DIY Body Sugar Scrub Lavender Vanilla

DSC_9470 Body Sugar scrubs are perfect for keeping your skin smooth.  They work wonders for exfoliating dead skin from the body.  In this post, I want to show you how you can make an all-natural skincare product using ingredients that are found in your pantry.  This recipe shows you just how easily you can make your own beauty product.

I try to use organic ingredients if I can, so using them for making beauty products at home is what I choose.  However, if you don’t have organic in your cupboard use what you have.  Many years ago when I first started making this recipe I started experimenting with different natural oils, butters, and essential oils.  I adjusted the scents of each one by adding the essential oils depending on if I liked the scent or not.  Many years later, I learned that there are regulations for using essential oils, especially when using for skincare, around children, and for pregnant or nursing women.

Also, not all essential oils are created equal for using topically, diffusing, inhaling, or ingesting.  Just because an essential oil says for therapeutic use doesn’t mean that you can use whatever amount you choose.  Here are some key things to remember when using essential oils.

  • All essential oils, by definition, are therapeutic grade, as there is no official certification, only self-certification.
  • Very few essential oils can be applied neat (directly on skin without dilution).
  • The dermal limits (scent load) for use skincare differs for each essential oil depending on what type of product it is going in.
  • There are special requirements that you need to know before using on, diffusing, or even wearing on yourself near children.

There is too much to know about essential oils safety to write about here and I am by far not an expert.  I suggest you visit the following sites that provide extensive information regarding essential oil use.  The IFRA, Robert Tisserand, Using Essential Oils Safely and a fantastic resource for individual use or blend calculations

I would make sugar scrubs and bath salts for gifts for holidays or birthdays and when my children got older it was a gift that they could take part in helping with since lavender is one of the essential oils that is safe to use around children.  I handle the essential oil measuring part.  Please use caution when using any essential oil around your child.  Especially under the age of six.

They felt a sense of accomplishment when presenting a gift that they made themselves.

Unrefined Coconut oil is not only fantastic for consumption, but it has also been proven to be fantastic as a natural skin moisturizer.  It contains the antioxidant vitamin E, so it can help your skin as an anti-aging product.  Part of the reason why I started using coconut oil in this recipe.  I’ve used coconut oil on my hair as a treatment for about 3 years and I usually have plenty on hand.  I keep one in my pantry and one under my bathroom sink.  Sometimes I mix it with an equal part of argon oil and sleep with a hair cap overnight or leave on for an afternoon before rinsing out for natural hair treatment.

Honey is fantastic for your skin and works as an antibacterial agent to prevent acne, it contains antioxidants which helps slow down aging, and it has humectant properties so it makes a great moisturizer. You can easily adapt this recipe to the scent of your choice by changing the ingredients slightly, To adjust the amount of sugar scrub use a 1:2 ratio of the oil and butter of your choosing to sugar.


  • 8 Tbsp (118.29 ml/gr, 4 oz) Olive Organic (you can substitute with Sunflower, Sweet Almond, or a less oily oil like Jojoba)
  • 1- 1/2 cups (354.88ml/gr, 12 oz) coconut oil unrefined and organic (I originally used a light organic olive oil)
  • 3 cups (600grams, 24oz) granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup lavender buds *Optional
  • 1 Vanilla bean – the seeds scraped out *(optional)
  • 30 drops (1/16 oz, 1.87ml/gr) of Lavender essential oil .05% scent load (Approximate)
  • 2 Tbsp (29.57ml/gr, 1 oz) Raw honey * Optional if not using add extra oil
  • 0.12oz (3.54ml/gr) Preservative skincare (Geogard ECT for example) (.8% of recipe) OPTIONAL BUT RECOMMENDED
  • 70% rubbing alcohol to clean dishes, jars, and utensils
  • latex gloves
  • glass bowls
  • jars for the finished product
  1. To make the sugar scrub, start by cleaning your utensils, bowls, and jars with rubbing alcohol.
  2. In a glass bowl, mix the olive oil, coconut oil, and raw honey.
  3. If using the vanilla bean, scrape out the seeds and add to the mixture.
  4. Add the lavender buds if desired. Mix well.
  5. Slowly add the sugar to the oil mixture and stir until fully combined.
  6. Add the essential oil and mix well.
  7. Transfer the sugar scrub to your chosen jars, using a spoon or spatula.
  8. Apply a label with the ingredients and date it was made.

To use the sugar scrub in the shower or bath, take a small amount and apply it to your skin, gently rubbing in a circular motion. Rinse off with warm water.

  • *USE WITH CAUTION  Although this product is anhydrous (without water) I recommend that you a preservative.  If you choose not to, using dry hands, spoon or scoop take a small amount out of the container and set aside by the tub or sink.  Place the cap back on to prevent water from getting in.  You need to be extra careful with any product that does not contain added preservatives and has the possibility of being exposed to water.

Also, take notice of the texture and/or the scent of the body scrub when nearing your best before date.  If you notice a change, in scent, or look discontinue use

You can choose to omit a preservative in this recipe as it is anhydrous and technically shouldn’t require one, because of the nature of what the sugar scrubs intended use is, the probability that it will come in contact with water is high I recommend using a preservative that is approved for natural and organic skincare.

Edited* After a few messages regarding that my suggestion to use a preservative especially for gift giving and the concern of the safety of preservatives and that coconut oil and honey have built-in preservative agents please pay attention to the following.

You may have read that coconut oil contains its own natural preservative by way of lauric acid which helps prevent bacteria, fungi, and viruses and that honey is said to be an antibacterial agent. This might be true for each individual ingredient on its own. However, since this product could possibly be exposed to water by way of wet hands or splashing from the tub or shower water, the chance of bacteria, mold, or fungus is there. To prevent this, a preservative is recommended. If you choose to forgo the preservative and your product comes in contact with water, just because you don’t see or smell it, doesn’t mean that it is not there.  

  • TIP* –  Make sure you are using fresh ingredients.  Check the labels of the ingredients for expiry dates.  When you combine your ingredients together if one has an expiry date 6 months from now and the other a year.  The finished product has the best freshness date of 6 months.  This doesn’t mean that it can’t be used but know, that oils have different shelf lives and can go rancid quicker than others.  This can affect the smell of your products.

DSC_9390Clean all your utensils with the rubbing alcohol and let air dry before using it.

Melt the coconut oil in a double boiler until almost melted * do not allow the oil to get too hot.  The purpose is to have the sugar-coated by the oil not to dissolve it.  Smell the coconut if you can.  I prefer organic but some coconut oils can have a roasted coconut smell.  I prefer coconut oil that has a light sweet scent that is not as harsh or overpowering. DSC_9401Add the olive oil and the essential oil to the coconut oil and blend until well combined.
DSC_9395Mix the sugar and lavender (if using) together in a bowl.  Sprinkle with the remaining lavender oil drops (add the vanilla essential oil drops if you are using instead or in combination with the vanilla bean seeds)  Stir to combine.  You can also, sprinkle some of the lavender on top of the finished product instead of mixing into the scrub.DSC_9398Pour the oil blend over the sugar and lavender stir to combine with the sugar. DSC_9404I keep a mason jar full of vanilla bean pods covered in vodka.  This not only makes vanilla extract, but it also softens the inside of the pod making it easier to remove the seeds when I need them for a recipe.  All I do is snip the tip of the vanilla pod off and then squeeze the seeds out with two fingers.  They come out quickly and easily in a thick paste.

I am lucky to have friends who own their own beehives.  They collect the honey for personal use and for family and friends.  You can opt-out of using honey if you don’t have it or don’t use honey, but it really makes a wonderful natural humectant.Geogard ECT
Add in the preservative, honey, and vanilla bean seeds and stir until combined.  The sugar scrub should have a thick yet creamy texture. DSC_9407Clean the labels with 70% rubbing alcohol and air dry before filling.  Scoop the sugar scrub a container of your choosing. DSC_9412Adding a label if you are giving as a gift is a great touch.  I found these jars with the matching labels at Target.  However, you could quickly make your own labels from cardstock, or print labels onto label paper available at stores that carry office supplies.
Place a small label on the bottom of the jar with the date made and best before date.  The sugar scrubs best before date is the ingredient that best before date is the soonest.DSC_9447For a special gift attach a simple bow around the jar DSC_9475DIY bath salts in combination to the body sugar scrub makes for a fantastic gift. DSC_9508I am making these for gifts so I placed a few other bath related items in the baskets.  I purchased these at Michaels but have also purchased these items from the local drug store.

Holiday gift-giving Tips or ideas:

For Christmas, I like to make sugar scrub and bath salts using peppermint essential oil.  Once everything is mixed together, divide into two batches and add red cosmetic color or mica to one part of the scrub or bath salts.  Place in disposable piping bags or freezer bags and layer in jars to similar to the look of a candy cane.  Label these Candy Cane Scrub and bath salts. Please use Peppermint Essential oil with caution around children under the age of ten.  Be sure that you are within the dermal limits peppermint essential oil by using the max dermal limits or under.

Making your own sugar scrub is an easy and inexpensive way to exfoliate and moisturize your skin. However, it’s important to be aware of the safety precautions when using essential oils, especially if you’re using the scrub on children or pregnant or nursing women. And don’t forget to add a preservative to prevent the growth of bacteria, mold, or fungus. With these tips in mind, you can create your own all-natural sugar scrub and enjoy smooth, healthy-looking skin.


4 thoughts on “DIY Body Sugar Scrub Lavender Vanilla

  1. GE OBrien says:

    So nice Mina, but I’m too lazy, I’ll buy mine, or “wait for a gift”, you know where I am in summer!!!


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