Monday, November 18, 2013

Holiday Sugar Scrubs: Testing Various Supplies

Sugar scrubs are super popular holiday DIY gifts right now.  I have seen a lot of great recipes on Pinterest.  Instead of trying to come up with a new recipe, I decided to test out some different supplies.

I made 2 variations of the basic sugar scrub:

  • red dyed light brown sugar with olive oil
  • green dyed white sugar with vegetable oil

I used the following ingredients in both scrubs
  • 3 C sugar
  • 1 C + 2tbsp oil 
  • 15-25 drops essential oils
  • food coloring
  • storage jars 
Note: You can spend a lot for storage jars or very little.  I got mine half off at Hobby Lobby.  You need something with a tight lid, preferably sealed.  Each sugar scrub filled 4 of these little jars.

Brown Sugar Scrub

For my brown sugar scrub, I mixed together all of the ingredients listed above, using brown sugar and olive oil.  I used peppermint essential oil and mixed in red food coloring.

I stirred and stirred, but the olive oil and sugar do separate.  They go back together pretty quickly.  I used the entire bottle of red food coloring.  As you can see, the color is a dark red.  I used nearly 25 drops of peppermint oil.  The olive oil has a stronger smell and kind of covers the essential oil a little bit.  The brown sugar scrub with the food coloring did not appear to stain my skin.

White Sugar Scrub

Next, I made a white sugar scrub.  For the white sugar scrub, I mixed together all of the ingredients listed above, using white sugar and vegetable oil.  I used cucumber melon essential oil and mixed in green food coloring.

There were some noticeable differences from the brown sugar scrub when I made this one.  For one thing, the color was very bright, which I would think is a result of starting with a lighter base.  I really like how the color turned out.  Another difference is that the vegetable oil had a much lighter smell and I needed less essential oil.  Additionally, the scrub mix didn't separate.  It stayed pretty consistently together.  I'm not sure if the stability is about the sugar, oil, or both, but it was much better.  Finally, I did notice that my finger tips were very slightly green after using the scrub, but it did wash off pretty quickly.

So, there you have it.  Two types of DIY Sugar scrubs.  Both were inexpensive and easy to make.  The two scrubs are very different, but they both seemed effective, and I like how they turned out.


  1. I love getting scrubs for Christmas...or anytime! :) I may be making these after Christmas just for me.

  2. Nothing like a good scrub! I enjoyed learning how you made yours. I need to try this! Thanks for sharing with SYC.

  3. I'm making these for gifts this year, thank you for sharing.

  4. I had no clue they where that easy to make! I know couple people that might be getting this for Christmas instead of Jam!

    Thanks for sharing!

  5. What a great gift idea and so easy to make. I am going to pin this so I remember to make some. Thanks.

  6. This look great. Doesn't the food color rub off on skin when you use it?

    1. Surprisingly enough it doesn't really stain. With the red one, I didn't see any staining, but there was a little bit with the green. The green color did wash off quickly with soap and water.