18 Homemade Sugar, Sea Salt & Oatmeal Scrub Recipes

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Ingredients & JarsScrubs are a luxurious way to pamper skin since they exfoliate and moisturize at the same time and will leave skin feeling smooth and soft.

There’s no need to buy expensive stuff, make it yourself for a quick and easy way to have a spa experience right at home. They make great gifts too!

Here’s a bunch of recipes to get started with, I’ve sorted them into separate groups for easier browsing.

First a few tips:

  • Mix and store ingredients in glass bowls and jars to prevent reactions with other materials.
  • Shelf life is only a couple weeks or so (if kept cool in an airtight container) unless a preservative of some sort is added. You’ll find more information and preservative suggestions here: fromnaturewithlove.com (info on using T-50 Vitamin E Oil, Rosemary Oil Extract, Grapefruit Seed Extract and more).
  • Refrigerate any unused portion in a sealed container.
  • For something different, try adding a bit of gentle liquid soap to scrubs before using.
  • Use a loofah or bristle brush when applying, will give a nice massage while exfoliating.
  • When using the salt recipes, some believe that those from the Dead Sea are the most therapeutic since they help relieve pain from arthritis and bring a glow to skin.

Note: Substitutions used in the ingredient lists below:

C = cup
TBS = tablespoon
tsp = teaspoon
G-W-S = Granulated White Sugar
B-S = Brown Sugar
EO = Essential Oil
EVOO = Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Wooden Scoop

Almond Oil & Vanilla

1/2 C of B-S
1/4 C of almond oil
1/4 C of liquid Ivory hand soap
1/4 tsp of vanilla

Lemon

1 C G-W-S
1/2 C EVOO
1 TBS lemon zest (grated)

Tea

2 C G-W-S
1 C honey
2 TBS tea
5 drops vanilla

Lavender & Rosewood

1 C B-S
1/4 C almond oil
1/2 tsp vitamin E
6 drops rosewood EO
4 drops lavender EO

Yogurt

3 TBS baby oil
1 TBS yogurt
1 TBS G-W-S

Aloe Vera

1 C G-W-S
1 C EVOO
2 TBS aloe vera gel
8 drops EO (of your choice)

Coffee

1/4 C packed B-S
1/4 C G-W-S
3 TBS fresh coffee grounds
5 tsp almond oil
5 tsp jojoba oil
2 tsp honey
1 tsp vitamin E
1 tsp vanilla

With Powdered Milk

1 C B-S
2 C powdered milk
1 C EVOO
10 drops EO

To make: Mix the dry ingredients first then pour the EVOO slowly, stirring the whole time. After it’s at the desired consistency, mix in the essential oils. This was sent in by Charlotte, thanks!

For Hands & Dry Trouble Spots

2 tsp chopped rosemary
1/8 C EVOO
4 tsp almond oil
1 tsp lemon oil
B-S (or raw sugar)

Directions: Mix chopped rosemary with the oils first then add sugar to make a paste.

Fine

Exfoliating

1/2 C fine sea salt
1/4 C oatmeal (ground, uncooked)
1/4 C flaxseed oil
1/4 C EVOO
8 drops geranium oil

Lavender

1/4 C fine sea salt
1/4 C EVOO
3 to 5 drops lavender EO

Tip: Add a bit of water or liquid soap while using.

Favorite Scent

3 C fine sea salt
3/4 C EVOO
3/4 C sweet almond oil
choice of EO

Mix ingredients together then use after showering, store in a sealed glass jar.

Peppermint (for feet)

1 1/2 C fine sea salt
1/3 C EVOO
3 drops peppermint EO

Exfoliate soles and heels with this mixture after a bath or foot soak.

Flakes

With Yogurt

1 C oatmeal
1 C plain yogurt

With Honey

1/2 C oatmeal
1/4 C honey
2 tsp aloe vera gel

Yogurt & Honey

1 TBS oats
2 TBS yogurt
1 tsp honey

Strawberry

1/4 C rolled oats
4 to 5 fresh strawberries
milk

Trim the berries of their leaves then mash, mix in the rolled oats then add enough milk to make a paste.

Lavender

2 C oats
1/4 C dried lavender buds

Mix then grind in a blender until it’s a powder, store in a sealed glass jar and keep in a dark location. To use: mix about a tablespoon of powder with enough water to make a paste. Gently massage into skin then rinse with clear water.

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Published: January 11, 2007
Updated: September 21, 2012

What Readers Are Saying:
60 Comments to “18 Homemade Sugar, Sea Salt & Oatmeal Scrub Recipes”
  1. sylvie says:

    Just wanted to know how long can those scrubs be kept for?

    • Tiger says:

      These basic scrubs don’t have any preservatives in them. Theoretically, because they are oil based, they shouldn’t go bad, but the problem is that when you use them in the bath area water does get into them, and bacteria from your hands. I was taught that you should make small amounts that you’ll go through in a couple of months to avoid anything growing in them.

    • vickilewis says:

      how long do they stay fresh for

      • Dezarae says:

        According to my research, they should last a couple of months (around 3) but anything with Vitamin E oil in it lasts even longer due to Vitamin E oil being a natural preservitiave and great for the skin.

  2. BEN GREGO says:

    Seems like a lot of fuss and bother………why not just put together some sugar or salt in a jar and add some moisturizer? half and half – then mix thoroughly…..same results, less fuss, and nothing to go bad or spoil!!

    • Lindsey C says:

      I don’t know about moisturizer but I’ve found one of the simplest and most affective recipes is just a mix of brown sugar and baby oil. If you want scent just add vanilla extract!

    • Melissa says:

      Perhaps because not everyone wishes to use chemicals in their cleaning products and is interested in trying some more natural methods of doing things?

      • sarah says:

        I agree with Melissa. Lotions are bad for your skin. Olive oil, coconut oil, etc are much better and healthier. Baby oil clogs pores.

  3. Carol says:

    What about using your favorite liquid bath wash (I use Dove Cream wash) and add it to some brown sugar?

    • TipNut says:

      Hi Carol,

      I don’t see a problem with that if you’d like to try it and let us know how it worked out for you :)

      • Jo says:

        you can do that. Sometimes I use a little scoop of sugar and add just a touch of my facial cleanser for my face. It kills two birds with one stone. Exfoliation and cleans brilliantly.

  4. Jen says:

    I tried #2 without the lemon rind because I didn’t have it. I wasn’t a fan. I made a half recipe (recommended)and tossed the rest. It’s been a while since I bought a scrub but it seemed like the olive oil was greasier than the procucts I’d purchased. I felt like a buttered turkey (even after I washed with soap). In fact the oil did turn thick like butter after I worked it on my skin for a while.

    • robin says:

      i don’t use olive oil in my scrubs for the reason u mentioned even though it’s so good for your skin. I use light oils like Almond oil, sunflower oil, avocado oil…or a mix…i also add some jojoba and some vitamin e which also acts as a preservative…it doesn’t make u feel greasy…try that out and see if that makes a difference!

      • bonnie farmer says:

        I have discovered that if you substitute coconut oil instead of the virgin olive oil it works better

    • robin says:

      also, add some honey! It acts as a humectant and draws the water into your skin!

    • JoAnna says:

      Hi there…read your post and have a helpful tip to try. I agree these oils they list in these recipes are heavy and very greasy. The buttered turkey analagy says it best! I prefer to use a natural scented “water dispersing massage oil” found at most natural food stores. Its light and moisturizing with a wonderful light scent. Enjoy!

  5. ultrad says:

    I made this for all of my friends this xmas & some for myself. We LOVED it. the olive oil is heavy but it felt luxurious like u’ve had a real spa treatment. it’s a great way to treat dry wintery skin!

  6. Lissy says:

    I LOVE #2 it worked so good!!!!!!!!

  7. Amy says:

    A really easy scrub that I use is just brown sugar and baby oil. I fill a food storage container with brown sugar and saturate it with baby oil so that there is some oil remaining on the top. Then I can just keep that container in my shower. It works great for removing the dry skin on my legs. Usually one bag of brown sugar and one bottle of baby oil gives me about 3-4 containers full, so it goes a long way and is very inexpensive.

    • Tonya says:

      I could not agree more….
      In a time when everyone should be budget conscious, I hate to give up some of my beauty remedies due to the cost at the local store. However This recipe was the perfect find! Works wonders without putting a dent in the wallet. Enjoyed the results so much, I passed it along to friends…
      Thanks for the tip!

  8. Angie says:

    how long does this stuff last? a week? or longer?

  9. Sue says:

    I used #2, for measurements and then modified it. I used a few drops of teatree oil and some cardimon. I added a few drops of dishsoap. I keep it in the fridge. Even the men have complimented how clean it gets their hands after a dirt job, and the nice spicey smell keeps the men happy. Great idea…thanks.

  10. elowcost says:

    Wow,wow, wow to #5! Love it! I even stuck a vanilla bean in it, just for the heck of it. It’s better than the commercial scrub I have. Thanks

  11. kim says:

    Be careful to use baby oil aka mineral oil it does not penetrate the skin, will clog pores and if you tan it will strip your tan after repeted use. If you don’t like olive oil try grapeseed, apricot, avocado, coconut, safflower or almond. All kinds of alternatives available at ur local health food stores!!

  12. Toni says:

    I’ve used a basic sugar scrub for years, using just olive oil and white sugar for the base. If you need extra exfoliating, use ground oatmeal or rice powder. I also occasionally add things like powdered milk and honey. Just about any thing from your spice cabinet or baking ingredients will make your sugar scrub extra special.
    But I’d also like to add a few words of caution. A rule of thumb with many herbalists is: Don’t put anything on your skin that you can’t put in your mouth. So I’d avoid baby oil as it’s petrolium based. And not every spice is safe for use. Some, like cinnamon, can cause a burn-like reacion on sensitive skin. And some cooking herbs can cause allergic reaction in people with hay fever. Citrus fruits like lemons and grapefruit smell wonderful, but can cause photosensitivity when used over time. So please be informed about what you use in your mix.
    By the way, for those who think olive oil is greasy, please know it’s one of the best moisturizers you can use. If worst comes to worst, wait 15 minutes after you use it, and blot off the excess. I don’t ususally have much left on my skin after 15 minutes, but I’m almost 50. So my skin sucks it up fast, lol.

  13. Pam Fitzsimons says:

    I went a little crazy at a craft fair and “over bought” some of these scrubs. I haven’t been able to use one of them fast enough. Is there any way to revive them? The last couple of times I’ve tried to use it, it leaves a really nasty, waxy-type residue. Any solutions?

    Thanks tons!

  14. Rachel @ Trailblazing My Life says:

    #5 smelled heavenly! I love it :)

  15. Pam says:

    I just made up a scrub from one of the suggested recipes, I used, my husband use it, both on hands and it’s wonderful!

  16. Linn says:

    If you don’t like oils I use vegetable glycerin. It can be a little pricier but a little goes a loonngg way and you can make almpost all the rest of your beauty supplies with it!

  17. kayla says:

    I use a Korean recipe that my mother taught me. Combine 3 tablespoons of olive oil (extra virgin or virgin are the best), 2 tablespoons of honey, and 1/2 cup of raw sugar/cane sugar (any sugar will do, but for some reason my mom always said to use raw, must just depend on preference.) in a little tupperware container. Use after cleansing in the shower. Lasts for about a month or two and works like a charm on any type of skin (I have combination skin and it doesn’t make me breakout.)

    Good luck! :]

  18. Candice says:

    Do you have to like let it sit or refrigerate it? I didn’t get the right consistency. It was all liquidy. I did #1.

    • Akira Kurusaki says:

      It’s soupy because you put too much oil in it. It’s like oatmeal, you have to get the consistency right. If you find that your mix is too soupy, add a tablespoon of salt or sugar (for whichever recipe) and stir, and if it’s not a light texture, add salt/sugar until the right consistency. Mew. I make sugar scrubs alot for my business. Lol. It takes practice getting the right consistency. =) Just gotta experiment.

  19. Becky says:

    I tried #2. it felt great going on! I applied it everywhere except my face. Be careful while e
    Rinsing that you don’t slip & fall! I felt oily when I got out of shower but my skin was very soft.

  20. Robyn says:

    I made recipe #3 with a couple of modifications. I used raw sugar instead of brown sugar (I like the grainy texture better,) and I used peppermint oil instead of lavender and rosewood. It was a refreshing way to start my day! My skin was soft and smooth, and not overly greasy. The peppermint scent woke me right up! I’m glad I found this site.

  21. Vero says:

    I was wondering about #5- when it calls for 2TBS of tea… Would that be just the tea spices stuff or tea already made with the water. I would assume that it would be just the dry tea spice (no liquid added) but you know what they say when you assume!
    Can anyone help??

  22. Cathy says:

    I tried to add extra exfoliation to my sugar scrub, so I added Kosher salt, now I need to finalize my batch with oil, should I just use olive, or will that change the aroma? My scent is lemon essential oil, and some Joy dishwashing liquid, the scent is fabulous, but I need some liquid.

  23. Lara says:

    I want to try the Tea scrub, but I don’t want to use honey. Would Agave Nectar work just as well? Please Help!

  24. Azeezah says:

    I dont think so. The main differences between agave and honey are:
    1) Agave is thinner.
    2) Honey crystalizes and agave doesnt.

    Considering these two major differences, I think honey would work better because you could add more with out the scrub turning too liquidy. And when allowed to sit, the honey will scrub nicely.

  25. Maria says:

    I love your guys recipes but my friend says the olive oil is to heavy on her skin is there any other oils that would work better?

  26. Tracy says:

    The easiest way to keep anything from going ‘bad’ is to keep your hands out of it! NEVER scoop out with your fingers, use a spoon or a spatula to get the product out of the jar and less chance of contamination!

  27. bettyboo says:

    with the oat ones does it matter what type of oats they are? also what ones would you recommend putting together in a hamper as a gift?

    thanks these are amazing by the way!

    • missafs says:

      i’m making a gift basket with a few different home made bath products in mason jars. for mine i used the coffee scrub, dead sea bath salt with added herbs, a body wash, and home made soap (i got the supplies from michaels). it was super cheap, cute and totally worth the time.

  28. Kathryn says:

    I have a question about the oatmeal scrub with sweet almond oil and sugar. My question is, I’m allergic to Ivory soap, would softsoap for the hands work too? Or is there a reason it says Ivory and not just liquid hand soap? I’m makeing a bunch of batches up as x mas gifts. This is the only one I can’t figure out? Thanks.

  29. BeBe says:

    I found your site on Pinterst while searching for a salt based exfoliate to make myself. I have started spray tanning (please dont tell me this is bad as I just finally gave up tanning beds!) and don’t want to purchase the $30 brand they offer at the salon – yes $30! I need to exfoliate before to remove the left offer “tan”. Any suggestions as the best for what I am looking for? Also, in reading the comments/replys people are praising certain scrubs by numbers ( ex: I loved #2) but I don’t see that these are numberd. Thanks for a great site and thanks in advance for input!

  30. MC says:

    I prefer to use Coconut Oil as I find it much more moisturizing than Olive Oil! Olive Oil is far too greasy!

  31. Anna k says:

    I can never find coconut oil any where!! Where do I find it??

  32. Grace says:

    Can I replace the white sugar with cane? I really don’t want to use a refined substance on my skin.

  33. Merlot says:

    When it says vanilla, is that a essential oil? And drops of vanilla….is that essential oil?


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