How to Make a Homemade Sugar Scrub for Glowing Skin

How to Make a Homemade Sugar Scrub for Glowing Skin
To make a quick and easy exfoliator, simply combine one cup of sugar into 3/4 cup of a carrier oil such as coconut, jojoba, or olive oil. From there you can add essential oils or other personalized enhancements. (EasterBunny/Shutterstock)
1/25/2023
Updated:
1/27/2023

Remember those Monday mornings when you rolled out the bed just an hour before clocking in at work? As you scrambled to get ready, what was your one “must-do” before stepping out the door? Grab breakfast? Brush your teeth? Or slather on a layer of high-coverage concealer?

We all dream of waking up each morning looking fresh-faced and effortlessly beautiful, but the natural process of aging combined with the stress of modern life makes that a tough row to hoe. While trying to regain the supple complexion of our babyhood is impractical, a good face scrub can be a very cost-effective solution to getting radiant-looking skin.

While exfoliating your skin can have many benefits, there are a few important things to keep in mind to prevent skin damage.

How do You Make a Homemade Scrub for Glowing Skin?

Pollutants and excessive exposure to the sun are the major causes of skin dullness and hyperpigmentation. If you’re looking to brighten your skin tone, a good exfoliator can effectively slough off dead skin cells, impurities, and makeup residues. It can also boost the efficacy of your moisturizers and serums by allowing better penetration into the pores.

While there is a multitude of expensive cleansers and peels on the market to choose from, some of the best all-natural exfoliators are super easy to make at home. The best part—these ingredients are readily available in your kitchen.

Sugar is an excellent exfoliator that can gently lift away dirt and excess oil to reveal softer and younger-looking skin. The glycolic acid found naturally in sugar dissolves dead skin cells while promoting cell turnover. Also, its naturally hydrating properties will ensure that your skin is not stripped of its natural oils.

To make a quick and easy exfoliator, simply combine one cup of sugar into 3/4 cup of a carrier oil such as coconut, jojoba, or olive oil. Test out the consistency as you go, feel free to increase or decrease the amount of oil to your liking. After you’ve found the perfect combo, add a few drops of your favorite essential oil—or, for an extra antioxidant boost, a touch of freshly grated ginger.

Which Sugar Is Best for DIY Face Scrubs?

There are three types of sugars you can choose from—brown, pure cane (unrefined white), or turbinado (raw) sugar. Brown sugar is the least abrasive, therefore a great choice for people with sensitive skin. Pure cane sugar can be used on all skin types, while turbinado sugar is generally reserved for the body due to its large granules. Since it is the least processed, raw sugar retains the most essential minerals.
However, some experts have raised concerns that sugar granules are too harsh for use on facial skin, and can potentially lead to irritation. A great place to use these scrubs in addition to on your body is actually on the lips. Our lips get chapped easily from constant exposure to saliva, the sun, and cold weather. To soften them and promote healing, gently polish them with your favorite sugar scrub once a week.

Is a Coffee or Sugar Scrub Better?

It’s difficult to pick a winner since sugar and coffee have very different properties. Sugar scrubs can brighten your skin and remove toxins, while coffee scrubs will reduce inflammation and promote blood circulation.

From face masks to shampoos, caffeine-infused products are all the rage right now in the cosmetic world. Though it’s not recommended to exfoliate your face with coffee grounds, as the coarse granules can create microtears in the skin, it is a great body scrub.

Recent studies have shown that when used twice daily for 12 consecutive weeks, caffeine can help to minimize the appearance of cellulite. Also, when massaged regularly onto the skin it can promote lymphatic drainage to temporarily improve skin elasticity, lighten dark spots, and reverse the effects of sun damage.

Stop throwing out your coffee grounds. To make a homemade coffee body scrub, simply combine 1/2 cup of finely ground coffee, 1/2 cup of brown sugar, and 1/2 cup of melted coconut oil in a mixing bowl. Mix until well combined. After massaging it gently over your body, leave it on for several minutes before rinsing off.

Does Scrubbing Lighten Skin?

Melanin is our skin’s natural protective shield against harmful rays such as UVA, UVB, and bluelight. When there is an injury to the skin, our body naturally increases the production of melanin to promote healing, causing hyperpigmentation and dark spots.
Exfoliating regularly can help to break down these pigmented cells, accelerate cell renewal, and clear away the upper layers of dead skin. While scrubbing can lighten your skin tone, it may take up to four to six weeks before you see a visible difference. For faster results, add a vitamin C-infused serum or moisturizer to your daily routine.

Should I Scrub or Wash First?

For best results, remember to gently wash your face before exfoliating. Cleansing beforehand will allow the exfoliants to penetrate deeper into the skin and prevent dirt and makeup from getting pushed further inside your pores.

How Many Minutes Should I Scrub?

According to dermatologists, how often you exfoliate depends on your skin type, but as a general rule, less is more. Over-scrubbing can dry out your skin and lead to acne as it tries to overcompensate by producing more oil.

For people with sensitive skin, you may want to stick with a creamy face wash and skip exfoliating altogether. People with oily skin can exfoliate up to four times per week, provided that you work up to that frequency slowly. For normal to combination skin, scrubbing twice per week is plenty. Consult your dermatologist to determine the best approach for you.

While you’re exfoliating, remember to always keep your touch light and move in small, gentle, circular motions. Scrub for no more than 30 seconds, then rinse with lukewarm water to prevent irritation.

What to Apply After Scrubbing

Apply a hydrating moisturizer or face mask immediately after exfoliating. Take full advantage of your skin’s heightened absorption and allow it to replenish its moisture barrier. Also, in the days following a good scrub, your skin will be very sensitive to its environment. Make sure to use sunscreen both indoors and out to give it that extra layer of protection.