How To Make Sugar Scrub: Bars That Your Skin Will Love

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While I have loved every DIY beauty product I have made, I haven’t loved any as much as my peppermint sugar scrub bars.

They are a permanent fixture in my shower and I absolutely love using them on my skin.

If you’ve ever come across sugar scrubs before, you’ll know they are all about a natural way to exfoliate and moisturise your skin to leave it looking great.

In this article, I not only describe exactly what sugar scrubs are, how to use them and their benefits, but also describe exactly how to make sugar scrub soap bars – which are my favourite way to apply and enjoy sugar scrubs.

There are two recipes below for how to make sugar scrubs for the body. One is a base recipe you can customise with whatever essential oil and colour you want. The second is specifically to make my favourite type of sugar scrub bar, peppermint sugar scrub bars.

I also describe all the ingredients you need before you start learning how to make body sugar scrub including why they are important.

So let’s start!

How To Make Sugar Scrub Cubes With Coconut Oil

What Is A Sugar Scrub?

A sugar scrub is a skin care product made with sugar as a prime ingredient where the sugar granules are used to exfoliate the skin. It’s a skin treatment you may use a couple times a week that tends to be gentle but effective.

In addition to sugar, they usually contain some type of nut or fruit oil which will help moisturise and hydrate your skin as the sugar exfoliates. Essential oils can also add other benefits as well as a great smell.

how to make my own sugar scrub
Sugar scrub

How To Use Sugar Scrubs – Generally

Sugar scrubs are generally a chunky mixture that you apply after you have had a long shower or bath. You rub it into your skin in a circular motion, let it sit for a couple of minutes then rinse it off.

Note that it’s generally not recommended to use a homemade sugar scrub for face due to the more sensitive nature of skin there.

If this sounds like a lot of effort (it did to me!), I have a better solution coming up in my white sugar scrub recipe.

Benefits Of A Sugar Scrub

The main purpose of a sugar scrub is to exfoliate the skin to get rid of any dead skin cells that have built up. Doing this can help your skin glow thanks to stimulating and increasing blood circulation while also making your skin look smoother. Sugar granules are a good size to exfoliate your body.

This won’t just get rid of dead skin cells but also any build up of oils and impurities on your skin.

Adding oils (like coconut oil in my DIY sugar scrub recipe below), will also help hydrate and moisturize your skin as you exfoliate. Double win!

There are also many people who think it helps reduce the effects of aging on the skin

Another big benefit of sugar scrubs is that they use natural ingredients which shouldn’t hurt your skin, and they are easy and inexpensive to make at home.

Why Make A Homemade Sugar Scrub?

Peppermint sugar scrub bars
Peppermint sugar scrub bars

I honestly don’t know why you would buy one if you like all-natural products as they are so easy to make at home. There are many reasons why I like to make a recipe for homemade sugar scrub for body.

It’s Quick And Easy (And Fun)

It’s really easy to make sugar scrub at home. There are not many ingredients and it’s inexpensive. It’s also fun to try different oils to get the recipe sugar scrub just right for you.

It’s so easy to make that my 11 year old is able to make it as well.

Even with my special sugar scrub bar recipe below, it only takes minutes to make.

It’s SO GOOD On Your Skin

My skin just feels so good after using a sugar scrub. It’s healthier and good for you. Making a sugar scrub bar (rather than the paste that can be more common) makes it super easy to apply too.

It Makes A Great Gift

This homemade sugar scrub is a huge hit as a gift with it being something I love to give family and friends. I like to package it with soap for a fun and thoughtful gift.

make own sugar scrub with soap
A sugar scrub bar packaged with one of our apple and cinnamon soaps – perfect!

Why Make A Sugar Scrub Bar? (Sugar Scrub Cubes)

sugar scrub cube
Sugar scrub cubes

So you’re convinced that you want a sugar scrub so how about trying a sugar scrub bar?

A sugar scrub bar gives you all the benefits of a sugar scrub with the extra benefit of some moisturising soap which makes it easier to apply and leaves your skin extra soft.

I started making sugar scrub bars as I loved the idea of a sugar scrub but I want my life easier – not harder with an extra routine to fit into an already busy week.

With a sugar scrub bar, I can simply apply the sugar scrub while I’m in the shower. I simply rub it into my skin while I’m cleaning myself in place of soap and get the extra benefits of exfoliation and the moisturising effects of coconut oil.

It’s great!

Note these are also called sugar scrub cubes. I just prefer to call them bars as I think of a cube as something small that I’ll use up right away instead of being more like a sugar scrub soap bar like these are.

So if you landed on this article because you want to learn how to make solid sugar scrub cubes – this is the right place! It’s exactly the same as how to make a homemade sugar scrub bar as described here.

how do you make sugar scrub Mixing the melt and pour soap, coconut oil and colour
Mixing the melt and pour soap, coconut oil and colour

Ingredients For Sugar Scrub Bars

It’s important to get your ingredients right when learning how to make homemade sugar scrub bars. Thankfully, this is easy as there aren’t many.

In fact, it’s only the melt and pour soap base that you definitely won’t be able to buy at the local shopping centre but they are easy to purchase online (links below).

Melt And Pour Soap Base

melt and pour soap recipes shea butter
Our luscious shea butter melt and pour base

Melt and pour soap bases are basically pre-made soap that you can melt and then basically add what you want before setting again to make your own soap.

The advantage of this is that it’s so much quicker and easier than making your own soap especially as you don’t have to use ingredients such as lye, a chemical that you need to be very careful using.

It also sets immediately meaning you have soap to use later that day instead of waiting 4-6 weeks like you need to if you make your own cold process soaps.

Melt and pour soap bases generally consist of a mixture of oils, glycerin, water and sodium hydroxide (lye). You can also buy ones that add extra ingredients based on your preferences to enrich this base. These are things like goats’ milk, shea butter, cocoa butter and more.

For this recipe, it doesn’t matter which type you buy. Whichever suits you most.

I use shea butter melt and pour base which contains about 5% shea butter and produces a creamier lather which is moisturising. It’s soft and holds scent well.

Click here to buy melt and pour soap base now.

Sugar

The key ingredient when you want to learn how to make exfoliating sugar scrub, sugar granules give you great exfoliation.

I use white sugar which has essential nutrients great for the skin and is good for all skin types.

You could also choose to use brown or raw sugar.

Brown sugar is a good choice if your skin is very sensitive. It produces the softest sugar scrub.

Raw sugar is naturally coarser which can provide greater exfoliation. It’s also the least processed of the sugars which means it contains more minerals.

Coconut Oil

coconut oil

Coconut oil is a great natural product for skin as it helps cleanse, soften and moisturise. It also has antibacterial and antifungal properties. It works well as a moisturising agent in this recipe.

Click here to buy coconut oil now.

Essential Oils

While it’s not 100% essential to add essential oils to your homemade sugar scrub bar, I do recommend it.

Essential oils don’t just smell great but also can add some extra beneficial properties to your sugar scrub.

  • Lavender – This is my favourite. I just love the smell. It’s also known for being relaxing and helping little ones sleep. It softens skin and battles anxiety.
  • Peppermint – Is another favourite but it is a stronger smell so isn’t for everyone. It is known for being energising and focusing the mind. It’s also a good choice if you have a cold.
  • Eucalyptus – This is another one with a strong smell which is great for colds. It’s not recommended for people who prefer more subtle smells.
  • Lemon – Is also a winning oil for colds as well as attention and focus. It promotes positive energy.
  • Orange – Is another uplifting essential oil, good for positivity and immune systems.
  • Ylang Ylang – This oil is great for stress and anxiety as it can act as an anti-depressant.
  • Chamomile – Is a good choice if you want something soothing and relaxing.
  • Rosemary – This is a popular choice for relieving stress, promoting memory and dealing with muscle soreness.

Note that how much is a safe amount of essential oil for you and your family is not something I can tell you. I simply share how much I add in the recipes below which is on the heavy side as we like a strong smell and our bodies tolerate it.

Click here to buy your choice of essential oils now.

how to make homemade shower bombs peppermint essential oil
Peppermint essential oil is great in this recipe

Adding Colour To Homemade Body Sugar Scrub

Adding colour is completely optional, and it is easier to leave it out. This is what I recommend unless you particularly want coloured sugar scrub bars.

If you want your sugar scrub bar to be all natural, this means adding natural colouring which can be a little tricky to do with soap and oils.

To add colour, use a natural powder colouring and mix it with isopropyl alcohol first. A teaspoon of powder can be added to a tablespoon of isopropyl alcohol and then you can add as much as you want to the sugar scrub to get more coloring. With clays, you may need to add a little extra alcohol. It soaks it up quick.

how make sugar scrub colouring
Mixing the isopropyl alcohol with French green clay

However, note that in my experience, any colouring is going to be subtle. My peppermint sugar scrub bars pictured here are only a slight green to give you an idea of what you might get.

Some suggested products for natural colouring:

  • Alkanet root powder – this will usually add a purple colour to melt and pour soap
  • Brazilian clay – this comes in many different colours like yellow, purple, pink, green and red. I have used the purple variety successfully.
  • French clay – this also comes in a range of colours but is most commonly found in green and pink. I have used the green colour successfully
Brazilian purple clay
Brazilian purple clay

Moulds

Once you’ve made your sugar scrub recipe, you need a mould to put the mixture in and to shape your sugar scrub bars ready to use.

If you want to know how to make sugar scrub cubes, you just need to follow the recipe below and use a square mould.

I use a muffin mould and make circle sugar scrub bars. It’s recommended to have a mould that you only use for soap recipes like this rather than using a mould you’ll want to use for cooking again.

Click here to buy a silicone mould now.

How To Make Sugar Scrub For Body

how to make foaming sugar scrub mixing all the ingredients together
Mixing all the ingredients together

Once you have all your ingredients, it’s time to start learning how do you make a sugar scrub.

It really is straightforward. Below, I have two recipes. One is a base recipe perfect if you want to know how do I make a sugar scrub using your favourite essential oils. You can customise this with your own choice of colouring and essential oils.

The second one is my exact favourite recipe for peppermint sugar scrub bars. It’s great.

These recipes are for sugar scrubs for your body. If you want to know how to make a DIY face sugar scrub, in theory you can use the same recipe below (preferably using brown sugar which is softer). However, sugar scrubs are not recommended for the more delicate skin on faces.

If you want a homemade sugar scrub for feet, you can use these bars. I use them on my feet. For rough skin, you can make them coarser using raw sugar like described above.

When making these recipes, remember the essential oil quantity is just what I choose to use and depends on the exact oil, how strong you want the smell and any sensitivity you have for different essential oils. You need to use amounts which are safe for you.

It’s also up to you how runny the sugar scrub mixture is when you place it in the moulds. The soap sets quickly so you’ll likely find it is thickening up when you come to pour it.

You have a choice at this point whether to melt it a little more back in the microwave to get a smooth pour which will lead to smooth bars OR you can use your hands to help you pack it in the moulds which will lead to rough edges.

how to make easy sugar scrub pressing into mould
Pressing the sugar scrub into the mould to make those oh-so-good rough edges

I personally prefer the rough edges. You’ll be thankful for them when you are rubbing it into your skin in the shower – it feels good! Smooth edges can make for better instagram photos though. Up to you!

I recommend you have everything out set to go before you melt the soap base. Like I said, it can set faster than you think so you won’t want to waste any time once it comes out of the microwave.

Now get set for instructions for exactly how to make sugar scrub bars.

how to make a simple sugar scrub bars

DIY Sugar Scrub Recipe - Homemade Sugar Scrub Bars

Yield: 6
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes

This simple sugar scrub recipe is perfect for exfoliating and moisturising your skin. You can customise based on your preferences with your choice of essential oils and colour.

Instructions

  1. OPTIONAL (for colouring): Add a teaspoon of colouring to a tablespoon of isopropyl alcohol and mix together. Put to the side
  2. Add melt and pour soap and coconut oil to a microwave-safe bowl
  3. Microwave in 15 second intervals until melted
  4. Add essential oil and colour mixture
  5. Mix everything together
  6. Add sugar gradually at about 1/4 of a cup at a time while mixing
  7. Mix until well combined. You are looking for a slushy like consistency
  8. Pour into your silicone mold. If it gets too thick, microwave for a further ten seconds so you can pour it (although I find it leads to a better result if you use your fingers to put it in the mould while it is thickening)
  9. Allow to dry complete (few hours) before removing from their mould
  10. Store in an airtight container until ready to use
how to make organic sugar scrub - A batch of peppermint sugar scrub bars waiting to set
A batch of peppermint sugar scrub bars waiting to set
Peppermint sugar scrub bars

Peppermint Sugar Scrub Bar Recipe

Yield: 5
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes

This homemade sugar scrub recipe is perfect for exfoliating and moisturising your skin in an easy bar format perfect for shower time. It has a great peppermint smell perfect for focus and energising the mind.

Instructions

  1. Add a teaspoon of green French clay to a tablespoon of isopropyl alcohol and mix together. Put to the side
  2. Add melt and pour soap and coconut oil to a microwave-safe bowl
  3. Microwave in 15 second intervals until melted
  4. Add peppermint essential oil and colour mixture
  5. Mix everything together
  6. Add sugar gradually at about 1/4 of a cup at a time while mixing
  7. Mix until well combined. You are looking for a slushy like consistency
  8. Pour into your silicone mold. If it gets too thick, microwave for a further ten seconds so you can pour it (although I find it leads to a better result if you use your fingers to put it in the mould while it is thickening)
  9. Allow to dry complete (a couple of hours) before removing from their mould
  10. Store in an airtight container until ready to use

Final Words

how to make a simple sugar scrub bars
I love these sugar scrub bars!

I hope you enjoyed the guide to how to make your own sugar scrub. Sugar scrubs are amazing and these bars are so easy to use and leave your skin feeling so great.

Nearly as good is that they are just so quick and easy to make. Get started now! You’ll never want to live without a sugar scrub bar again 🙂

You can find more great guides to how to make bath bombs here and apple and cinnamon soap here. You can also find my great foot balm recipe for dry skin here. Find all our guides to things you can do to improve your home here.

By Sharon Gourlay

Travel addict, Melbourne lover, business builder and mum of three who's constantly trying to live simpler and smarter.