Solid Sugar Cube Scrub Recipe
Natural sugar scrubs are a wonderful alternative to the more synthetic and abrasive products on the market. They gently polish and exfoliate the skin, are luxurious and smell naturally delicious.
Most natural sugar scrubs have the consistency of a thick, grainy liquid. The ingredients often separate over time, and though they have so many wonderful advantages, sometimes it can become a nuisance to work with them. Additionally, fluid sugar scrubs can harbor bacteria rather quickly.
Created at Christmastime
Solid Sugar Cube Scrubs, like the ones that you can make using this recipe are not entirely all-natural, but they have the benefit of being easy to work with, are often more visually attractive than scrubs that separate over time, and they last longer when stored properly.
This customizable recipe will make approximately 30 1" square exfoliating sugar cubes. The total number of cubes may vary depending upon your choice of molds and specifically how large you cut them.
- 11 net wt. oz. Melt & Pour Soap Base (Approximately 13 cubes from a 2 lb. block scored into 40 cubes)
- 2 cups White Sugar
- 4 fl. oz. Cold Pressed Vegetable Oil (Stable lipids like Watermelon Seed Oil, Jojoba or Fractionated Coconut Oil are recommended)
- 1/4 tsp. Vitamin E Oil (1400 IU is Ideal)
- 1/4 fl. ounce (1.5 tsp.) skin safe Essential Oil
- See the Notes/Tips section below for tips on soap bases, sugars and vegetable oils.
- You will also need a mold. I recommend using rectangular soap molds.
- Towards the end, it can be easier to mix the scrub with your hands. I recommend using surgical gloves as you work.
- Be sure to follow all safety precautions and always research the safety info and contraindications for each essential oil that you are considering working with.
- Measure out all ingredients beforehand. Once the soap base is melted, you will need to work quickly.
- Using a double-boiler, gently melt the Melt & Pour Soap Base until it is completely melted. Do not overheat Melt & Pour bases as it will ruin their lather.
- As soon as it is melted, pour it into a mixing bowl.
- Add the vegetable oils and Vitamin E Oil and quickly stir to combine.
- Add the sugar and continue stirring. Remember to work swiftly as the mixture can firm up quickly. By now, you may be able to knead the mixture with your hands but be very careful if doing so to mix in the essential oils.
- Add the essential oil and mix well.
- If your mixture seems way too thin, you can add more sugar. It may take you a couple batches to get a natural feel for the ideal consistency.
- Spoon or pack the mixture into your soap molds. Press it firmly to ensure there are no air pockets.
- Allow to set for an hour. The amount of time it may take for the mixture to completely firm up can vary, depending on the specific oil and soap base that you used.
- I generally find that the scrubs release from the molds pretty easily once they are reasonably firm.
- If it seems like the mixture is too thin, you can try refrigerating the mixture for a short while.
- Remove the scrubs from the molds before the mixture is completely set. This makes it easier to cut the cubes.
- Cut into approximately 1" cubes. Allow to firm up at room temperature for several hours.
- View the Packaging Ideas, To Use and Shelf Life sections below for more information on packaging and using your sugar scrub cubes.
Essential Oil Suggestions
- This recipe is created in such a way that offers you a lot of flexibility in choosing what essential oils you want to use to fragrance your scrubs. This recipe assumes that you already have familiarity with Essential Oil Safety and understand that some essential oils should not be used on the skin, or should only be used sparingly on the skin.
- Be certain to also only select Essential Oils that do not contraindicate any other health issues that you may have.
- Remember that some essential oils are aromatically much stronger than others. Peppermint and Geranium essential oils, for instance, are especially dominant and can overpower a blend if not used sparingly.
- Avoid or only use the spice and mint oils sparingly in this recipe and do not exceed dermal maximum limits for any essential oils.
- The photograph above features scrubs that I made over Christmastime using red and dark green transparent colored soap bases. The quantity of white sugar used in the recipe makes the cubes appear more muted in color. For completely white cubes, you can use opaque white bases or clear transparent soap bases. Melt & Pour Soap Bases are not 100% natural. I use From Nature With Love's soap bases because FNWL strives to provide the most natural bases available, they have a large number of bases to choose from, they strive to keep their inventory fresh, their prices are competitive and they are an advertiser/supporter of AromaWeb.
- Turbinado or other darker unrefined sugars can be substituted for processed white sugar, but the soap and oil proportions may need to be adjusted. I look forward to updating this recipe once I've experimented more.
- Nourishing vegetable oils are used to help fortify the skin that is revealed after exfoliation. If you have oily skin, you can experiment by reducing the proportion of vegetable oil used in the recipe. If you have normal or dry skin, you can experiment with increasing the amount of vegetable oil used in the recipe.
- Shea Butter, Cocoa Butter or other vegetable butters can be used in place of some of the vegetable oil. Melt the butters with the soap base. Some experimentation may be needed to perfect the final product consistency.
- Avoid using mineral oil (also known as baby oil). Mineral oil clogs the pores and can be harmful to the skin. See the Harmful Skin Care Ingredients article for more information.
- The Vitamin E Oil can be left out of this recipe if necessary, but it helps to nourish the skin and also helps to extend the shelf life of the scrub. Vitamin E capsules can be used in place of Vitamin E Oil. To use capsules in the recipe, carefully cut the tips off 2-3 capsules and squeeze the capsule contents into the sugar scrub and mix well.
- I use rectangular soap molds with 5 oz. cavities, and once cut into cubes, I get six cubes per cavity. You could use square molds or even line a baking dish with wax paper.
- If you have a sensitive shower or sink drain, use caution when using sugar scrubs. Over time, the sugar/oil combo can slow your drain, especially if you use a lot of the exfoliant during your applications.
It is important to store the cubes in an airtight container or in airtight bags. Many of AromaWeb's advertisers have beautiful jars that are perfect for storing Sugar Scrubs. Include the date that you made the sugar scrub cubes on your label.
- These scrub cubes can be used on the body and feet. Do not use it on the face.
- Avoid use if you have sensitive skin or skin conditions such as eczema, and avoid use on wounds, cuts, abrasions or damaged skin.
- Use one cube per exfoliating session. Bring one cube into the shower with you. Allow it to get wet, and massage the cube into a soft workable, exfoliating paste in the palm of your hand. As you begin, you may find it easier to break the cube in half or into quarters and work with the smaller portion on one region of the body and then repeat.
- Scrub gently in a slow, circular motion. Do not grind the scrub into your skin.
- Discontinue use immediately if you experience any discomfort or irritation. Rinse off.
- If desired, follow the exfoliating scrub with gentle cleansing.
- Moisturize the skin with a natural moisturizer after exfoliating.
I don't recommend using this solid sugar cube recipe directly on the face, but it is wonderful for the body and feet. (See AromaWeb's other Sugar Scrub Recipe for one that can be used on the face when applied gently.)
With the exception of the natural anti-oxidant properties of the Vitamin E oil, this sugar scrub does not contain preservatives.
For maximum freshness, use the cubes within 4-6 weeks. Keep the cubes in an airtight container and do not allow them to come into contact with moisture until the moment you intend to use them.
General Safety Information
These recipes are offered for educational purposes only. Before using any essential oil, carefully read AromaWeb's Essential Oil Safety Information page. For in-depth information on oil safety issues, read Essential Oil Safety by Robert Tisserand and Rodney Young. Do not take any oils internally and do not apply undiluted essential oils, absolutes, CO2s or other concentrated essences onto the skin without advanced essential oil knowledge or consultation from a qualified aromatherapy practitioner. For general dilution information, read AromaWeb's Guide to Diluting Essential Oils. If you are pregnant, epileptic, have liver damage, have cancer, or have any other medical problem, use oils only under the proper guidance of a qualified aromatherapy practitioner. Use extreme caution when using oils with children and consult a qualified aromatherapy practitioner before using oils with children, the elderly, if you have medical issues or are taking medications.