Scrubs are ridiculously easy to make. I’m pretty sure my first homemade beauty recipe was a scrub, and I was so proud of myself! It’s so worth the 5 minutes of prep time because your skin just feels so darn good after a scrubbing rub down. There are approximately 8 gazillion different ways to make a scrub, which starts to make it seem daunting. Have no fear, it’s simple when you break it down. Here’s the basic equation I follow when making my own scrub.
Basic Homemade Body Scrub Recipe
- 1 cup exfoliant
- 1/2 cup liquid
- 2-3 tablespoons of fun add ins
Put the exfoliant in a bowl and add liquid slowly, stirring as you go. You want a consistency that you can scoop with your hand so don’t let the texture get too runny. Add optional add ins and mix again. Store in a container with tight fitting lid. You can easily double this recipe if you want to keep it on hand for awhile.
Salt is a wonderful choice when you want a good overall body exfoliation, eliminating the rough, dry patches of dead skin. Choose from Epsom salt, sea salt or even kosher salt. Interestingly, few studies have shown benefits of bathing in salt solution on the skin barrier and reducing skin inflammation.
Sugar can also be used to exfoliate your body, especially if you tend to shave your legs and scrub at the same time. Choose sugar over salt to avoid the sting. If you’re looking to exfoliate your face, you’ll want to use something finer than salt, as it can be a little too abrasive.
Fine sugar is a gentle alternative for a physical exfoliant for your face, but be sure to still avoid the eye area.
Coffee is another favorite for exfoliating – and it’s earth friendly when you use used grounds. Ground coffee can treat cellulite as an exfoliant or be molded into cubes to battle stretch marks as a result of its caffeine properties.
One of the most versatile items you probably already have in your home is baking soda. This easy cleanser is great for all skin types, but works especially well on oily skin.
Mix in a teaspoon of baking soda to your facial cleanser or make a paste of just baking soda and honey to balance pH and absorb excess oil.
The texture of the ground rice is gentle enough to be used on the face and the body. We especially liked the feel in this oil-free pre-tan body polish and face scrub (plus it tastes amazing).
Honey is perfect for sensitive skin because it’s known for its healing and soothing properties. Use raw honey on red or irritated skin to calm inflammation.
The lactic acid in milk is a great exfoliator as well as providing moisture (definitely go for full fat versions or even use cream). My favorite milk is coconut milk because the fat content locks in moisture without feeling greasy.
Perfect for the body or face, a coconut oil scrub provides skin healing and moisturizing benefits. Coconut oil is relaxing for the mind and body and ideal as a natural moisturizer.
Coconut oil contains lauric acid, which has restructuring properties that protect skin and make it soft. Coconut oil may also be used to cleanse or remove make-up and wipe away any excess “harmful” oily residue from the skin.
The perfect multi-tasking oil, olive oil is easily accessible and relatively inexpensive. Perfect for when you don’t want to use up your entire stash of almond or avocado oil for making a big batch body scrub. In some with history of eczema or atopic dermatitis, test the olive oil on a small area of the skin before applying to the entire body as in some olive oil may worsen pre-existing eczema.
The natural AHA in lemons and other citrus fruits are excellent natural exfoliators, especially if you have dark spots on your face. Add fresh juice or even the zest from the peel. And don’t just stop at lemons! Try incorporating grapefruit into a treatment as well.
Herbs & Spices
Herbs don’t have to be reserved just for kitchen use, they can be used to treat many skin and beauty needs. Chamomile calms irritated, itchy skin and reduces redness and inflammation. Peppermint is energizing and mood lifting.
Fresh mint can be very soothing and anti-inflammatory, perfect to incorporate into an exfoliating body scrub. Try dried roses for a dose of vitamin C, pectin, malic and citric acids, all of which function as potent antioxidants.
Another tasty add in comes from tropical fruits, like mango, papaya and pineapple. Mangoes are a rich source of vitamin A, which helps slough off dead skin, and helps new, fresh cells beneath the skin appear. Pineapple is high in vitamin C, a wonderful antioxidant and also needed by the body to produce collagen.
Chocolate contains flavonoids and polyphenols which are antioxidants that protect your skin and may help to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Add a few squares of melted chocolate to a scrub or try a bit of cocoa powder for skin softening benefits.
Essential oils can seem overwhelming, right? You can pick an oil to help detox, stay well this fall or just make you happy because it smells good (this is usually my method). Here are a few oils to add to your scrub for both mind and body benefits:
6 Homemade Scrub Ideas
We hope you’re inspired, not overwhelmed! If you need a place to start, check out these 10 homemade scrubs that we’ve made over the years. Or just peruse the skin care aisle at the drugstore. After a quick trip I came up with a few more fun ideas.
- Coconut Vanilla: Use coconut oil for the base and add a splash of vanilla extract.
- Orange Ginger: Add orange zest and grated ginger for an energy boost.
- Cucumber & Melon: Puree cucumber and melon together and add to mixture.
- Brown sugar & Warm honey: Replace the oil with 1/4 cup of warm honey. Add 1-2 tablespoons of oil to get the right consistency.
- Lavender & Chamomile: Add a few drops of lavender essential oil along with chamomile essential oil for a soothing scrub before bedtime.
- Peppermint & Eucalyptus: Add a few drops of both essential oils for a great stress reliever. Both of which have also been shown to have antioxidant effects and soothing to the skin.