How to Make Your Own Exfoliating Scrub

by Lillian Downey ; Updated July 18, 2017

Exfoliating scrubs consist of abrasives that scrape and brush away dead and dried skin from your body. The result is smoother, brighter skin. The term "exfoliant" may sound like a fancy spa product, but "exfoliant" is really just code for "abrasive." You can make your own exfoliating body scrub with common household items. You'll create a spa-quality product while saving money and avoiding additives and chemical preservatives. Body scrubs consist of three major elements: the abrasive, the binder and the moisturizer. With this basic recipe, you can create any number of body scrub combinations.

Choose an exfoliant. The exfoliant can be any mildly abrasive kitchen item, like sea salt, baking soda, brown sugar, or ground nuts and seeds in any combination. Add 1 and 1/2 cups of your exfoliant to a mixing bowl.

Add your binder. Binders give body to your scrub and give the exfoliants something to suspend in. Popular binders are honey, water and liquid soap. Add 1 cup of a binder to your mixing bowl, or any combination of binders up to 1 cup.

Add your moisturizer. Moisturizers nourish the skin after the abrasives scrape away old skin cells. Ideal moisturizers include vitamin E oil, jojoba oil and even olive oil. If you don't have any oils, use your favorite lotion. If you have oily skin, replace the oil with extra binder or add less oily moisturizers, like a smashed banana or avocado. Add 1/4 cup of moisturizer to your mixing bowl.

Add your fragrances. This step is optional, but fragrances leave your skin smelling good after you use the scrub. You can use a number of different fragrances, like essential oils, fragrance oils, a few drops of perfume or even food flavorings. Start with five drops and add more if you like a stronger scent.

Add your natural preservative. Five drops of vitamin E oil works as a natural preservative. If you've already added vitamin E as part of your moisturizer, skip this step. If not, add five drops now.

Stir together ingredients until combined. The end product should have a thick, frosting-like consistency so that you can easily scoop some up with your fingers without it dripping. If it's too thin, add more exfoliant. If it's too thick, add more binder.

Store in a container with a tight-fitting lid. Discard remaining scrub after 2 to 3 weeks.


  • As this product sits, it may separate. Stir again before using.

Photo Credits

  • Kate Dugger/Demand Media

About the Author

A Jill-of-all-trades, Lillian Downey is a certified Responsible Sexuality Educator, certified clinical phlebotomist and a certified non-profit administrator. She's also written extensively on gardening and cooking. She also authors blogs on nail art blog and women's self esteem.