7 Tested Homemade Scrub Recipes for Skin Exfoliation

Updated on February 6, 2019
viryabo profile image

Good facial & skin health is what many women strive to achieve, so as I put my face out to the world daily I know it deserves special care.

If you want to start a routine skin care treatment at home that includes skin exfoliation and need exfoliating products produced at the barest minimum cost, consider using food items you consume at home as your facial pampering arsenal. You can make your own home-made remedies, and believe it or not, you'll just be cents or pennies away from a smoother, healthier skin.


There are two methods used to remove dead, flaky, but unseen skin cells.

  1. Physical scrubs using gentle abrasion in the form of skin exfoliation
  2. Chemical scrubs using chemicals like alpha-hydroxy acids or salicylic acid to dissolve or peel off the skin's outer layer

Home-made exfoliating products focus on a form of abrasion that gently rubs or sloughs off dead skin cells and some of the best known exfoliating products are found right in your kitchen. They are:

  • Salt
  • Sugar
  • Oatmeal
  • Baking soda
  • Olive, almond, or coconut oil
  • Lemon, tea tree, turmeric, or vitamin C oil

Asides the oils that allow for the smoothness and softness of the face after an exfoliation exercise, all these items have one thing in common. They all have fine grains or granules, and this is what makes them ideal for dead skin removal.

They will remove dead cells from the uppermost layer of skin to bring out the smoother, fresher, and brand new skin underneath. They will remove pore-clogging oil, bacteria, and dirt, and help prevent both adult and teenage acne.

Before you use your home-made exfoliating product, check carefully that all your ingredients don’t have sharp jagged pieces.
Before you use your home-made exfoliating product, check carefully that all your ingredients don’t have sharp jagged pieces. | Source

Seven Homemade Recipes for Skin Exfoliation

  1. Salt Body Scrub
  2. Sugar Body Scrub
  3. Oatmeal Facial Scrub
  4. Baking Soda Scrub
  5. Shea Butter Face and Body Scrub
  6. Tea Tree Oil Exfoliating Scrub
  7. Virgin Coconut Oil Exfoliating Scrub

Before you make your home-made exfoliating products, check carefully that all your ingredients don’t have sharp jagged pieces. With salt and sugar, it's better to use the finer granules, and if you must use sea salt or brown sugar, for example, you can regrind it with a dry blender attachment (we all have one at home).

The objective is to make a recipe that will gently abrade the skin, not one that will scratch it. Exfoliating with large or sharp grains will cause skin irritation.

1. Salt Body Scrub

Use this home-made exfoliation recipe only for the skin and never on the face as it is only appropriate for the body.

What you need

1/2 cup of table salt, but sea salt is best

1/2 cup of coconut, olive, or if you prefer, almond oil

10 to 15 drops of fragrance oil (if desired)


Mix the salt and vegetable oil very well until it's smoothly blended. Stir in 10 to 15 drops of essential natural fragrance oil if you want it to smell nicely as if it was prepared in an expensive spa.

2. Sugar Body Scrub

For a pleasant all-over the body exfoliating scrub, try making a remedy using sugar. Sugar's fine grains make it suitable as an effective yet gentle exfoliating scrub. Wet the skin and apply the mix using your hands, a washcloth, a loofah sponge, or bath hand glove. Rub gently with circular motions, then rinse off thoroughly and towel dry.

What you need

1 cup of granulated sugar

1/2 cup of almond oil, sesame seed oil, or any vegetable oil

10 to 15 drops of fragrance oil (if desired)


Mix the sugar and oil until well blended. As with the salt recipe, if you so desire, add 10 to 15 drops of essential natural fragrance oil. Apply the mix to wet skin using your hands, a washcloth, a loofah sponge, or bath hand glove. Rub gently with circular motions, then rinse off thoroughly.

3. Oatmeal Facial Scrub

Oatmeal is a popular spa style exfoliation ingredient, and if you are looking for the pampered spa treatment, then you must try this recipe. It works great for the face and can be used for the body too. But remember, when you exfoliate your face, take extra care to avoid scratching or irritating the delicate areas, especially the areas around the eyes.

What you need

2 tablespoons of finely ground oatmeal

2 tablespoons of granulated sugar

2 tablespoons of brown sugar

1/2 cup of vegetable or almond oil (almond oil is always the best choice)

1 teaspoon of nutmeg


Combine all the listed ingredients and mix them well. Apply the mix to your wet face and rub gently using the same circular motions. Rinse well and pat your face dry.

4. Baking Soda Scrub

In the spirit of finding non-conventional uses for baking soda, you can create an inexpensive exfoliating concoction for your face that won't irritate dry, flaky skin, especially those that occur during the colder months of the year. Using this skin care recipe is like getting a beauty product for almost free, and it can save you as much as $30, depending on how much you typically spend on your facial skin care.

What you need

Baking soda

A 16-ounce bottle of Cetaphil mild facial wash


Add a small amount of baking soda to some Cetaphil, mix it thoroughly and apply the mix with your fingers or an exfoliating tool. Rub gently in a circular motion all over the face, then rinse out thoroughly and pat the skin dry. If you have a normal skin type, exfoliate every other day, or simply prefer a gentler exfoliate, simply use more of the Cetaphil and just a little baking soda and then mix.

5. Shea Butter Face and Body Scrub

Shea butter, a fat extract from West African shea nuts is commonly used in cosmetic preparations. It is known to soften the skin, boost collagen production, and help in tissue cell regeneration. It is also known to be one of the best natural anti-ageing products.

You can make an exfoliating scrub that’ll work wonders for your skin using shea butter as the main ingredient. A homemade face and body scrub made with shea butter not only offers deep exfoliation, it also possesses moisturizing properties that refreshes and revitalizes the skin, necessary properties of anti-ageing potions.

What You Need

1/2 cup of cold-pressed shea butter

1/3 cup Olive oil

1/2 cup of brown sugar or Rosehip seed powder if you don't want to use sugar

5 drops of Vitamin E oil (optional)

Few drops of essential oils for fragrance (optional)


Lightly melt the shea butter in a round bowl and whip into a creamy consistency. You can use a fork or whisk to do this.

Add the vitamin C and olive oils and mix well until mixture is well blended. Stir in the brown sugar and drops of essential oils then transfer into a Mason jar and cover.

To use, massage mixture on to skin with hands, using gentle circular motions while ensuring you cover the whole face and/or body. Rinse off thoroughly with warm water.

After exfoliation, the skin will glow, look healthy, and feel radiant.

6. Tea Tree Oil Scrub Recipe

If you have facial blemishes or problem skin, your facial scrub ingredients must include one with antibacterial and antiseptic properties. Tea tree oil has these properties as it kills harmful microbes (bacteria) that cause skin problems; pimples, acne, blackheads, and razor bumps.

Tea tree oil is natural and medicinal. It not only kills and eliminates bacteria, it serves as a therapeutic skin oil to treat skin and is an effective treatment for acne scars. Its use is known to slowly but gradually diminish acne scars.

It is a wonderful scrub for people with visibly open facial pores and skin discolouration.

What you need

Pure tea tree oil - 3 to 4 drops

Cold-pressed coconut oil – 3 tablespoons

Baking soda – 3 tablespoons

Essential oil for fragrance (optional) – 3 drops of lemon oil


It takes less than five minutes to prepare the tea tree oil exfoliating scrub. Add all the ingredients together in a bowl and mix them thoroughly with a spoon or a spatula. Store in an air-tight container or a frosted glass jar and keep away from excessive sunlight.

You do not need to store the recipe in the refrigerator because this will cause it to harden so keeping it stored at room temperature is best.

To use, wash your skin clear of all make-up and oils. With your fingers, lightly rub and gently massage the exfoliating mixture onto your skin in circular motions to remove dead skin.

Leave on the skin for about 5 minutes to allow the tea tree and coconut oil absorb into the skin. Wash off thoroughly with clear water, without using any facial or body soap.

7. Virgin Coconut Oil Exfoliating Scrub

Coconut oil is one of the best for facial care. It has one of the most amazing hydrating properties and leaves all skin types smooth to the touch and glowing. Virgin coconut oil is organic, antimicrobial, restores the skin's natural balance, and naturally clears away dead skin cells.

Its beneficial properties make it a wonderful ingredient to use in an exfoliation scrub mix.

Coconut oil is found in most homes, not only for its benefits when used for facial skin care (and reduces fine lines of age), but also for its health benefits. And its used for cooking too. It is certain that most people have a jar of this oil in their homes.

What You Need

1/2 a cup of extra virgin coconut oil (cold-pressed)

1 cup of granulated sugar (fine granules) or natural walnut shell powder for scrub formulation (which I recommend because I prefer it to sugar or salt granules)

5 drops of essential oil for fragrance (which is optional)


To prepare this exfoliation scrub is pretty simple. It requires neither heating nor whipping. All that's required is to mix all the ingredients thoroughly in a deep round bowl with a small pestle if you have one. A tablespoon will also suffice. Add the few drops of an essential oil of your choice.

Before you use the scrub, ensure you clean all makeup from your face. Apply the exfoliating scrub on your face and neck by rubbing gently in a circular motion, avoiding the eyelids. Rub very gently under the eyes in just a few motions.

Leave preparation on the face for about five minutes if you are not in a rush and if you have a relaxing time, say at night, leave it on for about half an hour. The coconut oil will have time to work even more wonders on your skin. Store in a mason jar or other tight container.

What I do in the mornings is exfoliate, leave on, take a shower, then wash it off my face with warm water.

Note - In some warmer climates, coconut oil melts and becomes liquid. This in no way has any effect on the mixture. If you prefer it solidified, you can place it in a refrigerator.

10 Benefits of Exfoliating

  1. Creams, serums and general products are easily absorbed into your skin after you exfoliate because of the 'new' skin cells that have emerged
  2. Exfoliation removes harmful toxins that are the root cause of breakouts
  3. If done regularly, exfoliation stimulates renewal and rebirth of new skin cells as it sloughs off dead cells
  4. The process speeds up the elimination of continuous skin (chest and back especially), and facial eruptions by gently scrubbing off the layers of dead skin build-up.
  5. Exfoliation encourages the growth of brand new cells, making your skin look bright, feel smooth, and be blemish free
  6. Exfoliating dead skin and bacteria serves a dual purpose as it encourages glow and lustre. This is so because as it removes flaky skin and blockages, it increases blood circulation with circular motions and light massage required to exfoliate well
  7. It’s a wonderful anti-aging skin care treatment and is, therefore, a must treatment as we age steadily
  8. With ageing skin, it improves the skin's texture and helps it maintain its colour. No ashy or dull skin
  9. It consistent treatment gently erases fine lines and reduces wrinkles
  10. Gentle exfoliation allows the face and body keep and maintain an adequate amount of its natural oils. It does not strip off natural oils as long as it’s done gently

You don't need to scrub on a daily basis unless you have extremely oily or acne prone skin so if you are acne prone, endeavour to stick to an exfoliation treatment about four times a week. For those with normal to dry skin, you need not exfoliate more than once a week.

Important Things to Note When You Exfoliate

Before you exfoliate with any of these home-made recipes, or any other over-the-counter exfoliating products, dampen your skin with warm water and not hot, because hot water will leave the skin irritated after exfoliation, and will cause over drying. After skin exfoliation, you should rinse your skin thoroughly and apply a moisturiser immediately.

While skin exfoliation is an excellent addition to your beauty regimen, there are times you shouldn't exfoliate. If for example, you have an undiagnosed rash or condition, you should not exfoliate, and first check with your doctor for diagnosis and treatment. Exfoliation can aggravate some skin conditions.

And finally, you should never exfoliate skin that is 'broken', or one that is freshly sunburnt, has cuts, abrasions or skin that's grazed.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

Questions & Answers

    © 2011 viryabo


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      • homesteadbound profile image

        Cindy Murdoch 

        7 years ago from Texas

        Really good hub. Lots of good information and very well written. I liked the videos.

        I too like to know what's going on my face, and making them from scratch assures me of that.

      • Sinea Pies profile image

        Sinea Pies 

        7 years ago from Northeastern United States

        Mary Kay products used to have a dry oatmeal mask that you added water to. The best I'd ever had. Natural ingredients are better and cheaper. Great hub.

      • viryabo profile imageAUTHOR


        7 years ago

        Thank you Ade, and thanks for visiting. The wonderful thing about homemade concoctions, as i call them, is that they will cost next to nothing. We can grab some salt here, sugar there, etc. and Voila! we have made a good and fresh remedy for our skin or even for our internals.

        Thanks for sharing the info.

        I appreciate your comments.


      • profile image


        7 years ago

        Home made product, gives more confidence, generally it's more reliable, because all the ingredients are sourced locally, but there is always this issue of preservation, this hub is a very important one, i'll have to bookmark it for my mum, she loves homemade too. Thanks for sharing. Voted up and useful.

      • viryabo profile imageAUTHOR


        7 years ago

        Thank you Cloverleaf.

        I also love to make my own body creams and lotions. Some i have to keep refrigerated, but as you rightly said, knowing what goes into a homemade recipe give one much more confidence about what goes on our skins.

        Off to read your hub. I'm certain i'll find great tips to learn from it.

        Thanks for the visit. Cheers.

      • viryabo profile imageAUTHOR


        7 years ago

        Thanks whatavoice.

      • Cloverleaf profile image


        7 years ago from Calgary, AB, Canada

        Awesome hub! I am a big fan of homemade recipes, they are great money savers and I like knowing exactly what is going into them. You might like my "Sweet Treats for your Feet" hub.

        Voted up and AWESOME!!!


      • whatavoice profile image


        7 years ago from Michigan

        Good information, thanks.


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