Easy Homemade Sugar Scrub

This DIY easy homemade sugar scrub exfoliates and moisturizes all at once.  Your skin will feel brand new, incredibly soft, and luxurious. It is simple to make yourself with just two main ingredients that you likely have on hand already! This recipe takes about two minutes to make and is much less expensive than store-bought sugar scrubs.​  Use it as the perfect holiday gift given in cute reusable glass jars!

Homemade Sugar Scrub

As soon as the east coast winter hits, my skin dries up. This is especially true since I’m constantly washing my hands to avoid getting sick…not to mention dishes and bath time for the kids! My poor hands need some TLC every now and then to avoid cracking and bleeding from all the harsh water and soap they are exposed to.  Whipping up a batch of this sugar scrub is a quick and easy way to soften and hydrate! Since it is homemade you know exactly what is in it…nothing toxic, and only the good stuff! It would be a great gift for neighbors, friends, or family…and especially wonderful for people in professions who wash their hands a lot, like medical professionals or teachers!

Easy Homemade Sugar Scrub
DIY Sugar Scrub Ingredients

DIY Sugar Scrub Ingredients

This recipe takes about two minutes to make, and it’s so much less expensive than store-bought brands! It’s made from just two main ingredients. There are a ton of add-in opportunities here, since the base of this recipe smells neutral and is very simple. If you know someone with sensitive skin or extreme allergies, though, the classic sugar scrub without add-ins would be so appreciated!

  • Coconut oil – Use unrefined coconut oil at room temperature, so it’s either very soft or completely liquid and easy to stir in.
  • Sugar – Yup, just regular sugar that you can buy at any grocery store! I use Organic Cane Sugar, but you can use the white granulated sugar that’s already in your pantry.

Homemade Sugar Scrub with Essential Oils

In the recipe below I provide an option to add citrus zest or essential oils to the sugar scrub for scent, but it is still wonderful on its own.  This is a great basic starter set of essential oils that I love.  Each of those scents would make a wonderful addition to the scrub and add extra benefits.

  • Citrus is said to boost your mood and energy.
  • During cold and flu season I like to add OnGuard essential oil
  • For more of a spa vibe I use eucalyptus​ and lavendar essential oil for a really soothing blend.
  • If you don’t want any fragrance or benefits other than the scrub you can simply leave the essential oils out.

I also provided the option of adding vitamin E oil for an extra moisture boost.  This is not required and the sugar scrub is wonderful with just the coconut oil and sugar, but I’ve found the extra nourishment from vitamin E is so nice for super dry hands!

How to Use Sugar Scrub

I use 1/2 tablespoon on both my hands, rub them gently together for 20 seconds, then rinse with water. I pat them dry, and my hands feel like silk! It’s incredible for the dry winter months when your skin needs a bit of extra love. It doubles as the perfect DIY holiday gift! I love to include a pretty wooden spoon tied to the jar when I give it as a gift along with a note containing instructions on how to use it and a thoughtful well wish.

Homemade Sugar Scrub Gift

Everyone goes crazy over thoughtful DIY gifts, and this one is really the gift that keeps on giving! It lasts a long time, promotes self-care, and the tiny glass jar is cute and can be cleaned and reused for storing food.  This set of six tiny glass jars are adorable and would be great for gifting the sugar scrub in! I’ve also used the jars found here and they are perfect for gifting.  I also use them to store sauces, chia jam, smoothie jar ingredients, and chia seed pudding. You can never had enough glass jars in the kitchen! Tie it off with a bow, add a thoughtful note, and you’re the neighborhood superstar.

Easy Sugar Scrub Recipe

I hope you decide to give yourself or someone you know the gift of silky skin this holiday season! If you give this homemade sugar scrub a try, please snap a pic and tag #eatingbyelaine and @eatingbyelaine on InstagramTwitter or Facebook so I can cheer you on. I love seeing the way you add fragrance and package these scrubs! This is a vegan, allergen-friendly gift that is so thoughtful and gentle on sensitive skin.

Homemade Exfoliating Scrub
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Homemade Sugar Scrub

Easy Homemade Sugar Scrub


  • Author: Elaine Gordon
  • Prep Time: 2 mins
  • Total Time: 2 mins
  • Yield: 1 jar 1x
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

This simple DIY sugar scrub exfoliates and moisturizes all at once. Massage a small amount into your skin in circular motions for 20 seconds. Rinse with water and gently pat dry. Your skin will feel brand new and incredibly soft and luxurious. This sugar scrub makes a great gift for others when given in cute little glass jars that can be reused.


Ingredients

Scale

Instructions

  1. In a small glass bowl stir to combine room temperature coconut oil with sugar using a spoon or fork. Add the optional zest, essential oils or vitamin E oil if using.
  2. Transfer to an airtight container, seal tightly and store at room temperature for up to two months. If you use the citrus zest it will have a shorter shelf life.

Notes

To keep the sugar scrub fresh do not introduce moisture or anything to the jar.  Use a spoon to portion it out in your hand and do not double dip it.  Always seal it tightly.  

Homemade Peppermint Body Scrub

  • Category: self-care
  • Method: Stir

Keywords: Easy homemade sugar scrub

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52 Comments

  1. Sue

    Hi there thanks for this great recipe which I’m going to make. Just wondering with the coconut oil does it need to be the unrefined oil that has coconut aroma? I believe the unrefined one is more pure.

    Reply
    • Elaine Gordon

      Either should work. Whichever is less expensive I would say.

      Reply
  2. Cathy

    I make mine with dark brown sugar and coconut oil…that’s it! Gentle, could be used daily, and no need for body lotion following my shower…(and I have dry skin)

    Reply
    • Elaine Gordon

      Love that! Sounds perfect!

      Reply
    • Elaine

      Do you need a preservative since it’s used by the shower or bath and waster may get in there?

      Reply
      • Elaine Gordon

        I’m not sure – I keep moisture away from it and use a dry spoon to portion it out in advance. If you are concerned then go for it.

        Reply
    • Susan Clapsaddle

      Can you use shea butter with is recipe

      Reply
      • Elaine Gordon

        I don’t believe so. I believe at room temperature shea butter is solid so it would need to be softened somehow prior to use. The coconut oil works well at room temperature because it isn’t solid but it also isn’t liquid… it is nice and soft and perfect for exfoliating and rubbing into the skin. Does that make sense?

        Reply
        • Cynthia Taylor

          I made this and the coconut oil I used was solid so I had to melt it. One the mixture set the coconut went back to its solid state and left the scrub with a marble affect throughout the scrub. How can I correct this?

          Reply
          • Elaine Gordon

            I’m so sorry to hear about this. I would not recommend completely melting it if it is hard. I would say you would soften it a bit by warming it up in the microwave for about 10 seconds. You want to be able to stir it but not have it in a liquid state. You could probably salvage what you have by warming it up slightly and remixing and maybe adding more sugar to it. If you want to email me pictures of it I might be able to help more. My email is elaine@eatingbyelaine.com and I’m more than happy to troubleshoot with you. What is your current climate and room temperature in your home? It should work fine if your thermostat is set to 72 degrees or so.

            Reply
          • Samantha

            Does anyone how long long after this is made when it won’t be good anymore?

            Reply
            • Elaine Gordon

              Hi Samantha, I have personally used it for months after making a large batch. I typically portion it out into separate containers and use throughout the year. If you are careful not to introduce moisture or anything else into it then it can stay fresh for a very long time. If you plan on adding citrus zest the shelf life may be shorter though. For that, just look for typical signs of storage and discard if necessary. I hope this helps! Best, Elaine

              Reply
  3. Kenna

    How much does this recipe exactly make?

    Reply
    • Elaine Gordon

      About 3/4 cup. Enjoy!

      Reply
  4. Mercy

    Hi Elaine, can I add honey and lemon to it and use for my entire body including my face? Again how long will it last when stored under room temperature if these ingredients are added, or can I refrigerate?

    Reply
    • Elaine Gordon

      Hi Mercy, I have honestly never tried that but it sounds invigorating and hydrating! I wouldn’t want to say for sure though since I haven’t tested it myself. I would also think that it would be slightly more perishable due to the lemon. Maybe one week and you could make a smaller batch?

      Reply
  5. Nyakel Youdidn

    I made one with olive (1tbp) and sugar(1tpb) lips soft.

    Reply
    • Elaine Gordon

      Sounds heavenly!

      Reply
  6. Jacque

    Will your recipe become a solid once in a jar or hold the loose sugar as in your photo? Thank you

    Reply
    • Elaine Gordon

      Great question – it totally depends on the temperature of where it is stored. It should stay looking like the photos at room temperature. In the summer in very hot weather it might get more liquid-y. In the winter it will be more solid. But, as you rub it between your hands and on your body it will warm up and work just fine. Does that help?

      Reply
  7. Terri

    I know some scrubs will get Mildewmold in them after a while is there anything to add to keep this from happening?

    Reply
    • Elaine Gordon

      Yes! Very good question! To prevent this you want to avoid adding any moisture to the scrub as you use it. For best results use a clean and dry spoon to scoop the scrub onto your hands/skin. Do not return the spoon to the jar after you have used it. Immediately place the airtight top back on the container. You could also choose to store in your refrigerator if you are not planning to use it frequently and then take out a couple hours before using to allow it to return to room temperature. I also do not recommend storing it in your shower. Make sure you are using an airtight container for storage. I hope this helps! Please let me know if you have any additional questions.

      Reply
  8. Judy

    I can’t tolerate the smell of coconut. Is there anything else I can use?

    Reply
    • Elaine Gordon

      Hi, Judy – Great question! I’m also very sensitive to smells so I understand your concern. Refined coconut oil has less of a coconut smell. Try that and see if that helps. If you are still having trouble with the scent then you can add essential oils to mask it. I hope that helps! Please let me know if you get a chance 🙂

      Reply
  9. Amber

    How long would this scrub last before it goes bad?

    Reply
    • Elaine Gordon

      Great question! If you secure it well in the airtight lid and don’t introduce anything to the jar then it should last at least two months. Mine never lasts that long though because I use it so often! Just be sure not to introduce moisture or anything to it… I like to use a clean wooden spoon to put a dollop in my hands and then I never put the same spoon back in the jar twice to make sure it stays 100% clean. Even if you don’t do this it will still last awhile – these tips just help extend the life of it and keep it super fresh! I hope this helps – please let me know if you have any additional questions – happy to help!

      Reply
    • Ben Yukish

      How would soap dyes affect things in this for changing the color? Any idea?

      Reply
      • Elaine Gordon

        Hi Ben, I have not tried soap dyes myself so I’m not sure. If you give it a try please let me know so others can learn from your experience. Thank you!

        Reply
  10. Lorna

    Hi Elaine,

    All the comments are great.

    I have a question.

    Which type of sugar would you recommend to use.

    Some say brown, some say white.
    However, is it fine sugar or Course sugar.

    Thank you

    Reply
    • Elaine Gordon

      Hi, Lorna! Great questions! Any will “work” but I personally like to use course sugar over fine. My favorite is organic cane sugar. Another option is to use Pink Himalayan Sea Salt (or any sea salt… I get my Himalayan Sea Salt at Costco in bulk so it is affordable. Be sure to also check out my more recent body scrub recipe: https://www.eatingbyelaine.com/homemade-peppermint-body-scrub-candy-cane-themed-for-holiday-gifting/

      I hope that helps. Please let me know if you have any more questions.

      Reply
  11. Sofia

    Hi does this work with ok olive oil

    Reply
    • Elaine Gordon

      Hi Sofia: It will not have the same consistency because olive oil is liquid at room temperature. Coconut oil is solid at room temperature (unless you live in a hot climate or during the very hot summer months in certain areas). I hope this answer helps. Best, Elaine

      Reply
  12. Jennifer Smith Anderson

    I heard that absorbic acid is a great natural preservative. Can I use this to keep the product fresh longer wham using lemon zest? Thanks!






    Reply
    • Elaine Gordon

      Oh that is great! Yes, I would think it would be worth a shot. I have not tried it myself so I’m not sure how it would impact the texture or shelf life. Please let me know here if you do! Best, Elaine

      Reply
  13. Bella

    Hi i was wondering if i have to use a glass bowl or can i just use a regular bowl (not glass)

    Reply
    • Elaine Gordon

      Other bowls totally work but I find they are more difficult to clean. The coconut oil and the essential oil smells (if using) are sometimes difficult to get out/off other materials. So really it is just personal preference.

      Reply
  14. Michaela

    Would i be able to use this recipe on my skin (legs,arms) rather than just my hands?

    Reply
    • Elaine Gordon

      Yes you can! 🙂 Enjoy!

      Reply
  15. Amber

    Hello! I just made this and it is sooooo good. I added a few drops of orange essential oil and it’s perfect. Thank you for the new recipe!

    Reply
    • Elaine Gordon

      Thank you so much, Amber! I’m so happy you love this one too! I love orange scented everything – such an uplifting and happy fragrance! 🙂

      Reply
  16. Harley

    Hey there! Is there anyways to make it different color without it dying your skin too? Lol

    Reply
    • Elaine Gordon

      I use pink Himalayan salt for a pink hue. What color are you thinking?

      Reply
    • Sarah

      Hi so when u made this sugar scrub with coconut butter and sugar it came out kinda liquidy in the next week or so. So can I fix that

      Reply
      • Elaine Gordon

        Hi Sarah, Two things… the recipe calls for coconut oil not coconut butter. Additionally, if you are in a hot climate then the coconut oil will naturally turn more liquid. It is similar to butter in that way. You can store it at a cooler temperature to get it to solidify. I hope that helps! Please let me know if you get a chance. Thank you! Best, Elaine

        Reply
  17. Kiyia Sanders

    I made this and it came out a bit more liquid like..So I added more sugar and it didn’t really change. Did I do something wrong?

    Reply
    • Elaine Gordon

      I wonder if it could be your climate… where are you located? Coconut oil is more liquidy at hotter temperatures. Anything over 75/76 degrees it will start to liquify. Where are you storing it?

      Reply
    • Jessica Simpson

      It turned out like that for me as well. I noticed it was going to be too runny as soon as I started pouring in the coconut oil. So instead I just poured 1/4 of the coconut oil. The recipe calls for 1/4 cup of organic sugar…So I just double it. 1/4 coconut oil and 1/2 cup of sugar. It turned out great!

      Reply
      • Elaine Gordon

        Hi, Jessica. Thank you for sharing. Was your coconut oil liquid? You mentioned pouring it and it should be solid at room temperature. Glad you were able to adjust the ratio and make it work for you! Best, Elaine

        Reply
  18. Emma

    Quick question,

    Do I need to use coconut oil or could I just use regular canola oil?

    What would be best for a business?

    Reply
    • Elaine Gordon

      For this recipe coconut oil is needed. Canola oil is liquid at room temperature and coconut oil is not.

      Reply
  19. Pam

    Love this! Very moisturizing






    Reply
    • Elaine Gordon

      Thank you so much, Pam! I really appreciate that! I’m so happy you enjoyed and found it beneficial. Best, Elaine

      Reply

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