DIY Coconut Sugar Scrub

Coconut Oil wants to be your friend.  It wants to be your friend inside and out.  And it’s very good at both.  One jar of Dr. Bronner’s Organic Virgin Coconut Oil lives in my kitchen where it shows up in all manner of cooking.

My second jar of Dr. B’s Coconut Oil lives in my bathroom.  It’s my go-to for shaving, make-up removing, hair masques, face masques, nail nourishing, cuticle softening, and moisturizing anything that needs to be moisturized.

And is integral in a Coconut Sugar Scrub

Two Sugar Scrubs

While there are endless variations of Coconut Sugar Scrubs, and I certainly didn’t come up with the concept, I’ve whipped up two very simple ones here: Peppermint Foot Scrub and Citrus Hand and Body Scrub.  This scrub exfoliates, softens, and moisturizes.  As an extra bonus, my kids tell me it tastes fabulous.

What’s In It

Sugar

Oh the choices! Granulated, Turbinado (aka “raw”), brown, superfine… Any of them work great in a scrub. Decide based on preference and purpose.  The larger the crystal, the more exfoliating the scrub.

Sugar Crystals Close Up

I use the larger Turbinado sugar for my Peppermint Foot Scrub because, frankly, it needs to work harder.  However, this is too rough for the rest of me.  Regular granulated sugar makes the best all-purpose scrub, as in my Citrus Hand and Body Scrub.

Coconut Oil 

Part of the fun of using Coconut Oil is the fact that it melts at 75-77 F° (25-26 C°), which means it’s the closest thing to a thermometer in your pantry.  Here in SoCal, where our daily temps swing 40 degrees, it can just about be your clock as well. Liquid or solid coconut oil works great.

Sugar Scrub Ingredients

To make this scrub, I started with liquid because it’s easier to mix in.  Then, I refrigerated the finished scrub for about 30 minutes to solidify so that the sugar doesn’t sink to the bottom.

Essential Oils (optional)

This is where you express yourself, vent your emotions, walk on the wild side.  Choose the blend of essential oils that makes you happy and suits your purpose.  Peppermint to invigorate, lavender to calm, citrus to inspire.  Whatever works for you.  Or none at all!  A naked scrub in its simplest form.  Just make sure they’re pure essential oils and not diluted in a carrier oil.

Citrus Hand and Body Scrub

1/2 c. plus 2 Tbsp. granulated sugar
¼ c. coconut oil (liquid)
20 drops Sweet Orange Essential Oil
10 drops Lemon Essential Oil

Citrus Hand and Body Scrub

Peppermint Foot Scrub

½ c. plus 2 Tbsp. Turbinado Sugar (a.k.a. “raw sugar”)
¼ c. coconut oil (liquid)
20 drops Peppermint Essential Oil

Mix the ingredients together.  Put it in a jar with a lid. Refrigerate for about 30 minutes.

Peppermint Foot Scrub

Fancifying your Scrub

I was sorely tempted by the abundance of fantastic scrub recipes online.  Pumpkin spice? Peach Passion? Vanilla and Pear?  Roasted Coffee?!! Bring it on!

And then I paused.

Sometimes “fancy” sinks the ship before it sails.  A basic scrub of coconut oil and sugar works excellently for starters.  And for a touch of fun, I added the simplest of essential oils.

But don’t let me stop you!  Concoct away and let me know how it turns out.

Shelf Life

My simple combination of sugar and oil will last a good long time – I’ll say more than a year, but I’ve always finished it before then, so I really don’t know the turning point.

Once you start adding in some of those fun little extra ingredients, the shelf life may drop.  Not a big deal, just use it up more quickly or make smaller batches.  Moisture promotes mold, so any ingredient with water content may perish sooner: fruits, fresh herbs, brewed tea, coffee grounds. You can add vitamin E oil (tocopherols) as a preservative, but still keep an eye on it.  If it looks or smells not quite right, it’s time to whip up a new batch.

While this scrub is not meant to be eaten, isn’t it nice to know it wouldn’t hurt if you did?

Author Profile
Lisa Bronner

Lisa Bronner is a prolific writer, consumer advocate, and speaker on health and green lifestyle issues. She is author of the blog, “Going Green with a Bronner Mom,” and granddaughter of Dr. Emanuel Bronner, founder of Dr. Bronner’s.


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  • jbnorton

    And you can compost it if it gets funky!

  • Glitter Saves

    This is awesome! I’ve made cleansing scrubs using the Dr Bronner’s liquid soap as a base, but I’ve never ventured into oil-based scrubs. Can’t wait to give these recipes a try!

  • Cindy Maxwell

    Great idea and I’ve been trying to figure out which essential oils lead to photo sensitivity (many citrus types) and their substitutes (processed differently). Also the safe ratios of those essential oils in a carrier oil. Do you have more tips? While I use a variety of essential oils for home sprays, I would not ingest any.