The sugar scrub is quickly replacing the salt scrub as the natural exfoliator in women’s skin care regimen. The grainy substances are used to slough off dead skin to allow fresh, smooth skin to grow in the old skin’s place. Some people have found that the aggressive scrubbing with salt to be painful, making sugar an increasingly popular substitute.
The sugar scrubs sold in stores and spas can be made at home for a cost-effective, all-natural exfoliator. The scrubs can be used on the face, body and lips to moisturize and exfoliate for softer, healthier skin. Sugar may be bad for your internal health, but it can work wonders on your external appearance!
What is a sugar scrub?
Along with facial cleansers, toners and moisturizers, a face scrub is a standard part of many women’s skincare routine. The face scrub mechanically sloughs off the built-up dead skin cells left on the skin by exfoliating them away. This allows room for fresh skin. The new skin will be smoother and healthier once the old skin is removed.
The trendy sugar scrub is a type of facial scrub that you can make at home with natural ingredients instead of purchasing chemical-laden drugstore face scrubs. Before sugar became the more popular method, people used salt in their scrubs. However, many people found the salt to be scratchy and almost painful. Like salt, the sugar comes in granules, but it’s less harsh on the skin than salt.
The granules of sugar physically exfoliate the skin and the scrubs can be used all over the body, on the face and even on the lips. Yes, you can (and should) exfoliate your lips to help ease chapped, dry skin. Sugar scrubs shouldn’t be part of your daily skin care routine, as too much exfoliating can cause irritated skin. Instead, the sugar scrubs can be a weekly treat to give you softer, glowing skin. You can add all types of things into your sugar scrub to reap the full benefits, such as honey, drops of your favorite essential oil and even chocolate, just to name a few possibilities.
Sugar scrubs benefits
Natural skin care products give you control over your beauty routine because you will know for 100% certainty that the ingredients are truly all-natural. Many drugstore products include harsh chemicals that aren’t always transparent on the list of ingredients. Making a DIY sugar scrub lets you use whatever ingredients you already have in your kitchen and can be mixed up in a matter of minutes. You won’t be standing in the beauty aisle, overwhelmed by all the hundreds of different products.
Sugar scrubs are versatile and can be used on the entire body, just the face or in a small area such as the lips. The sugar granules work as an excellent exfoliating agent, which is necessary to make skin look healthier and more vibrant. Exfoliators manually remove the dead skin cells that have been clinging to your skin, preventing fresh, clean skin from improving your complexion.
Here are some of the many benefits of sugar scrubs:
DIY products are inexpensive and all-natural
Save time and money by making the sugar scrubs at home with ingredients you know are all-natural.
Brightens dull skin
Once the dead skin cells have been sloughed off, your skin will appear softer and brighter thanks to the fresh, new skin that replaces the dead skin.
Reduce signs of aging
Dull, tired skin looks old. A simple exfoliation can restore your youthful appearance and take years off your perceived age.
Removes ingrown hairs
When applied in a circular motion, the sugar scrub can help free painful ingrown hairs.
Give as gifts
You can make extra sugar scrubs and give them to family and friends as a gift for any occasion. A gift that you’ve taken the time to make yourself has more meaning than one randomly purchased in the store. And, if you’re inclined, you can even sell the sugar scrubs.
As mentioned, the sugar scrubs should only be used weekly to keep your skin soft and smooth. But there are also specific situations that the sugar scrub might help. Such as:
- Before shaving your legs
- Before a spray tan
- In the shower
- To remove chapped skin from the lips
- After a sunburn heals
Sugar scrubs are a great addition to any skincare regime.
5 DIY Sugar scrubs for your face
Face Scrub with 2 Ingredients
This sugar face scrub is a simple recipe perfect for beginners. Coconut oil has moisturizing properties. It can also reduce inflammation due to skin irritants or redness caused by acne. There is an optional 3rd ingredient. You can add a few drops of your favorite essential oil for a fragrant treat.
- 1 tbsp coconut oil
- 2 tbsp organic cane sugar
Stir coconut oil and sugar together. Rub mixture onto face and neck with circular motions. Rinse with warm water. Store mixture in the fridge between uses, as coconut oil can melt in warm climates. Use the coconut oil sugar scrub once a week to help keep your skin fresh and nourished.
Simple Face Scrub
This is another face scrub that is easy to do for those new to facial scrubs and DIY products. You can substitute organic cane sugar for granulated and use any essential oil you have on-hand.
- 1 tsp granulated sugar
- 1-2 drops of lavender essential oil (or preferred essential oil)
- 2 drops of water
Combine ingredients into a mixture. Apply to face and gently scrub in circles for 1 minute. Wash with cool water. Pat dry and use a drop of oil as a moisturizer, if needed.
Honey Sugar Face Scrub
Honey has antibacterial and moisturizing properties. The honey sugar scrub will nourish and clean your skin while sloughing off dead skin cells. Your skin will look renewed and fresh.
- 2 tbsp raw honey
- 2 tbsp sugar
Combine sugar and honey, mix well. Rub onto face and let sit for 15 minutes. Rinse with warm water.
Lemon Sugar Face Scrub
Lemon acts as an astringent that clears clogged pores and tones skin. Clogged pores are a leading cause of acne and other face blemishes. Be careful not to get lemon in your eyes, as it will sting. Lemon can also dry out your skin, so be sure to apply a moisturizer after using the sugar scrub.
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tbsp lemon juice from fresh lemon (or lemon essential oil)
- ½ cup granulated sugar
Mix ingredients together with a whisk. Massage mixture onto face for 1 minute using circular motions. Rinse with warm water. This recipe also works as a body scrub.
Sugar Face Scrub with Chocolate
Chocolate lovers everywhere will rejoice to know that cocoa is rich in nutrients and vitamins. When applied to the face in a scrub, the chocolate hydrates and soothes irritated skin. And it smells like heaven! But it goes on your face; not in your mouth!
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 1 tbsp organic cocoa powder
- 2 drops vanilla essential oil or vanilla extract
Whisk ingredients together in a bowl. Lather on face and gently massage for 1 minute. Let the mixture stay on the skin for 10 minutes before washing off with warm water.
The face scrubs can be made at home for very little money and used weekly to refresh skin. Some of them contain ingredients that can dry the skin out, so be sure to use a moisturizer after you’ve dried your face. The exfoliating process is usually done at the beginning of a face care routine, so continue with your normal regime after the scrub.
DIY Sugar scrubs for your lips
The skin that covers our lips is the thinnest skin on the entire body. The lips can easily become irritated or chapped because of cold weather, sun exposure and dehydration. Exfoliating the lips should be included in your skin care routine. You can add pretty much any tasty ingredient to your sugar scrub, but these two are the most popular:
Honey Sugar Lip Scrub
Sugar has natural exfoliating properties. Honey acts as a moisturizer and soothes the damaged thin skin of the lips. A honey sugar scrub will leave your lips hydrated and smooth.
- 2 tbsp sugar
- 1 tbsp coconut or olive oil
- ½ tsp raw honey
- 2 drops vanilla essential oil or other favorite oil (peppermint, lemon, etc.)
- Mix ingredients in bowl
- Gently rub mixture over lips
- Leave on lips for 10 minutes
- Use a warm washcloth to remove
- Apply a moisturizing lip balm
Coffee Sugar Lip Scrub
Many people drink coffee to “wake up” in the morning. You can use it to “wake up” your lips by using it in a lip scrub. The lips should be exfoliated just as often as the face. Exfoliating removes the dead skin cells and allows fresh skin to grow.
- 2 tbsp brown sugar
- 1 tsp used coffee ground
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 drops vanilla essential oil
Mix ingredients together in a food processor or with a whisk. Apply mixture to lips and gently rub into the lip skin. Let sit on the lips for 5 minutes. Rinse off with a wet washcloth. Store the extra mixture in the fridge and repeat application once per week as needed.
DIY Sugar scrubs for your body
Exfoliating the skin of the face, lips and body should be done just once a week to avoid irritating the skin. The above-mentioned face scrubs can easily be used on the body. Many scrubs are infused with essential oils for additional health benefits and fragrance.
Here are two other body scrubs that are great for the skin:
Almond Milk & Sugar Body Scrub
Sugar works as an exfoliator to slough off dead skin. The almond milk softens the skin for a creamy skin complexion.
- 2 tablespoons Almond Milk
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
Mix almond milk and sugar to form a paste. While in the shower, massage the mixture onto your body. Let set for a few minutes before washing off with warm water. After the shower, use a moisturizer to nourish skin.
Sea Salt & Sugar Body Scrub
Before sugar gained popular in body scrubs, salt was used as the exfoliant. However, the salt is rougher than sugar and some people found that uncomfortable. You can leave out the salt and just use sugar, but adding salt gives twice the exfoliating power. The sugar granules can reduce the discomfort caused by the salt. You can add in relaxing lavender essential oil.
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 teaspoon brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 2 drops essential oil
Mix ingredients. Gently rub all over the body while in the shower. Wash off with warm water and pat dry. Apply moisturizer as usual.
The facial scrubs can be used as body scrubs. Moisturizer should be applied to the exfoliated area after the skin has dried.