Do you need a quick, last minute gift idea that you can whip up in a hurry? This sugar scrub is a super easy DIY project. Similar to the ones sold in bath and body stores, this sugar scrub will only cost you a fraction of what you would spend at a high end store and you can use essential oils instead of the toxic scents used in their products. Many of these ingredients are probably already in your kitchen cabinet too.
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INGREDIENTS TO MAKE A SUGAR SCRUB
Let’s talk ingredients. You will need sugar, obviously, but there are many varieties of sugar nowadays. I actually prefer plain, cheap, white sugar. Brown sugar would work well too, but stay away from larger sugar granules (such as turbinado) as they can be too abrasive. Powdered sugar will not work either. It has been too finely ground to do much scrubbing.
The next ingredient you need is oil. Any kind of regular cooking oil will work, though I prefer coconut oil. Olive oil, sunflower oil, and even canola oil can be used in a pinch, but if you prefer a liquid oil, grapeseed oil is my top choice. It tends to be less “greasy” than other liquid oils. Just note that if you choose coconut oil, it will need to be melted first.
The third ingredient in the sugar scrub is glycerin. This is optional, but I feel like it gives the scrub a smoother consistency. You can order glycerin here, but I have also found it at my local Walmart in the health and beauty aisle, usually near the vitamins.
Food coloring and essential oils are also optional. In the photos I added 1 drop of red food coloring to one batch and left the other batch white. I used peppermint essential oil in both batches. Layered in a jar, the sugar scrub resembles a candy cane and smells like one too! But there are many other options if you aren’t a fan of peppermint.
Here are some scent/color combos to get you started:
- Candy cane-Peppermint essential oil and red food coloring in one batch and peppermint essential oil and no color in the other batch.
- Coconut lime-Use virgin coconut oil and lime essential oil plus green food coloring.
- Orange-Use orange essential oil and orange food coloring.
- Lavender-Use lavender essential oil and purple food coloring.
You will also need a container to pack your sugar scrub in. My favorite containers are 4 oz. mason jars. You can find some really decorative ones or stick to the traditional jelly jar. You could also use plastic containers similar to these. However, be sure your container is easy to fill. It can be difficult to get the sugar scrub into a container with a small opening.
Kids can make sugar scrubs too!
This is a great project to do with the kids since there is no stove involved. You could give each child a bowl and have them add the ingredients to their own bowl and mix it together. If they over or under measure by a little, it will still work out OK. This recipe is very forgiving.
Each child can choose their own scent and food coloring to make a very unique gift. Think of how special the kids will feel, giving gifts to friends and relatives that they made!
HOW TO MAKE A SUGAR SCRUB
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup oil, if using coconut oil you will need to melt it first
- 2 Tablespoons glycerin
- 1-2 drops food coloring
- 15 drops essential oil
- 1 bowl for each color or scent
- measuring cup
- spoon or spatula
- containers to put the scrub in
Add all ingredients to a bowl. Stir or smash together with a spatula. Pack into containers for gift giving. To make layered sugar scrubs, pack your first color into the container and smooth the top. Then add your second color, packing and smoothing as you go. Continue until the container is filled. Four layers is plenty for a 4 oz. container. A double batch of this recipe filled 5 mason jars (4 oz.) almost perfectly. (One recipe of white, one recipe of red.)
To use the scrub: remove a small amount of sugar scrub and massage onto wet skin. Rinse off.
You will want to include a tag or label with instructions about how to use the scrub. This sugar scrub would be perfect to add to a spa gift kit made from some of my other DIY posts.
NEED MORE DIY GIFT IDEAS?
Need some more DIY gift ideas? Check out my posts on how to make candles, how to make lotion bars, how to make lip balm, and how to make soap. I have also put together a list of DIY gift baskets to make your gift giving easier.
Want a printable version of this recipe? Sign up for my newsletter and I’ll send you a link to my printable that contains this recipe as well as 3 other popular DIY body care recipes. The link will also include the password to my resource library where you will find frugal meal plans and gardening aids.