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Body Scrub

You need only four ingredients to make these moisturizing exfoliants. 




The base can be made from either Epsom salts or sugar, depending on whether you want a large or fine grain. Color the scrubs with shades that are in keeping with some of the scents you use -- pink with grapefruit, for example, or green with eucalyptus. Makes about 2 1/3 cups.

Resources: Mold jars (#740) with glass lids, rings, and clamps, by Weck, from 4 1/4"-by-11" matte ink-jet bumper stickers (#922811), from Office Depot,

Get More Bath and Body Treatments and Learn About Essential Oils



  1. Step 1

    Stir together Epsom salts or sugar and carrier oil in a bowl, mixing well.

  2. Step 2

    Using pipette, add essential oil, 1 drop at a time. Add food coloring, and stir until color is even throughout. Spoon into canning jars.

  3. Step 3

    Download clip-art labels, enlarging or reducing to fit top of canning jar if necessary. Print onto ink-jet bumper-sticker paper (which is designed to withstand water). Cut out the labels, and affix to clean jars.

  4. Step 4

    Download clip-art labels listed in the "materials" section, enlarging or reducing to fit top of canning jar if necessary. Print onto ink-jet-bumper-sticker paper (which is designed to withstand water). Cut out the labels, and affix to clean jars.

Martha Stewart Living, December 2008




Reviews (75)

  • Mizz_tigress 18 Apr, 2015

    Omg I've been doing this for a year almost and I have established flavors and everything, "kiss at midnight" I once got a bad injury @ Karate and I made a Epsom salt & sugar scrub it was pure bliss. It's relaxing just don't rub too hard (I don't recommend bathing in sugar tho...)

  • Janelle Fairlamb 21 Aug, 2014

    I agree with the spa lady about epsom salt. It's wonderful as a SOAK not a scrub. Sugar is even a little rough, I can't imagine rubbing epsom salt on my skin! lol

  • Janelle Fairlamb 21 Aug, 2014

    Hi! This is an amazing idea. I had planned to do this for Christmas gifts already, but I was going to use mason jars. Your jars are just adorable! Makes the gift look more "professional?" lol. I don't know. Anyway, where might I find jars like those? Also, just so everyone is aware about the jojoba oil, you can look it up wherever your little heart desires..... Jojoba oil is the most moisturizing, non-greasy oil you can find for the skin AND hair (only the ends tho lol), next to apricot and emu.

  • KinaTexasGardner 3 Dec, 2013

    How far in advacne can these be made?

  • AngryNYCChick 15 Jan, 2013

    For fun, or to give to a tween, try vanilla and orange for a creamsicle scent.

  • SoapWytch 26 Dec, 2012

    Hi everyone - I just thought I would clarify a comment made about Jojoba Oil. Yes it is a liquid wax but it so closely resembles human sebum that it is the preferred oil for a lot of skin and hair care recipes made by the pros. It DOES NOT clog pores, there is no mineral oil in it and it comes from a plant. It came into use when we quit harvesting whales.

    This oil/wax is completely safe to use, it is however expensive.


  • keikomom 19 Dec, 2012

    I used liquid vegetable glycerin, cosmetic grade, and it turned out well. I tried almond oil, but the scent interfered. Grapefruit and a few drops of red gel coloring? Beautiful!

  • sg75 19 Dec, 2012

    What font is used on the labels? I like it but my scents are different.

  • 7brookestar 11 Dec, 2012

    Jojoba oil is kind of like a wax, and don't use baby oil that will clog your pours (it has mineral oil in it.) Don't put anything with mineral oil on your skin ever!!!...Good Body oils for this would be Grapeseed oil, Sweet Almond Oil, Seasame Seed oil, and adding a little bit of Vitamin E oil can help the shelf life, and keeping it refrigerated.

  • 7brookestar 11 Dec, 2012

    I think this is a cute idea, but I WOULD NOT use epsom salt in this. Epsom salt is not for Body Scrubs!!! Sugar is fine, or I would use Dead Sea Salts instead. I have been a spa therapist for over 13 years. Just a TIP. Otherwise, GReat IDEa!! :))

  • jbarrpink19 18 Feb, 2015

    In your personal opinion as I am planing to get a group of college students to make body scrubs for finals week what is the best way yet cheapest way to do it. I heard using Epsom salt want a good idea

  • chorn4 9 Nov, 2012

    I love the oils from doTERRA, strong scent that lasts.

  • Create_Momma 30 Sep, 2012

    SO I just tried this and I'm seriously afraid I just did it wrong somehow. Is the misture supposed to be soupy? Will it drie out if I leave it out for ahile or do I just put it in the jar reguardless? The picture doesn't look soupy :/

  • OktoberMoon 15 Sep, 2012

    I'm going to try the Epsom salt scrub. I have a bag of Lavender scented Epsom salts . I probably will use a mixture of jojoba oil & almond oil as a base oil. And maybe a few drops of vitamin E oil & vanilla essential oil .. If you don't have essential oils I suggest using the scented Epsom salts instead. I'm going to skip the food coloring part. I don't want pink feet..LOL

  • OktoberMoon 15 Sep, 2012

    I'm going to try the Epsom salt scrub. I have a bag of Lavender scented Epsom salts . I probably will use a mixture of jojoba oil & almond oil as a base oil. And maybe a few drops of vitamin E oil & vanilla essential oil .. If you don't have essential oils I suggest using the scented Epsom salts instead. I'm going to skip the food coloring part. I don't want pink feet..LOL

  • The Scent Wizard 15 May, 2012

    I just added Body Oils from The Scent Wizard from

  • LMRoderick 23 Jan, 2012

    I made these for stocking stuffers this past Christmas. I used jojoba oil for the carrier oil, which worked better than other oils I had tried. I also crushed candy canes in a food processor, then used a fine-mesh sieve to eliminate any large chunks. It gave the scrub a minty scent and was very festive!

  • pecali8 20 Dec, 2011

    The oil sinks to the bottom of the jar in less than 24 hours. Make sure place in either a shallow jar or one that can be stirred easily.

  • AshleyNichol1 5 Dec, 2011

    Since this has no preservatives it only has a shelf life of about 2 weeks IF you encourage your friends to keep it in the fridge and to use a clean spoon rather than their hands to scoop the salt. It can very easily get bacteria in it and go bad.

    Also if the food coloring is dying your skin you are using too much. It is only supposed to have the lightest color not be super bright. This like a drop or two of food coloring. No more.

  • pinkmazy80 29 Nov, 2011

    @MiafromSweden, I dont know the intended shelf life of the finished product, but I would assume it would be based on the experation date on your carrier oil...

  • pinkmazy80 29 Nov, 2011

    Love the idea of this. I live really close to a Basin Store, but they are on the expensive side for someone on a budget. BUT, I am glad that I tried a sample batch prior to making gifts. Food coloring dyed my hands, feet, tub and towel pink. For the real batch, I am going to shell out the few extra dollars for soap dye from the craft store. Like others, I also cut the carrier oil by 2/3rds. My hands and feet feel great, even though they are pink.

  • MiafromSweden 13 Nov, 2011

    How long will it stay fresh?

    Thinking about Christmas presents for my family.

  • dppresley 30 Apr, 2011

    Grapeseed oil is a great carrier oil as well.

  • abbibody 12 Mar, 2011

    This is a great recipe for a homemade <a href="">sugar scrub</a>. I like to put fresh coffee grounds in my scrub as well for a little pick-me-up! The coffee doesn?

  • emmasyaya 20 Dec, 2010

    i always use a "light" olive oil - cheaper and less olive odor to overcome...

  • BerniekW 20 Dec, 2010

    You absolutely need less carrier oil and more essentials oil and food coloring. I used suger and walnut oil. Hope my sister like it for her Christmas present. :)

  • abelt002 9 Dec, 2010

    Instead of buying a carrier oil plus essential oil, I bought massage body oil. I got a 16oz bottle for $11.95 and picked my own scent. I got these bottles from

  • thatgirlfunny 9 Dec, 2010

    @Kmarr. I googled. "For the most nourishing carrier oils, shop with retailers and suppliers that specialize in the sale of aromatherapy or natural skin care ingredients. Your local health food/nutrition store may be a source for carrier oils, but the oils can often be pricier. Watch for dust on the bottles that can indicate the oil has been sitting around for awhile. Look for oils that are not blends of two or more oils and that have no additives."

  • love5brats 1 Dec, 2010
    Also, this link might help:

  • kmdarr 28 Nov, 2010

    Where can you buy carrier oils?

  • soapbox 19 Feb, 2010

    Has anyone used soybean oil for the carrier oil ?

  • PsychicBirdie 8 Dec, 2009

    1. Use less oil (1/4 cup carrier oil to 1 cup sugar)
    2. More essential oil to cover the smell of the carrier oil
    3. More food coloring to cover the colour of the carrier oil

  • kattrinka 1 Mar, 2009

    Is there any problem with the oils clogging up drains?

  • tingleylover 20 Feb, 2009

    A carrier oil should be an oil like olive, sunflower, or almond oil NOT vegetable oil.

  • pelicano 19 Feb, 2009

    What is a carrier oil? Can someone give me some examples.

  • Lynntn 19 Feb, 2009

    To null, just put them in a document and then you can type what you wnat on them

  • lbuser 19 Feb, 2009

    (continued ... ) By Trial and Error, what I mean is you may have to print one on plain paper and hold up to your color labels to make sure everything fits. Adjust the size and placement when you are in the Details section of the Labels tab or just change it on the Word page itself. After the first time you do this, it will be much easier. This is the same place you go to print envelopes.

  • lbuser 19 Feb, 2009

    Here's how to print the labels - 2 step process: Print the labels to get the size and colors you want. (Print a sample for testing, first). Go into Word, click on Tools, click on Letters/Mailings, click on Envelopes and Labels, select the Labels tab, then click on Options. Scroll down the list to find: 3111-Stickers (works best for me). Then click on Details (bottom of window), change the size and # on the page. Trial and error will get you what you want. for help.

  • littlebird70 19 Feb, 2009

    What is the point of the blank labels if you cant put any text on them? Has anyone figured out how to do this?

  • littlebird70 19 Feb, 2009

    What is the point of the blank labels if you cant put any text on them? Has anyone figured out how to do this?

  • thereseclare 17 Jan, 2009

    Hi. Thank you for all your thoughts, it helped so much as my daughter and I made scrubs as gifts for Christmas. I used equal parts of Jojoba and Almond (no scent) as carrier oil. I am interested in trying some of the other oils,to see how they combine. I only had one problem. When mixing, I added a little more fragrance than called for, but still found my scents totally disappeared, even after buying some very nice jars on line and using a sealant around the jar. Help? :)

  • Jlaf 23 Dec, 2008

    Meade 1818 - Is there a program that is referenced on the back of the package. Has anyone else found the correct program to color or print? I was trying to use word but have not been successful.

  • moonnbeam 21 Dec, 2008

    Just to let everyone know, the 2cup/1cup ratio leaves your salts EXTREMELY oily! Way more than you would want. It's better to eyeball it and the ratio is more like 1/16-1/8 cup oil to 2 cups salt. I also used Grapeseed Oil instead of Olive or Sunflower because it doesn't have a scent and allows whatever essential oils you're using to show.

  • Meade1818 21 Dec, 2008

    I bought the labels mentioned in the article---two questions--
    1.How do I customize the labels
    2. How do I format the labels to print on the bumper stickers?

  • stephmartin28 20 Dec, 2008

    I used some frangrance from Hobby Lobby that is used to make soaps with. They have really unique sents such as rose-thyme. It worked wonderfully, but you have to add more than it calls for on here.

  • NEWTONIAN 19 Dec, 2008

    Whole Foods sell a "white" organic sugar that is lighter than the usual organic sugar and still has the benefits of being organic.

  • slecker 17 Dec, 2008

    one more thing - I tried both organic and regular sugar and found that I much prefer regular sugar. It's just a gritty to scrub with and it's pure white, so your colors come out much prettier instead of having a brownish tinge to them from using organic sugar.

  • slecker 17 Dec, 2008

    I also found that you can make wonderful scents using the extracts you probably already have in your baking cupboard. I used pure vanilla and imitation rum extracts to create new scents with the essential oils I ordered. I found that combining certain scents like Eucalyptus and Spearmint can cause an overpowering smell and vanilla tones them down nicely. Vanilla combines great with Peppermint. Rum combines wonderfully with Tangerine to give the scrub the smell of a delicious mixed drink! :)

  • slecker 17 Dec, 2008

    The oil to sugar ratio is much to high, indeed. You need much less oil than it calls for, I just kind of figured it out as I went along. I found my jars at "The container store" and they work wonderfully - they are a tad bigger than the ones recommended:

  • Ewokgirl 15 Dec, 2008

    I made and used this scrub this weekend. It leaves the skin wonderfully moisturized! I found the ratio of oil to salt a little too high, though. I added some more salt to the recipe to make it less oily.

  • mimi2four 15 Dec, 2008

    You can buy them at Michaels or any scrapbook supply store.

  • janeDG 14 Dec, 2008

    Where do I get vellum tags?

  • livinginmadrid 12 Dec, 2008

    Carrier oils are added to a recipe to "carry" the scent etc. to create a more uniform product because they coat other products and insure an even feel. My favorite carrier oil is organic sunflower oil because it has up to 30% added vitamin E and it is a "dry" oil, meaning that it is absorbed into skin quickly, leaving it soft and dry, not oily. Other carrier oils are almond, safflower and light olive. (Been making my own skin care products for 40 years) Happy Holidays!

  • TiffanyLB 11 Dec, 2008

    I made this tonight and used coconut oil for the carrier oil. It worked really well because it didn't separate from the organic cane sugar.

  • Yorkie7 10 Dec, 2008

    saw other comments, thanks

  • Yorkie7 10 Dec, 2008

    What is a carrier oil? Like olive or baby oil?

  • mimi2four 10 Dec, 2008

    Can you purchase sunflower oil at the local grocery store? What is light olive oil?

  • Mandy31 8 Dec, 2008

    I just purchased cute glass dish with a lid that just sits on top at the dollar tree. Does anyone know if this will dry out as the lid doesn't seal? I think it's supposed to be a candy dish.

  • 4GivenGirl 8 Dec, 2008

    Organic sugar also works well because it is more coarse. To bromleymeeres, do not worry, the oil in the mixture should pool. If you have ever used baby oil on your skin, this is the same level of oily. In the shower, salt/sugar scrubs feel really good and take off that old, dead layer of dry skin; leaves your skin smooth and fresh. You do need to be careful and not slip in the shower however, since the oil makes the surface slippery also. I love these!!

  • loopylamb 8 Dec, 2008

    Also made the recipe yesterday, but I used cane sugar, not epsom salts, and diid not use food coloring. I used half grapeseed and half olive oil with 2 cups sugar to one cup oil as the recipe says, and found the ratio worked well. The recipe filled three 1/2 pint mason jars.

  • bromleymeeres 7 Dec, 2008

    I tried this tonight and found neither kind of food colouring that I have will dissolve in this oil-based mixture so had to mix the colouring with a bit of water, then add it to the salt, then the oil. Also this seems extremely greasy-with 2 c. of salts, the oil pools. I added 1/2 a cup of salts, but I think it is still going to leave my skin quite slippery!

  • 1Toffy 6 Dec, 2008

    Carrier oil can be: Olive Oil, Grapeseed Oil, Avocado Oil, Light Sesame Oil, Macademia Nut Oil. I use Olive Oil, and Grapeseed Oil half and half for a nice scrub.

  • Stephanie313 4 Dec, 2008

    Does anyone know how many jars this recipe makes, assuming I use those smaller-sized canning jars in the picture?

  • ambschri 3 Dec, 2008

    If you click on the link that says "Get More Bath and Body Treatments and Learn About Essential Oils" it will tell you what kind of oils will work as carrier oils.

  • homaidplease 3 Dec, 2008

    What is carrier oil - I've never heard of it. Also, where can I find it?

  • becksbecks 3 Dec, 2008

    ball glass jars at the supermarket- got a cute four pack for 3.50ish!

  • afoster770 2 Dec, 2008

    Does anyone know where you can find canning jars a little cheaper than the ones used in the magazine?

  • palomalot 1 Dec, 2008

    Does anyone know if it would be ok to throw in a sprig of a fresh herb or flower petal on the top of the scrub? I think it would be pretty, but am wondering if it would rot quickly, get discolored, etc..

  • Karla-Hart 1 Dec, 2008

    I don't know if brown sugar is ok, but I'm just using white sugar - atleast then it won't take away from the colour.

  • cole2 26 Nov, 2008

    One of the ingredients that is listed is "Organic Sugar Cane" I was able to locate a bag of Organic Sucanat, which is brown in color. Can I use this product? Or is there another product that I should be using for this recipe? I am afraid that the brown color of the sugar will not mix with the food coloring and provide me with that beautiful shade of green that you have advertised as the Lemon Eucalyptus.

  • ScentualNature 19 Nov, 2008

    Room temp should be okay, keep out of sunlight though. Using carrier oils with vitamin E will help with shelf life. Soy, Hempseed, Hazelnut, and Sunflower oil are good choices. If you plan on using essential oils pick ones that have anti-bacterial properties and you can use on your skin safely. Be aware that most if not all citrus oils are photosensitizers. Make sure your recipient knows to use a spoon instead of their fingers and to try not expose the scrub to water. (bacteria hazards)

  • spapartyqueen 19 Nov, 2008

    What is the shelf life once you make this item? I just want to make sure that when I give it as a gift that they use it by a certain time.

    Also, I would also love to know the storing temp recommended.


  • alofmom 17 Nov, 2008

    How do you recommend storing the scrubs after you make them before you give them as gifts? Is room temperature ok?

  • cline3434 16 Nov, 2008

    Carrier oil can be any of the following: Grapeseed Oil
    Lightweight, easily absorbed, and virtually odorless.

    Olive Oil
    A natural moisturizer. Use the lightest grades so that the scent wont mask that of the essential oil.

    Sunflower Oil
    Odorless and inexpensive.

    Vitamin E Oil
    Has a soft, light body. It can be expensive, so use it in small quantities in combination with another carrier oil.

  • depaolis 16 Nov, 2008

    This sounds like a great idea! Where would I find carrier oil?