Kitchen Beauty: Sugar Scrub

Trying to keep our hands and the rest of our body moisturized during the winter is quite an undertaking. We all have alligator skin at my house. I wonder how it is that I have dry skin and teenage acne at the same time?

Himself had taken the children to the Lego Store at the mall and had to go through a big department store to get there. Some beauty counter lady, probably with a thick accent and heavy on the mascara, approached him trying to sell him a sugar scrub. I think she really wanted to get his number-that big handsome Scot that he is. He declined but told me that she said it is better than salt scrubs as they can be drying to the skin. That made some sense, I had lived at the beach and can remember what the salt air did to my skin and hair. I was glad he did not buy the $69 “miracle” scrub as I told him I could make him some right here in the BRK for a few pennies. I’ll bill him later.

I took some olive oil, which has been used for centuries as a skin moisturizer, sugar, and a few drops of orange essential oil for a nice bouquet from Whole Foods, mixed it all together and placed it in a giant tea cup to place by my sink. I think a few drops of peppermint oil would be zippy and tingly which would be nice for our tired, rough feet.

When we are ready for a treatment we scoop some in our hands and scrub away.

I already feel like my dishpan hands are healing. It may not be designer but it works just as well.

Aran over at Cannelle et Vanille made her sugar scrub using coconut oil, lemon verbena from her garden, and demerara sugar.

See what sugar, oil, and aroma combinations you can come up with. Your hands, feet, and elbows will love you.

PS- I use the saucer as a lid when I am finished using the scrub. Try to use what you have around your home instead of purchasing something.

PPS- The other night Himself got pine sap on his hands when building a fire and was looking for something to remove it. I directed him to the sugar scrub and we were pleased that it removed the pitch so quickly.


  1. Rachael
    Posted February 4, 2009 at 10:25 AM | Permalink

    My mom swears by using olive oil on her skin. She has been hearing reports that there are carcinogens in body creams, so she is afraid to use them. She says she slathers herself with olive oil when she gets out of the shower at night.
    I asked my dad if he feels like he is sleeping in an Italian restaurant!! hahaha

    My mom has said that her skin has never been so soft though….so I know there is something to it!

    The scrub looks great…and probably smells much better than straight olive oil 🙂

  2. Joan Nova
    Posted February 4, 2009 at 12:08 PM | Permalink

    I’ve tried a mix of baby oil (lavender scented) and salt in the shower and it was effective. I think I’ll make a batch with sugar. Thanks!

  3. Jennifer W. (Midwest Neurotica)
    Posted February 4, 2009 at 12:08 PM | Permalink

    Sometimes we all need reminders that great solutions are often as near as the pantry. Thanks!

  4. Sheila
    Posted February 4, 2009 at 12:13 PM | Permalink

    I have always had dry skin and acne at set times. It’s all those hormones.

    This not only is less expensive, but as you said, so much better than something bought with various chemicals in it.

    Your hands look soft and beautiful!

  5. Joie de vivre
    Posted February 4, 2009 at 1:25 PM | Permalink

    What a fantastic tip!

    I laughed at your comment on my blog. Really sista, I can relate. As I lose weight, the first thing that started melting was my back fat, now I just need to work on the derriere.

  6. Anonymous
    Posted February 4, 2009 at 1:46 PM | Permalink

    I buy coconut oil from
    Whole Foods. I get it from the cooking session. I think it is about $7.99 a jar and I slather it on after a shower. (They also sell it in the skin section but I thought I could use it for cooking too, so that is the reason I get it in the food section. ha!) I also am concerned by what they put in over the counter lotions. A jar lasts me a couple of months. Ma

  7. Kate
    Posted February 4, 2009 at 2:06 PM | Permalink

    I’m happy to see this post! One of the topics I write about on a free lance basis (yes, I’m actually paid for it, believe it or not) for a spa industry website is using kitchen ingredients for home spa treatments, so I’m constantly testing and writing about treatments and cooking up something special in my kitchen blender.

    One of the best treatments, the most popular with readers, is now published on (I’ve linked this comment to it), and it’s a *Strawberry Hand and Foot Exfoliant* that really works quite well. Do try that one when you’ve got some berries!

  8. Sew Gracious
    Posted February 4, 2009 at 2:24 PM | Permalink

    I love the idea of making up a batch to keep by the sink. I’ve done a variation of a palm full of sugar and some olive oil . . .just a single treatment.

  9. That Girl
    Posted February 4, 2009 at 2:51 PM | Permalink

    OMG I’ve used my kitchen as much for a home spa as for cooking – and do I have some stories!!!!!! But one of the nicest and easiest things I do for my hands is just a little warm olive oil. So much cheaper than that cuticle stuff they sell in the store.

  10. Grace
    Posted February 4, 2009 at 3:19 PM | Permalink

    confession: i go to bath & body works solely to use their free sugar scrubs. 🙂

  11. Kate
    Posted February 4, 2009 at 5:05 PM | Permalink

    Grace, do you mean the sample products at the sink, or is there something going on I don’t know about? I’ve only been to BBW three times (love their Ultimate Silk Body Lotion above more expensive spa brands), so I’m a newbie.

  12. Robin Sue
    Posted February 4, 2009 at 6:13 PM | Permalink

    Rachael- Funny about going to bed with a salad! I think I should try that though, I bet it would work well.

    Kate thanks for the info and link. I did go there and saw your strawberry mix, very nice. I think there are so many natural things right from our own kitchens we can use. I will look at that site some more and see what I want to schmear all over me!

    MA- thanks for the info. You are too funny buying one thing for 2 purposes. Leave it to you!

    ThatGirl now you have to share some of those stories!

    Thanks for the comments everyone. I love reading what you all have to say!

  13. Kristen
    Posted February 4, 2009 at 7:10 PM | Permalink

    I love sugar scrub and I bet yours feels and smells heavenly!
    One warning… beware of ants. It is too cold for them now, but I now of a neighbor who used her sugar scrub in the shower only to discover the next day her shower covered in ants!

  14. biz319
    Posted February 4, 2009 at 7:17 PM | Permalink

    What a great idea to make it at home.

    We go over to one of my friends house for girls night in and the first thing we are required to do is remove our wedding rings, she cleans them with this amazing cleaner and then we have to use a salt scrub to wash our hands.

    Our hands are definitely softer AND our rings are sparkly. I am low maintenance, so if it wasn’t for her I wouldn’t have cleaned my ring since I got married – um, 8 years ago!

  15. Cathy
    Posted February 4, 2009 at 8:43 PM | Permalink

    Hi Robin Sue. I have been reading your blog for some time now. I love the recipes and stories that you share with us. I especially like this last blog about the sugar scrub. After reading your post, I saw that Himself got sap on his hand when building a fire. I just feel compelled to write to you about the possible danger of burning pine in an inside fireplace. I know there is a danger if the inside of your chimney isn’t cleaned every year because of a creosote buildup. I’m sure Himself is taking precautions, but it really would have bothered me if I hadn’t mentioned it to you, just in case. Better safe than sorry, and keep up all the great posts.

  16. noble pig
    Posted February 4, 2009 at 8:49 PM | Permalink

    Very nice, love the orange, citrus really livens me up. I love sugar scrub, I just saw another blogger who made one with coffee grounds.

  17. Linda
    Posted February 4, 2009 at 10:51 PM | Permalink

    What the Italians and Greeks have known forever…great post, Robin!

  18. GFE--gluten free easily
    Posted February 4, 2009 at 10:57 PM | Permalink

    I’ve done this before and it worked great. Thanks for the reminder. Another important factor is the moisture we put in our body. I’ve been out of my fish oil supplements for about a week and my skin is drier than ever! The fish oil really makes a difference for me. So fish oil and olive oil/sugar for me tomorrow! Thanks!


  19. Laura
    Posted February 5, 2009 at 12:14 AM | Permalink

    I’ve heard that about sugar vs salt myself. I’ve never thought of just keeping it by the sink for my hands–do you feel like you need to wash your hands immediately afterward to keeping them from being greasy? I have horribly dry hands (I think I wash them too much–see question re: feeling greasy above) and am tempted to try this…

  20. Robin Sue
    Posted February 5, 2009 at 8:37 AM | Permalink

    Kristen- Ack! Ants- Thanks for the warning!

    biz319- I love that about your friend. Since my hands lookes so nice I did have to wash my ring too! It does go hand in hand. Har!

    Cathy- Thank you so much for your concern. It is our concern too but our fireplace guys said that since we have a fireplace insert (wood burning stove) that it gets so hot that the ptich burns as well. We have our fireplace cleaned yearly as we use it every day in the winter. I am glad you commented, I don’t think many people know that about burning pine wood.

    GFE- I just started my omega’s again yesterday!

    Noble Pig- coffee grounds. Hmm I wonder if the caffienne perks them up!

    Linda- yes it was the Greeks that started this! Or was it the Egyptians??

    Laura- I usually do this as the last thing of the day and pat my hands dry with a clean cloth. They are pleasently oily but not too bad.

  21. Justine
    Posted February 5, 2009 at 9:27 AM | Permalink

    it’s been a while since I made a scrub… you’ve got me thinking that it’s about time know!

Post a Comment

Your email address will not be published. All posts are moderated.


  • 10,080 Minutes - BRK Book The story of our dramatic lifestyle makeover and journey for living what matters.

    10,080 Minutes - Daniel and Robin Joss