DIY sugar scrub

A fragrant natural exfoliator to moisturize, brighten and soften skin.

Credit: iStock

Beach weather is obviously a ways off, but that doesn’t mean we have to stop taking care of our skin.


Here’s a simple recipe for making your own sugar body scrub—a great exfoliator and skin brightener.


Making your own beauty products at home saves money and ensures that you know every single ingredient that goes into your skincare regimen, so you can rest assured you’re using products that are good for your skin, your health and the environment.


Recipe: Skin-sweet sugar body scrub

Adapted from Beauty on a Budget at Feelgood Style



1 cup sugar (brown or white sugar)

1/2 cup olive oil (I have tried this recipe with other oils, and olive oil is by far the best choice)

A few drops of scented essential oil*

1 glass jar

* If you intend to use the scrub in your morning shower, don’t use any phototropic oils, such as bergamot or citrus oil, since these can react to sunlight and cause burning.


Oil Up: A guide to essential oils

A primer on essential oils, from lavender to juniper berry, with tips for how to use.


VIDEO: How to use essential oils

For more ideas on how to use essential oils, we ask the experts at Yaletown’s Choices Market.


How to make

In a glass or porcelain bowl, mix the sugar and olive oil. Don’t use a plastic bowl as your essential oil may penetrate the plastic and give it a permanent odour.

Choose an organic oil to fragrance your blend: lavender is soothing, as is chamomile, while ginger and ylang ylang add tropical notes. If you like woody fragrances try cedar or marjoram. For zingy morning freshness, choose peppermint, and if you have somewhat spotty skin, especially on your back, use tea-tree oil to help counteract oil and to provide an antibacterial treatment. Add a few drops of the fragrance of your choice and mix to distribute evenly.

This scrub works best in the shower: rub it all over dry skin before turning on the water, concentrating on your legs, buttocks and upper arms, and rinse. Dead skin cells are sloughed off and the remaining soft under-layer of skin is gently moisturised and scented.

Because the oil will lift and the sugar will settle after a while, use a fancy chopstick or small wooden spoon that fits inside the jar as a stirrer to re-blend the scrub before each use. Don’t use any scrub more than twice a week, as overuse can have the opposite effect.