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 moisturizes leaving you with glowing and refreshed skin.
Homemade sugar scrub bars
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?
My sugar soap scrub bars are made with only three ingredients: soap, sugar, and a vegetable butter. The recipe is very customizable, 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 colored or unscented and plain soaps are fine to use. If your soap is colored, the bars might be lightly tinted as well. For stronger colors a little soap colorant 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 moisturizing, making it a good choice for regular to oily skin types.
The third ingredient is plant 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 mold 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 mold for the bars as I did in this tutorial. Or perhaps you need all-natural favors for your bridal shower or thoughtful little holiday gifts. Then use an ice cube tray or a silicone mold with small cavities like I did when I made these bath bomb favours.
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. Perfume 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.
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.
Hi Ladies! I see your finished bars appear pinkish in color. Am I correct? Is this a result of the melt and pour soap chosen and the vegetable oil? I noticed no mica or natural color added to recipe. Thanks in advance. Can’t wait to try these.
Hi Carol! We used a pink soap bar, which resulted in the pink color. If you have white melt and pour soap, you can add a touch of pink mica to achieve a similar effect. Happy making!
is it melt and pour soap or normal soap? Thank you
Hi Roxie! You can use both melt and pour soap or regular soap, but I recommend melt and pour for the most consistent results. Happy making!
just want to clarify the amount of essential oils in the soap mix
is it 6g total of the essential oil – or 6g of each essential oil
if it is 6g total isnt there an IFRA % that you should use because some oils are very strong and can cause skin irritation if used in high amounts
it would be better if we were given the % per essential oil surely – so that we do not cause any adverse effects on skin
Hi Liz! 6 g is the total amount of essential oils. The recipe makes 486 g of product. The essential oils make 1.25% of that, which is perfectly skin-safe.
Most essential oils are safe at a usage rate of 1%, some can even be used as high 5%. Only some spice essential oils (like cinnamon, clove bud, or anise) must be used below 1%, but I’m not suggesting those here.
I have updated the essential oil blends with drops counts to take the guesswork out- thank you for requesting this!
I hope this answer your concerns and please let me know in case you have another question. Happy making!
Thank hank you for the recipe… does the scrub bar gets soft or melts?
Hi Bijaya! The scrub bar holds up well at room temperature and doesn’t melt. However, you need to store this DIY airtight because the bars will draw moisture from the air and that moisture can soften the bars. Happy making!
Have you ever experienced separating between soap base and oil? I did my 1st batch yesterday with no problem, but it didn’t make as many as I was hoping. The second go around I tripled the recipe and my coconut oil completely separated from my soap base.. any thoughts? I am not 100% certain I did all my conversions right, so that could be a possible issue as well…. Thanks!
Hi Courtney! I’m sorry you have an issue and I’d like to help you. The soap base and oil never separated for me so it must have to do with the larger batch size.
Are you using melt and pour soap base or rebatching premade soap?
We’re dealing with different melting points: Coconut’s melting point is 78°F, m+p soap melts around 120°F.The more product you use the longer it takes for the soap to melt and the hotter the soap gets. And that might be the reason for the separation.
What you can try is to melt the soap and coconut oil separately so the coconut oil doesn’t get too hot. Once everything is melted, combine the soap, sugar, and coconut oil. You’ll have to work quickly so the soap doesn’t firm up in the process and please be extra careful when handling the hot soap/oil.
And double-check your conversions just to be safe.
Please let me know how it goes!
Lovely, I’m going to make a blend up for eczema
Thank you, Chrissie! I hope you enjoy these bars.
This is a great idea! Will definitely try this! Thank you for sharing this 🙂
What about people that have allergies. If they should have a break out , say for the hand soap, what do you do?
I do love the recipe, lol. i will try it.
Thank you, Sheila. I hope you will enjoy the sugar scrub bars.
Very wonderful n inexpensive stuff
Thank you so much, Ava!
Does this recipe attract ants?
No, I don’t think so. You should store the bars in an airtight container and essential oils such as peppermint, tea tree and citrus oils have an ant-repellent effect.
The information and recipes are very tempting will definitely try….thanks a lot it gives the courage to start making stuffs at home that looks complicated yet so simply penned….all the best to both …..
Thank you for stopping by! I’m glad you find the recipe helpful.
These are so pretty! The packaging is lovely too!
Thanks so much!
I love sugar scrub bars! What a great recipe. Thanks for sharing!
Many thanks, Rebecca!