Nourishing Homemade Sugar Scrub

This Nourishing Sugar Scrub is great for making your skin silky smooth. It's super simple, and frugal, and you can add your own fragrant essential oils as you like. Makes a great easy-to-make gift!

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.

Homemade Sugar Scrub

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 Oil (using DoTerra’s distributor price): $.28

(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 $2.14, saving 97%!

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?


Comments

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  1. like you’re reading my mind.. been looking up body scrub recipes all week for bridal favors! Thanks

  2. You must have known my feet were in dire need of something. I’m curious if you think using coconut oil would work. I’m assuming that I’d need to melt it so it would pourable before trying to mix this altogether. Thx

    • It will for sure work! You will, of course, end up with a much thicker product. I think in warmer weather (over 76 degrees) you won’t need to heat it, but cooler than that and you will. Enjoy!

  3. Almond oil is great in sugar or sea salt scrubs. Also johoba oil because it is closest to our own produced skin oils.

    • I’ve heard very good things about almond oil, but heard it goes rancid easily. I too love jojoba oil as you can see from my face wash post. Thanks for the comment!

  4. You wouldn’t necessarily have to heat the coconut oil to mix it. Usually mine will liquify enough just from stirring.

  5. Oh Adrienne, you’re speaking my language lady. I love homemade beauty products! Sugar makes an excellent scrub! Love it!!

    Hugs,
    –Amber

  6. I saw a comment on another post about sugar scrubs that has left me wondering. Will some of the sugar absorb into your skin when used in this way?

    • Beth, what comment did you see? I was wondering the same thing, but from my search on the internet I didn’t find that it will be absorbed. I guess if it turns out it might be or if you are concerned, you could use coconut or palm sugar or even xylitol. The exfoliating issue is what is important – not that it is sugar (from what I know). If you find more out, please share!

      • It was a comment at the following blog about her body scrub e-book, Simple Scrubs. http://adelightfulhome.com/simplescrubs/ I believe the comment was by someone name Cherlyann (???). She was very appropriate in her comment, but she just pointed out that someone who might have health issues related to sugar consumption might want to be careful about using sugar scrubs (and she gives an example of a friend who was exposed to sugar “fumes” when working in a bakery). I know the fumes thing is different than exposure through the skin, but it did make me wonder about the impact since we do know that we absorb through our skin as well as through “eating.” I just didn’t know if that would apply to sugar scrubs as well. For now, I’ve switched to using epsom salt instead of sugar in scrubs I make. It seems to be a little more “harsh” than the sugar, but I know it has other benefits, too. Thanks for you input. :)

        • Thanks, Beth. I did a little more hunting and was glad to find this: but I am still curious. The only info I could find stating that it is absorbed into the skin was on forums with people chatting about it.

          Can you think of a good source to call about this? I find this very interesting. The fumes are for sure different because it is powdered sugar in the air that is being ingested. Absorption into the skin is determined by molecular size, as far as I can understand it.

  7. Believe it or not, This is exactly what many main spas use. I strongly recommend pouring warm honey ( in the tub) and leaving it for a little bit and then rinse off with warm water. The honey and sugar come right off and you won’t believe the moisture this combo gives. It’s absolutely splendid.

  8. I was just thinking, today, that I need to schedule a pedi. Hmmm, maybe I’ll just whip up a batch of this, try it myself and save a bundle. Thank you for the inspiration!

  9. I’ve been making my own sugar scrub for years! And it looks like we’ve come up with the same recipe. My favorite essential oils to add are ylang ylang and frankincense. It is soooo much more affordable and healthier.

    • Thanks for the oil suggestions! I’m still getting my feet wet with the oils (pun intended)….and haven’t done much with either of those yet. Looking forward to trying that!

  10. Love it.. thanks for linking up at friday fun party.. :) Pinning it for making on weekend..

  11. What a great gift idea for the holidays! Thanks for the recipe. I’m gonna make this one for sure.

  12. Ha! I’ve been thinking that I needed to learn how to do this. I have a pretty clean source to buy a good sugar scrub, but when I look at the price I think, “DUH, I can totally do this myself!” Thanks for pointing me in the right direction!

    • You’re welcome, Jen! I love making all these things myself too! Helps save money for the other things we need or for being generous. Take care!

  13. Thanks so much for the recipe! An awesome gift idea for sure!

    Make the Scene Monday @ Alderberry Hill
    alderberryhill.blogspot.com

  14. I have bought something similar before and it lasted for ages. the difference was it had salt instead of sugar.

  15. This would definitely make a beautiful gift. Thank you for sharing- it seems so simple! I always have dry, rough heels (yuck!). I think this would help them a lot.

    Blessings,
    Nicole at Working Kansas Homemaker

  16. What a great and simple recipe for a scrub! I buy a locally made organic one which smells devine but is quite pricey! Maybe I should just make my own!
    Thanks for linking to a Round Tuit!
    Hope you have a fabulous week!
    Jill @ Creating my way to Success
    http://www.jembellish.blogspot.com/

  17. I’ve made a sugar scrub with brown sugar before that is very similar. It works great. I like your recipe though because it is white and looks more appealing. Thanks for sharing.

  18. I’ve always wanted to try making it myself but never did. I would try it with coconut oil, I think, except that it is only liquid over 76 degrees. As I age, my skin is getting dryer and more tough. Perhaps this will help?

    Thanks. Found you through Better Mom link-up.

    • I think it will help. I also put a whole house water filter on. It takes the chlorine out and helped me. Also nourishing yourself internally is important. Take care and hope to see you again!

  19. Oh I have never tried using a sugar scrub. I bet it is wonderful. I am thinking lavender and vanilla!

    I followed you from the Teach Me Tuesday’s linky party.

  20. Yes, dry skin here!!!
    I LOVED your recipe and yes, no more paying $20 for a scrub, yuuupppeee!!!!
    THANK YOU!!!!

  21. wow cool! Come check out my list of 100 Smoothies! Comment if you’d like on which one is you favorite!

    Love, Traci @ Ordinary Inspirations http://www.ordinaryinspirations.blogspot.com/2012/04/100-smoothie-recipes.html

  22. This sounds so much nicer than commercial sugar scrubs, and you can customise it to suit you with your favourite essential oils. What a lovely, frugal, better for you idea!

  23. Oooh! I’m so excited to try this. It looks so easy that I even I could do it. I’d really love for you to stop by Etcetorize to share with even more people (http://etcetorize.blogspot.ca/2012/04/make-it-great-monday_22.html). Party is still on, hope to see you there! Thanks so much for the recipe~

  24. This sounds wonderful! I made a scrub once but it didn’t turn out like I hoped it would.
    Thanks for linking up to this week’s Catch a Glimpse party! I will be featuring this tomorrow. :)

    • Thank you so much, Allison! I tried a few as well and this one really turned out nicely. I am going to work on some different fragrances later and probably different sweeteners as well. Thanks again!

  25. Thank you for posting this! I totally had to pin it. :) I was JUST thinking the other day about looking for sugar scrub recipes because my skin could use a little extra nourishment.

  26. I love the silky smooth feeling after a sugar scrub, too! Thanks for sharing with Healthy 2Day Wednesday; come back next Wednesday to see if you were featured!

  27. Love this idea! I’m going to pin this to try for later:) Thanks for sharing!!!

  28. Hi There Adrienne,

    Just a note to let you know I shared your awesome recipe on my monthly recipe round-up: Mother’s Day Edition. If you get a chance, come on over and check out the other inspiring recipes from sweet indulgence to homemade gifts.

    http://www.thetastyalternative.com/2012/04/monthly-round-up-mothers-day-edition.html

    Hugs,
    –Amber

  29. Love it! Sounds so good and it’s just so simple! And I have one of those jars sitting around right now! :)

  30. sonia williams says:

    Hi
    I have just made this, with granulated sugar, olive oil and lavender oil. I have used i on my hands and they now feel great the only problem i had with it was after i added the lavender it started popping, like custard does when you have it on the hob.Any idea why it did this?

    • Hmm…what brand of essential oil are you using? And I don’t understand what you mean by custard on the hob. Can you explain more please?

  31. I have recently made a similar scrub recipe, but I used organic coconut oil because that is what I had on hand. I think the jojoba would of been better. Not quite as oily. I did add one more thing though. Coffee. I read somewhere that using a scrub with coffee in it will help eliminate cellulite. The caffeine in coffee supposedly helps to reduce cellulite. I only mixed a small portion to try so I haven’t used it enough to see if it really works.

    Have you ever heard of coffee in a scrub helping to reduce cellulite?

    Thanks for sharing your recipe.

    • Haven’t heard of that. I would think that it’s on the skin for so short of a time that it wouldn’t work but I don’t know for sure.

  32. Mixed Kreations says:

    Kind of what I figured. Thanks

  33. This is awesome and a great idea for gifts! Thanks for sharing. Stopping by from Chef-in-Training, Tuesday Talent Show :-)

  34. Hi, Adrienne! What a fun and wonderful recipe gift idea! Just shared it with my FB friends! Blessings, Kelly

  35. I could use 3 minutes to rest as I pamper myself. Thanks for sharing.

  36. I love this gift idea!!!! Thank you for sharing with me on Fit and Fabulous Fridays!! :)

  37. Hello Adrienne I was wondering, how does this sugar scrub last?

    • I am not sure – I have some on the counter and some in the fridge – I am thinking the oil has a limited shelf life. I read on one site to use w/in a month. I am thinking for me I will smell it and discard if the oils smells rancid.

  38. Omg I just finished making the scrub and I used organic honey
    instead of the essential oil and my hands are BEAUTIFUL!!!
    your recipe is fabulous!!!!

  39. This worked awesome! I used a $2.99 “Something Fabulous Fragrance from Hobby Lobby (like only 24 drops!), Canola Oil & White Sugar. Came out great! Just had to make sure my hands were extra dry after and now they’re so soft! Thanks!

  40. Math check! Your sugar should only be $.28 for a cup. An even better deal! lol Thanks so much!!!

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

  42. 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!

  43. 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, :)
    Pratichi

    • 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!

  44. 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?

  45. can you use rubber maid containers

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

  47. 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.

  48. 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?

  49. 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.

  50. 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?
    Thanks!

    • 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.

  51. What size jar?

  52. 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 :(.

  53. 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 :-)

  54. 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 :)

  55. 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!

  56. 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.

  57. 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

  58. 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,
    Kellie

    • 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!

  59. 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.