Sugar scrubs are all the rage—and no wonder. Sugar has near magical powers. It’s a gentle exfoliant (it dissolves as it’s rubbed in), a natural preservative (sugar scrubs don’t need chemical additives), a moisturizer (essential oils in sugar scrubs bind water to the skin), kind to sensitive skin, and eco friendly (unlike the plastic beads used in many body exfoliators, sugar biodegrades).
Each time you exfoliate—remove dead skin cells—you reveal young skin underneath, says Macrene Alexiades, M.D., cosmetic dermatologist in New York City and assistant clinical professor at Yale University School of Medicine. Sugar scrubs—whether herbal, sweet, or citrus—get the job done gently. Follow our recipe below to make a scrub at home that’s uniquely your own.
Make this scrub for yourself or give it as a gift. We asked Catherine Acosta, spa manager at Priti Organic Spa in New York City, to create a recipe exclusively for Natural Health.
Sugar: Use organic white or brown sugar, with mediumsized granules. Larger granules can be rough.
Oil: Find fractionated coconut oil (a form of coconut oil that contains only the fats, making it an especially effective skincare ingredient)—it blends easily with sugar and has a mild scent ($6.50; aromathyme.com).
Essential Oil: Add your favorite scent (e.g., chamomile, lavender, peppermint, jasmine, bergamot, rose, vanilla, lemongrass, lime, or orange).
Blend 1 cup of sugar into ¾ cup of oil. Add in 2 to 3 drops of the essential oil of your choosing and stir to combine.
To create a lotion to pair with your new scrub, buy an unscented lotion or cream (go here for ideas) and add in a few drops of your favorite essential oil.
TIP: Apply a handful of the sugar scrub to wet skin and massage in circular motions to stimulate circulation and get your blood flowing.