8 Homemade Salt and Sugar Body Scrubs

A woman makes homemade body scrubs with organic ingredients on a wood counter.

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With a few kitchen cupboard ingredients, silky soft skin can be all yours.

Salt and sugar scrubs are one of easiest home treatments that truly deliver. Not only is slathering sugar and oil all over your body wickedly pleasant, but the exfoliating factor leaves skin refreshed, vibrant, and as soft as a certain anatomical part of an infant.

But one of the greatest unsolved mysteries of all time is this: Why do beauty product companies charge such exorbitant prices for salt and sugar scrubs? It’s mind-boggling. A quick Internet search just turned up six products ranging in price from $31 to $39.99 for, basically, 14 ounces of sea salt or sugar mixed with oil and fragrance. Seriously.

So here’s an idea. Buy an 8.5 pound bag of beautiful all-natural Pacific sea salt from Bob’s Red Mill for $7.55 which will give you enough salt to make almost 11 jars comparable in size to the commercial products. (Bob's packaging size and price may change from time to time, but it's always within that range.) Invest in some oil and essential oils, and bingo. Same deal for sugar scrubs (a two-pound bag of Fair Trade organic sugar can be purchased for $5.59). It’s really just a matter of mixing a few ingredients together in the right proportions. You get to customize your ingredients, be assured that there are no funky synthetic chemicals involved, skip the excess packaging, and have some glowing skin to show for your not-so-much efforts. Here are some formulas to get you started.

1. Banana sugar body scrub

Hands mashing a banana in a stainless steel bowl to make an exfoliating scrub.

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When the bananas are starting to brown, grab those beauties and put them to use. This one skips the oil and relies purely on the benefit of banana and the gently abrasive sugar.

  • 1 ripe banana
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1⁄4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract or your favorite essential oil (optional)

Smash ingredients together with a fork into a chunky goop. Don't over-mash or it will become too thin. If you want a banana scrub for your face, reserve some of the banana and mash it separately without sugar. In the shower, pat the sugar mixture and gently massage over your body. For your face, gently massage plain banana there, avoiding the eye area. Rinse off with warm water.

2. Rosemary lemon salt scrub

Rosemary salt scrub on burlap surrounded by spa tools and fruit.

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For the fellow (or the lady, or the sporty) mixing savory herbs with lemon and salt is a super treat for the skin. (If you don't use it all while cooking, that is.) Rosemary is especially invigorating, but this Lemon and Thyme Salt Scrub from Food + Words is really quite splendid.

3. Easy peasy sugar scrub

Homemade sugar scrub in a glass jar on a wood surface.

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This super simple (as the name implies) from Glue & Glitter couldn't be easier or peasier: Easy Peasy Sugar Scrub.

4. Tomato sugar scrub

Tomato slices on a wooden cutting board with a knife and a few whole tomatoes
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Another one from Glue & Glitter (where everyone must have sparkling hands and smooth skin), this one is amazing! It employs a slice of tomato as a buffer, along with all the nutrients as well. Here's the how-to: Tomato Facial Scrub.

5. Vanilla coconut brown sugar scrub

Overhead view of spoonful of cold coconut oil on jar
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Coconut oil is subtly fragrant and slightly miraculous. This one is a super moisturizer, and can practically double as dessert.

  • 1/2 cup coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Mix ingredients together. Rub on skin while in the shower, massage, and rinse.

6. Sugary minty lip scrub

Caster sugar in a sieve over a bowl
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For soft lips, this quick treatment is the ultimate treatment to make you a smooth kisser. Blend a bit jojoba or olive oil with caster sugar (also known as superfine sugar; you can also make your own by putting regular granulated sugar in the food processor for a minute) and a touch of peppermint or vanilla extract. Place some of the paste on your lips, massage and lick off.

7. Lavender sea salt scrub

how to make lavender sea salt scrub illo

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Lavender and salt, together at last.

  • 1/2 cup sea salt
  • 1/4 to 1/3 cup sweet almond oil, depending on preference
  • 4 drops lavender oil
  • a sprinkling of lavender blossoms

Stir it up, indulge in a Provence at the sea shore reverie.

8. Citrus salt or sugar scrub

Woman zesting a lime to make a scrub
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This will wake you up, great for the morning shower or after sports.

  • 1/2 cup sea salt
  • 1/2 cup oil of your choice (jojoba, almond, olive, whatever)
  • 1 teaspoon citrus zest (lemon, lime, orange, grapefruit or a mix)

Mix ingredients together. Rub on skin while in the shower (avoiding eyes) and rinse off.