Inside: Here are 3 Holiday recipes for the best DIY sugar scrubs to make with your kids and grandkids. Unique ingredients, easy directions and loads of fun! Discover tips on how these elements impact the skin and ways to teach your kids critical thinking skills as they create these fabulous sugar scrubs!
Have you ever made a sugar scrub? They are amazing for your skin and will keep it glowing and healthy! Over the years I’ve concocted different natural skincare recipes for holiday gift-giving. Here are three super fun recipes for DIY sugar scrubs to make with your teens, tweens or grandkids. They are themed for Halloween, Thanksgiving or Christmas but you can make them year-round.
Don’t just make these scrubs with your kids–turn it into a fun educational experience! Every activity you do with your kids should have some element of learning. As a result, they will equate learning with fun! I’ve included lots of information that will teach them how ingredients in our kitchen cupboards feed our skin.
And, don’t hesitate to make these with your sons. The men’s grooming movement started in 2002. In a nutshell, men came to the realization that there is more to grooming than using a toothbrush. They are interested in having good skin. These scrubs will help your sons–include them in the process!
Here are some fun facts, recipes, and more about scrubs.
DIY Sugar Scrubs—What Are They? 6 Things to Know
Scrubs are ingredients (sugar, oatmeal, cornmeal, salt, etc.) that when gently rubbed on the face or body remove or exfoliate the dead skin cells that have built up on your skin.
1. Why scrubs?
You need to exfoliate because as the dead skin cells build up, they mix with bacteria and oil and clog the pores and create blackheads and breakouts. This dead skin buildup can also cause your complexion to look dull and blotchy and for girls, their makeup will not go on as smoothly.
2. How Often Do You Use Scrubs?
When you are young, you can use scrubs 2-3 times per week. Why? Because young skin makes new, plump skin cells as fast as the old ones get sloughed off. It’s the reasons why young people have such amazing smooth, soft skin (even if they have breakouts).
As you age, exfoliate only once a week. The whole process of making new skin cells slows down and the dead skin doesn’t get sloughed off as quickly or as evenly. If you are over the age of 65, exfoliate once every two weeks. Too much exfoliation will cause your skin to dry out and thin faster.
3. What is Needed in DIY Sugar Scrubs?
Scrubs require two main ingredients: an exfoliant such as sugar, salt, oats or cornmeal. And something to bind these ingredients such as coconut, apricot, almond, grapeseed or olive oils. You can also use honey, yogurt, or buttermilk, but your scrub would need to be kept in the refrigerator (I prefer using these ingredients in facial masks). I also like to add essential oils, fibers or powders for color, fragrance, and texture because of their benefits to the skin.
4. Why Natural Ingredients?
When making your own scrubs, you can use natural and fresh ingredients and eliminate the unnecessary chemicals found in commercial scrubs. And, you’ll save money. Most ingredients used in scrubs are things you have in your fridge or cupboard. When using essential oils you can use oils from Young Living or from dōTERRA®. If you prefer essential oils that are less expensive, try Starwest Botanicals, Mountain Rose Herbs or Atlantic Spice Company.
5. Healthy Diet = Healthy Skin
Even using scrubs weekly, it’s imperative that your skincare regime includes a healthy diet of fruits, veggies, and water. Also, watching your sugar consumption will help immensely because too much sugar will cause your skin to age quicker. Sugar is fine to exfoliate with—just not to consume.
6. Throw a DIY Sugar Scrub Party!
Organize a “Sugar Scrub” party for friends, family, and neighbors. These recipes are simple to follow and luscious to use. Encourage your tweens, teens, and grandkids to experiment with the recipes. Creativity and imagination are born from experimentation.
6 Skin Benefits of DIY Sugar Scrub Ingredients
Scrub ingredients have many benefits. Here are some benefits of the ingredients I use in my scrubs…
To keep the scrubs simple, I did not include oats. However, they work great as an exfoliate and are powerful for radiant skin. Why? Oats contain proteins called saponins and they help to dissolve oil on your skin and loosen dirt from your pores.
If you use oats in any of these recipes, grind them into a flour in your blender. Don’t put whole oats into a scrub—they fall off the face and body and create a mess. And don’t use instant oats—they don’t mix well with wet ingredients.
Grinding the oats into a powder creates two things:
- the grit you need in a scrub without having them fall off your body
- releases the saponins for the maximum benefit for your skin.
2. Cocoa Powder
In the Halloween scrub, I use cocoa powder. Believe it or not, chocolate actually benefits the skin! The flavonoids in chocolate help to filter out UV rays and it’s high in antioxidants which destroy free radicals associated with aging.
It’s also an excellent source of vitamins A, C and D. Vitamin A has cancer-fighting properties; heals damaged skin and reduces the appearance of wrinkles. Vitamin C increases collagen production in the skin. Vitamin D creates healthy skin cells and improves skin tone.
Chocolate is a natural anti-inflammatory and very gentle on the skin. It can soothe irritation and it’s suitable for people with very sensitive skin.
In the Christmas scrub, I use a cranberry fiber made from fresh cranberries. Cranberries contain ellagic acid that helps to prevent wrinkles and premature aging. They also block the formation of MMPs (Matrix Metalloproteinases). MMPs are enzymes that are activated when you get too much sun exposure or inflammation. They are not good because they break down collagen and elastin. You want them blocked and cranberries will block them.
4. Grapeseed Oil
As a facial scrub, grapeseed oil helps to do the following:
- soothes acne
- tightens skin
- helps diminish dark circles around the eyes
- reduces scars
- restores collagen
- fights aging
Grapeseed oil will leave a soft “film” on your skin. If you don’t like that feeling, rinse off with soap.
5. Coconut Oil
Coconut oil, like olive oil, contains fatty acids that will replenish your skin’s natural protective barrier without irritating the skin or causing a rash. Coconut oil prevents wrinkles, sagging skin, and age spots. For these recipes, use food-grade coconut oil–not cosmetic grade.
6. Dead Sea Salt
Although I usually use dead sea salts in my bath salt recipes, on occasion I add a bit to some of my body scrubs (not facial scrubs). Dead sea salts can promote healing of skin tissue and is essential for cell metabolism.
- When using a scrub—be gentle. You don’t want to end up with red or irritated skin.
- Pay attention to the “Options and Substitution” section. They are great ideas for your kids to experiment with.
- Use body scrubs in the shower—if you’re concerned about something going down the drain—use a drain trap.
Before making the scrubs, watch the two 1-minute videos here
DIY Sugar Scrub Recipes for Halloween, Thanksgiving & Christmas
I’ve taken my favorite ingredients and created these yummy holiday scrubs. They make great gifts for friends, family, neighbors or teachers. Your teens, tweens or grandkids will love making these for their friends, too.
NOTE: Usually when I make a scrub, it’s a 2:1 ratio of sugar to oil. However, when adding powders or oats, they absorb more liquid so the amount of fatty oils may need to be increased. If you live in high elevations–you will need more oil as well.
All of the recipes make about one batch of scrub.
Halloween Scrub: Chocolate Orange Cinnamon Scrub
The combination of chocolate, orange, and cinnamon in this scrub is luscious. And, it smells good enough to eat!
- 1 cup granulated sugar (or organic sugar or a combination)
- 1/2 cup coconut oil (melted)
- 1 Tablespoon cocoa powder
- 15 drops Orange Essential Oil (if you’re using Young Living or dōTERRA® oils, use less)
- 5 drops Cinnamon Essential Oil (or 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon powder)
- Mix the coconut oil and the orange and cinnamon essential oil
- Mix the sugar and the cocoa powder together
- Mix the wet and dry ingredients together
- Can be covered and stored in the refrigerator.
- To use: you may have to add a bit more coconut oil if the scrub seems dry from being in the refrigerator.
- Gently scrub over your body while in the shower.
- Rinse well
Options & Substitutions:
- Substitute 1/4 cup ground oats for 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- Add: 1T dead sea salt to the recipe
Review from Mel B. (Texas)
The chocolate scrub was decadence! The smell was AMAZING! I would use it a shower, though and not in a bath. It left a funky chocolate glaze over my body, but the shower would have rinsed all the unwanted off and kept all the yummy smells on!
Thanksgiving: Brown Sugar & Apple Spice Scrub
- 1 cup brown sugar (do not pack and I use DARK brown sugar)
- ½ cup grapeseed oil (adjust amount as needed–the higher the elevation, the more you will need)
- 8-10 drops Apple Jack fragrance oil (has apples, oranges, and vanilla fragrance)
- Mix the grapeseed oil and Apple Jack fragrance oil together in a bowl
- Add the brown sugar and mix well
- Can be covered and stored in the refrigerator
- To use: you may have to add a bit more grapeseed oil if the scrub seems dry from being in the refrigerator.
- Gently scrub over your body while in the shower
- Rinse well
- The grapeseed oil in this recipe will linger on your skin after showering
Options and Substitutions
- Substitute 1 cup brown sugar for 1 cup white raw or organic sugar
- Add 1 T dead sea salt to the recipe—if using as a body scrub
- Substitute the Apple Jack fragrance, add citrus essential oils such as orange, lemon, tangerine or lime
Review from Cathy W. (Utah)
I’ve known about sugar scrubs for years, but most are too oily and messy. I was given this scrub as a gift and to my surprise, I loved it! I enjoy taking long hot baths, but they leave my skin feeling dry and itchy. I took the sugar scrub with me to the tub and tried it from my face to my toes. The consistency was of moist sugar, not sugar drenched in oil. The scent was a spicy brown sugar and the scrub both exfoliated and moisturized my skin. It was wonderful! I plan on making these with my daughters during the holidays. Highly recommend!
Christmas: Pomegranate Body Scrub with Cranberry Fiber
The smell, the feel, and texture of this scrub are amazing plus the Christmas red is perfect for the season.
Review from Karie R. (California)
I was expecting another “cute” scrub that smelled good, but this scrub went beyond my expectations. It smelled good AND left my skin soft and moisturized which lasted for more than a few hours…more like a few days! I was pleasantly surprised to like it as much as I did (most homemade scrubs I’ve tried are not that impressive). My daughters and I are planning to make these for Christmas gifts this year.
Want the Recipe? Check out the Protected Resource Section
If you want the recipe to the Pomegranate Body Scrub with Cranberry Fiber, you can access it on my Protected Resource Library. Please fill out the form below with your email and I will send you the password. If I already have your email, open your email and the password is included.
This recipe is just one of many items included in the Resource Library. You’ll also find lists of books for kids (all ages and stages), recommendations of toys and games that build the brain, nutrition tips for kids, music CD lists (music lists for when your kids’ study), recipes, free printables and more. Trust me, you’ll want access to this section if for nothing else but to have this recipe–it’s that amazing!
Think up clever ways to package your scrubs—jars, bottles or other fun containers. When I give these as a gift, I like to put several things into a basket: the scrub, herbal teas, candles, a rejuvenating gel mask, loofah sponge, and of course a fun label giving directions on how to use.
What scrubs have you made? Are they seasonal or can they be used year-round? Please share your ideas and comments in the section below.
Want to remember this? Post these Holiday DIY Sugar Scrubs recipes to your favorite Pinterest board!