Body Scrub Recipes

Don't spend $$ on a body scrub when you can make one for pennies

Body scrubs are wonderful for exfoliating dead skin. But they're on your body for just minutes before washing away down your drain. Most store-bought scrubs (here's a list of my favorites) contain preservatives and additives which means you're putting who-knows-what chemicals on your skin.  You can simplify your life and save money by making your own body scrubs quite easily. Here, I share a bunch of recipes that I've tried and liked. Most come from friends or skincare experts whose advice I revere and I'm always adding more as I come across them. Enjoy!

More on homemade skin care:

Still life with cherry blossom, salt scrub, and white pebbles
Chris Gramly/E+/Getty Images

Head to a posh spa and you can treat yourself (for a mere $100-$300) to an all-over body scrub. Or you can spend up to $50 on a fancy body scrub. Why buy when you can make a homemade body scrub out of basic ingredients yourself? All you need is salt or sugar, body oil and a nice, warm bath.

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Honey & Sugar Scrub

Runny honey is great for masks and scrubs. Digital Vision for Getty Images

I've had the most amazing scrubs in my years as a beauty editor. The very best spas tend to make their own scrubs using natural ingredients. You, too, can make a scrub that mimics theirs. This gorgeous honey sugar scrub takes only 3 ingredients and works like magic.

I love this body scrub because it contains ingredients I always have on hand in my home: honey, oil and sugar. Just whisk this up in a bowl and step into the shower.

Here's how to do it:

  1. Warm a jar of honey in the microwave for a few seconds until it becomes runny but not too hot to the touch.
  2. Pour about 1/4 cup of the honey (eyeball it) into a bowl.
  3. Stir in 2 tablespoons of your favorite oil. You can use coconut oil, sweet almond oil or even baby oil. In a pinch, you could even use olive oil, which is also great for the skin.
  4. Add about a 1/2 cup of sugar. I prefer brown sugar, but a basic white sugar would work as well. Mix well.

Step in the shower and turn on the water. Get completely wet. Turn off the shower.

Place some of the mixture in your palms and massage in a circular motion all over legs, arms, belly, butt and chest (you can have your partner do your back). Don't do this while the shower's running or you'll wash off the mixture before you get the full effect.

Rinse off in the shower.

Sweet almond oil. Pricegrabber

This is a great recipe because it contains ingredients that you typically have in your cupboards (once you buy the capsules and the essential oils, that is) and doesn't rely on fresh ingredients like fruits, yoghurt or milk. Because it doesn't contain fresh foods, it won't spoil easily.

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Almond Milk Body Scrub

Aztec Secret bentonite clay. Pricegrabber

This body scrub is made up solely of dried ingredients, so you can make up a large batch and keep it for a good long while or give it as gifts.

Milk is a lactic acid and works to remove dead skin cells while the almond meal softens skin. The clay is well known to be fantastic for masks. You may see recipes for scrubs calling for almonds ground up, but I would never recommend that for a scrub. Almonds -- even finely ground -- can tear at skin. Your best bet is almond meal.

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Cate Blanchett's DIY Body Scrub

Cate Blanchett. John Shearer // Getty Images

I love a good do-it-yourself body scrub and when I read actress Cate Blanchett's favorite from an old issue of Glamour magazine, I had to try it myself. I've used it a few times since. Note: You want one part oil to 2 parts salt. Make as little or as much as you want.

  1. In a bowl, put in a 1/2 cup of sea salt (Blanchett uses sea salt, but I find regular table salt is better for the skin, sea salt can tear at skin).
  2. Mix in 1/4 cup of coconut oil. If it's not in liquid form, run hot water over the glass bottle first or microwave for 10 seconds.
  3. Put 5-10 mint leaves in a food processor.
  4. Add the zest of one lemon in the food processor, mix the mint and lemon together.
  5. Stir mint and lemon mixture into the oil and sea salt. Keep in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.
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Green Tea & Ginger Sugar Scrub for the Body

green tea body scrub. Digital Vision for Getty Images

This green tea and ginger root sugar scrub works as a wonderful body scrub. Use it in the shower.

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Salt & Brown Sugar Scrub

Salt scrub. Digital Vision for Getty Images

This super simple salt and brown sugar scrub combines only 3 ingredients and works just as well on the face as it does the body.

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Oats With Honey Simple Body Scrub

Oatmeal is a great ingredient for a facial mask. Digital Vision for Getty Images

I'm addicted to the blog, Into the Gloss. On it, you'll find interviews with models, hairstylists, socialists, It girls, you name it and they all share their beauty secrets (which seems to revolve around looking as natural as possible while using a bathroom-full of product). One supermodel, Romanian-born Andreea, shared her mother's secret to amazing skin: her body scrub which incorporates only oatmeal and honey. (Read her other advice here).

I have bags and bags of oatmeal that I bought in Amish country 2 years ago and never made. Think I've found my new obsession. Just be sure to collect the oatmeal in a drain. Don't let it go down yours or you might have a clogged drain.

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Indian Bridal Body Scrub With Chickpea Powder

Bob's Red Mill Garbanzo Beans Powder. Pricegrabber

This recipe is adapted from several I've tried over the years that are based on Indian bridal body scrubs. Before a woman in India marries, she's scrubbed down over the course of several days with a body scrub made of all sorts of yummy items. Follow up with this scrub with a great oil, like extra virgin coconut oil or sweet almond oil.

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The Simplest Body Scrub Ever: Baking Soda

365 Baking Soda from Whole Foods. Whole Foods

I have a friend I'll call Laurie because she HATES it when I threaten to mention her on my Website (she wants to live an unGoogled, anonymous life), who swears by Whole Foods' baking soda as an exfoliant.

She keeps the stuff in a glass container with a good lid in her bathroom and she pours a bit into her hand (she wears an exfoliating mitt in the bath) and then scrubs away at her skin. I've since researched this method and it's quite popular. Turns out baking soda (these organic nuts like the Whole Foods' versions better than your generic Arm & Hammer, though maybe it's the same thing) is a natural cleanser and exfoliates the dead skin without drying out the fresh stuff underneath.

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Coconut Sugar Body Scrub

This is a gorgeous body scrub that is made up of the yummiest ingredients, you'll want to lick it off your skin, I swear. This is one of my all-time favorite scrubs not only because of the ingredients (coconut sugar is fabulous), but also because once you make it, it will keep for a year. It also makes for a great gift.

Get the recipe.