Sugar Scrub Recipe for Luxurious Skincare + Benefits & Suggested Use

By Deana D.| Last updated on December 20, 2023
sugar scrub recipe
⏱️ 6 min read

Everyone craves a good, luxury spa experience occasionally, but finding an at-home solution for getting all the skincare benefits a professional spa day can offer can be challenging.

What if we told you that a simple ingredient that’s used in most households on the daily can hold the key to perfectly pampered skin? Sugar doesn’t just add flavor to food, it doubles as one of the best ways to remove dead skin cells and get silky-smooth skin.

So, if you have a sweet tooth and want to spice up your skincare routine with something that smells delicious, read on to get to know the benefits & find the best sugar scrub recipe to try at home!

How Do Sugar Scrubs Work?

Sugar scrubs are a form of physical exfoliation.

They are made of tiny sugar grains that physically and manually exfoliate the skin. By working the paste into your skin, you remove dead skin cells and stimulate cell turnover with, hopefully, minimal irritation and redness.

Although there are more ways to exfoliate your skin physically, sugar scrubs are the most popular way. You might have been restrained from eating too many sweets, but don’t worry – using sugar on your skin has many benefits – if you use it right.

woman using sugar scrub on handImage source: Freepik

Are Sugar Scrubs Safe for Face & Lips?

Sugar scrubs are great for the body and the lips, but they’re not the best choice for the face.

Due to the delicate nature of facial skin, sugar grains could cause damage and irritation of facial skin.

If you were to use a scrub with large granulated sugar on your face, you would probably end up with microtears, which is not fun at all. Therefore, dermatologists usually recommend not using it on your face and neck.

As for your lips, it’s completely fine to use a sugar scrub or a lip balm with sugar grains in it. That’s a great way to exfoliate your lips and remove dead skin cells. Find our top lip scrub recommendations here.

However, if you still want to use a sugar scrub on your face, here are a few useful tips to be mindful of:

  • Choose a fine sugar. Make sure to pick a sugar scrub with finer granules because these are gentler on the delicate skin of your face.
  • Check the ingredient list. A lot of sugar scrubs contain comedogenic ingredients, which may cause an acne breakout.
  • Be gentle. This one is self-explanatory; try not to rub your face too much to avoid irritation and scratches.
  • Don’t use it too often. Chemical peels shouldn’t be used too often, and physical exfoliants should be used even less frequently. You don’t want to ruin your skin barrier!

When you’re finished, be sure to lock everything down with your favorite moisturizer, or a moisturizing SPF lip balm. You always want your skin to feel hydrated, soft, and protected.

Are Sugar Scrubs Safe for Your Body?

Now, here’s where sugar scrubs shine in all their glory. Not only is it safe to do a sugar scrub on your body, but highly encouraged!

This process gently removes dead skin cells from the first layer of your skin, making it soft and supple. It’s also ideal for those looking to boost circulation.

It’s safe for every part of your body, including your arms, legs, stomach, feet, and even your booty. You have probably even seen videos of people exfoliating their bikini zone with sugar to get beach-ready!

A sugar scrub is excellent for exfoliating your body because it dissolves gradually and is not that abrasive when compared to other physical exfoliants.

How to Use Sugar Scrubs on Your Body

Before we disclose our homemade sugar scrub recipe, let’s take a look at the proper ways to use it:

#1 Prep the skin with a body wash of your choice. Clean skin is perfect for exfoliation, you can even shave the day before. If you’re feeling extravagant, light up some scented candles!

#2 Use circular motions to massage the scrub into your skin. You want to be gentle but thorough enough to work the sugar grains in.

#3 Focus on problematic areas like knees or elbows. Some of these tend to be dry and rough, so spend some extra time rubbing them.

#4 Rinse your body thoroughly with lukewarm water to ensure the sticky feeling is gone. Lather your freshly exfoliated skin with a body lotion and you’re done!

As long as you’re mindful of these guidelines, you can explore the benefits of sugar scrubs and indulge in a sweet, spa-like experience at home.

woman with sugar scrubImage source: Freepik

Homemade Sugar Scrub Recipe for Body

Now comes the fun part: creating your sugar scrub at home! This is a fun and easy way to customize your skincare routine.

Granulated Sugar & Essential Oils

Here’s a simple sugar scrub recipe that you can follow:

  • 1 cup granulated sugar (it can be white or brown sugar, depending on your preference)
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil (or any other carrier oil like sweet almond oil)
  • 10-15 drops of your favorite essential oil (options include lavender, eucalyptus, peppermint, citrus, etc.)
  • 1 teaspoon vitamin E oil (for added skin nourishment)

How to Store a Sugar Scrub

After measuring all the ingredients and mixing them into an even paste, store your freshly made sugar scrub in a glass jar that you can put in the fridge later. That way, it won’t spoil and you will be able to use it several times.

This sugar scrub recipe not only exfoliates but also moisturizes your skin, leaving it supple and rejuvenated. Of course, feel free to experiment with different oil blends to create the one that suits your preferences.

Viral DIY Sugar Scrub Recipes

If you’re more of a visual learner, we picked out a couple of TikToks that might spark your interest.

The first one is so aesthetically pleasing that we just had to include it! The creator decided to combine a tablespoon of honey and a teaspoon of white sugar to get this dreamy-looking golden concoction.

It’s pretty easy to follow, so why not give it a try?

@kory.kei ✨easy 2 ingredient sugar scrub for lips, face, & body✨ #skincare #foryoupage ♬ original sound - hauntedsounds

The second one is a bit more complex.

In a glass jar, add 4-5 spoons of brown sugar, some honey, olive oil, and a body wash and moisturizer of your choice. As you can see, people enjoy mixing and matching their favorite ingredients to create a personalized routine.

Sugar Scrub Benefits

Whether you live in a winter wonderland or a tropical paradise, one thing is for sure; you don’t enjoy having cracked, dry, irritated skin. Using a sugar scrub regularly has many advantages, like:

Skin Exfoliation

Removing the dead skin layers and bacteria is both therapeutic and satisfying. This process also encourages skin cell turnover, making it easier for your skin to rejuvenate.

Ingrown Hair Removal

By rubbing these little granules into your skin, you are releasing the hairs that have been trapped under your skin and possibly causing an infection. You can always exfoliate with a sugar scrub before shaving for smoother results.

Enhanced Circulation

Massage this sweet paste into your skin to stimulate blood flow to the treated area. Good circulation leads to healthier-looking skin and improves your overall health!

Even Tan

Many people enjoy exfoliating with sugar scrubs before or after the beach to help maintain a golden tan! You can even prolong your fake tan by exfoliating because you will have a better canvas for the tan to grip on, which means that it will last longer.


If your sugar scrub happens to have an essential oil in it, you’re in for a treat. This concoction relaxes and gives you the feeling of a professional spa.

However, we don’t recommend using sugar scrubs more than two times a week. Anything more than that would be too aggressive for your delicate skin.

sugar scrub aroma therapy
Image source: Freepik

Potential Sugar Scrub Side Effects

While this delicious treat for your body offers many benefits, it’s important to be aware of certain side effects.

Excessive or aggressive scrubbing can lead to redness, irritation, and sensitivity. Make sure to use gentle strokes with just enough pressure to exfoliate but not hurt yourself.

If you are prone to acne breakouts, especially on your back, DIY sugar scrubs may be a bad idea. Sometimes, natural ingredients like sugar, honey, and oils can cause acne or even worsen it in individuals with oily skin.

It’s always smart to avoid any areas with wounds or scratches too, as the sugar granules can cause even more damage.

Also, sugar scrubs may smell delicious, but please, don’t ingest them! Products that you see on the store shelves are specially designed to exfoliate your body, even though they smell like vanilla heaven.

So, Should You Try a Sugar Scrub at Home?

With its sweet aroma and grainy feeling under your fingers, a sugar scrub is the perfect way to relax after a long, hard week. Yet, as with any skincare product, balance is key; avoid using it on your facial skin, but feel free to use it on your lips and body!

Whether you choose the store-bought version or experiment with a sugar scrub recipe at home, this pampering ritual can become a part of your skincare routine.

Cover image source: Freepik



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