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Super easy, fabulous, natural, and homemade sugar and salt scrub. This natural and homemade sugar and salt scrub is so luxurious, without being overly greasy with NO COCONUT OIL! This recipe is dedicated to my mom. ♥ Love you Mom! ♥
There’s a little back story on this homemade sugar and salt scrub recipe. When I first started having problems with the soy allergy and chemical sensitivity, I removed all commercial products with unpronounceable names from my life This included household cleaners, makeup, shampoo, lotion, etc. Obviously I still needed some of these things, so I searched out “cleaner” commercial products and homemade products. A recipe that comes up very frequently on Pinterest is sugar scrubs. In fact, you can find hundreds of recipes-most of them strikingly similar.
Scrub for Mom 🙂
So, one day, I was talking with my mom about everything I had been working on/researching. I told her about how I was making lip balm and eye makeup remover… and all these other things I wanted to try.
All of the sudden my mom became totally animated and telling me about this peppermint sugar scrub she had bought from a lady at a local holiday bazaar. She told me all about how great it was, how she had tried to make it last as long as possible so she could buy some more, AND how she was SOOOOO disappointed when she went to the bazaar the next year and the lady didn’t have any!!!! Now, to be clear, my mom is not normally like this. She just doesn’t get super excited about beauty products.
Mind you, this was around the beginning of November, so my little pea brain started whirling… I could make mom some sugar scrub for Christmas! Perfect, I can try something new and mom will get the scrub she wants. Win!
Homemade sugar and salt scrub. No big deal. Ha, Ha!!! Silly girl…
I started trying recipes…. and more recipes…. and modifying recipes…
Most of the recipes were calling for either 1:1 or 2:1 Sugar to coconut oil. Horrible big slickery MESS! (I know slickery’s not a word but it should be, LOL!) Basically, the sugar washed away or dissolved almost instantly, then all that was left was a ton of coconut oil. Yuck!
Needless to say, it was time for me to work up my own formula. Eventually, I included Mom in the experiments instead of leaving it as a surprise for Christmas. I was trying really hard to replicate what she had liked so much, so I really needed her opinion. I must say she was a great reviewer! She’s not afraid to tell me when something sucks! She even sent little notes back with the containers after she used up the “trials” of each iteration. (so cute!) She said things like,
“Really liked the scent of number 1”, “Number 2 is way too greasy and the smell overpowers,” and “Number 3 was yucky, didn’t like.”
“Number 3 was yucky, didn’t like.” Ha, ha, ha! Thanks Mom! LOL! 😉
Honestly, that is the best feedback you can get. Don’t sugar coat it, just tell me your honest opinion so I can work on it.
Anyway, after much experimentation, we found that we really like the combo of both sugar and salt, epsom salt to be exact. The epsom salt on it’s own seemed to be a bit too abrasive, and the sugar just disappeared too quickly on its own. But the combo of the two works great! Even mom approved 😉
Lets chat about the ingredients a little bit, shall we?
Carrier Oil: Scrubs are really not picky about the carrier oil that you choose so it really is all about your preferences. Sweet almond oil, avocado oil, grapeseed oil, olive oil, and sunflower seed oil are all really good options. Again, its really about your preference. Personally, I would use a relatively inexpensive oil and save the spendy oils for other projects. (I tend to use avocado and grapeseed oil the most for scrubs).
Epsom Salt and Sugar: This scrub uses plain epsom salt, like this. Epsom salt provides that rough texture that helps to exfoliate the skin. On its own, epsom salt could be a little rough which is why we are combining it with sugar.
Jojoba Oil: Jojoba oil is a wonderful oil for the skin. Jojoba is actually a golden liquid wax, but is called an oil. Of all the carrier oils, jojoba oil most closely resembles our own skin which allows it to penetrate more deeply. Although jojoba oil could be used as a carrier oil, it is much pricier than many of the other oils so we choose to use only a tablespoon for this recipe. You could certainly skip the jojoba oil altogether and still have a great homemade sugar and salt scrub.
Sunflower Seed Oil: Sunflower seed oil is very high in vitamin e. Most of the commercially available vitamin e is derived from soy. Sunflower seed oil is a very good substitute, still getting our vitamin e without any soy! There are mixed views about the value of adding vitamin e to homemade concoctions. Some say that vitamin e should be added to help preserve the mixture, others say that it doesn’t help. Mountain Rose Herbs has this to say,
While Antioxidants are not considered actual preservatives by purists, they do help to slow the oxidation in ingredients that can be vulnerable. Oxidation is what happens when exposure to air or oxygen starts to compromise the oils or other ingredients. Vitamin E oil and Rosemary Antioxidant oil are good examples of natural stabilizers.
Regardless of any preservative or antioxidant properties the sunflower seed oil brings to the mix, my personal opinion is that we could all use a little bit more vitamin e, so bring on the sunflower seed oil. Don’t worry if you don’t have any sunflower seed oil, it is optional. You could certainly substitute vitamin e capsules if you have them or just omit altogether.
Essential Oils: The essential oils in this recipe are mostly for scent. Play around and use what you like. My husband really loves minty scents, so I really like to combine the different mints for him. However, if you only have one, then use that. Peppermint on its own is lovely. Lavender is another single note that is great by itself in a scrub. Cinnamon and orange make a great fall spice scent. Really you can use any essential oils that you have on hand. Scrubs are a really great place to try your hand a playing with what you like scent wise. Experiment and have fun! 🙂
Using Homemade Sugar and Salt Scrub
Just a few frequently asked questions and notes for use:
- Slippery: Even though this recipe is MUCH less greasy than other scrubs, it can still be slippery. Be careful if using in the shower. No slips, trips or falls. 😉
- Storage: Scrubs actually have a pretty good shelf life. As long as you start with clean tools, utensils, containers and keep out moisture, the scrub will last as long as your carrier oil. Typically, if a scrub goes bad it is because of contamination from moisture. I like to put a smaller jar in my shower with a disposable plastic spoon. Water can contaminate your mixture so its important to make sure you keep the lid on it when not in use and keep it out of direct water.
- This scrub is really great for feet, elbows, rough skin and callous. Due to its abrasiveness, it WOULD NOT be good for your face or sensitive area’s.
- Scents: I really like to play with different scents so I will split the batch into smaller portions and add the essential oils. This way, I get multiple versions out of one batch. Oh, yeah, you could certainly double or triple up this recipe if you are making big batches for gifts. I wouldn’t go over tripling the recipe just because it would be too hard to mix up.
- Wax paper: I like to put down wax paper on my counter/table when working on projects like these. It really helps to keep the surface mess down and makes clean up a breeze.
Coconut Oil Version
Okay, okay, okay… For you coconut oil fans there is a coconut oil version too. I do really like the consistency of the the coconut oil version, but alas, it is not for me. For the coconut oil version, I like to use 1/8 cup carrier oil, 2 tablespoons coconut oil, and 1 tsp sunflower seed oil. You could use just coconut oil for the entire 1/4 cup of carrier oil if you choose.
Natural Homemade Sugar and Salt Scrub Without Coconut Oil
Base Scrub Recipe
- 1 cup Epsom Salt
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 Tbsp Jojoba Oil optional
- 1 tsp Sunflower Oil optional
- 1/8+ cup Avocado Oil
Mint blend-Homemade Sugar and Salt Scrub
- 4-6 drops Pepperment Essential Oil
- 6 drops Spearmint Essential Oil
- 2 drop Wintergreen Essential Oil
Citrus blend-Homemade Sugar and Salt Scrub
- 4 drops Orange Essential Oil
- 4 drops Lemon Essential Oil
- 6 drops Grapefruit Essential Oil
- Set up work area. I like to put down wax paper to catch any drips and make clean up easy. Start with clean and sanitized dishes, utensils and containers. I like to use a plastic spoon for mixing up this scrub.
- In a medium mixing bowl, combine epsom salt and sugar.
- In a measuring cup, measure in Jojoba Oil and Sunflower Seed Oil. Leave these in the measuring cup and then fill to 1/4 cup mark with avocado oil. If you are making any substitutions or eliminating the jojoba or sunflower seed oil, just make sure you end up with 1/4 cup of oil total.
- Add oils into sugar and salt mixture. Stir to mix completely. This will take a couple minutes. At first, it will seem like there isn't enough oil. There is. Keep combining.
- Add in essential oils, mix well. Store in small jars. This will make two 1/2 pints or one pint of scrub.
- I like to make one batch of scrub then split the batch and scent it different ways. For example, in the photo's, I made one batch, divided in half and made one citrus and one mint.
- If you are making any substitutions or eliminating the jojoba or sunflower seed oil, just make sure you end up with 1/4 cup of oil total.
I hope you love this natural and homemade sugar and salt scrub. Let me know in the comments if you try this recipe and what you think. I promise not be butt hurt if you think its yucky, LOL! 😉
Did I actually say # 3 was “yucky”? Thanks for going to so much trouble for me! Mom
Ha, Ha. 🙂 Yep, you sure did. LOL! You are absolutely welcome, Mom! I actually learned a lot during those “experiments”. Love you!
I am not big on the use of make-up but the natural aspect of the scrub makes me want to try it out. Maybe I will try it out.
I hope you give it a try. Even my husband likes it on his feet. 😉
How did your mom use the scrub? I am looking to make a hand scrub for residents at a senior living community. I am wondering if it is too rough for delicate skin… I have also looked at your sea salt scrub as an option. Thanks!
My mom used the scrub on “rougher” skin, so her feet and elbows mostly. For your purposes, I would probably lean toward using the Sea Salt Scrub or even combining Sea Salt (instead of Epsom salt) with the sugar in this recipe.
Please let me know if you try it and what you think.
Have fun experimenting!
Can we use like any essential oil?
You can absolutely use any essential oil you choose. Just look at each oil you choose for precautions and proper dilution. Have fun playing around.
Can you skip both the jojoba & sunflower oils? Or is one necessary with the avocado oil?
Hi, both the jojoba and sunflower oils are optional. You can use a little bit extra of your base carrier oil such as the avocado oil if desired for your chosen consistency.
Hope you enjoy the scrub!