Personal Care Kitchen: How to Make Homemade Body Scrubs

updated May 3, 2019
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(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

March is Bathroom Month at our sister sites, and while cooking and bathrooms don’t instinctively mix (although, oh, how we loved Kramer’s shower drain garbage disposal on “Seinfeld”), there are some common kitchen ingredients you can use to whip up all-natural bath products.

First up: We’re test-driving a trio of homemade body scrubs.

Most do-it-yourself recipes call for oil combined with either salt or sugar, resulting in a scrub that sloughs off dead skin cells but still moisturizes. We decided to try olive oil combined with each of these three: brown sugar, granulated sugar, and kosher salt.

As far as measurements, a little trial and error produced the following:

• For brown sugar, use equal parts oil and sugar. We used 2 tablespoons of each for our sample.
• For granulated sugar, which is finer and tends to dissolve a bit in the oil, use twice as much sugar as oil. We used 2 tablespoons of oil and 4 tablespoons of sugar.
• For kosher or sea salt, use two parts oil to three parts salt. We used 2 tablespoons of oil and 3 tablespoons of salt. You can adjust it, depending on how coarse your salt is.

We’d also recommend a few drops of essential oil, like lavender or grapefruit, which you can find in health food stores. That way, you’ll smell more like a spa and less like a muffin.

As for the results… We preferred the granulated sugar mixture. It felt like smooth sand and provided good exfoliation without being too harsh. The brown sugar was clumpy. And brown (lemony yellow seemed more aesthetically pleasing). The salt was too abrasive for our skin, although it would be great for calloused heels. Just scrub sitting down, as your feet get pretty slippery from the oil.

Speaking of oil, check out this post on how much to spend on your olive oil. An inexpensive brand with a less pronounced flavor is certainly sufficient for this recipe.

And stay tuned for more kitchen ingredients in the bathroom!

(Image credit: Elizabeth Passarella for The Kitchn. From left: granulated sugar, brown sugar, kosher salt.)