Easy Brown Sugar Hand Scrub Recipe

Whip up a soothing homemade body scrub and learn to turn it into a clever gift.

By: Debra Steilen

Homemade Brown Sugar Body Scrub
Make this fragrant exfoliator in your kitchen and add it to your beauty routine for extra-soft skin.

250 mL (1 cup) light or dark brown sugar
125 mL (1/2 cup) coconut oil*
5 mL (1 tsp) Vitamin E (available online or at vitamin stores)
5 mL (1 tsp) vanilla extract or essential oil such as lemon or lavender (optional)

*Tip: Substitute 125 mL (1/2 cup) of extra virgin olive oil or sweetened almond oil.


  1. Combine all ingredients (except brown sugar) in a mixing bowl and stir
  2. Add one cup of brown sugar and mix well with a wire whisk or hand mixer (be sure to break up any lumps as you stir)
  3. Stop when the mixture resembles moist sand; if the mixture feels too dry, add more oil a few drops at a time, and if it feels too oily, add more brown sugar until the mixture reaches the desired consistency
  4. Rub a small amount into your skin using circular motions
  5. Once the sugar is rubbed in, rinse your hands and follow with a treatment of your favourite lotion

Sugar Scrub Tips

  • Store the brown sugar in an airtight container for up to three months.
  • Note that contents will settle, so mix the scrub before using.
  • Sugar scrubs are not usually recommended for the face.
  • Leave on the skin for a few minutes before thoroughly rinsing under warm water, and then pat dry.
  • Apply skin lotion for an extra dose of indulgence.

Tip: Be careful when using this body scrub when bathing; the oils may make the bathtub or shower floor a little slippery.

Sugar Scrubs Make Cute, Inexpensive Gifts
For a vintage look Mom or Grandma will love, store the scrub in a clean Mason jar with a galvanized steel lid. Wrap thick twine around the neck, and tie it into a shoestring-type bow.

Looking for a shower gift in the bride’s wedding colours? Package the scrub in a clear glass jar with a stainless-steel lid. Wrap the desired colour of taffeta ribbon around the lid and tie it in a bow. Tuck a small silk flower between the ribbon and the jar for added charm.

Need a trendy gift for your best friend? Package the scrub in a clean canning jar. Wrap colourful Washi tape around the canning-jar lid. Create a colour-coordinated label on your computer and attach it to the front of the jar with crafts glue.

Want to delight a new mom? Package the scrub in a clean baby-food jar.


  1. Decorate the lid with a scrap of pink, blue or gender-neutral fabric cut into a circle 5 centimetres (2 inches) larger than the jar lid
  2. Use a dab of glue to attach the circle to the lid
  3. Gather the excess fabric around the neck of the jar, and secure with a pretty coordinating ribbon tied in a bow

Tip: Don’t forget to include a small tag listing the ingredients and instructions for using the scrub.

Do you have a go-to inexpensive homemade gift? Log in and share the instructions in the comments below!

Debra is a Midwest-based expert on crafting, home design (especially kitchens, baths, and storage), and holidays. She spends her free time renovating and decorating her 1909 Craftsman home—and wrangling her two Golden Retrievers.


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