Make Your Own Simple Exfoliating Body Scrub

Morning Bump! Originally posted on 10/19/2011:

body scrubI had a proud “Mom Moment” last week when my daughter decided to give making her own Body Scrub a try. Believe me, I don’t take credit for that girl’s incredible intelligence (well, maybe a teeny, tiny bit), but I do like to think I’ve been an example of how easy it is and how much sense it makes to make your own products for home, health and beauty.

body scrubI’ve never been one to use body scrubs with any regularity. As a matter of fact, this was probably only the 2nd or 3rd time I’ve tried one…..EVER.  I just have never seen the sense in paying $30 (ish) for a something NICE…but not NECESSARY.  I mean a 14.1 oz jar of this L’Occitane Verbena Body Salt Scrub retails for $36.00! You can find it for around $30 if you search around….but STILL….$30.00???  I don’t think so.  And it never occurred to me to make my own (see what I mean about my daughter’s “smarts” not coming from me!?!)

Last week we were making preparations for my son’s wedding when Britta came across the idea of making her own body scrub as a special pampering treatment before the big day.  She doesn’t remember exactly where she found the “recipe” but it was basically a mixture of coconut oil, kosher salt and lemon juice.
She LOVED the results! I decided to try my own concoction and used the same coconut oil that I bought for the Homemade Makeup Remover Wipes, some sugar in my pantry and a couple of drops of lavender essential oil.

The “RECIPE” is basically a 2-to-1 ratio of sugar to coconut oil and as many drop of essential oil as you like.  I used about 3 or 4 drops.

Put the amount of sugar you want in a jar or bowl, add 1/2 that amount of coconut oil that you have warmed up in the microwave for a few seconds to make it liquid and the lavender drops, and stir.

You should end up with something looking like this. A sugary, paste.


body scrubWow! I’m not sure if it was the scrub itself or the fact that it basically cost me nothing to make (I already had all the stuff on hand so it’s TECHNICALLY true), but it was one of the most amazing things I’ve ever tried! My skin was so smooth and soft afterwards…without being greasy. I couldn’t believe the difference in my skin after just ONE treatment. I’m definitely going to try it again….soon.

Now that Old Man Winter is on his way…this is going to be a much-needed TREAT for my dry winter skin!


UPDATE: 10/20/2011

body scrubAfter reading Danielle’s comment below about the citrus body scrub she uses and I couldn’t help but be intrigued. (I am a citrus FANATIC!)  So after just a few minutes with my friend Google, I managed to find this and HAD to share. :-)

Lemon (Or Lime) Sugar (Or Salt) Scrub


1/2 cup sugar or 1/2 cup salt
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons lemon juice


1  Mix all ingredients in a small bowl.
2  Apply to hands or feet above the tub or sink, so you don’t make a mess. Scrub thoroughly for 2-3 minutes.
3  When done scrubbing, rinse briefly with lukewarm water and pat dry.
4  Apply your favorite moisturizer if desired.


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  1. Jane says

    I am so happy I ran across this site!! I actually got up from my computer and made this scrub with the sugar and olive oil and lemon juice, amazing results!!! you are such smart people out there, my hats off to you! thanks so much!!

    • says

      The only real difference is that if you’re going to be using it above or near your bikini area, or are otherwise prone to fungal infections anywhere (like athlete’s foot!) you do NOT want to use sugar. Even the smallest amount can cause a yeast infection for some people, topically or internally, if it doesn’t get washed off.

      • says

        Hello, I just wanted to add that virgin coconut oil is anti bacterial as well as anti fungal … so you can use it on those sensitive areas just maybe with a very fine salt rather than sugar. Also, I saw that someone microwaved the coconut oil and that is a bad idea as the microwave destroys the good in the virgin coconut oil. I have been one week now using coconut oil for everything from a facial scrub with brown sugar, brushing my teeth with vco and baking soda (wow what a difference that has made in my teeth!, commercial toothpaste is nasty stuff and as a side note … they use flouirde in rat poision). I also use vco as my only all over moisturizer …all I can tell you is that I am thrilled! We now only use vco as our only cooking oil as well!! It is amazing!!! I also use it on my pets noses and feed them a spoon every other day as there are so many health benefits to not just people but cats and dogs too! Thank you Wendy :)

  2. michelle says

    The difference between sugar and salt in the scrub is that one is a more jagged, irregular shaped crystal than the other. The shape of salt crystals is a six-sided cube similar to a dice. Sugar crystals on the other hand resemble a hexagonal prism. The edges of sugar crystals are often more sharp. The shape of sugar crystals can be estimated from looking at a piece of rock candy, which consists of many sugar crystals grown and bonded together. Occasionally, salt and sugar will look similar under a microscope, but this is typically because of broken or bonded crystals.
    In this recipe, the salt or sugar is only a sloughing agent, it is not drying or moisturizing. The moisture comes from wetting your skin as you scrub and the coconut oil holds the moisture in when you are done. The essential oils are for scent only. Great recipe, think I will make mine with lemon oil and vanilla.

    • says

      Biggest difference I find between salt and sugar scrubs is timing of application – I can’t shave my legs if I plan on using the salt scrub. YOWZA! I am out of sugar so plan to make one with salt, vanilla, coconut oil, jasmine fragrance and lemon juice.

    • Danielle says

      I have to disagree with just a little, the oils can do so more for you than just make it smell good. Lemon is a great oil for a lot of different things one being bacteria, that is why a lot of cleaners use lemon in their products. Wild orange oil is uplifting and can really start your day off right, which is why I like the orange “citrus” body scrub in the morning. Depending on what you are looking for in health or mood the right oil can go a long way to helping you achieve it. :-)
      Thanks for the info on the sugar versus salt, I didn’t know any of that.

      • sue says

        danielle–can you use any kind of lemon oil or does it have to be a specific kind? also, what kind of salt do you use–as you can see i am a very beginner in all of this. thanks for your answer–sue

    • MollyB says

      Great info, Michelle!

      SUGAR versus SALT:

      I like to use sugar because salt is drying and basically sucks the moisture out of your skin.

      Maybe good for your feet? But I wouldn’t use it on the rest of my body.

  3. Kathy says

    I love knowing about the recipes, but I have a question… Is this something that once you make it, you need to use it immediately, or can you store it in a jar or canister and use it later? And if so, how long can you store it?

    • Ayshela says

      My daughter makes one with brown sugar and keeps it in a mason jar. She’s made it twice and used it all before it went bad – one in a jar that didn’t seal, which dried a bit, and one which did seal which was much nicer. The main concern is using it before the oil goes rancid, so if you’re using it more than once a month you should have no problem with that.

      She uses the one at – several awesome variations there!
      She says”You want to begin by mixing 2 Cups of Brown Sugar and 1 Cup of Granulated Sugar together until there are no lumps. Add in 1 Cup of Sunflower Oil and 1 Tablespoon of Pure Vanilla Extract. {I like to use Sunflower Oil for this body scrub because it does not carry the strong scent that Olive Oil does}” Just mix and put in an airtight jar with a little scoop and wrap as a gift or use.

  4. Alexandra says

    Sugar is much better. It dissolves completely and it doesn't dehydrate your skin. Be sure and use lotion after. Your skin will absorb it so much better after exfoliating. I love it for a face scrub. It's gentle and tastes good if you happen to get some in your mouth. You can never over exfoliate when using sugar! You'll see.

    • Angie says

      Yes, there is such a thing as over-exfoliating – even with sugar. Using a personal story as an example, I went to an oriental nail salon once and decided to treat myself to a spa pedicure, which included a sugar scrub treatment. By the time she was done, my shins looked like they had been dragged through the sand! Talk about painful. (I did read the label as she was using it, and by all appearances it was what it said it was.)

      When exfoliating you don’t need to go crazy to get the benefits. Just a gentle circular motion will be fine. Too much exfoliation (or too vigorously, as was the case with my stone-ground shins) can be harmful to your skin.

    • says

      Use Virgin Coconut oil as it stay good for years and years … VCO has a super long shelf life. It literally has hundreds of health benefits for your whole family! Including your pets! It really is amazing!! I am so impressed with the change it has made in my teeth! The natural whitening is truly amazing! But now that we found this oil we use no other! I even use it in place of butter! For everything!

  5. Anonymous says

    I had to try this since I had the ingredients on hand. Love it!! Even my husband was asking how I did it since my hands were so soft!! I have to ask what everyone else is… can it be stored? If so this is an awesome gift idea!!

    • says

      Stick to Virgin Coconut Oil found in any health food store. If you can find Organic get the organic one. :) I do not think wal mart sells the real deal :) I use Nutiva brand and I found it at out local bulk store :)

      • Valeria Jones says

        If you are going to be rubbing it on your body, the Louana refined coconut oil that Walmart carries in the baking section is just fine. Also, it’s preferable if you don’t want to smell like tropical drinks afterward. My BF would disown me if I came out reeking of coconut, which makes him retch and his roommate is allergic to.

        You still get the benefits of the oil on the since it still has all the same oil profile as the virgin , as far as lauric acid and other medium chain triglycerides that make it beneficial, it just doesn’t have the volatile oils that make the coconut smell.

        Save the virgin for if you really want to smell like coconut and for all the yummy cooking recipes where you want the taste and smell.

    • Grandma PattyB says

      I found the best prices on I usually buy all my unusual items there. Shipping is free or minimal if you are a Prime member. Love my items coming 2 days after I order and zero shipping most of the time!

  6. Kristina says

    I'm no expert, but I'd imagine that if you can store all the ingredients separately (i.e., the sugar, essential oils, and coconut oil are all shelf-stable), then you can store the mix. With the lemon juice, I'd personally go with the fridge. And you can get coconut oil at the grocery store too–I got a big canister at WalMart for about $5. I use it for hair treatments, too, as well as baking. Great stuff!

    • Danielle says

      You can get essential oils at any health food store. I prefer to buy mine from doterra, they are of high quality. You can go to, I sell it and Jillee’s sister Dori does too. They are little more than you would pay in the health food store, but are certified therapeutic grade essential oils so it is all oil no fillers or anything like that and you only need just a few drops so they last forever. :-) Unless you are like me and use them for everything, I have 5 kids that are always in need of some sort of treatment. :-)

  7. Anonymous says

    Kristina, you are right, this is stable enough to store. Additionally the honey acts as a natural preservative! I would recommend to skip the refined coconut oil and splurge for the extra virgin coconut oil. It smells heavenly and has a higher lauric acid content which greatly benefits your skin! The difference between the two is remarkable. I get mine from Swanson vitamins for about $23 (for a half-gallon!) It's around $8 for a 16 ounce jar (Nutiva is the best!)

    • Valeria Jones says

      What is the source of the claim that virgin has more lauric acid than refined? If you know it please let me know so I can check it out, because I have been personally researching coconut oil for some time and haven’t found any sources that reliably support the claim that virgin is any different from refined except for the removal of impurities, volatile oils and solid particles, and that the oil profile is the same as far as percentage of each of the short, medium and long chain trigs.

  8. Bryn says

    Just made it and love it *but* my olive oil really smells like, well olives! To try and make it sweeter I grated a little lemon zest and added a touch of honey. I also added about a teaspoon of kosher salt too just to add more texture.

  9. Nate says

    Could you use this as a facial scrub? I am a guy if that matters lol (Not gay just a question)
    But Im 22 and work around a grill/fryers all day.. and was wondering if this would be a good facial scrub?
    Thank you :)

    • Mrs. Mitchell says

      You could totally use this as a facial scrub! I made the second recipe with the olive oil, lemons, and brown sugar. It was wonderful for the body and face. And, as others have mentioned, moisturizing directly after the effect is even better because your fresh skin is more absorbent.

      Sideote: You don’t have to be a woman or gay to take good care of your skin, hair, or nails. FACT: most women i know are attracted to a man who maintains himself, just like many men are attracted to a woman who maintains herself. And all my friends husbands/boyfriends “secretly” use conditioning treatments at home and they love them! SCRUB WITH MANLY PRIDE! haha

    • Candace says

      Nate, I make a facial scrub with just lemon juice, honey and white sugar, and sometimes I squirt the contents of a vitamin e capsule into it. don’t use it every day, just once or twice a week, Then I use a very *tiny* amount of coconut oil as a moisturizer. I work around fryers and a charbroiler all day too, and have gone from the occasional break out, to very seldom having a breakout. And there is nothing wrong with taking care of yourself. From a long journey with my husband, we have learned that you can’t take care of others if you can’t take care of yourself first. :)

  10. Alexandra says

    I pick up my coconut oil in the Health section of my grocery store (Wegmans). I chose the purest without the chemical Hexane (I think that's what it's called). Coconut oil is great for your skin. I paid approx. $12 for 16 oz.

  11. Alexandra says

    This is great for a guy. I like sugar because it tastes really good when you happen to get some in your mouth. I also like the way it melts slowly enough to get the job done but quickly enoughy as not to cause damage.

      • says

        Yep it does but I find when I keep my pot of it in the bathroom it stay mushy and perfect :) It is so amazing! And a little trick I do not is that if I am going to shower I first apply my scrub to my face then step in an massage my face then it is easy to rinse off … and it does taste good, it does smell good and it is just plain good for your skin! And the fact that it stays good forever is a real bonus!!!! WE use it for everything now! Even the dogs … my one dog has a super rough dry nose that felt like it had splinters sticking out of it … after applying some to her nose 2 times a day for 2 days her nose is like a normal dog nose now and it is amazing! My son’s bad eczema benefits from it too … the uses for VCO oil are virtually endless!!!

  12. Margot says

    I’m just curious – will using this, and then rinsing it off in the shower, clog my drain? I’ve always heard not to pour grease or fat into your kitchen drain, so I wonder if the same goes for the shower. Any thoughts?

  13. Sonia says

    Coconut oil melts easily, so hot water should wash it well away so it will not clog your drain. If the scrub gets too thick in the jar after storing, it should soften up with the warmth of your hands. Thanks for the recipe!

  14. Ashley says

    Yes! There is no reason to pay $30 for body scrub. I make my own that smells like cookies! I use a mixture of olive oil, white sugar, brown sugar, and I add a dash of vanilla extract and ground cinnamon. It smells delicious! I just keep it in a jar in my shower. Great for feet and hands.

  15. WendyB says

    I’ve been doing something similar for some time now. When I make baked potatoes for dinner , I pour EVOL in a pinch bowl and sea salt onto a plate. I use a pastry brush to coat the potatoes with olive oil then roll them in the sea salt. I take the leftover salt and mix it with the leftover olive oil and leave it next to the kitchen sink. When my hands start to get dry and rough, I use the salt/oil mixture to scrub my hands then rinse with warm water, no soap. It works great and keeps me from wasting the oil and salt. :-)

  16. angelina says

    Awesome I did the lemon scrub but I added a 1/2 teaspoon of vitamin E to it and added a few drops of jasmine and a 2 extra tablespoons of sugar to make up for the xtra oils :).

  17. Emma says

    This has nothing to do with the face scrub but have been following your links and wanted to ask before I forget again !! I read that if you mix white vinegar and baking soda that the only cleaning it will do is the action of the fizz because they cancel one another out. I have no idea if that is true but figured you may.
    BTW thanks so much for sharing all these wonderful ideas. God Bless you in your recovery.

  18. says

    I tried making this an I really like it!! I actually read in “Herbal Well-Being” that oatmeal is a good exfoliator and moisturizer, so I added some, and it works great! I have to admit, it also tastes good…lol…all edible ingredients!!! Thanks for this post!!! Here’s what I did –

  19. Kirra says

    I would really like to know if anyone has any ideas for a manly scented scrub! Want to make some for the bf, and I’ve been sniffing at oils all day but I didn’t find anything with a gorgeous masculine scent :) Going to make a salt and mint scented scrub for the meantime as he likes mint, and try using rose and french vanilla tea in a scrub for myself – it smells like turkish delight! :) Hmm I wonder if I could make mint chocolate scrub. Thank you for the recipes!

    • Danielle says

      I don’t really think that a citrus scrub, as the one described above with the lemon, would be bad to use for a manly scrub, but if you are looking for something a little more manly I like the smell of the sandlewood. Depending on how many drops you use, you can make it really strong or just give it a mild undertone. It is a woodsy smell so I would error on the side of caution and start out with a couple of drop and see what you think. Sandlewood is also great for soothing the skin as well as mood enhancing, so you might end up with a BF with great skin and a great mood to boot! :-)
      I also like the smell of the Roman Chamomile, and it also has some great health qualities. :-)

    • Ayshela says

      If your sink is draining slowly or you’re not using really hot water to rinse the sink clear the oil may build up a bit. a kettle of boiling water down the drain should melt away the oil and clear the drain right out again.

  20. says

    I’ve been using handmade sugar scrubs since last winter when I made some for Christmas gifts, they are amazing last night I bought some coconut oil (I’m in love) to make my own make up remover wipes (found on your site and also in love) so I tried some sugar scrub with the coconut oil instead of the olive oil I usually use, ah ma zing! It’s great to scrub your legs with it before you shave = super silky legs if better if you do it twice. Srub shave, scrub shave the second time your removing the dead skin sound gross but it works and my legs have never been softer or smoother!

  21. Jamie says

    I love scrubs and they’re so fun to play with. You can use brown sugar or a mix of white and brown, salt, several different oils, several different scents, you can even use extracts. My fave is 1/2 cup white sugar, 1/2 cup brown sugar, and add enough almond oil (or olive, coconut, apricot kernel or a combo) to get the consistency you want, a few capsules of Vitamin E and 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract. Smells heavenly and does a great job. Works as a lip/face scrub as well.

  22. debbie says

    I love making sugar scrub – i use 1 cup sugar and 1/2 cup vegetable glycerin – and essential oil if you want scent. I keep it in a plastic container so that if it drops in the shower, there won’t be glass shards everywhere!. Use it on body or face. Sometimes during the winter, i substitute olive oil for the glycerin – but i prefer the glycerin as it doesn’t make the shower floor slick – important to me if i’m giving this to someone else!

    • nancy says

      Using glycerin in your scrub is a great idea, especially in the winter time. Glycerin is a humectant and draws moisture from the air into your skin. Therefore, by using glycerin in your scrubs, you continue moisturizing your skin even after you have used your scrub. However, glycerin used in large amounts can be very sticky so try to use it minimally or just rinse well.

  23. Sheri Meyer says


    Thank goodness for Pinterest or I would have never found your blog. You are witty, smart, funny and frugal…my favorite qualities in a blogger! Love Love Love all of your ideas. Can’t wait to make this scrub as soon as I submit this comment. Keep up the awesome work!!!

  24. Jennifer says

    I’ve made a sugar scrub before and NOTHING else compares. It takes care of blackheads and dull skin, however I’m curious how long you can store this. Does the consistency change with time?

  25. Andrea says

    I was just given a bunch of sugar from my sister who was moving and cleaning out her pantry. I don’t use sugar. Now I know what I’ll do with it! For those who don’t want to use it in the tub because of slippery floor, you can use at the sink for your hands at least. Hands age the fastest so can use the extra love.

  26. Jamie Miller says

    I just made some (brown sugar and vanilla)(orange and sugar, peppermint)(Sugar, and brown sugar) I added vitamin E Oil to all of them and used olive oil in the orange one to make it a little lighter.. I used coconut oil in the other two..

  27. Lika says

    Hello. I have done a lot of research in my natural scrub company, and I would not advise to “use as much essential oil as you’d like” because some can cause reactions. Some will cause a rash, and others should not be used for pregnant women or people with high blood pressure or epilepsy. Research your essential oil before using it. Good luck!

    • Elizabeth says

      I would definitely second this! Overuse of essential oils can cause sensitivity, and never use an undiluted essential oil on your skin! Consult aromatherapy books for the correct dilutions to use, the one I have (The Complete Aromatherapy Tutor by Joanna Hoare of the International Federation of Aromatherapists) advises the following ratios:

      General massage: 5-6 drops in 10 ml of carrier oil
      Facial massage: 2 drops in 10 ml of carrier oil

      In these recipes the carrier oil is coconut oil or olive oil, or whatever oil you use.

      If you have generally sensitive skin rather use less (like the proportions for the facial massage blend) and increase it steadily to achieve an appropriate level for you.


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