Looking for an easy and inexpensive way to pamper yourself? Try a homemade sugar scrub! They're a must-have in the wintertime if your skin gets dry and needs exfoliation. Which is most of the United States and Canada this time of year, am I right? Southern California and Florida don't count. ;)
My favorite way to use sugar scrubs is in the shower. You simply massage the sugar all over your body (I even do it on my face), let it sit for a few minutes, then rinse off. Rubbing it across your body helps to improve circulation and stimulate the lymphatic system all the while sloughing off dead skin via the grainy sugar.
And since you've mixed the sugar with a gentle, skin-friendly carrier oil, you'll step out of the shower with silky, moisturized skin! Of course, if you don't want to do the whole shower thing, you can use the sugar scrub to give your feet or hands some much-needed TLC.
Sugar Scrubs Make Perfect DIY Christmas Gifts
I've been making and gifting sugar scrubs (using different recipes) for the past four years and they are always a huge hit with both guys and gals. Two of my most popular recipes are this lemon sugar scrub and this peppermint coffee body scrub.
My family loved my scrubs so much that I even started packaging them up in cute 4-oz mason jars and selling them on Etsy several years back; however, it was a bit pricey to ship in glass containers, so I eventually decided to spread the love and share the recipes here on the blog instead.
New Sugar Scrub Scent: Chai Vanilla
Earlier this fall I got an itch to experiment with a new sugar scrub recipe. I wanted something that smelled warm and cozy for the holiday season that would also make me feel happy & energized when I stepped out of the shower.
That's when I remembered the
And by some weird serendipity, I'd also recently ordered Cardamom essential oil from Young Living, which is one of the main spices in chai tea blends, so I knew I had to make a chai sugar scrub ASAP. Even if I only used it as a body scrub (highly recommended).
If one of my family members is reading this...erm, you're probably getting a jar of this stuff as part of your Christmas gift. Sorry, not sorry, for the spoilers.
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Warm Vanilla + Cardamom + Citrus
Before stirring it together, I browsed around Pinterest and found this chai sugar scrub recipe, which inspired me to add vanilla extract. SUCH a good decision! Because the spices from the chai tea blend are so fine, the scent isn't as strong once it's mixed into everything.
SO, this scrub will have a hint of chai, BUT it will mostly smell like a combination of vanilla, cardamom, and citrus (or cinnamon/citrus depending on if you're using the Christmas Spirit blend).
If you don't have any essential oils on hand (or don't want to use any in this recipe), the chai tea + vanilla extract combo will make the scrub smell like warm vanilla with a hint of chai spice. In other words, this recipe will still smell cozy and amazing.
If you intend to use essential oils in DIY recipes that you're applying to the skin, please make sure to carefully read the label first. If the bottle has a warning on it that says "not for topical use" or "for aromatherapy only" DO NOT put it on your skin! Better safe than sorry. Just leave them out and use the sugar scrub will still smell amazing!
If you'd like to know more about where I purchase therapeutic grade essential oils for 24% off retail, check out my essential oils page.
Slightly Adapted from DIY Natural's How to Make a Vanilla Chai Sugar Scrub
3/4 cup of organic cane sugar or vanilla sugar
1/2 cup of grapeseed oil, jojoba oil, avocado oil, or extra virgin olive oil
5 chai tea bags, emptied out (each bag is about 3/4 tsp)
1 tablespoon of raw honey
1 teaspoon of homemade vanilla extract (or store-bought)
1/4 teaspoon vitamin E oil (from 3-6 capsules)
6 drops of Christmas Spirit*, Tangerine or Orange essential oil
4 drops of Cardamom essential oil
*Christmas Spirit is a Young Living blend with Orange, Cinnamon Bark & Spruce essential oils. If you don't have this blend, but do have the individual oils included in it (and they are safe to use on the skin - that's important!) then you can sub those instead.
glass mason jars: 4 ounce, 8 ounce, or half pint wide mouth (I used these)
mini bamboo spoon (for gifting)
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Measure the sugar into a small bowl or directly into the container you'll use to store it. (I recommend a glass mason jars because they're non-toxic & reusable!)
Slowly stir in the carrier oil, making sure it saturates all the sugar. I like to add extra oil so there's plenty of it when I exfoliate. Cut open the chai tea and measure that into the bowl + the raw honey, vanilla extract, and vitamin E oil. Stir everything together well, making sure the oil has saturated all of the sugar. Lastly (optional) add the Christmas Spirit and cardamom essential oils, adjusting the amount so it's as strong as you like (I like to start with less and add 1-2 drops more as needed).
Store the sugar scrub in an airtight container and use within a few months. To keep it fresh longer, avoid sticking your hand directly into the container while in the shower. We don't want water lingering in the mixture as that can encourage bacteria growth over time. A wooden (or regular) spoon works well for scooping out the body scrub.
How to Use the Sugar Scrub
After washing in the shower, apply the sugar scrub on the parts of your body you'd like to exfoliate & moisturize (avoid sensitive areas or open skin) by massaging it on in a circular motion. This movement can help to improve circulation and stimulate the lymphatic system while the sugar removes rough or dead skin. Let the mixture sit for a minute or so on your skin, then rinse off completely, and towel dry lightly. Your skin should still feel moisturized after drying off, so no need to apply lotion.
Notes & Tips
- Sugar scrubs and body scrubs make excellent DIY gifts for Christmas, birthdays, anniversaries, or any special occasion. Package them in mason jars with handwritten instructions + wooden spoon for an inexpensive and practical gift they can keep on hand for a stress relieving spa day. :)
I'd like to hear from YOU!
Have you ever made a homemade sugar scrub? What's your favorite? Leave a comment below. :)
P.S. Looking For More DIY Recipes? Check Out These: