This DIY hand scrub uses just a few kitchen ingredients. It's a luxurious sugar scrub that you can customize with your favorite scent. Homemade hand scrub also makes a great gift!
You only need three simple ingredients and a few basic craft supplies to make this DIY hand scrub with whatever scent you like. Get the recipe, plus snag a free printable label for your scrub.
Why make your own sugar scrub?
The sugar scrub that you find in the beauty aisle of a typical department store is not so great for your health or for the planet.
Store-bought sugar scrubs can also contain hidden animal ingredients and are often tested on animals. Boo!
Are you bummed out? Don't be bummed out! You can make your own scrub so easily!
You only need two basic ingredients, plus your favorite-smelling essential oil, to make your own sugar scrub. It takes only a few minutes to make - less time than finding your keys for a trip to the store.
Start by mixing organic sugar with a neutral oil. I like organic sugar, because its coarser texture is better at scrubbing and exfoliating.
For your oil, you've got options! Anything without a strong smell of its own will work well. I like olive oil for this, because its golden yellow color tints the sugar scrub without needing any extra coloring. Sunflower oil, apricot kernel oil, or vegetable oil are all good, as well.
The essential oil that I used for my homemade sugar scrub is Tranquility by Aura Cacia. It's a soothing blend that Dave and I both like, and I wanted this hand scrub to be something he would use, too.
You can use any essential oils that you like, or mix and match to create your own custom scents. You can also leave it unscented, if you prefer.
Customization is the joy of making your own bath products!
Once you've selected (or decided to skip) your essential oil for scent, grab a bowl and fork, and mix it up with sugar and olive oil, then transfer to an airtight container.
The label is totally optional, but if you want to give this as a gift, feel free to use it as many times as you'd like! Just download the pdf here to print off the label.
Because you'll be handling this jar with wet hands, I recommend using a strip of packing tape to attach the label to the jar. The tape will protect the label from water damage.
How to use and store it
Water is the enemy of any homemade sugar scrub, so I recommend not storing this scrub in the shower unless you're actively using it.
Since you're using your sugar scrub to slough away tough skin, you'll get the best results if you use it toward the end of your shower or bath. That gives your skin time to soften in the warm water.
When you're ready to scrub, give the jar a good shake. The oil tends to sneak down to the bottom, and shaking ensures that you always get a nice, moisturizing scoop of hand scrub.
Hold the jar away from the running water (if you're showering), open it up, and scoop up a generous dollop of scrub.
Apply the scrub to damp skin, massaging gently.
While you'll see some results with the first application, gentle exfoliating like this gets better over time. Use this scrub twice a week, and soon your dry, rough skin will become soft and moisturized.
Your scrub will keep for two to three weeks in your airtight container. It will keep best if you don't get too much water into the jar. Too much water will cause the sugar to dissolve, and your scrub will lose its scrubbiness.
DIY hand scrub
- ¾ cup coarse, organic sugar
- 3 tablespoons neutral oil - olive, sunflower, or apricot kernel are all good options
- 5-20 drops of your favorite essential oil or oil blend
- Add the sugar and oil to your bowl, and mix it together with the fork. Add the oil, 3-5 drops at a time, mixing between additions, until you achieve your desired scent. See note.
- If you're using the printable label: Print it out, making sure it's printing at 100% size in your printer settings. Cut it out, then use the packing tape to adhere it to the outside of the jar. You want to be sure that you use a piece of tape that's long enough to wrap all the way around your jar and overlap slightly, by about ½". That way, your label is protected from water.
- To use, scoop out a generous amount in the shower, and massage onto your hands to slough away dead skin and moisturize your hands all at the same time.
- small bowl and a fork for mixing
- clean glass half pint jar
- printable sugar scrub label (see above, optional)
- scissors (optional)
- packing tape (optional)