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HOW TO: Make Your Own Turbinado Sugar Scrub

I love making sugar scrubs at home, and Turbinado Sugar is a raw sugar that is very course in texture, which is great for someone like me who has extremely dry skin.

I use this as a body scrub to exfoliate the back of my upper arms, all over my legs, my feet, as a scrub prior to shaving, and also on my hands and around my nails to keep my cuticles soft and healthy.

These are so easy to make — there are only three ingredients — and they make great gifts any time of year. You can customize them depending on which essential oils you use, so I love making a large batch of scrubs, and then customizing each jar to the person I’m making it for with the scent I choose. I also love to paint a little picture that matches the scent on the front of the jar, or perhaps an image of something that has some meaning to the person I’m giving the scrub to. It becomes a truly custom, handmade gift that doesn’t cost much at all, but is thoughtful in every way.

I prefer to use Safflower Oil in my sugar scrubs, because I’ve found they work the best with the Turbinado Sugar as far as how they combine and also how they feel on your skin, but you can use a variety of oils, from Grape Seed to Rosehip to Coconut and some people even use Olive Oil (although, I’m not a huge fan of using olive oil because I think it leaves a strong smell on your skin).

Ingredients & Supplies

  • Turbinado Sugar (Sugar in the Raw)

  • Safflower Oil

  • Essential Oil (your choice of scent — I chose Orange and Lemongrass this time)

  • Glass Jar

  • Wooden Spoon or Chopstick


You can make one jar or you can make a batch of jars at once. You’ll follow the same ratio, which is about ¼ cup of oil for every 1 cup of sugar. Depending on the temperature and the type of oil you chose, you may have to play with that ratio slightly, but that is a good guide to start with. I tend to like my scrubs on the “oily” side, especially when I’m using them as an exfoliant before shaving and for my cuticles. If you like a dryer scrub, you can use a little less oil.

Start with an empty glass jar. You want to be sure to use glass and clean it prior to using it. You can mix your ingredients directly in your jar(s) or separately in a glass bowl. I tend to do mine separately in a bowl, but feel free to make them directly in your jar(s) if you prefer less clean up.

Fill your glass jar with your Turbinado Sugar, but make sure whatever portion/ratio you decide to use, that you leave enough space at the top of your jar for your oil. If you're using a separate bowl, it doesn't matter whether you add the sugar or oil first.

Add your oil of choice to the jar or bowl.

Next, add your essential oil of choice to add a scent to your scrub. Essential oils are all natural and many of them have therapeutic properties. The higher the quality the oil, the more undiluted the oils are, so with better quality oils, you’ll need less in your scrubs. I usually use one to two drops.

You can also use fresh ingredients in your scrubs, like orange peels, rosemary or ginger, but this means it will have a limited shelf life and will need to be refrigerated, so I tend to avoid doing that. If I have to refrigerate my scrub, chances are I’m going to use it a lot less often.

After adding your scent, you can use a wooden spoon or chopstick to mix the scrub together. Make sure not to use metal.

Once you have the consistency you are happy with, put the top on your jar, and add any finishing touches. Like I mentioned earlier, I like to paint an image on the front of the jar, but you can also simply label it with a magic marker or create a pretty tag with ribbon.

Let me know what you think of the sugar scrub if you try it out, and don’t forget to tag @LifeTranscribed in any pictures on social media. I love to see how your projects come out!



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