Sugar Scrub to the Rescue

Sugar Scrub to the Rescue

Student Article by Pamela Wright
All articles written by students are the opinions, research and voice of the student and not Heart of Herbs Herbal School. We encourage our students to explore and grow in their profession.

Daily moisturizing with even the best of home crafted lotions, oils, and butters may not be enough once the chilling winds of winter arrive. Add to that the dry air from furnaces, fireplaces and space heaters, and it can turn even the vigilant lotion user’s skin into a seemingly desert landscape.

For me, the goal each year is always the same: stay ahead of the dry skin problem by religiously applying favorite recipes of my own handcrafted body butters, lotions and scrubs. However, this winter began with a vacation to the desserts of America’s southwest, something this southern girl’s skin was not accustomed to. My skin quickly became dehydrated. The trip was a feast for the eyes, but my skin suffered exposure to harsh temperature changes, vast altitude differences and low-humidity levels. Through a mishap of my own making, I had left for my travels without my arsenal of skin care. Let me add, I do not use store bought, chemically laden, skin products anymore. As each day past, my skin lost its healthy glow. Flaky, itchy, dull skin took its place. Thankfully, years of good skin care kept the damage from being extreme, but I was still a literal, unhappy camper.

Sugar Scrub to the Rescue


Once I returned home, I decided that a sugar scrub was what I needed. Taking it in hand, I stepped into the shower and opened a favorite scrub. The aroma of lavender and lemon filled my bathroom. The sugar scrubbed away the dry dead surface skin, revealing the healthier skin underneath. I rinsed off the excess and left the shower forgoing my usual routine of moisturizer. My skin, even my hands, felt softer and smoother and the itchy, dry, flaky skin was gone that quickly.

So, why a sugar scrub? Sugar is a natural humectant, drawing moisture to the skin. It is a natural source of glycolic acid which helps release the top layer of dead skin cells. Scrubbing with sugar works as a gentle exfoliant to remove dead skin, allowing for better absorption of the oils. Brown and white sugar are both gentle scrubs. Raw cane sugar can be used for a coarser scrub. My favorite scrub recipe uses white sugar. I prefer the smaller, gentler texture.

I mixed the sugar with coconut oil. Its fatty composition makes it a great moisturizer. Sunflower oil was added because it is light weight, full of nutrients and antioxidants, and rich in vitamins A, D, and E. I chose for my sugar scrub lavender and lemon essential oils. These essential oils provide an uplifting, fresh, and calming aroma, but also add many benefits for the skin through inhalation and skin application. Lavender essential oil stimulates the generation of new skin cells, is an antioxidant, and has antifungal and antimicrobial abilities, making it a powerhouse in treating acne, cuts, burns, wrinkles, and damaged skin. Lemon essential oil is nourishing and hydrating to damaged skin. It is antimicrobial and an excellent cleanser, yet leaves skin feeling soft.

I am passing on my recipe, because it is simple, yet so good for the skin. However, it is not intended for use on the face or inflamed, red or broken skin. Lemon oil may cause a sensitivity to the sun. It is a good idea to do this scrub in the evening or before bed.

Choose your favorite oils and the sugar of your choice; start with a 1:1 ratio of oils to sugar in a smaller quantity than you intend to make. If you want a thicker product add more sugar and stir. If you like an oilier scrub, mix equal parts of your oil choices and add to the sugar until it is the consistency you prefer.  With eight ounces of finished scrub I added four drops lavender and 3 drops lemon.

Pamela Wright. January 7, 2017. Owner of Imagine Soaps and Things has been studying natural living and holistic wellness for over a decade. Her website is under construction but will be She can be  reached at



(1)  Hoyt, E. D. (2013, January 16). 3 Ways Sugar is Good for Your Skin. Retrieved from

(2)  French. R. (2014, January 30). How to Make Homemade Glycolic Acid. Retrieved from

(3)  Axe, J. (n.d.). 7 Lavender Oil Benefits for Healing. Retrieved from

(4)  Axe, J. (n.d.). Top 10 Lemon Essential Oil Uses and Benefits. Retrieved from

(5)  Tisserand, R. B. (1977). The Art of Aromatherapy: The Healing and Beautifying Properties of the Essential Oils of Flowers and Herbs. Rochester, Vermont: Healing Arts Press


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Articles written by students are the opinions, research and voice of the student and not Heart of Herbs Herbal School. We encourage our students to explore and grow in their profession.
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