NaBloPoMo #10: Making Things Monday


Today we turn away from food and back to where my true heart lies--bath products. In specific, we're going to take a look at how to make sugar scrub. Sugar scrub is one of those things that is SO easy to make that once you see how it's done, you'll feel silly ever buying it again. You don't even need fancy ingredients--you can make it all with household stuff (and I'll note those substitutions). This is definitely the place to start if you want to make your own bath stuff. And it would be a good project for kids, too, I think--fairly inexpensive and no melting required!


These are the ingredients used in my sugar scrubs: organic brown sugar, organic white sugar, organic honey, apricot kernel oil, sweet almond oil, and essential oils. For the sake of this example, we'll be making my personal favorite scent combo, orange clove.


This is the necessary hardware. This recipe is by volume, not weight, so no scaled needed. You will need measuring cups, a bowl, a spoon to mix it with, and, in my case at least, a pipette for EOs (since one of the bottles I'm using doesn't have a dropper top). I have a separate set of measuring cups and spoons and mixing spoons that I use for bath stuff only, but it isn't necessary in a recipe like this--everything is food safe.

white sugar in

Add a cup of white sugar to the bowl. In my area, organic white sugar is about $0.99/lb regular price. A cup of sugar is approximately 1/2 lb, so this is about $0.50 worth of sugar.

brown sugar in

Next, add the same amount of brown sugar. This too is about $0.99/lb for organic here. There are about 2.5 cups of brown sugar to a pound, so this is about $0.40 worth. The sugars make up the exfoliating capacity of the scrub. I use a combo of both types because they have a different grit level and I think they work best together. Some people may prefer just one or the other, though, and that's fine, the recipe will work the same way.

honey in

Then add 1/4 cup of honey. The honey is for it's antiseptic and skin-clearing properties. Organic honey has a really wide range of prices, but my local stuff is usually about $4 for 12 oz. 1/4 cup is approximately 2 oz, so this is $0.67 in honey.

apricot oil in

Next, add 1/4 cup of apricot kernel oil. With the almond oil, this will make up the moisturizing element of the scrub. My current best price for apricot kernel oil is $5.70 for 16 oz (from Majestic Mountain Sage). A cup of oil is about 8 oz, so 1/4 cup is about 2 oz. This recipe, then, calls for about $0.71 worth of apricot oil.

almond oil in

Finally, add 1/2 cup of sweet almond oil. If you don't want to spend the money for these special oils, all 3/4 cup of oil can be substituted for an oil you already have. It won't work quite as well, but it will work. It has to be an oil that is liquid at room temperature, though, so coconut oil is out. Personally, I wouldn't want to use corn or canola or vegetable oil either. Light olive oil, though, would probably work fine, as would sunflower oil (which is what they use in a lot of commercial scrubs to keep costs down).

Majestic Mountain Sage also has the best priced almond oil I've found, $4.75 for 16 oz. Since 1/2 cup is about 4 oz, this is $1.19 worth of almond oil.

ingredients mixed up

Now that everything (besides the scents) is in the bowl, mix it up. It should end up looking like this. If it looks too wet, add a bit more sugar. If it looks too dry, add a bit more oil. In general, though, a proportion of 2 pts sugar to 1 pt honey and oil seems to work about right.

adding orange oil

Finally, add your scents. I'm using a disposable pipette here to add orange essential oil. The best price on this stuff I've found is from Snowdrift Farms, who sell it for $2.79 for 2 oz. I'm using maybe .1 oz here, so it's only about $0.14 worth. (No, relative cheapness is not the reason I love orange oil so much, but it sure doesn't hurt!)

adding clove oil

Since it has a dropper top, I add the clove bud oil straight from the bottle. The best price I've found on this oil is also from Snowdrift Farms, and it's $4.95 for 1 oz. Again, this is about .1 oz, so $0.50 worth.

If you don't want to shell out for essential oils, you have a couple of options. You can leave your scrub "unscented," in which case it's mostly going to smell like whatever oil you use, or you can use something else to scent it with (maybe vanilla extract?).


Once you have mixed in your oils, your scrub is complete and ready to be jarred. I like to put mine in thrifted or recycled class jars with lids. You want it to be in something fairly airtight so it doesn't dry out. If it is in a decent container, it should keep fine for several months.

finished product

Voila! The finished product!

The total cost for this scrub (not counting the jar, since I'll assume that's recycled from something else) is $4.11, for about 16 oz. My favorite commercial scrub, the sugar cane body scrub from Alba Botanicals, runs about $8.79 for 10 oz. And it's not even a most-expensive brand! So my scrub, made with all-natural ingredients, is about $0.26/oz, and theirs is $0.88/oz. Pretty clear which one I'm going to choose! (It is worth noting, however, that making this scrub with more expensive essential oils would raise the price considerably--these are among the cheapest EOs you can get.)

As always, if you just don't feel like making this yourself, please stop by Crushworthy. I'd be happy to make it for you!


OK, do you just massage this into your face and it exfoliates it? I'm a little beauty-product-retarded so bare with me. Looks divine though!

I would love to make this. Well at first I wanted to eat it until you added the not so tasty sounded items. I had one of these once with cinnamon and it was heavenly. It was so expensive that I used just a dash so that I could make it last extra long. I'm going to have to make myself some of this.

Grace, thank you so much for this post. It's a brilliant idea and your step by step instruction is so detailed and wonderful. I am a first time visitor and I can't wait to read more!!!

Oh, this looks excellent. The last time I had anything like this for myself was three years ago or more. I really should make some. Thanks for posting!

Oh, cutting out the lotion step is nice!

Also looking forward to next monday.

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