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Easy Homemade Sugar Scrub

This easy homemade sugar scrub exfoliates and moisturizes at the same time – without leaving your skin oily feeling. The basic recipe is super versatile and can be used to make a variety scrubs that make fantastic, and inexpensive, gifts.

raw sugar, glycerin, lavender oil and mason jar on wood table

Ingredients Needed

Glycerin Vegetable glycerin is an emollient and will help moisturize your hands as you are cleaning them. I’ve tried using coconut oil but I don’t like how oily it makes my skin feel when it’s rinsed. You can certainly substitute coconut oil if you like.

Sugar – you can use brown sugar, raw sugar, or white sugar. Just know that the size of the granules will determine how “rough” of a scrub it is. Since this scrub is for my arms, legs and feet, I use a raw sugar. I use a different recipe for my facial scrub.

Essential oils – if you want you can scent the scrub with a few drops of essential oils. Just know that since you rinse scrubs off, the healing properties of the essential oils will also get rinsed off – unlike when you apply lotion. I prefer to use my oils in lotions rather than in scrubs for this reason.

mason jar with sugar in it and a bottle of glycerin along with an orange that has been zested on a wooden table

Sugar Scrub Variations

This sugar scrub recipe really just has two ingredients – sugar and glycerin. However, you can add citrus zest or essential oils to liven it up a bit.

I like adding orange or lemon zest, especially if I’m giving it as a gift.

Sometimes I’ll add lavender or peppermint essential oils. It just depends on my mood.

And that’s one of the beauties of this recipe, you can take the basic recipe and add whatever essential oils or dried herbs you like.

How to Make a Sugar Body Scrub

I like to just mix the ingredients right in the jar I’m going to store the scrub in. I use a chopstick to get the sugar out of the bottom groove. I use a half pint jar.

You can mix the scrub in a mixing bowl and then transfer it into the mason jar if you want.

Once the scrub is mixed, put a lid on the jar for storing. I like to use the plastic storage lids instead of a metal canning lid. The metal tends to rust.

pouring glycerin into a mason jar with sugar to make a body scrub

How to Use Sugar Scrub

You probably don’t need to use a body scrub every day, just a couple of times a week is sufficient to keep your skin glowing.

  1. Wash your body as you normally would.
  2. Using a spoon or scoop, take about 1 tablespoon of scrub out of the jar. Be careful not to let any moisture get into the jar.
  3. Gently use the scrub on your arms, elbows, legs, knees, and feet – anywhere you have dead skin build up.
  4. Rise with warm water and pat your skin dry.
  5. Apply lotion immediately.

Conquering Dry Skin

Dry skin can be constant or it can be seasonal. Whatever the reason for your dry skin, the solution is the same. You need to moisturize from the inside by drinking plenty of water. And moisturize from the outside with lotions or creams. However, for lotions to work you need to exfoliate the dead skin first. Here are more ideas for conquering dry skin with scrubs and lotions.

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Yield: 8 ounce jar

Easy Homemade Sugar Scrub

homemade citrus sugar scrub in a mason jar with an orange on a wooden table

This easy homemade sugar scrub exfoliates and moisturizes at the same time - without leaving your skin oily feeling. The basic recipe is super versatile and can be used to make a variety scrubs that make fantastic, and inexpensive, gifts.

Prep Time 3 minutes
Active Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Difficulty Easy



  • 8 ounce mason jar
  • Chopstick or something to stir with
  • Mixing bowl (optional)
  • Spatula (optional)


  1. Wash and dry the jar and the lid.
  2. You can mix the ingredients directly in the jar or use a separate mixing bowl.
  3. Mix the sugar, glycerin and essential oil (if using) together until well combined.
  4. If you mixed in a separate bowl transfer the scrub to the mason jar.
  5. Top the jar with the lid.
  6. Use within 2-3 months. To help the scrub last longer, do not get moisture into the jar. Use a spoon or scoop and don't double dip.

How to use Sugar Body Scrub

  1. Wash your body with your regular body wash.
  2. While still damp, use about 1 tablespoon sugar scrub and gently scrub your arms, legs and feet in circular motions avoiding any sensitive areas.
  3. Rise with water and pat your body dry.
  4. Apply moisturizer.
  5. Use twice a week to keep your skin glowing.


If the scrub seems too thick, add more glycerin. If it seems too thin, add a little more sugar.

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collage of ingredients for citrus body scrub and the finished scrub

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