Homemade Body Scrub Recipes

homemade body scrubs

body scrubs are extremely easy to make at home.  They rarely take special ingredients.

One of the reasons for making a homemade body scrub is easy because the substitutions are almost limitless.  If you don't have the salt, or sugar variety called for...substitute it.  Same with the carrier liquids.

What on earth is up with the beauty industry charging so much for a jar of salt, sugar, oil and fragrance?

This question belongs on the television show "Unsolved Mysteries."

Skip the mind blowing expensive prices and grab what you already have in your kitchen cupboard for your very personal homemade body scrub.  Keep in mind though that whatever you put on your skin will be absorbed... part of the beauty of a scrub, right?  So the best quality ingredients will produce the best quality scrub, naturally.

These homemade sugar scrub recipes are so simple to make as well.  Most of them just call for you to gather the ingredients and mix.  I like using my bamboo wooden spatula to mix. It does a thorough job and makes the work simple.

Sugar Options

When using these sugar scrub recipes, it is recommended that you use either refined white or light brown sugar.  They are mostly interchangeable.  If you want a vegan scrub, stick to the brown sugar. Keep in mind that if you are using muscovado sugar, its softer than turbinado or demerara. This makes it gentler on your skin, but then doesn't exfoliate as well.

Refined White Sugar: The regular white sugar we are used to seeing and using.  It can be purchased from any grocery store.

Light/Dark Brown Sugar: This sugar is 95 percent refined white sugar with a thin layer of added molasses.

Muscovado: This is an unrefined cane sugar in which the molasses is not removed. You can find this at most health or natural food markets.  If your regular grocer carries it, most likely it will be in the natural foods section.

Demerara: This is a type of sugar with a fairly large grain and a pale amber color.

Turbinado: This a raw sugar. It is less processed than brown sugar and is made from the first pressing of sugar cane.  It retains some of the natural molasses.

Baking Soda:  Though not a sugar, if you want the lightest exfoliation, substitute the sugar for baking soda.

All sugar scrubs should be refrigerated once made.  They should last up to 2 weeks if property stored.  It is best to make small batches and use it fresh so mold or bacteria doesn't get a chance to grow.

Carrier Liquid and Healthy Oil Options

Carrier liquids are as interchangeable as the sugar and salt options.  Choose your carrier liquid or oil based on your own needs and skin type.

  • Almond Oil - Best for moisturizing, wrinkles, sun protection and discoloration
  • Argan Oil - Best for fine lines, dry skin, anti-aging and dry hair
  • Avocado Oil - Best for Dry, sensitive, itchy, aging or irritated skin
  • Black Currant Oil - Best for traumatized skin such as sunburn or wind-burned
  • Coconut Oil- Best for sensitive skin, moisturizer, eczema, age spots, stretch mark reduction, muscular tension or pain, shaving cream, deodorant and dry hair
  • Flaxseed Oil - Best for irritated, sensitive skin
  • Glycerin - Best for moisturizing and psoriasis
  • Grapeseed Oil - Best for oily skin
  • Honey - Best for wrinkles, aging skin, eczema, hydration and acne
  • Jojoba Oil - Best for general dry skin
  • Olive Oil - Best for very dry skin
  • Rose Hip Seed Oil - Best for uneven pigment, scars, fine lines, discoloration and acne
  • Safflower Oil - Best for dry, irritated skin

AVOID Baby Oil/Mineral Oil:  Baby oil contains mineral oil.  Mineral oil does not absorb into the skin and when evaporates, it will leave your skin feeling dryer than before. Also, mineral oil clogs your pores, making your skin look drab. 

Salt Options

While sugar scrubs are made of small granules and are better suited for exfoliating sensitive areas like the face, salt scrubs are more abrasive with larger granules suitable for harsher scrubbing of callused skin like the feet and hands.

There are many salt varieties on the market today.  It is only a matter of choosing your favorite.  I like the most convenient salts that I can buy locally and pick up in bulk. Epsom salt is actually my favorite due to it's many beneficial properties and smaller price tag.

When I do choose to go with a bit more pricey salt, it usually has larger granules than I like for my homemade body scrub recipes.  So I pop a couple handfuls in my Vita-Mix and grind them down as fine as I want.

Unlike sugar scrubs with a shorter shelf life, salt scrubs can last up to 6 months. Be aware that the salt and carrier liquid will most likely separate between uses.  This is fine.  Just stir it up again before each use.

Salt Works has a great page explaining the different types of salt available. Check out their Bath Salt Selection Guide.

Fragrance Options

The fragrance options are wide spread. My first choice is always a potent essential oil.  But don't forget you can use common ingredients as well. Here is a list for you to peruse and see what you might already have in your own home.

  • Essential oils - Make sure you buy the best quality oil since it will be absorbed into the skin
  • Vanilla extract or any other extract you use for cooking
  • Lemon, lime, grapefruit or orange peel - zested
  • Ground herbs and spices
  • Flower petals