Homemade Herbal Sugar Scrub

by Daisy

I have never been one for sugar scrubs. I have oily skin and the idea of putting something with more oil in it on my face, regardless of how ‘scrubby’ it claimed to be–appalling. But after reading that sucrose in a good oil actually has alpha-hydroxy (chemical exfoliant) properties, I thought I might give it a try. Besides, I had a lot of dried basil in the garage.


1. Get a handful of dried herbs. I like basil. You could also do calendula, lavender, rosemary, whatever you have on hand and know that you’re not allergic to.

2. Buzz them in the coffee grinder until you’re sick of it.

3. Put the following in a bowl:

  • 3/4 cup of sugar
  • 1/4 c olive oil
  • 1T herbs (1-3 different kinds if you like)
  • 10-20 drops of your favorite essential oil

5. Stir until blended.

6. It will be QUITE grainy, but trust me, it’s awesome.

7. Store in airtight container and keep it by your sink or in the shower. If you are a SLOW user of this kind of thing, you may want to add a tsp of vegetable glycerin or make sure that you use an anti-microbial essential oil.

TO USE: Take a handful and GENTLY apply to face. Don’t whale on it like you can with that St Ives Apricot stuff. You’ll scrub your whole face off. Gently. Leave on for two minutes. Rinse. Do a little icky-dance about the residual oily feel and rinse 12 more times. Realize that you’re no longer beading up and the smooth feeling is actually YOUR SKIN. Dry your face and hope that you don’t wake up feeling like a greasy loaf of foccacia in the morning. (….and I didn’t. Not greasy at all. WEIRD.)


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{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

Alexis November 7, 2008 at 9:05 pm

I use oil on my face and have for a few years now… I too was skeptical but I gotta tell you my skin has never behaved better!

ga.farmwoman November 7, 2008 at 11:29 pm

I have lots of dried basil too.
I think I will try it.
Thanks for the recipe.

sjs November 8, 2008 at 3:25 pm

Thank you for this. I will have to try it. Do you have any suggestion for really dry and peeling feet? I came to your site from Southern Plate.:)

Ivory Soap November 8, 2008 at 3:54 pm

sjs, I have the same problem and TL says that I should try her lotion bar recipe. http://www.littlehouseinthesuburbs.com/2008/11/homemade-lotion-bars.html

Tomato Lady November 8, 2008 at 6:38 pm

sjs–I second what Ivory said–s Slather on some lotion bar before bed then put on some breathable cotton socks. Very Victoria’s Secret, I know, but it works.

Corinne July 11, 2009 at 10:23 am

Does it matter what kind of sugar you use?
I assume regular white sugar is what provides the graininess, and things like brown sugar and powdered sugar would just be silly. But other than that, does it matter?

Ivory Soap July 11, 2009 at 3:49 pm

@Corinne–you got it! Doesn’t matter.

Vera August 25, 2009 at 12:04 pm

To SJS: The dry feet thing is something I have. Lotion, Vaseline, Foot-specific-lotion never works for me. I have freaky feet, I guess. It might be genetic, because everyone in my family gets cracked feet/hands. The only thing that works for me is to use that Ped-Egg thing, then shower, then coat feet with pure lanolin, then a cheap pair of socks (I get bags of them at Costco). I tried this when I found myself with loads of Lansinoh (and had stopped trying to nurse the Hobbit). Get the lanolin from a soap supply company, maybe on Etsy or something. Lanolin rocks, really hydrates deeply, and protects the skin like nothing else.

Ivory Soap August 27, 2009 at 6:50 pm

@Vera–Have you tried the revlon version of the ped-egg? Night and day. Kid you not. In one usage, all the dry skin is GONE. Ped egg takes consistent usage for me. Not that revlon thingy, though. Totally awesome.

Deanna Melton December 6, 2009 at 2:51 pm

All I can say is WOW! I made this today with dried sage that I had hanging and didn’t know what I was gonna do with it all. I used lemon essential oil, and I absolutely LOVE IT! I will use this on my face every day. The smell is so invigorating, and I love the way the olive oil makes my face feel. It’s better than anything I have ever bought for my face at the store! Thanks so much for all your ideas and recipes. I just discovered this blog, and I am addicted! I made the shampoo and vinegar conditioner, and I am gonna make some laundry detergent later this week, I can’t wait!

marguerite November 15, 2010 at 8:55 am

my hair is colored by henna. What can I do to make it shinny?

Jennifer August 29, 2011 at 10:05 pm

How would I make a soap out of the basil sugar scrub? I figure just add it to the melted soap.

Dacey September 2, 2011 at 10:21 am

Okay. I’m gonna do it. Tonight. Hope I don’t look like Foccacia!

Paige January 29, 2012 at 8:41 pm

Once I became comfortable with the “oil attracts oil” idea, I was a convert. I also realized that my “oily but dry & prone to break outs” skin was caused by overly-drying face washes. I’d strip the natural oils and my face would double it’s oil production to make up for it.
I started using the Oil Cleansing Method to wash and moisterize and now my formerly, oily but dry and sensitive skin is now normal! Give it a Google and be a convert too!

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