Natural Beauty: How to Make Your Own Sugar Scrub

May 18, 2012 | Posted By: Christine Luken | Categorized in: Gift Ideas, Health & Beauty
I have a confession… I’m a beauty product junkie. My husband has long been concerned about the fact that I easily have a six or seven bottles of shampoo and conditioner in the shower, a dozen scented bottles of lotion in the bathroom vanity, and countless tubes of lip gloss all over the house. However, I have recently had to temper my “addiction” because (if you haven’t noticed), it seems like the prices of beauty products are going through the roof. So, what’s a girl to do?

One of my favorite beauty products is a good sugar scrub to use in the shower. Sugar scrubs exfoliate dry skin, leaving mine glowing, moisturized, and smelling great. However, a good sugar scrub can cost $15 to $20 for 8 ounces at my favorite bath and body care stores. That’s a lot of money! So, I decide to see if I could make my own for less and still get the same great benefits.

Sugar scrubs are pretty simple to make. They are 1 part carrier oil to 2 parts sugar (or you can also use salt) plus fragrance. There are several types of carrier oils that work great for these scrubs: almond oil, coconut oil, grape seed oil, and even olive oil. The fragrance comes from a few drops of essential oils. For an energizing scrub try a few drops of grapefruit, tangerine, or peppermint essential oil. For a relaxing scrub try lavender, chamomile, or jasmine. For a warm, cozy scrub try cinnamon, vanilla (you can even use pure vanilla extract!), and clove in combination. Essential oils vary in price, and the organic versions are more costly. However, a small amount goes a long way! Start with just a few drops in your scrub, and add more to intensify the scent to your liking. (You shouldn’t put any more than 50 drops per 1 cup of carrier oil to prevent skin irritation.) Try mixing up one of these scrubs and putting it in a jar (a mason jar with a pretty ribbon around it works great!) for a thoughtful gift.

Here are two recipes to try:

  • Coconut Vanilla Body Scrub ~ 2/3 cup of white sugar, 2/3 cup of evaporated cane juice (unrefined sugar), 2/3 cup of coconut oil, a few drops of vanilla extract. Coconut oil’s melting point is 76 degrees, so you may need to microwave it for a few seconds to get it in its liquid form. Put the two sugars in your jar or container and pour the oil over top of them. Mix to combine, adding the vanilla or essential oil of your choice. Cost – About $7.00 for 10 ounces. Savings - Over $1 per ounce!

  • Grapefruit Body Scrub ~ 1 1/3 cup of white sugar, 2/3 cup of almond oil, about 20 drops of grapefruit essential oil (more or less to your liking). This recipe can be used with any essential oil of your choosing. Cost – Less than $4 per 10 ounces. Savings – Over $1.4 per ounce!

  • Omit the sugar, and you’ve got some great scented body oil to add to your bath water, or rub it on damp skin after a shower before you towel off for soft skin all day long!


Christine Luken is a Coupon Queen, Financial Coach, and author of the e-books, “Confessions of a Coupon Queen: Secrets Retailers Don’t Want You to Know” and “The Coupon Sisters Get Cooking: Discover the Magic of Meal Planning.” She has a passion for helping families save money so they can build up their savings and pay off their debt. Christine lives in the Greater Cincinnati area with her husband, Nick, and two cats, Peanut and Little Tiny. In her spare time, you can find Christine on the golf course, at the mall shopping for shoes (coupons in hand!), or at home watching cage fighting with her husband. You can reach her by email or on her website.
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