I have a love affair with body scrubs. They are so indulgent and rejuvenating. It’s as if I’ve just spent a day at the spa every time I use them. I used to view scrubs as an occasional treat until I realized just how simple and affordable they are to make. Now, they are part of my every day life and I’d like to help you make them a part of yours too because everyone should have the chance to feel pampered on a daily basis 🙂 .
This post may contain affiliate links. Please read our disclosure policy for more information.
Before we get into the how, let’s chat about the why. I realize some people may not be quite as in love with scrubs as I am or may not realize all the benefits of using scrubs on a daily basis. I have actually ditched soaps and other cleansers in my personal care routine and have only used scrubs for over a year now. When you use the right ingredients, your scrubs can act as an exfoliant, cleanser, and moisturizer – the perfect trifecta! – shortening your personal care routine, with the added bonus of absolutely delicious smelling skin. And, of course, making my own scrubs insures all the ingredients are 100% natural and safe as well.
So, let’s get started, shall we? One of the things I love about scrubs is that you can get creative and personalize to your tastes, mixing and matching ingredients to your heart’s content. In order to make these scrubs, you will need coconut oil, an exfoliant, and whichever essential oils you want to use to scent your scrubs.
Coconut Oil – I like to use a good quality extra virgin coconut oil. The benefits of coconut oil are amazing. Among other things, it is a wonderful moisturizer, will give your scrub the perfect texture, and it is a natural anti-bacterial, thus allowing you to ditch your anti-bacterial soap or body wash.
Exfoliant – I personally like to use sugar or epsom salt, depending on my mood, as my exfoliants. Both are super affordable and have a great texture. I buy the bags of off-brand sugar in the baking aisle of my grocery store and epsom salt is easily found in the bath and beauty section of your grocery store pharmacy. Epsom salt make for a more coarse exfoliant and provides your body with a little extra magnesium. Sugar is a more fine exfoliant so it is really just depends on your preference. I like to mix it up and make some salt scrubs and some sugar scrubs so I can change things up. Another great exfoliant is coffee grounds which also provides another scent option to your scrubs.
Essential Oils – I am not a die-hard advocate of any single essential oil brand. What I do stress is safety. Do your research on whichever brand you plan to use and check third party testing results. There are a lot of fakes out there and there are some companies who perform their own “tests” and publish fake results. There are a number of good companies to purchase pure essential oils from. I personally use Plant Therapy essential oils, which are affordable, offers free shipping, and does not require any sort of enrollment plan. Choose your oils for your scrubs based on which scents you want. You can use just one oil like lemon or you can combine oils to create more complex scents. I love mixing cinnamon and clover together for a warm, Christmas-y scent. Another thing to keep in mind when choosing your oils is the benefits the oils will give you. I like to use grapefruit for toning my skin. Peppermint is great when I’m congested. Lemon leaves me feeling refreshed. Always follow safe dilution recommendations for each oil and be careful of using certain oils around children. For more info on essential oil safety, this website is a great resource and has taught me so much.
Once you’ve gathered all your ingredients, you are going to want a large glass mixing bowl, a large spoon for stirring, multiple teaspoons (one per scent you plan to create) for mixing, and a container or containers for storing your scrubs. I love using the glass jelly canning jars for my scrubs. The 4 ounce jars make perfect gifts or favors and fit nicely in the shower or on the sink.
I like to make a large batch of my scrub base all at once, divide the scrub into multiple jars, and then scent each jar individually. This helps the process go more smoothly and insures you get the scent in each jar just right.
Step 1 – Prep your containers. Take the lids off all your jars so that you can put the scrub right in when it’s ready and don’t have to worry about it when you’re ready to transfer the scrub.
Step 2 – Soften your coconut oil. Depending on the temperature in your house, this might already be done for you. If you want to start out with a small batch first, to get a feel for the process, use 1 cup of coconut oil. I generally do about 3 cups (sometimes up to 6) at a time and make multiple scrubs of each scent that I am creating. You can place the oil in the glass bowl and microwave until it is soft enough to easily mix in your exfoliant. I don’t have a microwave so I either warm my oil in the glass bowl in the oven or I heat it in a pot on the stove and then pour it into the glass bowl.
Step 3 – Add your exfoliant. Generally a one-to-one ratio with the oil works well here. When I use 3 cups of oil, I use 3 cups of epsom salt or sugar. Add a bit at a time, mixing as you go until you reach your desired consistency. Using less ore more than a one-to-one ratio is perfectly fine. Everyone has their own texture preference.
Step 4 – Place in jars/containers. Once you’ve gotten the texture you like, scoop your scrub into your containers until they are as full as you want them.
Step 5 – Add scent. Now comes the fun part! I like to do each jar with a different scent or, if I’m making a really large batch, I’ll do 6 different scents with 4-5 jars for each scent. A little goes a lonnnnnng way with essential oils. Add just a drop or two at a time and mix it in, smelling it each time, until you get it just to your liking. You can do individual scents such as lemon, peppermint, grapefruit, or lavender or you can mix and match. Be creative and have fun! Some of my favorite scent combinations are orange and peppermint (so refreshing!) or cinnamon and clove. When combining scents, keep in mind that sometimes one scent is much stronger than the other so start with one drop of each and slow add one or the other until you find a balance you like.
Place the lids back on and you’re done! You can simply label your scrubs by writing the scent with sharpie on the lid or you can fancy it up with ribbon, twine, or other decorations. I generally keep two or three different scents in the shower at the same time so I an vary the scent from day to day. I also like to keep a jar at each sink to use throughout the day on my hands. My skin became so much clearer and softer when I started using scrubs on a daily basis and it was a simple way to rid my bathroom of toxin-ridden soaps and washes.
Enjoy your new scrubs and have fun getting creative with different combos! I’d love to hear what you think after you’ve tried them and let me know what your favorite scents are, too!