Homemade Sugar Scrub Recipe | A Basic, Easily Adaptable Recipe

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My Homemade sugar scrub recipe is so easy to make and even easier to tweak to create your own scents. Makes the perfect gift for any holiday.

Homemade Sugar Scrubs Are So Easy

Back in 2011 when I made my first Homemade Sugar Scrub, they were all the rage. It seemed social media was full of them. I wanted a little something to hand out to my kids’ elementary school teachers for Christmas, along with the gift certificates they always received.  
I made homemade peppermint sugar scrub with candy canes and decorated the jars really cute for the gifts, and they were really well received! Since then I have made all sorts of scents and decided that it was beyond time to update this post from way back when.

What Kind Of Sugar Is Best For Sugar Scrubs?

You can use all types of sugars for sugar scrubs. The grain of the sugar determines how much or how little abrasiveness the scrub possesses, so keep that in mind. Also, some types of sugars have their own unique scents that will blend into whatever you use for essential oils or other fragrances. For example, raw sugar has a slightly floral scent to it on its own. Brown sugar has a bit of a caramel scent. Those are great, but take a look at the varieties of sugar…
So many to choose from!
Even powdered sugar, aka confectioners sugar, works too. Since it is super fine-grained it is not too abrasive, this super fine-grained sugar is great for facial scrubs. By the same measure,  sugar-like “sugar in the raw” is very grainy so keep that one for the hands and feet. 

Using Oils Essential Oils In Sugar Scrubs

Seems like essential oils get a lot of attention these days. A lot of positive things, but some negative too. Essential oils are the extracted compounds from plants containing all the beautiful scents, the essences, of the plant. Some strong health claims are made for some essential oils, but for all intents and purposes, the focus here is on how they smell in a nice sugar scrub. 

You can find essential oils now in grocery stores, gift shops like candle shops and greeting card stores, even sometimes in the Dollar Store! Use your imagination and feel free to get creative. 

Of course, you do have to be careful too. Some essential oils, like peppermint, for example, can be very intense and drying on the skin. So, best to test just a bit on your skin first to see if there is any sort of reaction. If you are making homemade sugar scrubs for gifts, try to make sure the recipient isn’t allergic.


What kind of oil to use in Sugar Scrub?

In terms of the oils, you can use them for homemade sugar scrubs, olive oil, coconut oil, even avocado or other vegetable oils work. And just like the types of sugars, the base oils can also add scent notes too, especially coconut oil that isn’t overly refined.

For my basic recipe here I use vegetable oil because it’s one that I always have on hand, but feel free to swap out for any of the others mentioned without a problem. That’s the beauty of this basic recipe, it’s so easily adaptable to what you like and what you have on hand. 

I also like to add a little vitamin E oil to my scrubs. 


Essential Oil Combinations For Scrubs

I have some recipes below which you are welcome to tweak. However, you may run into a variety of essential oils and wonder how well they might work too. Citrus essential oils like grapefruit, bergamot, tangerine, and lemon all work wonderfully with spicy and woodsy scents like cedarwood, sandalwood, and patchouli. 

Minty essential oils like peppermint and spearmint blend nicely with savory and floral essential oils like lavender, chamomile, rosemary, and eucalyptus. 

Brown Sugar Vanilla Sugar Scrub

I love the caramel warm vanilla scent of this one! 


It uses my basic recipe, but a combination of brown and granulated sugar, mixing 3/4 brown sugar to 1/4 granulated. Use a good quality vanilla or vanilla paste to get the best aroma.


^ pin it! ^


Lavender Sugar Scrub

Calming, soothing lavender. I love this one! Especially at nighttime, a long bath or shower before bed with lavender is so relaxing.



This lavender sugar scrub is made with the addition of lavender essential oil as well as fresh or dried lavender, mixed into granulated sugar.


^ pin it! ^


Bubblegum Sugar Scrub

This bubblegum sugar scrub smells good enough to eat – and you can without worry if you want to! 😉 This is a great one to make with the kiddos. Fun for a birthday party craft, too!

Bubblegum sugar scrub was inspired by my beloved Bubble Gum Cupcake Recipe

The bubblegum sugar scrub is made using granulated sugar and bubblegum extract. I add some hot pink sugar to add to the bubblegum color.


^ pin it! ^


Eucalyptus Mint Sugar Scrub

I love the smell of this one. Takes me back to my days of working at Pier One when it was full of eucalyptus! Love that smell!


I did this one with half granulated sugar and half sugar in the raw. This one will be more abrasive, so use for hands or feet. I love it for tired feet. At the last minute, I added a couple of drops of peppermint extract for the mint.


^ pin it! ^



Lemon Sugar Scrub Recipe

Fresh, clean and bright smelling, this Lemon Sugar Scrub is one I love to have near my kitchen sink. It’s perfect for removing those smells like garlic or onion from your hands. 


I used granulated sugar for the lemon scrub here, but it works great with the raw sugar, too. Especially for your hands. I used lemon essential oil and added fresh lemon zest, too!


^ pin it! ^



Peppermint Sugar Scrub Recipe

This Peppermint Sugar Scrub was where it all began! Still one of my absolute favorites, and a great gift at the holidays!


I use granulated sugar, peppermint extract and crushed candy cane. Note that if you want to be able to use on your body to crush the candy canes finer than you see here.  These would be too abrasive for your skin.


^ pin it! ^



Jars and Containers for Homemade Sugar Scrubs

You can use leftover jars, jelly jars or find some really cute ones at your local craft store for around $1.00 a piece or so. 
Word to the wise…do not use garlic jars.  They may smell clean…but trust me, they will smell like garlic, so unless you’re into Garlic Sugar Scrub, or you need to keep vampires away or something, I wouldn’t recommend it! (ha ha!!)
Tie on cute handwritten or printed tags with ribbon or twine. Even add something that goes with the scent, like a candy cane or a sprig of fresh herbs or flowers.


This recipe is part of my featured recipes in honor of my 10th Anniversary celebration! This homemade sugar scrub recipe was perfect for sharing my favorite beauty supplies. Self care at it’s best.


This giveaway is beautylicious!!  Today I am giving away a Rae Dunn cosmetic bag full of some of my most favorite beauty products. I am all for self-love and self-care.

This gift includes: 1 Rae Dunn cosmetic bag and “Love Life” socks (I ADORE all things Rae Dunn!) travel-sized Kevin Murphy Plumping Wash and Rinse and Repair Me Wash and Rinse, Kevin Murphy Doo Over Spray and Session Spray, J Beverly Hills Rescue Me shampoo and conditioner, an Elf Kabuki brush and a jar of Rodan + Fields Body Hydration.

Thank you to Oak Salon Studio in Omaha, Kenzie Sabaliauskas, stylist for donating my favorite hair care products, and to Marci Lundquist, Rodan + Fields Consultant for donating the active hydration lotion.


The winner will also receive one of my limited edition t-shirts! I am giving away 11 gifts in all, ($1500 value!) including a KitchenAid mixer! You can read all about the gifts and enter to win here on this blog post, or you can enter right here!



Kitchen Spa Ideas

I have a section of ideas right here on my website for making your own “beauty/spa” items right in your kitchen.  During the pandemic last year, my Listerine Foot Soak went CRAZY!! That’s what happens when you take away a persons ability to get a pedicure I guess! 

This Banana Botox makes your face feel incredible! And I love this Lemon Salt Scrub from my friend, Kathleen!


^ Pin the Whole Collection Here^

There ya go!! Easy, fun, economical and useful gifts. I have made all kinds of them over the years, they make perfect teacher gifts, treats for friends, I have even treated my mail lady to a couple over the years! Cheers to smooth scrubbed bodies and tootsies!  M.
Pinterest image with text "How to make homemade sugar scrub"
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Print Recipe

Basic Sugar Scrub Recipe

This is a basic sugar scrub recipe that is easily enhanced with all sorts of essential oils, extracts and add-ins to make it your own.
Prep Time5 minutes
Total Time5 minutes
Course: Beauty/Kitchen Spa
Cuisine: American
Keyword: bubblegum, eucalyptus, gifts from my kitchen, homemade, homemade bath items, kitchen spa, lemon, peppermint, recipe, sugar scrub, vanilla
Servings: 1 jar
Author: Michaela Kenkel


  • 3/4 cup *granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup *vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon vitamin E oil optional but great idea to add in
  • 1/2 -1 teaspoons essential oil or extracts for scenting you will need to play with it to get the scent strength to your liking


  • Stir oils into the sugar.
  • Add in essential oils or extracts. *see notes for measurements shown here in this blog post.


*Oils - I use vegetable oil here in the basic recipe, you can use any you like, Olive oil, coconut oil, avocado oil - you name it! Just keep in mind some of them have a scent so it can alter the scent of the scrub once it's mixed.
* Sugar - I typically use fine granulated sugar. It works best for body scrubs, brown sugar mixed with granulated is nice, too. Use powdered sugar for the face, and you can use raw sugar for feet and hands.
To make the scents shown here use the basic recipe with these additions:
Lavender - use lavender extract and add in about 1 Tablespoon of dried lavender.
Eucalyptus Mint - I used 1/2 teaspoon of eucalyptus essential oil and a few drops of peppermint extract. I used half granulated sugar and half sugar in the raw, but remember that the raw sugar is more abrasive. Better for hands and feet.
Brown Sugar Vanilla - I used 1/2 cup of brown sugar and 1/4 cup granulated sugar. Add in 1 teaspoon good quality vanilla extract.
Bubblegum - I use 1/2 teaspoon bubblegum extract and add in 1 Tablespoon of pink crystal sugar.
Peppermint - 1 teaspoon peppermint extract and 2 Tablespoons finely chopped candy cane.
Lemon - Add in 1/2 teaspoon lemon essential oil and 1 Tablespoon fresh lemon zest.


Serving: 1g | Sugar: 150g

This sugar scrub recipe was originally posted on December 14, 2011, it was updated to improve user experience and reshared on March 23, 2020, in honor of my 10 year Anniversary. 


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  1. Hi Michaela,

    I am new to your blog. I found it by accident…and I am sure glad that I did. I haven’t had the opportunity to try out any of your recipes as of yet. However, I just wanted you to know that I have enjoyed listening to the music that you have playing here. Is there a playlist available?

    Kindest Regards…

    1. Welcome to my blog!! I have been a little bit “off the map” lately. Just good ‘ol life getting away!! I am so glad you enjoy the blog, and would love to hear if you try any recipes I have shared. The music was a fluke when I started and it’s been a huge hit!! RIght now I (think) you can only listen via my blog? But perhaps I can be followed via the playlist posted on my blog?? See how un-technologically inclined I am!?!? 😉 I know that many followers have told me they just put my blog on in the background while they surf!! Maybe I should make a “Greatest Hits” CD?? 😀

  2. Could I use the base scrub on my scalp? I have an itchy head and am looking for an alternative to the chemical-laden stuff you can buy at a hair salon.


    1. I know that there are essential oils that work great for that. Not sure about the scrub part in your hair. My daughter is a hair stylist and I would be happy to ask her?

  3. Michaela Kenkel, that would be great if your daughter doesn’t mind answering. Thank you for the offer!

    1. She said that you could use it, but be warned that your hair might get incredibly greasy with the vegetable oil. This is technically meant for skin. She told me many of her clients have had good luck with tea tree oil for dry scalps. Also, use cool water when rinsing your hair. If you aren’t a fan of the products at the salon, maybe try your local health food store or vitamin store and see if they have something natural too. I hope this helps!

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