Condo Blues: 4 Homemade Sugar Scrubs that Go from Your Pantry to the Bath

Thursday, April 30, 2009

4 Homemade Sugar Scrubs that Go from Your Pantry to the Bath

As much as I am all over power tools and DIY projects I really am a girly girl at heart. I like pamper myself now and again and using a sugar body scrub is an excellent way to do it. Sugar is as a natural exfoliate but is still gentle enough to be used on skin. The oil in the sugar scrub can protect your skin against moisture loss. Add a few natural essential oils and you have a wonderful way to make an expensive professional spa treatment from ingredients you may already have in your kitchen!

 Pin these sugar scrub recipes to your Pinterest boards for later! Share them with your friends!

Here are four of my favorite natural sugar scrub recipes. They make great gifts too!

1.Basic Sugar Scrub Recipe

All of my sugar scrubs are based on this basic recipe. The key is to make the scrub in small batches and use it fairly quickly because it doesn’t have any preservatives in the mix.


An empty jar with a lid - if you are making a bunch these glass jars are perfect for gift making!

1 cup granulated white sugar

1/2 cup olive oil

Label (if desired)

Disclosure: I am including affiliate links in this post for your convenience.

Make it

1. Pour the granulated white sugar into the jar.

2. Pour the olive oil into sugar and mix thoroughly until the ingredients are well blended. (I prefer the screw on the lid and shake method to mix my ingredients.)

3. Label the jar as desired.

2. Variations for the Basic Sugar Scrub Recipe

Oils: You can substitute sweet almond oil, jojoba oilor coconut oil (coconut oil may be already heavily scented and interfere with the addition of any extra essential oil or scent)

Extra moisturizer: 1 teaspoon cocoa butter (you can buy it here)

Natural preservative: 1/2 teaspoon vitamin E oil

Scent your sugar scrub using:

- A few drops of your favorite essential oil (Lavender, Jasmine, Sandalwood, etc.)

- Vanilla extract (A wonderful scent but it will color your scrub brown)

- Body splash or perfume (This is a great way to use up bottle of body splash or perfume that you usually don’t usually wear. However you may want to avoid this method if you don’t like items made with synthetic ingredients.)

Color and texture: A handful of dried herbs or flowers for color (lavender buds, rosemary leaves, chamomile flowers, thyme leaves, mint leaves etc.)

I usually use the things that I have in my pantry – olive oil and white granulated sugar (ironically organic sugar doesn’t work very well for this project) and my sugar scrub works great. Even better, it’s less expensive than the body scrub I saw in Sephora that was $32 for a small jar of plain olive oil and sugar!

3. Peppermint Candy Cane Sugar Scrub

This one is courtesy of Crunchy Chicken. I made her candy cane scrub and gave it to some ladies on my Christmas list last year. My mom loves it!! And she’s, shall we say, selective about things, mmmkay? So consider that a serious stamp of approval.


An empty jar with a lid

1 cup  granulated white sugar

1/4 cup crushed peppermint candy pieces (I buy my crushed peppermint candy for baking by the bag here)

1/2 cup olive oil (or any of the oils in the basic recipe)

6 drops peppermint essential oil (optional)

Label (if desired)

Make it:

1. Pour the granulated white sugar and crushed peppermint into the jar.

2. But the lid on the jar and shake it to mix thoroughly until the ingredients are well blended.

3. Pour the liquid ingredients into sugar mix.

4. But the lid on the jar and shake it to mix thoroughly until the ingredients are well blended.

5. Label the jar as desired.

  • If you can find it, a bag of precrushed peppermint candies for baking are excellent for this project!
  • Once the candies are broken into chunks, I use my blender or food processor to further pulverize the candy into a fine powder.
  • I didn’t use peppermint essential oil and my scrub still smelled very pepperminty. As always, your mileage may vary.
  • The courser grains of the broken candy could do damage to delicate facial skin. It may be best to use this scrub strictly as a body scrub and not as a facial scrub.
3. Vanilla Brown Sugar Scrub aka Kahlua Sugar Scrub

After some experimenting I came up with this brown sugar scrub that smells just like Kahlua! Although I wouldn't recommend drinking it unless you like the taste of olive oil.


An empty jar with a lid

1/2 cup granulated white sugar

1/2 cup granulated brown sugar

1/2 cup olive oil (or any of the oils in the basic recipe)

6 drops of vanilla essential oil

Label (if desired)

Make it

1. Pour the granulated white sugar and brown sugar into a bowl and mix thoroughly until the ingredients are well blended.

2. Pour the sugar mixture into a jar.

3. Pour the liquid ingredients into sugar mix.

4. But the lid on the jar and shake it to mix thoroughly until the ingredients are well blended.

5. Label the jar as desired.

I'm going to make a few of these sugar scrubs and give them out as Mother’s Day gifts. So Mom, if you’re reading this, act surprised when you open your gift, OK?

If you'd rather buy than DIY, click to learn about my favorite sugar scrubs below!

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Anonymous said...

Hello there fellow Ohioan! I live up in Cleveland and found your blog today...can't remember how though! LOL Anyway, just wanted to let you know that it's a great blog and I'm really excited about reading more of it. I'm also going to link to you from my blog, so I hope that's okay!

suzannah | the smitten word said...

my sister made me one of these, and it was luscious:)

green LA girl said...

These sound so yummy! I'd now like smoothie recipes for all these flavors :P

Greenbaby said...

Oh! What a wonderful post! Not only do these sound like glorious luxuries to use at home but it seems like they'd be really lovely gifts. You've inspired me to take some time to pamper myself later today.. and maybe even whip one of these scrubs up sometime soon! Thanks for joining us for Thrifty Green Thursday.

~*Michelle*~ said...

I agree with Greenbaby, I would love to try these out and if I can master a good batch.....I think they would make great gifts!

Love your thoughts on LOST, btw (on Sarah's blog)


Chris said...

I love this idea as it's stuff you already have in the kitchen. Can't wait to try it out, and I also love the gift idea. thanks Lisa

Amber Lu said...

Great idea! I used the last of my Bath and Bodyworks sugar scrub a few months ago that I had received as a gift, and I couldn't imagine spending $14 on another one. I love this. I was wondering what unsweetened cocoa powder might do to it? Any thoughts?

mrs green said...

thanks for sharing these lovely recipes. I love playing with home made ideas and making creative messes in the bathroom and kitchen.

You've got some great ideas for gifts too. Thanks so much!

Lisa Nelsen-Woods said...

Amber - I'm not sure what cocoa powder would do in a scrub, but I'd certainly give it a try. There are a lot of spas that have cocoa/chocolate treatments so it might do a little good or it might just smell yummy. Either way, sounds like a win/win to me!

Amber Lu said...

I made it last night. I did a small batch of the basic sugar scrub and added 1 tsp of cocoa powder and 1/2 a teaspoon of cinnamon. It looks like mud and smells like heaven =)The only trouble (if you can call it that) is that it gets under your fingernails when you use it, but it is easy to clean.

Anonymous said...

The kahlua scrub sounds delicious, actually. I do like the taste of olive oil and would rather put all these ingredients in my mouth than on my skin. That's just the kind of girl I am.

mother earth aka karen hanrahan said...

These recipes are absolutely lovely! I'd have to agree with beth these are postively edible!

Eco Friendly Fashion by Eco Empress said...

Those are some great recipes! I never knew that making something like this was so simple. The first one is ridiculously easy!

Natalia said...

I also love sugar scrubs =)
My favorite recipe is:
2/3 cup sugar
2 mashed strawberries
6-8 drops rose/jojoba oil

Tammy said...

Thanks so much for these I am going to link this post on the 'Down to earth' Forum where I am a moderator. In the homemade simples category ... Thanks again.

utahlawyer said...

I made some of your Basic Sugar Scrub and loved it. Thanks.

DisneyMom said...

What great ideas! I will be saving your site and recipes to try! Thanks for the info.

Anonymous said...

Try my receipe and let me know if it makes the cut. Find it at All natural and great smelling.

Mita said...

ummm so, can we store the scrub for a long time? or is it one time use only?

Anonymous said...

So when I use the sugar and olive oil scrub in the shower it makes my feet and floor slippery. Any suggestions?

Amy said...

Thank you, thank you! I just made the Kahlua scrub for my daughter's preschool and dance teachers as part of their end of the year easy and inexpensive and not to mention luxurious! {}

j_ri said...

What is the shelf life you can expect on these sugar scrubs? Thanks! Can't wait to try!

Lisa Nelsen-Woods said...

Amy - Yay! I'm so glad they liked it!

j_ri - It's the normal shelf life of olive oil. It will keep for awhile, I've had some last for a month before I used it all. It's best to use it right away though.

Kelly @ Run With Glitter said...

I'd love it and would love it if you linked up to this weeks Glitter link party!

aStarToSteerHerBy said...

ooo those look delicious! i can't wait to try a recipe!

silly eagle books said...

what fun recipes! :)

Lindsay @ Delighted Momma said...

Love this!! Great combination of ingredients for all the recipes. I just made a homemade scrub on my blog as well and it smells wayyy better than anything I have ever purchased.

Delighted Momma

Lindsey Stipes said...

love this idea...looks like fun and it would be a great homemade gift too! thanks for sharing...following you now to see what other great ideas you will share!

@pril said...

These look so good! I saw you on the Just Something I Whipped Up linky party hosted by The Girl Creative.

I would like to feature this on my blog. Will send you the link. I am having my Funky Fresh Friday linky party starting tomorrow and I would love for you to join us!

Kelly @ Run With Glitter said...

You have been Featured this week On Running With Glitter Friday Spotlight! Thank you so much for joining the link party! xoxox

Bonnie and Trish @ Uncommon Designs said...

These are such great ideas! Thanks so much for joining our Home for the Holidays party. Happy Thanksgiving!

prettyGirl said...

Is there a certain type of olive oil that I should use? It seems as though the EVOO has too strong of a scent and turns the sugar green. Let me know! :)

Marie said...

I could use a bath right now! :) So glad you linked up with us!


The CSI Girl said...

Great idea and thank you for linking up! This will make a great gift for the women in my family.

Dee, the CSI Girl

Unknown said...

I love these...I use Grapeseed Oil instead of Olive Oil, it doesn't have a strong scent like the EVOO.

Thanks for the recipes!!

Anonymous said...

I too used grapeseed oil and loved all the recipes.

Anonymous said...

Hi! I made the Candy Cane and Kahlua scrubs for Christmas presents for all my girlfriends this year. The candy cane one smells amazing and these were so easy to make (and good for a tight budget too)!

The Kahlua scrub smelled divine when I made it last night but in the jars today the scent was quite faint in a few of them. Adding more vanilla seems to have fixed this problem though :)

Thanks so much for the recipes! I'm sure they will go over well.

Anonymous said...

I made the Kahlua scrub and fell in love! So much cheaper than buying a body scrub from the store (not too mention that I'm incredibly picky about it) I didn't bother reading every comment above but I'm interested to know if it expires?