A great natural way to exfoliate, this easy to follow salt and sugar scrub recipe can be made at home and provides a delicious beauty product that scrubs and moisturises the skin. A perfect plastic free birthday present or Christmas gift!

This super simple recipe can be made with items already in your cupboard. Just add in essential oils of your choosing. Add dried lavender or rose petals, or a drop or two of food colouring for extra prettiness if providing as a present.


  • Spoon for mixing
  • Screw top or kilner style jar (approx 250ml)


  • 1 cup of granulated sugar or sea salt (you can make this recipe with either!)
  • 1/2 cup carrier oil – olive, avacado or almond oil work well
  • 5-10 drops essential oil of your choosing


  1. Fill your jar almost to the top with your sugar or salt
  2. Add your essential oil drop by drop, mixing in as you go
  3. Add your main oil until it is just above the sugar or salt level and mix everything together well.

What combinations work best?

For sensitive skin use sugar, this type of scrub can also be used on the face as it is gentler. If you want something even less abrasive, swap from granulated sugar to brown. For a more exfoliating body scrub and dry skin patches, use salt.

The essential oils are dependant on what you prefer, but here are some simple combinations we just love!

  • Sugar scrubs:
    • Orange – great as a face scrub to detoxify, increase blood circulation and improve skin tone.
    • Peppermint – good for acne-prone and oily skin, just go easy on the oil and only add a few drops to the jar as it can be quite stringent on sensitive skin. You can always add more but you can’t take away!
    • Chamomile and rose – chamomile is great to reduce inflammation on irritated skin whether due to dryness or acne. The combination of oils can also help reduce stress and help you relax.
    • Rose – great for drier mature skin with antibacterial and moisturising properties.
  • Salt scrubs:
    • Orange – great to detoxify the body. As well as essential oils, try adding the zest of a fresh orange to this salt mix for extra zing.
    • Coffee – Mix in 2 tbsp of ground coffee beans in with the salt before adding oil
    • Coconut – replace one of the main oils with coconut oil and mix in well.

Wrap, tag and gift away! To use just scoop out with your hand and gently scrub into damp skin in the shower for a gentle exfoliation that will leave your skin glowing.

Eco reminder…

Making your own gifts can be a great way to reduce your plastic consumption and energy consumption from bought in products, but only if you don’t go and buy the raw ingredients in their own plastic bags to start with. If you are going to make this as a gift, look at what you already have in your cupboards, choose items from local stores in reusable containers if possible. Use glass jars left over from other store cupboard ingredients to put the scrubs in. If you don’t have any of the ingredients then consider bulk buying them from a zero waste shop where you can take your own containers in to fill up.

Caroline Talbot
Author: Caroline Talbot