Learn how to make 2 kinds of cherry-scented summer sugar scrub cubes from guest bloggers Kim and Kyla of A Life Adjacent. These individually sized sugar scrubs come in two fragrant, summer-inspired varieties – cherry soda and cherry cola. Each sugar cube is crafted with coconut oil, melt and pour soap base, shea butter and finely granulated sugar. Read on to learn how to make these deliciously scented body polishing cubes!
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Cherry soda and cherry cola sugar scrubs
With summer fast approaching, we wanted to create a fun scented bath product that was reminiscent of warm summer days. And there’s just something about both cherry soda and cola scents that remind us of summer!
However, despite the not-so-natural sounding scents, you can be assured that these cubes are safely fragranced with essential oils and natural flavour, and contain no artificial scents or colours.
So, you can enjoy the aromatherapeutic benefits of these zesty soda-scented scrub cubes without the negative health effects associated with soda.
Both varieties will gently exfoliate and nourish to help get your dry winter skin summer-ready.
What are exfoliating sugar scrub cubes?
Sugar scrub cubes are individually sized body polishing cubes which make them convenient for quick and easy exfoliation.
Since the main ingredient in these summer sugar scrub cubes is sugar, the sugar will act as a natural exfoliator, helping to slough off dry, rough skin.
The cubes also offer some wonderful moisturizing capabilities due to their high oil and plant butter content.
Finally, the melt and pour soap base cleanses the skin, but it also helps to both mold and keep the cubes together.
We have a few varieties of sugar scrub cubes on our blog because they’re an easy DIY bath and body recipe, especially if you’re new to DIY beauty and skincare. Check out our spring-inspired rose sugar scrub cubes and our fall sugar scrub cubes to have options for every season.
Why use sugar scrub cubes?
The convenience of sugar scrub cubes is one of their main benefits. They gently cleanse, exfoliate and moisturize all in one easy step.
However, they also have a variety of skin benefits, including providing more moisture to the skin over washing with regular bar soap.
This is because after bathing, the butters and oils in the cubes will remain on the skin. This creates a protective barrier that locks in moisture.
Also, since regular exfoliation aids in cell turnover, regular use of exfoliating products can lead to brighter, more radiant skin, which is especially beneficial during the summertime.
Finally, due to their convenient individual size, sugar scrub cubes are less prone to bacterial growth over traditional jars of sugar scrub.
Bringing a jar of sugar scrub into the shower is more likely to cause bacteria growth if you accidentally introduce water into your jar.
This isn’t an issue with single use cubes as you only need a few at a time, not a full jar.
If you would prefer a larger format for your sugar scrub, you can also turn your scrub cubes into sugar soap scrub bars.
How to make summer sugar scrub cubes
For this beginner-friendly bath and body product, you will need a melt and pour soap base which you will then chop up and melt down.
We recommend using a white or clear soap base so that the cubes’ colours will be more vibrant. But you can use any melt and pour soap base of your choice.
Then, you will also need to add a butter to your recipe which you will melt along with the soap. We used shea butter in both varieties, but you can also use another butter as well.
Deodorized cocoa butter or mango butter would be good substitutions. You will also want to add a carrier oil to your sugar cubes. We chose coconut oil for this recipe, but you can also opt to substitute babassu oil, another carrier oil which is solid at room temperature.
It’s important that you use a solid carrier oil like coconut or babassu, as liquid carrier oils will make the cubes more likely to melt, especially during the summer months.
To fragrance your cubes, you will need to add essential oils or a natural fragrance. And finally, to achieve the lovely pastel pink tone shown in the photos, you will need to use a natural food colouring. Although, the colourant is optional and only necessary for aesthetic purposes.
Instructions for making solid sugar scrub cubes
Making your own single use summer sugar scrubs is easy. This recipe yields approximately 20 cubes, enough for 10 showers or so.
For exact ingredient measurements and more thorough instructions, see the recipe card at the bottom of the post.
- Chop or grate your melt and pour soap base.
- Using a microwave or the double boiler method, slowly melt your your soap base while stirring frequently.
- Add the shea butter and coconut oil and whisk to combine.
- Remove from heat. Allow to cool slightly before mixing in sugar, essential oils and natural cherry flavour.
- Scoop the sugar cube mixture into silicone molds.
- Place the filled molds in the freezer for at least 30 minutes to set.
- Carefully pop the cubes out from the molds. Your summer sugar scrub cubes are ready to use.
Ingredients for summer sugar scrub cubes
Melt and Pour Soap Base
Melt and pour soap is an easy-to-use soap base that has already undergone the saponification process. Saponification is the chemical reaction created by combining fatty acids and lye.
This makes melt and pour soap ideal for beginners, as it’s easy to use and doesn’t require the safety equipment needed when handling lye. Melt and pour soap also doesn’t require the long curing times involved in traditional soap making, which means you can enjoy your homemade products sooner.
Melt and pour soap base is available in many different varieties, including:
The star of these summer scrub cubes is sugar.
Since sugar is a natural humectant, it draws and retains moisture from the air, which makes it wonderfully hydrating.
These humectant properties help counteract the dehydrating properties of the melt and pour soap. Plus, sugar acts as a natural exfoliator.
While sugar is often touted as a natural form of the AHA (alpha-hydroxy acid) glycolic acid, it’s important to note that sugar in small amounts is unlikely to offer the same benefits as a properly formulated skincare product containing glycolic acid.
For more ways to naturally exfoliate your skin, check out this sea salt body scrub recipe, which uses mineral-rich sea salt instead of sugar.
Shea butter hails from the seeds of the shea fruit. It’s highly emollient and rich in vitamins A, C and E, making it ideal for use in bath and body products.
It’s also suitable for all skin types due to its comedogenic rating of 0.
For this recipe, you will want to use deodorized shea butter as the soda scents should be the focus, rather than the earthy or nutty scent of natural shea butter.
We always recommend that you choose a shea butter that is cold-pressed, unrefined, organic, and light beige in tone. This is because yellow or bright white shea butter may have been altered by the manufacturer to save on costs.
Coconut oil is an excellent choice for use in bath and body products as it’s shelf-stable and a solid at room temperature.
It’s also highly saturated, antibacterial and contains anti-fungal fatty acids such as lauric acid which contribute to a healthy skin microflora.
Those with coconut allergies or who simply don’t like coconut oil can opt to substitute babassu oil.
Natural Cherry Flavour
To achieve that delicious cherry scent, we used a 100% natural food-grade and oil-soluble cherry flavour in both varieties of our summer sugar scrub cubes. This natural cherry flavour is vegan and is safe for use in other homemade skincare products such as bath bombs and lip balms.
Sweet Orange Essential Oil
In order to get a true cola scent, you need to use sweet orange essential oil in the cherry cola sugar scrub cubes.
You cannot substitute the sweet orange essential oil for regular orange or another citrus oil.
This is because we have found that true zesty cola scent can only be accomplished with sweet orange. If you want that refreshing sweet citrus aroma reminiscent of cola soda, this is important to note.
You may be wondering how you can create a natural cola scent with just essential oils, but you can! Real cola soda is flavoured with vanilla, and food-grade lime and citrus oils. (source)
Lime Essential Oil
This fragrant essential oil has an energizing citrus scent that’s reminiscent of citrusy summer drinks.
Remember to only use steam-distilled lime essential oil, as regular cold-pressed lime essential oil has photosensitizing properties.
When combined with the sweet orange essential oil, lime essential oil helps create that crisp, refreshing aroma associated with cola sodas.
Comforting and sweet, vanilla oleoresin has a delicious, rich aroma reminiscent of fresh baked goods.
It’s the perfect scent to include in your bath products as it’s been said to invoke feelings of relaxation and calmness.
Vanilla oleoresin will impart a delicious sweetness to these soda scented sugar scrub cubes.
While adding a natural food colouring to your cubes is optional, if you want your cherry scented scrub cubes to be the soft pretty pink you see in the photos, you will need to add a natural colourant.
We recommend synthetic mica which may come as a surprise, considering we’re natural bloggers, but we explain more about why we prefer synthetic mica in our post for summer shimmer spray. However, the choice is entirely up to you!
How to use these sugar scrub cubes
Bring 1-2 sugar scrub cubes into your bath or shower. Remember not to bring the entire storage jar, as this could contaminate your jar with water and promote bacterial growth.
While you bathe, crush the cubes between your hands and gently massage your body with the crumbled cubes using a circular motion.
For best results, you will want to use the cubes towards the end of your bath or shower. This allows you to reap more of the benefits of the moisturizing oils and butters, as they will remain on your skin instead of being washed away.
Another way to use these sugar scrub cubes is to keep a few near your sink, as they’re perfect for softening rough or dry hands. In addition, they’re also wonderful for smoothing and exfoliating dry feet.
How long do sugar scrub cubes last?
As with all our sugar scrub cubes recipes, if stored correctly, your single use summer sugar scrubs will last approximately 3-6 months.
The cubes should be kept in a cool, dark cupboard with an airtight lid.
It’s important to note that your sugar cubes may become dry and crumbly if you don’t use them before the ideal 6 month time period.
However, if they do dry out, you can still use them, but it’s better to save the older and drier scrub cubes for your hands and feet.
More DIY bath and body recipes for summer
If you enjoyed these sugar scrub cubes, you might also like these other summer-themed sugar scrub recipes that can be found on our blog A Life Adjacent:
As well, if you’re looking for more ways to use our cola essential blend, check these out: