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4 Ways To Make a Homemade Sugar Scrub

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4 Ways To Make a Homemade Sugar Scrub


When you think of homemade beauty products, one of the first things that come to mind is probably a sugar scrub. After all, they’re pretty easy to make and usually involve no more than 1 or 2 ingredients

Despite their simplicity, sugar scrubs are a great way to keep your skin looking healthy and vibrant while gently exfoliating away dead cells and increasing skin cell turnover, explains Shannon Irene, a bi-coastal esthetician. “Because sugar scrubs can remove dull or dry skin and increase blood circulation in the body, they help improve the skin’s appearance, leaving it smooth and soft,” she says. “The gentle exfoliation that occurs when you use a sugar scrub also allows your skincare products to penetrate more effectively and nourish the skin.”

The fine texture of sugar is naturally exfoliating without clogging the pores, moisturizing for the skin, and safe on even the most sensitive areas (such as your face!). Moreover, besides removing dead skin cells, exfoliating with a sugar scrub will help increase blood circulation and prevent signs of aging. This is the one time you should totally be reaching for the sugar jar!

Homemade Sugar Scrubs 4 Ways

4 Ways To Make Homemade Sugar Scrub Recipes

1. Brown sugar scrubs

Brown sugar makes one of the more popular exfoliating sugar scrubs (and one of my personal faves) because it’s excellent for almost every skin type—especially those with sensitive skin. Unlike some other sugars, brown sugar is a superfine grain, so it’s naturally gentle on sensitive skin (like that of the face) and won’t cause microscopic tears that can worsen inflammation and irritation.

“Brown sugar blends into the skin easily and may leave it a bit sticky, so be sure to rinse thoroughly after exfoliating,” says Irene.

If stored properly, brown sugar is also pretty soft because it contains molasses, a natural humectant that draws in moisture and locks it in. When used as a scrub, that extra moisture then gets transferred to your skin, guarding it against germs and toxins and keeping it looking healthy, nourished, and glowing. 

Lastly, brown sugar contains glycolic acid, an antibacterial and exfoliating agent that keeps acne in check and improves the look and feel of skin. Like the other alpha-hydroxy acids, it helps improve sun damage and give aging skin a boost [source].

Whip up the recipe below and use skin-soothing herbs, like chamomile, bee pollen, and almond oil, to nourish sensitive skin, fight inflammation and keep problem skin at bay.

Soothing Brown Sugar Scrub with Chamomile and Bee Pollen

Soothing brown sugar scrub with chamomile and bee pollen

If you have sensitive skin, grind your chamomile into a fine powder with a mortar and pestle or a coffee grinder. Otherwise, toss it in whole and be gentle around irritated areas. Combine all ingredients in a small bowl and stir well. Apply the mixture to the skin and massage in a gentle, circular motion to remove flakes. Rinse well. Store any remaining scrub in the refrigerator for up to a month.

More brown sugar scrub recipes to try:

Clove + Sugar Body Scrub

Vanilla Sugar Cookie Body Scrub

Chai Pear Sugar Scrub

Cinnamon Brown Sugar Scrub

Dark Chocolate Sugar Scrub

Unicorn Shimmer Sugar Scrub

Mint Chocolate Sugar Scrub

2. White granulated sugar scrubs

White granulated sugar is slightly more abrasive than brown sugar, making it ideal for the body and, if your skin isn’t particularly sensitive, the face. “It is a coarser natural exfoliant, so it’s best for use on the thicker body skin such as legs, back, and foot areas,” says Irene.

If your skin is prone to being dry and itchy, white sugar is great for buffing away flakes, improving circulation, and increasing cell turnover, so your skin will look fresh and healthy. It’s also a humectant, although a little less so than brown sugar, so it locks in moisture and improves overall hydration.

I love adding things like heather blossoms, vanilla beans, and essential oils to my white sugar scrub recipe. Not only does it smell amazing, but it also helps tighten the skin and soothe itchiness.

Heather Vanilla Sugar Scrub

Heather Vanilla Sugar Scrub

Combine all ingredients in a small bowl and stir well. Apply the mixture to your skin and massage in a gentle, circular motion to remove flakes. Rinse well. Store any remaining scrub in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

More white sugar scrub recipes to try:

When it comes to white sugar scrubs, we’ve tried everything from grapefruit juice scrubs for their added antioxidants to hot cocoa body butter scrubs for seriously parched skin. Here are our favorites:

Grapefruit Sugar Scrub

Citrus Vanilla Sugar Scrub

Hot Cocoa Sugar Scrub

Holiday Sugar Scrub Trio

3. Coconut sugar scrubs

While not used nearly as often as brown and white sugars in these recipes, coconut sugar makes a wonderful scrub because it contains a slew of vitamins and minerals essential to skin health. Despite the name, coconut sugar isn’t a sugar in the traditional sense. It’s actually the dehydrated and boiled sap of the coconut palm tree, which is just ground into a fine sugar-like consistency.

Coconut sugar is much less refined than white sugar, which makes it a great alternative for people who want to use a more minimally processed ingredient, notes Olivia Rose, N.D., a Toronto-based naturopathic doctor and founder and CEO of ReLiv Organics. Coconut sugar contains antioxidants, but it is drier than brown and white sugar, which may not be great for exfoliating your face. It also costs more than brown and white sugar.

Because it’s not refined like other sugars, it can be a little too coarse for sensitive skin such as the face, neck, and chest. Instead, it’s best used on the arms and legs to fight flakes, improve circulation, and get rid of common skin conditions like ingrown hairs.

Coconut Sugar Scrub Recipes

One of the main benefits of coconut sugar is that it naturally cleanses skin and breaks down dead skin cells that can exacerbate skin conditions such as keratosis pilaris. And when used regularly, it can help unclog pores and keep skin clean. It also improves the look and feel of the skin and replenishes minerals that have been stripped by soap or hot water.

To make your own coconut sugar body scrub, all you need are a few simple ingredients like vitamin E oil, coconut oil, and powdered ginger to boost hydration and improve circulation.

Ginger Circulation-Boosting Coconut Sugar Scrub

Combine all the ingredients in a small bowl and stir well. Apply to the skin and massage in a gentle, circular motion to remove flakes. Rinse well. Store any remaining scrub in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

Another coconut sugar scrub to try:

Triple Coconut Sugar Scrub

4. Other types of sugar scrubs

Other sugars, like caster, turbinado, and raw cane sugar, still have a place in natural beauty recipes, depending on how you use them.

Caster sugar, also called sanding sugar, is a superfine white sugar often used in baking. Because it’s finer than brown sugar, it can be used practically anywhere you might have dry skin. It’s especially great for the face, neck, chest, and back of the hands since it polishes sensitive skin without damaging it.

A coffee scrub is an effective way to naturally fight the appearance of cellulite on the body, explains Irene. “Using coffee grounds can help dilate blood vessels to reduce the appearance of skin dimples,” she says. “Caffeine also has stimulating effects that can tighten the skin and improve blood flow to those areas.”

Cane sugar is the unrefined version of white granulated sugar. Much like coconut sugar, it’s slightly coarse and can irritate sensitive skin. But because it hasn’t been stripped of its nutrients, it can also help replenish vitamins and minerals. Use it in body and foot scrubs to your heart’s content, but avoid the face and neck if you’re worried about irritation.

Turbinado, or raw sugar, is the coarsest of all the sugars, so it’s best reserved for the toughest skin areas (think the feet, knees, and elbows). Although it’s not as gentle as other sugars, turbinado sugar makes tackling tough flaky skin a breeze. Combine it with nourishing essential oils to add moisture, and use a light touch—even on the feet—so you don’t end up with a fiery red rash when all’s said and done. While some exfoliation is great for your skin, too much can be harmful. So if your skin is red and tender, back off.

Check out some of the sugar scrubs below, or scroll down to make a super hydrating scrub for your feet:

Turbinado Sugar Foot Scrub

Turbinado Sugar Foot Scrub

Combine all the ingredients in a small bowl and mix well. Transfer the scrub to a glass bottle and use it in the bath or shower to exfoliate, moisturize, and soothe feet, knees, elbows, and other areas with less sensitive skin. Store any remaining scrub in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

More sugar scrub recipes to try:

Holiday Sugar Scrub Trio

Coconut Milk Sugar Scrub

Paradise Mango Body Scrub

3 Tropical Body Scrubs

Print

4 Homemade Sugar Scrub Recipes

Learn how to make an exfoliating sugar scrub recipe with different types of sugar. Who knew sugar could be so good for your skin?

Prep Time10 mins

Total Time10 mins

Course: Bath and Body

Keyword: sugar scrub

Yield: 2 applications

Author: Daria Groza

Cost: $5

Materials

Soothing Brown Sugar Scrub with Chamomile and Bee Pollen

  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon bee pollen
  • 1 teaspoon chamomile
  • 1 tablespoon sweet almond oil

Heather Vanilla Sugar Scrub

  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1/4 cup oil
  • 10 drops sweet orange, jasmine, or rose essential oils
  • 1 vanilla bean (seeds only)
  • 1 tablespoon dried heather blossoms (you can also use lavender or rose petals)

Ginger Circulation-Boosting Coconut Sugar Scrub

Turbinado Sugar Foot Scrub

Instructions

  • Combine all ingredients in a small bowl and stir well. 

  • Apply the mixture to your skin and massage in a gentle, circular motion to remove flakes. Rinse well. Store any remaining scrub in the refrigerator for up to a month.

Notes

If you have sensitive skin, grind your herbal ingredients into a fine powder with a mortar and pestle or a coffee grinder. Otherwise, toss them in whole and be gentle around any irritated areas.

This post was medically reviewed by Dr. Jennifer Haley, a board-certified dermatologist with extensive experience in medical, cosmetic, and surgical dermatology. Learn more about Hello Glow’s medical reviewers here. As always, this is not personal medical advice, and we recommend that you talk with your doctor.

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