Last Updated on December 7, 2022
Whether you’re looking for an easy, affordable homemade gift or want to treat yourself to some spa luxury without breaking the bank, this *incredibly easy* homemade sugar scrub has you covered!
If you’ve seen sugar scrubs for sale, you’ve probably recoiled at the price tag. You’ll never consider wasting money on a sugar scrub again when you find out how easy and cheap it is to make your own!
Like my super-simple DIY bath salts, this homemade sugar scrub requires only a few simple ingredients and takes just a couple minutes to throw together.
Which makes it a perfect last-minute holiday gift. It’s an effective and inexpensive exfoliator, and when you combine it with some soothing oils, it can help to smooth your skin. Great for helping those dry areas recover.
Why homemade sugar scrub is awesome:
- Making homemade sugar scrub is sooooo EASY! If you can mix a few simple ingredients, you’re in business.
- You probably already have everything you need for a homemade sugar scrub in your kitchen.
- Homemade sugar scrub is CHEAP! Sugar, oil, and scent costs very little. No idea why store-bought stuff is so expensive.
- Homemade sugar scrub is customozable to your oil and scent preferences, so you can use ingredients that suit your skin’s needs.
- Unlike many beauty products, homemade sugar scrub is non-toxic, made with ingredients from your kitchen. If a little gets in your mouth, no problem! (Just don’t go eating it in large quantities, OK?)
- Homemade sugar scrub will make your skin feel amazing!
Related: Need some other last-minute gift ideas? Check out these super easy homemade gifts for the not-so-crafty.
What you’ll need to make homemade sugar scrub:
White, raw, or brown will all work. Use what you have on hand. (Or buy here.)
Coconut oil is nice because it will solidify at cooler temperatures, making the scrub hold together better than if you use liquid oils. Virgin coconut oil also has a yummy coconut scent that can stand alone if you want to make a 2-ingredient sugar scrub.
Other oils like almond, avocado, or jojoba work also. You can even use olive oil, but the stronger-smelling stuff might not be as enjoyable to inhale as some of the sweeter or more neutral oils above.
Vanilla extract or essential oils can be used to add scent and offer additional benefits to skin. Most of us have vanilla in our kitchens, so it’s perfect if you need to throw something together last-minute or don’t want to buy essential oil.
Other green & frugal ideas: Dry some orange peel, grind, and add the powder for some lovely scent and added skin benefits. Find out more about the benefits of and uses for orange peels in this post. Or put used coffee grounds to use for a lovely coffee-scented scrub with extra antioxidants from coffee.
Some essential oils to consider using in your homemade sugar scrub:
- Lavender — A perennial favorite, lavender has a relaxing scent and is good for soothing skin
- Geranium — Geranium has a delicious light floral scent and is reputed to help reduce wrinkles and alleviate muscle pain
- Chamomile — Another soothing, relaxing oil with benefits for skin
- Peppermint — Invigorating and cooling, peppermint is a favorite for foot scrubs.
Once you discover how useful these oils are not only for making beauty products, but for homemade bug spray, non-toxic cleaners, and promoting a better mood, you’ll want more of them. There are some great deals on starter collections like these if you want to expand your options. This post on how to use essential oils for beginners can help you get started.
Alternatively, you can use some spices from your pantry, like pumpkin pie spice or cinnamon, nutmeg, and clove.
You can also incorporate small amounts of dried flower petals, like lavender buds, rose petals, chamomile, or calendula. Here’s a set that comes with a bunch of different flowers. What you don’t use for scrubs you can brew into delicious homemade tea blends.
A little vitamin E oil has additional benefits for skin and also acts as a preservative, so adding some will help your homemade sugar scrub last longer and do even more great stuff for skin.
Any small glass bottle or metal tin will work. Repurpose jars you already have for zero waste gift-giving, or buy some inexpensive jars like these or these. Tie with some ribbon and add a homemade label, and you’re good to go!
How to Make Homemade Sugar Scrub
1 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup oil (If using coconut oil, melt over low heat until it liquefies)
1/4 tsp vanilla extract or 5 drops essential oil of choice
1/2 tsp lavender buds or other flower petals (optional)
Combine ingredients and put in an airtight container bottle with a label. That’s it!
Just add some decorative touches, like raffia or pretty ribbon, and you’re good to go with an incredibly simple but luxe-feeling DIY gift.
Your label should list all ingredients and suggest using a tablespoon to scrub dry areas. Try not to let water get into the scrub, as it can allow bacteria and mold to grow. Keeps about 2 months.
You can also use very small containers and package your scrub as a lip scrub, though you may want to stick with vanilla as the only add in, since not all essential oils are meant for ingestion and flower petals won’t feel great.
Some cautions using homemade sugar scrub:
Scrubbing your skin too often can compromise its ability to do its job, so don’t overdo it. Once a week is a good guideline.
Some essential oils can be irritating or allergenic, so choose carefully. Here’s more information from a dermatologist concerned about the overuse of essential oils in body products.
Love how easy this is? You might be interested in some other sugar scrub recipes as well!
I love how Brittany at The Pistachio Project uses antioxidant-packed hibiscus in this hibiscus sugar scrub. Pair with some super-healthy hibiscus tea for a winning gift! Or try her peppermint candy cane sugar scrub or eggnog sugar scrub for something with a yummy holiday scent.
If you need more inspiration, check out her collection of 52 DIY natural sugar scrubs — one for every week of the year!
Pin to save this homemade sugar scrub for later!
Susannah is a proud garden geek and energy nerd who loves healthy food and natural remedies. Her work has appeared in Mother Earth Living, Ensia, Northern Gardener, Sierra, and on numerous websites. Her first book, Everything Elderberry, released in September 2020 and has been a #1 new release in holistic medicine, naturopathy, herb gardening, and other categories. Find out more and grab your copy here.
Renee D Kohley says
This is such an easy and thoughtful gift idea – I might do this for my girls’ teachers this year!
Hope they love it!
Love this for a homemade gift! Perfect!
Kiran Dodeja Smith says
I love how easy you make this look! I’m going to try it with my kids over break:).
It actually is that easy! Hope you have fun with it!
Shelby @Fitasamamabear says
I love making scrubs for gifts! It’s such a thoughtful thing 🙂
Tessa Simpson says
I’ve always wondered about sugar scrubs! I like the exfoliating part…but didn’t know if there was any other benefits to using sugar?
Not that I’m aware of. It’s just an inexpensive ingredient and less abrasive than salt.
I LOVE homemade gifts, and these are so fun and amazing for those who need self care! I definitely need to try this out.
Raia Todd says
Sounds like an easy and fun gift!
Carol Little R.H. @studiobotanica says
Scrubs are definitely a ‘go to’ for a last minute gift that is also SO appreciated!
These were a best seller, too, when I had my herb shop. Limitless variations!
May just have to make some more!
Lindsey Dietz says
Scrubs are so easy to make, but people LOVE them! I like to add coffee grounds to my scrubs, too!
I need to try that!