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Sugar and Salt Scrubs

Smooth and exfoliate your skin with these DIY sugar and salt scrubs.

| January 2019

Sugar and Salt Scrubs
Photo by Kimberly Davis

Even the healthiest skin can get a little rough around the edges as cells die and are replaced. One surefire way to keep your skin smooth and soft is to exfoliate regularly. Salt and sugar scrubs are easy to make and can be created quickly and affordably at home. In fact, scrubs require only two ingredients. This might make you wonder why boutiques and beauty shops charge so much for something so painfully simple. Commercial scrubs are usually quite simple to start with, using cheap oils and even cheaper salt or sugar. Most are loaded with synthetic dyes and fragrances but dressed up in a fancy package that likely costs more to produce than the scrub itself! If you are wondering whether to use salt or sugar in your scrub, consider this: Salt provides extra benefits by way of natural mineral content. Sugar exfoliates just as well, but doesn’t sting when exposed to cuts or scrapes. This makes salt a great choice for foot scrubs and all-over scrubs, while sugar is a better choice for scrubs that accompany shaving routines or for those with highly sensitive skin. If you’d like to jazz up your basic scrub, try adding an essential oil. Peppermint will lend a cool, tingly feeling. Rose or neroli essential oil will add a flirty floral aroma.


  • 1/2 cup fine sugar or sea salt
  • 2–4 tablespoons apricot kernel oil or watermelon seed oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon essential oil (optional)


Add the salt or sugar to a small mixing bowl. Begin adding the oil, and keep adding it until the mixture reaches a consistency that you like. Some people prefer a drier scrub, while others like them to be a little on the loose side. Just go with whichever you prefer. Stir in any essential oil you are using last.

How to Use

Moisten the skin on your arms, legs, torso, hands, or feet, then apply a small scoop of scrub into the palm of your hand. Rub the scrub onto your skin in a slow, circular motion until it crumbles away completely. Repeat until you’ve scrubbed everywhere you need exfoliation. One batch of scrub should be enough to exfoliate your whole body, from shoulders to toes. These scrubs are great for body care, but would be too rough for the delicate skin of your neck and face. This recipe makes enough for one or two full body scrubs. To avoid contaminating your scrub, scoop the portion you plan to use right away into a paper or plastic container that you can bring with you into the bathroom. The remaining scrub can be stored as-is in a sealed jar for up to one month.

More from The Natural Beauty Solution:

 The Natural Beauty Solution by Mary Helen Leonard
Cover courtesy Spring House Press

Excerpted from The Natural Beauty Solution: Break Free from Commercial Beauty Products Using Simple Recipes and Natural Ingredients by Mary Helen Leonard published by Spring House Press, 2015.

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