Pamper Yourself: DIY Sugar Body Scrub

  • author name Ann Fulton
DIY Peppermint Sugar Scrub

Cold weather and indoor heat can make your skin rough, cracked or flaky, and frequent hand washing and use of hand sanitizer can leave your hands feeling raw. But guess what? I have a wonderful recipe for a do-it-yourself hand and body sugar scrub that will leave your skin feeling soft but not greasy, with a delightful aroma. It’s a great way to pamper yourself, and we could all benefit from some soothing self-care these days. 

The sugar body scrub also makes a thoughtful gift for the holidays. It’s inexpensive yet feels luxurious, and smells good enough to eat. This recipe is easy to customize and takes just minutes to make. And unlike some commercial spa treatments, this one is made with only pure and natural ingredients that you can find in your grocery store or online.

Dead skin creates a thick barrier so any moisturizers will not penetrate. Getting rid of dead skin by exfoliating with a body scrub will help moisture be absorbed more effectively, for healthier skin.

Sugar Body Scrub Tips

  • Sugar body scrub is an exfoliant and moisturizer for your body—not your face. Use it on hands, elbows, legs and feet.
  • Never substitute salt for sugar—sugar is gentler on the skin.
  • I like to keep a jar by my kitchen sink year-round to soften my hands after scrubbing dishes or washing hands.
  • To keep things sterile, I recommend using a spoon to scoop out the scrub.
  • If you store the jar in the shower, the steam and heat may melt the coconut oil. The mixture will firm back up once the temperature cools, and reasonable heat should not cause the sugar to melt. Just be careful using a glass jar in the shower, where it can become slippery and break.
  • Do-it-yourself spa treatments are fun to try with your teenager. Or enlist the help of your younger kids to make homemade gifts—an uplifting family activity for this holiday season when many traditional celebrations are on hold.

DIY Hand and Body Sugar Scrub


1 cup granulated sugar (see notes, below)

½ cup coconut oil, softened but not melted (see notes, below)

1 teaspoon peppermint extract (or vanilla, almond, lavender or other extract; may substitute 10-15 drops of your favorite essential oil)


  1. In a medium-size bowl, mash together the sugar and coconut oil.
  2. Stir in the optional extract or essential oil. Adjust the amount for the desired scent. If using extracts, take caution not to add too much more, as the alcohol in some extracts may be detectable.
  3. Spoon into a glass container with a tight-fitting lid to maintain the freshness and fragrance. The scrub will keep for a couple of months.
  4. For my peppermint scrub, I like to decorate the jar with a ribbon and a candy cane for a festive holiday gift.


  • I’ve used just about every sugar imaginable for this scrub, and plain old granulated sugar is my favorite, followed by light brown sugar.
  • Coconut oil is solid below 76 degrees F and liquid above that. At room temperature, you will likely be able to mash it easily with a fork.
  • If you don’t care for the scent of coconut oil or wish to highlight another scent through the addition of essential oils, use a culinary coconut oil that has no scent.
  • I’ve experimented with the ratio of sugar to coconut oil—the lesser amount of sugar provides excellent moisture and light exfoliation. For extra exfoliation, you can add up to ½ cup more sugar. The scrub will become slightly looser as more sugar is added, but the extra abrasion is nice when skin is particularly dry or flaky.
  • Essential oils provide a lovely way to customize the scent. Experimenting with the extracts you already have in your spice cabinet is a great way to work with what you have.
author name

Ann Fulton

Ann Fulton, is the creator of the popular blog Fountain Avenue Kitchen, where she shares quick and easy recipes designed for today’s busy lifestyles. Ann’s original recipes include simple, fresh ingredients that can be modified to meet a variety of dietary needs. LG Health is proud to be the exclusive health care partner of Ann Fulton and Fountain Avenue Kitchen. In collaboration with a registered dietitian from the LG Health Wellnes Department, Ann brings exciting recipes and healthy eating tips to our community as a featured contributor to the LG Health Hub.

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The LG Health Hub features breaking medical news and straightforward advice to help individuals of all ages make healthy choices and reach their wellness goals. The blog puts articles by trusted Lancaster General Health clinical experts, good 'n healthy recipes, videos, patient stories, and health risk assessments at your fingertips.


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