Made From Scratch: Sugar Scrub

I have to confess a deep affinity for a pricey vanilla scented sugar scrub from a certain name-brand body shop. It used to be one of my favorite indulgences. I had a college professor once remark, “People think environmentalists want them to live in a cave, in the dark and in the cold. That’s not what we want at all.” In that spirit, I’m introducing a new column on Minify: “Made From Scratch” will be an occasional account of testing out a new, simple, homemade recipe or project: sustainable little luxuries and useful things. In the works: homemade bread, home cleaning products, and a stuffed animal made from cast-off or mismatched mittens and buttons.

I’m starting with sugar scrub because it’s something I haven’t bought in ages, but very much enjoyed. So I made it today! It took me five minutes, used only things I already had in my kitchen, and best of all, it smells wonderful. I simplified a recipe from Martha Stewart’s website to include only ingredients one would already have around the kitchen, and I skipped the food coloring because it seemed dubious and unnecessary. Raw sugar, olive oil and vanilla combine to make a lovely golden-brown color:

 That’s a sample of the scrub in the cap, surrounded by all of the ingredients you need to make it!

The steps:

  • Save, rinse and dry a plastic or glass container, and its lid, that would be destined for the recycling. Make sure the mouth is wide enough to dip several fingers down into it.
  • Gather raw cane sugar (or regular sugar, depending on what sort of granules you prefer), olive or sunflower oil, and vanilla.
  • Combine three parts sugar, one part oil in a bowl or measuring cup and stir well.
  • Add vanilla until it smells as strong as you want it to (I used a couple of teaspoons for mine) and stir again.
  • Transfer to your lidded container and seal. Enjoy!

I sampled mine by scrubbing my hands with it over the kitchen sink, and now they feel soft and clean and just as lovely as if I had used that pricey store-bought scrub! Best of all, I think I just identified one potential homemade gift for our made-from-scratch Christmas – I have a feeling a lot of my classmates and family members will love this stuff just as much as I do!


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