oil?? Can I still give it to my mum?

    • Mine wasn’t runny. Not sure why that should happen. I don’t like using vegetable oil because it isn’t a good quality typically but that is my opinion. Maybe you have the red spots for some other reason? Of course if you are concerned you need to use your own judgement. Maybe try making a smaller amount w a higher quality oil? or I would try putting some veg oil on your hands for a bit and see if you get the red spots. That way, if you do it w/ each ingredient, you will figure out what is causing the spots.

      • Tori milner says:

        Thank you for your reply, The red spots was nothing to do with it in the end. but mine has separated is that normal? should I take out some of the excess oil?

        • I just mix mine up and use it. If you store it in the fridge it won’t separate. Plus it lasts a lot longer that way :). It’s no fun using rancid scrub on your skin :(.

  13. Thanks for this info about making a scrub. I am trying to recreate a lemon-ginseng scrub that I get from a retailer. I am trying to find out what form of ginseng to use. The only essential oils that I can find are made in China- I don’t know how safe they are.

    Do you know if ginseng extract would work well? I question if it would mix with the oil, or separate like water. I am also considering a powdered form.

    Thanks for any tips!

    • How interesting. I wonder why ginseng oil isn’t available. Maybe there’s a good reason? Was there EO in the product you’re trying to replicate?

      • In the store-bought scrub they use ginseng extract, but there are about 30 other ingredients too, so I wasn’t sure how a simple combo of oil, extract, and sugar would work. I just thought it couldn’t hurt to ask 🙂

  14. When i made sugar scrub, i made a mint one, and i got an organic mint tea and crushed it and stirred it into the sugar scrub, we tried it with earl grey tea, crushed vanilla and coffee beans, etc. It makes a nice twist on it 🙂

  15. This is an amazing recipe, and definitely one that I’m sure my mother-in-law will love this mother’s day. Thanks SO much for sharing!

  16. Maisey Peterson says:

    I made this with coconut oil and essential orange oil. I like to look at this website even though I’m 11 and the name is whole new mom.

  17. Love this gift idea! So I linked it up in my Homemade Gifts-in-a-Jar guest post over at Keeper of the Home! Hope it brings some new friends your way! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you! 🙂 Kelly

  18. I was curious how long the sugar scrub lasts? Do you need to store in a special way? I am making a batch of 50 for my sisters baby shower favors and I want to let the guests know how long the sugar scrub stays good for.

    Any help would be awesome.
    Thank You,

    • I’m sorry but I can’t make shelf life claims b/c of the difference in cleanliness and storing. I would think use the oil that you use as a base for how long it will keep. I keep mine in the fridge – thanks!

  19. BlogZilla says:

    The ingredients in many skin and hair care products are absolutely disgusting and come from petrochemicals, which are the cheapest of the cheap ingredients you can find. That is why they use them. They can make products for pennies on the dollar and charge a king’s ransom to the ignorant (of which there are many)

    One day I was in a Bath And Body Works store because I was curious about their products since they are so popular. When I looked on the underside label of one of their facial scrub containers, or whatever it was, I noticed the ingredient was hidden and covered with another label that had some nonsense quote or something else written on it. Needless to say, the ingredient of this overpriced $12 facial scrub were similar to the ingredients listed for the product in this article — Yucky petrochemical, endocrine disrupting nonsense. They’re a big time scam.

    Based on their packaging alone, they obviously don’t want people to be educated and know what they are putting on their face or skin

    Much of this stuff can be made from wholesome, healthy simple ingredients you can whip up at home. And even if you are using expensive essential oils, often times it’s still cheaper than what you will find in many stores because the ingredients are natural and healthier and don’t require as much for efficacy.

  20. Veronica Gookins says:

    Hello. Thank you for posting this! I love making homemade gifts and I’m dying to make a spa gift basket for the woman in my family. I did have a question about the oils you can use, I hope you wouldn’t mind answering. I noticed that you can buy oils specifically as carriers for the essential oils. Such as grapeseed, coconut, olive, almond, etc. I have also seen in the stores that they have all the same oils in the baking department. They are for cooking though. Can those be used as well? Or do they need to be specifically for the skin? I see people use some of the coconut oils they find where the baking oils are and it confuses me. Like olive oil for instance. Thank you so very much!

    • They can for sure be used. I think it’s best to use things on your skin that are edible b/c so many things pass through the skin direct to the blood.

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