DIY sugar soap scrub bars. Yep, that’s happening here today. As the name suggests, you need sugar, a wee bit of soap, vegetable butter, and optionally essential oils. You can use this lovely homemade scrub bar on your entire body, and you get a three-in-one spa treatment: the sugar gently exfoliates, while the soap cleanses and the butter moisturises leaving you with glowing and refreshed skin. Making the peeling bars isn’t difficult and doesn’t take long at all. Best of all you control exactly what goes into your skincare product: instead of synthetic parabens or silicones, the scrub bars are made with natural, non-toxic ingredients that replenish and nurture dry, dull skin. Read on to learn how to make DIY sugar soap scrub bars, what essential oils you can use, and how to turn the bars into cute gifts!
What ingredients and materials do I need to make DIY sugar soap scrub bars?
cubes My sugar soap scrub bars are made with only three ingredients: soap, sugar, and a vegetable butter. The recipe is very customisable, and you can use various materials to create homemade sugar scrub bars. Here’s what you need:
- Let’s start with the first ingredient: soap. You can use your fave soap bar or a melt-and-pour soap base. Those washed-down soap scrubs that you don’t want lying around in your powder room anymore but can’t bring yourself to throw out cause it was an artisan, all-natural soap? Girl. Grab those asap! Just make sure it’s a solid soap. Liquid soaps or handwashes won’t work in this recipe. Both fragranced and coloured or unscented and plain soaps are fine to use. If your soap is coloured, the bars might be lightly tinted as well. For stronger colours a little soap colourant or mica powder.
- Next, sugar. Any type of sugar works really. Cane sugar is relatively coarse and therefore perfect if you want a strong peeling effect (e.g. on your feet or elbows.) Brown sugar is finer and softer. The molasses contains a little moisture, which makes it an excellent ingredient for dry skin. Granulated, white sugar has good peeling qualities as well, but isn’t moisturising, making it a good choice for regular to oily skin types.
- The third ingredient is vegetable butter. Choose any type of natural, solid vegetable butter, for example, cocoa butter, shea butter, mango butter, or coconut oil. Kokum butter or sal butter are very hard and will give you solid bars, but they might be a little difficult to find. I don’t recommend liquid (carrier) oils as they won’t harden enough to give you a solid scrub bar.
- Lastly, you need a mould for pouring the scrub bars. You can decide if you want to make big bars that you can use several times. In this case, use a soap mould for the bars as I did in this tutorial. Or perhaps you need all-natural favours for your bridal shower or thoughtful little holiday gifts. Then use an ice cube tray or a silicone mould with small cavities like I did when I made these bath bomb favours.
And for more amazing scrubs, check out these DIY sugar scrub cubes from A life Adjacent!
What essential oils can I use in my DIY scrub bars?
It’s entirely up to you if you want to prepare this recipe with essential oils or skip them. If you’re just looking for a nicely scented soap, try these oils: rose geranium, vanilla, lavender, or jasmine. Parfum oils are another great way to fragrance the bars and allow for even more options.
For those of you who also want to tackle specific skin conditions, use the following essential oils:
- Dry skin: geranium, neroli, rose otto
- Oily, acne prone skin: helichrysum, lemongrass, ylang-ylang
- Delicate, sensitive skin: German chamomile, lavender, basil
- Inflamed, irritated skin: lavender, tea tree, Roman chamomile
- Damaged skin: frankincense, juniper, carrot seed
- Eczema: lavender, cedarwood, peppermint
The recipe below states the maximum amount of EO that you can add. You can always reduce this amount if your skin is very sensitive, or mix different oils according to your specific preferences and needs.
Gift the sugar scrub bars
Since the bars are made with butter, I wrapped the bars first in a piece of clingfilm (plastic/Saran wrap) and then in a bit of tissue paper and gift wrap. I added a pretty ribbon and attached a silk flower. Since Valentine’s/Galentine’s Day is right around the corner, I used these romantic gift tags from our Chelsea Blooms collection. Depending on the occasion or season, our Mother’s Day gift tags or wintery holiday tags might also be great options.
Homemade Hand Scrub
The amounts stated in this recipe are enough to make 4 to 6 large scrub bars or 16 to 20 small ones. If you need more, just double the ingredients. Use only half of the amounts to make just 2 scrub bars.
- 100 g (3.5 oz) soap
- 100 g (3.5 oz) vegetable butter
- 280 g (9.8 oz) sugar
- 6 g (0.2 oz) essential oils of your choice (see recommendations above)
1) Grate the soap
Grind the soap with a grater or in a blender.
2) Melt the soap and vegetable butter
Put the grated soap and vegetable butter into a small saucepan and melt over medium-high heat. Stir constantly while melting, so the soap doesn’t burn to the bottom of the pan.
Note: Soap has a relatively high melting point (anywhere from 70°C/158°F to 100°C/212°F ). So don’t be discouraged if it takes a while to melt the soap. The soap I used became foamy, and I kept on stirring until no more specks of unmelted soap were showing.
3) Add the sugar and essential oil(s)
Stir in the sugar and essential oil(s) until well combined.
4) Mould the scrub bars
Fill the scrub mixture into a silicone mould and allow to harden in the fridge for a couple of hours or overnight. Unmould the bars and gift or use as described below.
How to use the DIY sugar soap scrub bar
You can use this homemade scrub bar in the bath and shower. First, wet and soften your skin with warm water and then rub the scrub bar over your body. Massage your skin, using circular motions and gentle pressure. Then shower off any excess product.
Shelf life and storage
When not in use, store the scrub bar in a dry and dark place. The scrub bars can be stored for several months.
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