If you’re here for the first time today, this post is part of a week long spa feature. Check here for more info, and don’t forget to enter to win some great spa products!

Of all the homemade beauty treatments in the world, sugar scrubs are my favorite. Maybe it’s because I have such a sweet tooth and slathering sugar all over my body somehow connects to that 🙂 The great thing is that almost everyone has the basic ingredients for a sugar scrub in their kitchen all the time. It’s so easy and so cheap to whip up and the results are AMAZING. If you’ve never tried it you’ll be amazed at how soft your skin can be. The little granules of sugar rub off all of those dead skin cells leaving the fresh, baby soft kind behind and then the oil seeps in and makes it velvety soft.

The basic ingredients for a sugar scrub are Sugar + Oil. Told you it was easy. You can use any skin-safe oil. Oils suitable for massage work well for sugar scrubs. I personally always use olive oil, but there are lots of options. You can also play around with the sugars. Plain white sugar, brown sugar, raw sugar. When you find a sugar/oil mixture you like, add some fragrance. Herbs, spices, and essential oils work great. I love white sugar with lavender buds and a few drops of lemon essential oil.

My favorite however, is one that smells like something fresh from the oven (is anyone surprised??) So here’s my recipe for a sweet and spicy brown sugar scrub. Rub this all over, and try not to lick yourself.

Sweet and Spicy Sugar Scrub

1/4 C brown sugar
1/4 C white sugar
1/2 t cinnamon
1/2 t ground ginger
1/2 t ground cloves
Oil: olive oil*, almond oil, grape seed oil, apricot oil, jojoba, etc.
optional: a few drops of essential oil, such as cinnamon

*I use olive oil for my sugar scrubs, which does have a scent. If the smell bothers you, try a “light” olive oil which has a milder taste and smell. Or just use a different type of oil all together.

Directions: Combine everything but oil in a bowl and then add in oil and stir to combine. I suggest starting with just part of the oil and adding it until it’s the consistency you want it. Store in a container with a lid. I suggest keeping it in the fridge if you have left overs, it should last quite a while. Stop using it if it smells gross 🙂

For Use: Soap off in the shower so you have clean skin. Stir the sugar scrub and then massage into skin in circular motions for several minutes. I use it from my neck all the way down to my toes. After rinsing, if your skin feels too oily you can use a little bit of soap to wash it off. I personally leave it. By the time I finish my shower it doesn’t feel too oily anymore and it adds to the benefits of a sugar scrub. It will trap in the moisture and make your skin so soft and smooth. After you get out of the shower, slather on some lotion and try to keep everyone from touching you!

I’ve made these scrubs for gifts before. For the holidays, this brown sugar scrub is perfect. Add a little cinnamon essential oil to make it even better. Pop it in a cute jar with a ribbon and a label with instructions and you’ve got one awesome (and unique) little surprise for someone. (Note: these jars are just for cuteness- they are not actually “canned” and sealed)

Now I know you all have sugar and oil. Go make some sugar scrub now! Your skin will thank you!

Any other tips for soft skin??

I loved one reader’s tip yesterday about sprinkling sugar on a half of a grape fruit and then using it to massage your skin. A citrus scrub- doesn’t that sound amazing?? I tried it with the other half of my orange from my smoothie and loved it. And I totally licked my arm. She also puts a layer of marbles in the bottom of her favorite foot soak so it doubles as a massage. Thanks Stephanie for those great tips!

Other Spa in the Kitchen Features:
Hair Treatment


  1. 1
    jill says:

    What a fun gift idea!! And super afforable too…man I love you guys!

  2. 2
    MommytoTommy says:

    Oh, yeah, finally! Something I have HERE! I am SO trying this tomorrow! You are great!! Keep it up!!

  3. 3
    Nicole says:

    I am seriously lovin the spa theme! thanks!!

  4. 4
    Ally says:

    This would make a great teacher gift for the end of the year! Thank you for sharing.

  5. 5
    pigpigscorner says:

    Looks like a good spread to me =P Love the spa theme. Simple and cheap to make.

  6. 6
    Ramsey says:

    I’m totally going to make little spa packages for all my friends for Christmas this year!! What a great way to save some money and give something awesome! Thanks!

  7. 7
    Jessica says:

    Love sugar scrubs, you inspired me to do one last night.

  8. 8
    gigi says:

    I am so going to try this right now!

  9. 9
    mattie says:

    About how much oil do you start with? And how much do you think you usually end up adding? Thanks!


  10. 10
    roxanne says:

    Thanks for putting up those extra tips at the end from yesterday’s comments. I hadn’t read them, but they sound great!

    This scrub looks wonderful! I will definitely try it, and if I am as impressed as I think I’ll be it will definitely make the Christmas gift giving list this year. Thank you!

  11. 11
    Christina says:

    I’ve heard of this “sugar and oil” scrub. It must work wonders. I love the cute little jar–I’ll be on the lookout for those:) Great tips there at the end too! Thanks!

  12. 12
    Ben and Angela says:

    This week is awesome, I am going to have one spectacular weekend . . . if only I can talk my husband into doing facials with me.

  13. 13
    Summer says:

    I have never heard of this! What an awesome gift idea! I’m totally putting this one in my ‘file.’ Thanks!

  14. 14
    Cate says:

    Heckuva lot cheaper than the ones from Origins – looks like a great gift idea!

  15. 15
    Em says:

    Sounds fun, although it will probably make me really hungry!

  16. 16
    Brandy and Andy says:

    Great Idea! The spa I go to for pedicures uses a sugar base scrub. It is so much better than salt based scrubs. This one sounds yummy!

  17. 17
    Cami says:

    Looks good enough to eat! I bet this smells divine! Can’t wait to try it!

  18. 18
    Amy Glisan says:

    This sounds great, I.m going to try it right away!

  19. 19
    Wehrle says:

    Scrubs for girfs… GREAT idea!!!

  20. 20
    Our Family says:

    I have friends with birthdays coming up….spa basket. Sounds good to me.
    [email protected]

  21. 21
    Jaime says:

    I’ve only been following for a short while, but I’m LOVING this spa week!
    Thank you!

  22. 22
    Rachel says:

    I love scrubs! Thanks for the great recipe!!!

  23. 23
    Jess says:

    I’m no good with creativity. If I did this as a gift for teacher’s, what would be fun/cute/creative instructions to put on the jar?

    I can’t just give it, without trying it myself. So, darn it, I’ll have to make some for me first. Ah, the sacrifices I make for my kids.

  24. 24

    Oh! I love sugar scrubs but hate paying for them at the store. I’ve never made one at home… can’t wait to try it. 🙂

  25. 25
    Nathaly says:

    I am definitely going to be using this as a gift in the near future. Thanks!

  26. 26
    Cathy - wheresmydamnanswer says:

    This is great – all the benefits of the spa without leaving the house!! I have read a lot about these home treatments and am excited to try this!

  27. 27
    cookies and cups says:

    WOW! Great idea! I have bought sugar scrubs so many times and it never occurred to me to make it myself! How easy!

  28. 28
    Tricia says:

    I’m loving the idea of giving it to my kids teachers, thanks!!

  29. 29
    Kristi says:

    What a great gift idea!

  30. 30
    Ashley says:

    What a cute gift idea. Personalized and wont’ break the bank!

  31. 31
    J says:

    With the sun starting to play havoc with my skin, I am looking forward to keeping it soft and beautiful! Thanks

  32. 32
    Lund Family says:

    Looks like I know what I will be doing once all the kids go to bed. Thanks girls!!

  33. 33
    Erin says:

    I had no idea sugar and oil could do wonders for your skin. How fun!

  34. 34
    Suzanne says:

    Heading out the door for a girlfriend weekend. Guess I’ll have to stop by the grocery to be the most popular one!

  35. 35
    [email protected] says:

    I have made some of my own sugar scrubs before and loved them! I can’t wait to try this! I also wanted to invite you to stop by my blog and see the wonderful giveaway I have along with my new blog look! A very whimsy Birdie Bag and cupcake pincushion~looks good enough to eat! lol


  36. 36
    Heidi says:

    I love this! I’m so going to do this for a present for my sisters.

  37. 37
    Dean and Amber says:

    I love it for a Christmas gift idea…and for myself. Thanks for the idea…now I just have to remember to do it in about 6 months.

  38. 38
    Amy says:

    We made peppermint bath salts with our Young Women for Christmas last year. The sugar scrub is a great idea for this Christams!

  39. 39
    Jon and Sarah says:

    Thanks! This will be the perfect gift for my friend next month.

  40. 40
    Travis and Melissa says:

    I’m loving this spa week! I hope you have some fun foot remedy next!

  41. 41
    The Young Family says:

    My friend just gave me a homemade scrub that I love! Now I’m glad to have a recipe of my own!

  42. 42
    Katie Tyler says:

    anything that reminds me of cinnamon rolls is good!

  43. 43
    Ashlee and Scott says:

    The sweet and spicy sounds delicious…for that rough and tough skin!

  44. 44
    Victoria says:

    Just wondering how long this keeps?

  45. 45
    Lindsay says:

    Yum. Can’t wait to try this! Love the marble idea, too!

  46. 46
    The Siple Family says:

    I love this one! It smells so yummy too.

  47. 47
    PULN7GS says:

    I have spent way too much on these at stores- i can make this one for free- everything already here! Awesome gifts too!

  48. 48
    Tashva says:

    This looks super yummy, and I definitely want to try this for the smell. Cinnamon and sugar floating around? Yum!

  49. 49
    Fichtner Family says:

    Ou la la! Sounds great.

  50. 50
    Steph says:

    Add me to the “love-this-for-gift-ideas” list!

  51. 51
    Melonie says:

    I have totally done the citrus scrub you described and it is amazing on dry thighs and arms! meloniew a t g m a i l d o t c o m

  52. 52
    Aubri says:

    Fun! I love the citrus scrub idea too. And, if you have some leftovers, you could totally spread it on top of some toast! 🙂

  53. 53
    Jules says:

    What a fantastic idea!

  54. 54
    Jenna says:

    Aw, I never would have thought to add cinnamon and other delicious spices! I have to try this!

  55. 55
    The Keith Family says:

    Yum!!! Plus that citrus scrub idea sounds amazing. Love the smell of grapefruit!

  56. 56
    merparker says:

    Love, love, love sugar scrubs! I love for my skin to feel soft!

  57. 57
    Jennifer says:

    I’ve heard of this before but never had the guts to try it. Maybe now I will!! It sounds good!

  58. 58
    stephchows says:

    Quick question, do you boil the jars to seal them? Or do you just put the lids on and store them in the fridge?

  59. 59
    John, Kara, Andrew and Grant says:

    This sounds so nice…I can almost smell how good it would be. Great gift idea.

  60. 60
    Becky says:

    Wow, I know what I want to do this week-end. What great ideas for this week. Thanks!

  61. 61
    The Wifey says:

    So now that spa week is almost over you’ll come back to us on cafemom right? lol. I know you’ve been working hard….we miss you!

  62. 62
    Brya says:

    I really need to take better care of my skin, so thanks for the extra help.

  63. 63
    Teej says:

    Yea! I made some of this up tonight and can’t wait to try it tomorrow morning in the shower. I *love* spa stuff, but it’s always so expensive and so many times it just doesn’t seem to do what they say it will, at least not as well, so I’m very excited to try out the recipes you’ve posted this week. In fact, I may go try out the oatmeal exfoliating facial from Tuesday right now!

  64. 64
    henzy says:

    great tips. i’m trying the sugar scrub out in the shower today..

  65. 65
    Leigh Ann says:

    This looks like a fantastic gift! How much oil do you use?

  66. 66
    Sara @ Our Best Bites says:

    Leigh Ann- I really don't know how much oil, I just drizzle it in slowly until it's a good consistency. Just eyeball it!

  67. 67
    Christy F. says:

    What type of jars should I use and where can I find them? Also, is this recipe just for one of those jars? How much does it make?

  68. 68
    Sara @ Our Best Bites says:

    Christy, you can use any type of jar you want! This recipe will make about 3/4 C, so I'd get a 4-8 oz jar. The one shown in the picture is a 4 oz and it filled it up nicely.

  69. 69
    Lindsay says:

    i made these as christmas presents for my grandma, great-grandma and mother-in-law to be! they all loved it! thanks for the great idea!

  70. 70
    Kelly Jo says:

    thanks for the FAB idea!

    Look at the gifts I made with this recipe!


  71. 71
    Sara @ Our Best Bites says:

    Kelly Jo- those are fantastic! Thanks for sharing!

  72. 72
    Debbies Doodle says:

    Here I am again. Last year I made this for my friends for Chistmas. They loved it!. Even there husbands liked it. They ask for it again this year.. Thank you…

  73. 73
    Teri says:

    I think I am going to make these as Christmas presents.

    Where can I find the small jars?

  74. 74
    Sara @ Our Best Bites says:

    Teri- wherever canning supplies are sold. I bought those at Walmart.

  75. 75
    Jen says:

    This stuff is great. I just made a half batch for myself to test it and I love it…I smell like cinnamon and my skin is super soft. 😀 I really want to give this as gifts. Do you think it'd do okay being shipped?

  76. 76
    Sara @ Our Best Bites says:

    Jen, I think it would be fine shipped. You'll just want to screw on the jar lids REALLY well and I'd place each one in a ziplock bag as well, just in case! Glad you like it!

  77. 77
    angela says:

    I just wanted to let everyone know that I found a 12 pack of the little jars at Ace Hardware for about $8!! I know they have them at Walmart in 4 packs, but if you are gonna make a bunch it's good to get the big pack:) ENJOY!!!

  78. 78
    Kara says:

    Sara, where do you get jars like the one in the picture? I've looked, but maybe not in the right places.

  79. 79
    Kara says:

    Okay, I'm dumb, and totally missed your comment like 4 above mine. Sorry Sara! 🙂

  80. 80
    Jen says:

    Had to comment again about how great this stuff is. I work with a lot of polymer clay, making jewelry and charms, and some of the clay tends to "stain" my hands, especially red clay (can't tell you how many batches of white clay I've turned pink by working with it right after working with red.) So, I always have to wash my hands after working with red clay, but even that doesn't completely remove the red stains. But I tried the sugar scrub today and it worked great! It took all the red off my hands without actually hurting my skin. PLUS, my hands tend to get really dried out after working with a lot of clay, since the clay sort of absorbs some of the moisture from my skin, so the olive oil in the scrub helped re-moisturize my hands.

  81. 81
    Fleur says:

    I know this post has been here a while, but I thought I would add my two cents and answer a question. Victoria asked how long these will keep: the oils usually have a shelf life of about six months. The exception is the Jojoba oil. It lasts practically forever, that's why it's so much more expensive than the others. (I'm currently studying Massage Therapy, so I'm eager to share what I learn with anyone who will listen) 🙂 Aloe Vera oil is also wonderful to mix in with scrubs.

  82. 82
    Melissa says:

    I love this.
    I love this,
    I just got out of the shower after putting this on. really sara? REALLY?
    I feel like a freaking Cinnabon.
    I love that feeling.
    You know I always hated those vanilla lotions and stuff, it smelled fake to me, but I adore this because it actually smells like sugar and cinnamon…Cause it IS actual sugar and cinnamon. WOAH?!!??
    This was an answer to a major problem of mine. I get really bad razor burn, and I though the sugar would irritate it. But I took a chance and my legs feel AMAZING and look wonderful to. I am officially keeping this little tub of magic in my shower from now on. I love you. You are my new best friend. haha:)

  83. 83
    Rebecca says:

    I have been flying (Flight Attendant) for years… In-flight we get very creative with foods and activities (during down time of course). We did something similar to your brown sugar scrub…

    Standing over the aft galley trash can we would use left over lemons (for tea) and limes (margaritas) squeeze them in our hands rub that all over our hands and wrists, another FA would sprinkle 4 packets of sugar in our hand, we would rub it all in until the sugar basically melted and exfoliated our tired hands… The other FA would slowly pour a can of soda water over our hands to rinse… The finale was free hotel lotion (usually the smelly bath and body works ones from the good hotels)

    I will definitely make your scrub as gifts to friends!! Thanks so much!

  84. 84

    I would like to know where you got your sugar scrubs jars from, because I need 4oz, 8oz and 16oz jars. Thanks in advance.

  85. 85
    Mimi says:

    I used to own my own body/candle shop. I love sugar scrubs. Add a little honey to this if you have some handy. Honey has an antibacterial property that helps clean out the pores and keep acne at bay………smells heavenly in the scrub too 🙂

  86. 86
    Lendee Beugelink says:

    Love this! I want to make a coffee one. Will start experimenting.
    Also, I buy olive oils from Queen Creek AZ and they have many flavors even chocolate so you would not have to add fragrance.

  87. 87
    Patty C says:

    I just made the brown sugar body scrub, LOVE IT!!!!

  88. 88
    Melissa says:

    Could you use canola oil or vegetable oil (or a mix) for this or would that be gross?


  89. 89
    Nikki says:

    Just made up a couple batches to give to friends. I got a little bit messy filling the jars so I went ahead and rubbed it into my hands and rinsed. One word: HEAVENLY! This is my “go to” from now on.

  90. 90
    Tricia Jones says:

    To think I have been spending $20 a jar for something I can do myself. Thanks so much!

  91. 91
    Sarah Beth says:

    I SO wish I had found this years ago! This year is a little money slim. I think this is gonna make a couple of wonderful last minute Christmas presents. I was wondering if there might be a way to turn this into a citrus scrub though? May have to play around with some scents and smells and textures. Thank you so much!

  92. 92
    Kim says:

    Love this idea!! Great for teens.

  93. 93
    Racheal Zauche says:

    I’ve known this because I’m a cosmetology but I think that everyone will love this little trick just as much as I do. On the days that you shave your legs use this scrub first. Then shave. Don’t worry you will still have the same moisturizing affect but the benefit is is that the scrub will exfoliate eliminating all the dead stuff first. Then shaving will go further in the exfoliating process giving you a closer shave. AND OF COURSE THE SMOOTHEST LEGS EVER!!!

  94. 94
    jules says:

    this is great! can’t wait 2 try!

  95. 95
    Laura says:

    I tried the brown sugar/olive oil combo scrub and my skin was so nice after the shower. Today I made a brown sugar/coconut oil/a slice of squeezed lemon juice combo and I have to say I loved it even more than my first attempt. Didn’t even need lotion. This is my go-to scrub when I need a little TLC. Thanks for letting me find your site.

  96. 96
    Tracy says:

    Ive been using a sugar scrub for years now and my boyfriend uses it for his feet. It gives me the most amazing soft skin. I use soap and a scrubby all over and rinse off. Then I use the sugar scrub all over. (no worries about the nether regions laddies its good for after shaving to keep razor burn away too) Then I rinse off with warm/hot water, grab my towel and pat dry. I let the majority of me air dry while I’m putting on my make-up.The results? Velvety soft skin.
    All I use is
    Raw sugar and olive oil. In a container I fill it about 3/4 full with raw sugar granules and pour in extra virgin olive oil. (both the sugar and olive oil are non processed, no bleach or extra additives)Only pour in enough olive oil so that the sugar and olive oil are equal in the container. Mix them gently adding more oil if needed. Thats it. I add a few drops (Lavender) essential oil to my mixture but its not necessary . I use it on my face even after I scrub it with soap. Pat it dry too . No need for expensive lotions. Its all I use and no wrinkles.

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