Everyone loves a good body scrub; it’s nourishing, gets the skin glowing, and it has a relaxing effect on the mind. The bad part is that body scrubs can cost a fortune if you’re buying them regularly. Plus, some contain harsh chemicals and unnecessary ingredients that we prefer to avoid.
That’s why I’ll show you how to make a body scrub at home, according to your taste and budget! Just because it’s made at home, doesn’t mean it can’t be luxurious and affordable at the same time!
Ready? Grab a cup of coffee, and let’s get scrubby!
So, we’ve covered a few beginner’s guides so far; one on body butters and one on how to make lotion from scratch. I’ve also talked extensively on how to make clay masks at home, but today it’s all about naturally glowing skin!
Body scrubs are a great beauty product you can make at home at a very low cost. They can be very creative, but keep in mind that body polish recipes aren’t suitable for facial use as the exfoliators are usually too rough to be used on the facial skin.
Still, that doesn’t mean you can have lots of fun making them; above all, they’re excellent for a girls’ night in!
WE'LL TALK ABOUT...
- How do you make a homemade body scrub?
- What is the best natural exfoliator?
- Benefits of body scrubs
- Homemade Body Scrub Recipes
- Tips on using your own homemade exfoliating scrub for body
- How to make body scrub at home: a recap
How do you make a homemade body scrub?
There are a few things to consider when writing a recipe for a body scrub, but the very basics are very simple. Essentially, you need these two:
- 1 part exfoliator
- 1 part oil
Now, these are the very basics on which you build a body scrub. When you make the scrub that’s runny, add more exfoliator until you reach the desired consistency and vice versa. If a scrub is too dry for your taste, add more oil. It can be easily adjustable to your likings!
If you’re just starting out, using just these two parts can already feel rewarding. But there are many other ingredients you can add to the recipe, to make it more luxurious, gift-worthy, or even practical!
What liquid ingredients can I add to body scrub?
- Essential oils are a great way to add scent to your homemade body scrubs; choose the scent accordingly to each scrub and its task: is it uplifting? Calming? Soothing? Relaxing?
- Using different natural oils in a body scrub provides your skin with different nourishing components since not two carrier oils have a same profile. I would recommend you not to use the most expensive and luxurious carrier oils in a body scrub, but the final choice is naturally yours.
- Make it creamy with natural butters; go beyond just oils and make whipped and creamy body scrubs by including a butter or two into your recipe: I have found mango and shea butters to work wonders in whipped scrubs. And a bonus: a scrub looks much nicer, fuller, and better, especially if you’re gifting it
- Use an emulsifier if you want to minimize the slippery shower floor; emulsifiers help you dissolve oil in water. That means, your skin remains smooth, soft, and glowing, but the shower floor isn’t a death-trap since you’re washing the oils off (you can find such a recipe with emulsifier below)!
- Not an oil fan? Don’t worry! You can make body scrubs with fresh fruit too, but those are best made and used fresh (they have no shelf-life)
- For experienced crafters, you can even make a body scrub lotion to push the limit and make it super luxurious and lightweight
What exfoliators can I add to body scrubs?
Okay, so exfoliator is that gritty ingredient that helps to scrub and polish your skin. There are many different exfoliators available; most popular are sugar and salt. Another advantage of using these two is that they dissolve in water so you don’t have to clean the bath (as you would with coffee).
You can add one or more exfoliators to one batch of a scrub. You don’t have to limit yourself to just one natural exfoliant.
Oh, if you want to make your scrubs extra pretty, you can add dried flower petals to them as well, and herbs! I regularly add lavender buds to my scrubs, as well as dried rose petals, even green tea, calendula petals, and much more! The same goes for spices or even powders, such as spirulina, matcha, even charcoal!
On a non-scrubby note, you can also add different dyes to your scrubs to make them look more appealing. I love to use mica powder and when used in small quantities, it gives a lovely splash of color to the scrub, but it doesn’t color the tub nor my skin.
What is the best natural exfoliator?
There are a few natural exfoliators you can use. Have a look at the list and test, until you find the one(s) that suit you most!
Make sure to grind oatmeal in a food processor before using. Otherwise, this is a very popular ingredient in many DIY body scrub recipes. I’m not the biggest fan (prefer my oatmeal on a spoon, not on my legs), but perhaps it may work for you. After all, this is a great natural ingredient if you’re making a DIY scrub for sensitive skin since it’s very gentle to the skin.
2. Baking soda
The most common and well know perhaps, baking soda is a great exfoliator to add to your scrubs. While some combine it with just water to make a paste, feel free to upgrade your recipe and add a few essential oils in the mix as well.
Baking soda leaves the skin super soft, but some people don’t really like it because it irritates their skin. In case you’re not sure, make a small test batch first and test it out. I like to combine a bit of baking soda with my sugar/salt body scrubs just because it’s so much finer than the other two exfoliators. Plus, it’s very affordable.
Clay has exfoliating properties and can be a great addition to your body scrub recipes since it’s all natural and it detoxifies the skin at the same time. You can use any type of clay you want; if you’re super specific, stick to white kaolin clay for sensitive skin (or any other skin type basically since it’s so gentle and versatile) and bentonite clay for oily skin and acne-prone skin. It can be a bit drying, but in a combination with oils and other ingredients, it makes wonders!
Just keep in mind that clay can be a bit messy when cleaning up the bath tub. Also, I wouldn’t use it as the main/only exfoliator for a body scrub simply because it could clog a drain in the long run (if you use a lot of it). But it works wonders in facial scrubs and masks!
Think finely ground sea salt, Himalayan pink salt, table salt, and even Epsom salt (to answer the question Can you make body scrub with Epsom salt?). These make an excellent exfoliator as well! Salt is excellent for tired and sore muscles; you can read on the benefits of Himalayan pink salt scrub here, but I love a refreshing salt scrub much more than a classic brown sugar one.
Some people love to use coarsely ground sea salt for elbows and heels, but I feel the granules are too big to actually be effective so I prefer to finely ground the salt before adding it to my scrub.
Rough and small, sugar is a perfect skin-cleansing agent in an exfoliating scrub. It not only effectively cleanses the skin of the dead skin cells, but it also hydrates it and minimizes fine lines, as it’s a great source of glycemic acid. Just like salt, I prefer to finely grind it in a mortar or even my smallish coffee grinder. You can use white, brown, or coconut sugar.
Coffee! Yes, it is all over the Internet, especially in all homemade body scrubs for cellulite and for puffy eyes. How to use coffee as a body scrub? Well, take fine-medium ground coffee and stick it into a recipe!
If you’re feeling particularly frugal, you can use the grounds from your coffee pot (Moka pot grind works very well), but the scrub smells like slightly burnt and stale coffee. I recommend you to always use fresh for the intoxicating coffee scent ;).
Keep in mind, coffee tends to be a bit messy, so prepare to clean up the remains of your scrub!
7. Jojoba beads
Jojoba beads are an eco-friendly alternative to plastic microbeads, with a difference that these don’t pollute the environment and are degradable. They also come in different colors so if you’re looking to add color/contrast to your scrub, these are a great way to do so.
8. Ground nut shells
These nut shells are perfect for elbows, heels, and knees, but I like to give them an extra grind in the mortar if I’m using them in a body scrub. Also, I normally use them in a combination with another exfoliant and use a smaller percentage of these shells. But, they give the scrub a more luxurious appearance!
What essential oils are good for body scrubs?
Basically, you can use any essential oils you’d like in your homemade exfoliating scrub for body.
More skin-specific, I’d recommend the following:
- Normal skin: frankincense, neroli, jasmine, German chamomile, geranium
- Combination skin: patchouli, lavender, orange, and bergamot
- Oily skin: bergamot, geranium, cypress, lemon, and lime
- Dry skin: cedarwood, geranium, chamomile, myrrh, and sandalwood
- Mature skin: tangerine, ylang-ylang, frankincense, rose, lavender, cypress, and sandalwood
- Sensitive skin: myrrh, patchouli, sandalwood, rose, chamomile
What’s more, you can make your own blends based on what you’d like to additionally achieve with a body scrub.
Calming blend: 5 drops lavender, 5 drops geranium, 3 drops chamomile, 3 drops lime
Invigorating blend: 5 drops peppermint, 5 drops grapefruit, 3 drops rosemary
Focus blend: 4 drops lemon, 3 drops basil, 3 drops rosemary, 5 drops grapefruit
Anti-stress blend: 5 drops lavender, 8 drops bergamot, and 4 drops ylang-ylang
Wake-up blend: 5 drops wild orange, 5 drops peppermint
The ratio for blending essential oils with carrier oils is 1 TBSP carrier to 5 drops essential oil.
Benefits of body scrubs
- remove dead skin cells, impurities, and dirt from the skin
- cleanse pores and remove congestion
- improve circulation and skin cell regeneration
- promote smooth, soft, and naturally glowing skin
- improve skin’s appearance (glowing, fresh, youthful)
- moisturizes the skin
- prolong tan of the skin
- free ingrown hair
- soothing and relaxing for the mind
Homemade Body Scrub Recipes
Perfect for colder months of the year, this whipped cupuacu body scrub is made with extra nourishing Epsom salt and comes together easily! Bonus? Makes a great gift too!
A gorgeous body scrub that emulsified when in contact with water and leaves your bath floor clean and non-slippery. Another bonus? It’s made with cold whipping method, so you don’t have to worry about melting the ingredients. Just weigh and whip away!
Tips on using your own homemade exfoliating scrub for body
It can be easy to make a DIY body scrub, but hey, there are always additional questions we should consider before cleansing our skin religiously on a weekly basis. Let’s have a look at what you should pay attention to when getting into the exfoliating body scrub routine!
Should I add a preservative to my body scrub?
If you’re making it for yourself, an oil-based body scrub (like the two recipes I shared above) doesn’t require a preservative. Just make sure you don’t splash the entire batch with water as that’ll cause the growth of bacteria and mold.
If you’re gifting it away or even selling, I’d think about adding a preservative just to be sure since you can’t know if that person will follow your instructions on how to use it.
How to use homemade body scrub?
To use, simply scoop out a smallish amount of the body scrub and place it into a shower-safe container (plastic is best). Apply on a clean skin after you’ve showered in small circular movements. Keep the main batch away from water and humidity, somewhere dry.
How often should I exfoliate?
Well, that all depends on your skin type.
You can and should exfoliate three times a week for normal and combination skin. In case you have dry and sensitive skin, minimize that amount to once a week.
Exfoliating every day can cause your skin to become more dry, irritated, and red. You want to remove the dead skin cells and other impurities from the skin, but you don’t want to strip it of its natural oils and cause more damage to healthy cells.
Do you exfoliate before or after you shave?
Ah, yes…the constant problem we worry about: should you exfoliate before or after shaving?
Before. The correct answer is before.
Your skin can feel irritated and it’s vulnerable right after the shave. You want to nourish after, so make sure to always exfoliate beforehand.
What’s more, exfoliating before shaving will make your shaving process easier: it lifts the hairs, which are easier to shave than if they are lying flat against your legs (or face for that matter, if you’re a guy)!
Also, exfoliating before shaving will help you remove any impurities and dead skin cells which can clog your razor. That way you’ll never get a close clean shave and your razor will be clogged all the time.
Exfoliating before you shave makes the whole process easier, smoother, and you’re less likely to get any razor bumps, minor cuts, and cause redness to the skin.
Is it better to exfoliate in the morning or at night?
It’s better to exfoliate in the morning. I personally enjoy the morning routine in the warm months of the year, but I can’t bring myself to scrub my skin in the morning during the winter months.
There’s nothing like a hot shower after an exfoliating session before I snuggle onto the couch with a cup of tea and a good movie or a book!
Anyway, that’s just me. And that’s my exfoliating routine for my body. I normally try and exfoliate my face in the morning (and I love my Konjac sponge for it when I’m in a hurry).
Apparently, the skin repairs itself throughout the day and it rebuilds new cells overnight. That’s why it’s important to exfoliate in the morning. Since I decided I care a lot about how my face looks like (you know, counting wrinkles and all that *wink*), I follow a facial routine thoroughly.
There are some opinions that differ, so it all depends on who you ask. Since I started exfoliating my face in the morning, I noticed it became much more glowing and healthy. In case you’re not sure, try both options and see which gives you the best results! You should be able to notice a difference after a week.
How do you heal your over-exfoliated skin?
- Apply a cool compress to the damaged area
- After a shower, pat your skin dry rather than rubbing it
- Apply nourishing moisturizer (a natural healing homemade cream would be best; you want to avoid any artificial fragrances or ingredients that can potentially irritate your skin even further)
- Turn to a completely natural makeup routine; don’t overburden your skin with many products. You want to give it time to heal and reduce irritation to a minimum
How do you get rid of an ingrown hair fast?
We’ve all been there. I hate ingrown hairs and I’ll take a wild guess and say that we all do! While I used to butcher my legs whenever I’d see one of these annoying ingrown, I’ve luckily grown out of it and took up a more civilized approach.
If you have the patience, you can let the poor ingrown hair a week for it to grown out of whatever it’s doing. Don’t rub it, shave it, nor touch it.
If you don’t have a week nor the patience, here’s how you get rid of an ingrown hair fast:
- Apply a warm moist washcloth to the ingrown hair area for a few minutes
- Repeat the process once the washcloth has cooled down (this will soften the skin and make the hair easier to pluck out)
- Remove the hair with tweezers, working gently around the skin. don’t pluck it out all the way; try to remove only the embedded end
- If it doesn’t come out easily, leave it be. Repeat the process with the compress again
You can also try and scrub the area of the ingrown hair, but do it gently! Work your way around the area from all possible angles. Perhaps exfoliating can do the trick if you do it twice daily (I still prefer the upper method though!)
How to make body scrub at home: a recap
And there you go! Making body scrub at home is easy and if you’re feeling creative, there are a ton of ingredients you can choose to experiment with. The best part about body scrubs is that you can easily stick to a budget if you so desire as the options for oils and exfoliants are so many!
What’s more, you can make the scrubs look appealing by using dried herbs or powders, along with mica powder for a splash of color! Last but not least, include an emulsifier into your recipe to take any scrub a step further: prevent nasty slips in the shower and improve the rinse-off of the product!
What’s your favorite DIY body scrub? Let me know in the comments below!
Help support Wild for Nature
Many of you have asked if there’s a way to help support Wild for Nature. I’ve signed up for Buy Me Coffee. If you love what I do, learn from me, sell anything you made from my recipes, and want to see Wild for Nature grow even more, I’d be thrilled if you’d consider buying me a coffee! It works as a one-time or a monthly donation of $3. You can also get beautifully designed PDFs with a series of recipes and other resources I publish there, to help you learn and get creative at home! I can then use that money to further develop and grow Wild for Nature and you can help me continue with wild creations and resources!