Exfoliating Sugar Scrub Bars with Essential Oils for Winter Skin Care
Learn how to make exfoliating sugar scrub bars with essential oils for winter skin care. This beginner sugar scrub recipe is similar to a traditional sugar scrub, but in solid form. Like regular sugar scrubs, they exfoliate and moisturize skin but without feeling greasy or oily. Keep reading for my easy sugar scrub bar recipe for glowing skin. Plus discover ten more amazing solid sugar scrub recipes you can make at home for yourself or to give as homemade gifts.
Let’s face it. Valentine’s day is a couples holiday. Commercialized for lovers, this holiday doesn’t feel so grand if you’re single. That’s why I prefer to celebrate Valentine’s day as Galentine’s Day. Rather than making Valentine’s day about couples, I prefer to think of it as a day to celebrate your best friends. And of course, treat myself as well. There’s not better way to indulge in a self care holiday than with dark chocolate and red wine and a long bath.
These exfoliating sugar scrub bars make the perfect Valentine’s day treat to fulfill at least part of that indulgence. Not only are these sugar scrub bars a great Galentine’s Day gift, they’re also perfect for winter skin care.
I’ve been making exfoliating sugar scrub bars for quite a few years. In fact, some of my first sugar scrub bar recipes dates back to 2011!
I started using homemade sugar scrubs back when Bath & Body Works introduced their famous brown sugar body scrubs. These scrubs had numerous skin care benefits. They were both exfoliating and moisturizing — a must for dry skin relief. Unfortunately, their body scrubs also started off really greasy. They were basically a combination of brown sugar, olive oil and fragrance.
Seeing as these first sugar scrubs consisted mostly of oil and sugar, they made the tub quite slippery. In fact, my ex-husband slipped in the tub after I showered as a result. (Then subsequently accused me of trying to off him, because, of course.) To alleviate this drawback, eventually emulsified sugar scrubs were created in addition to exfoliating sugar scrub bars and sugar scrub soap bars.
What Are Sugar Scrub Bars?
Sugar scrub bars are basically a sugar scrub in solid form. They contain many of the same ingredients as a sugar scrub recipe. They also work similarly to sugar scrubs in that they exfoliate and moisturize skin. However, as these sugar scrubs come in cubes or bars, they’re easier to control in the shower and tub, resulting in less mess than a traditional sugar scrub.
Exfoliating sugar scrub bars can be made in one of two ways. The first sugar scrub bars were made using a melt and pour soap based to create a solid base for the other sugar scrub ingredients. The second is to make them using a combination of hard butters, oils, sugar and fragrance to create a sugar scrub in a solid form.
What Are Sugar Scrub Bars Used For?
Sugar scrub bars are used to exfoliate and moisturize skin. It’s as simple as that. Some sugar scrub bars also contain soap. In this case, they not only exfoliate and moisturize skin, they also cleanse skin. So if you’re looking for a moisturizing soap with added benefits for the skin, then you’ll want to make a solid sugar scrub recipe using a melt and pour soap base.
Alternately, you can also make solid sugar scrubs without a melt and pour soap base. You’ll want to apply this type of scrub to skin after cleansing. As these scrub bars are made using hard butters that melt in the shower, they tend to moisturize skin better than those made with soap.
What Are the Benefits of Exfoliating Sugar Scrub Bars?
Skin Care Benefits
Like traditional sugar scrubs, exfoliating sugar scrub bars have a number of skin care benefits.
- They naturally exfoliate skin with sugar.
- Ingredients are often added to moisturize and condition skin.
- When made using a soap base, they also cleanse the skin similarly to a hydrating bar soap.
Practical Benefits of Solid Sugar Scrubs vs Traditional Sugar Scrubs
Solid sugar scrubs also have practical benefits as well, outside of skin care, over traditional sugar scrubs.
- They don’t feel oily or greasy like traditional sugar scrubs.
- Solid scrubs aren’t as messy to use.
- There’s less worry about them making the tub slippery after use.
- They travel well without worry about the packaging leaking.
What Ingredients Are Used to Make Solid Sugar Scrubs?
There are so many different ingredients you can use to make exfoliating sugar scrubs. However the basic ingredients for the recipe stays relatively similar regardless of the recipe. (I share more solid sugar scrub recipes you can explore at the end of this post!) Here are the main ingredients you will need to make solid sugar scrubs for your winter skin care routine.
- Melt and Pour Soap Base: The first solid sugar scrub soap bars were made using a melt and pour soap base. The soap is used to hold the ingredients together to form a solid scrub. (Although you can make these without soap as well.) If you have dry skin, I recommend using a detergent free melt and pour soap base. I used this goat milk suspension base for my scrubs, which can easily be found at most craft stores, but you can use your favorite soap base.
- Hard Butters: If you are making solid sugar scrub bars without soap, you can replace the soap in the recipe with a hard butter, such as kokum or cocoa butter. In some cases, where additional carriers oils are used, both a hard butter and a wax may be required to keep the scrubs solid.
- Carrier Oil: Soap alone can often be drying to skin as it strips skin of its natural oils. Therefore carriers oils are used to give these scrubs moisturizing skin care properties. Carrier oils not only penetrate skin for deep hydration, they also soften the bars slightly. This allows you to break off chunks and crumble the scrub in your palm for application if desired.
- Essential Oils: Essential oils are used to scent your solid sugar scrubs. While not necessary, they are a nice way to naturally scent your winter skin care product. Alternately, you can also use a fragrance oil if you are looking for an inexpensive alternative to essential oils. I used rose absolute to scent my scrubs. However, you can also use your favorite essential oil blend.
- Sugar: Sugar is needed in this recipe for exfoliation. Plus, you can’t really have a sugar scrub without the sugar, right? I used white granulated sugar to make my scrubs for its fine texture.
- Soap Colorant: If you’d like to color your sugar scrub bars, then you’ll need to use a soap colorant as part of the recipe. You can use either several drops of a liquid soap colorant to suit, or you can use cosmetic mica powder. I used a rosy pink mica powder for my recipe.
Essential Oil Blends
True rose essential oil, such as bulgarian rose, is very expensive. Therefore I used rose absolute to scent my scrubs, as it is a more affordable alternative. However, you don’t have to give your scrubs a rose fragrance. If you’re looking for other natural fragrance ideas for your exfoliating sugar scrub bars, then be sure to try one of my winter essential oil blends for your winter skin care products.
You can also use one of these romantic essential oil blends with rose absolute when you make your sugar scrub soap bars.
- 12 drops rose absolute + 6 drops patchouli + 6 drops Australian sandalwood
- 12 drops rose geranium + 9 drops lavender + 6 drops rose absolute
- 10 drops rose absolute + 10 drops sweet orange
- 10 drops neroli + 6 drops rose absolute + 4 drops jasmine absolute
- 15 drops patchouli + 9 drops lemongrass + 6 drops rose absolute
- 8 drops rose absolute + 8 drops cardamom + 8 drops frankincense
- 20 drops lavender + 10 drops rose absolute
- 12 drops rose absolute + 12 drops Australian sandalwood
- 10 drops sweet orange + 8 drops lavender + 6 drops rose absolute + 6 drops ylang ylang
How to Make Sugar Scrub Soap Bars
It’s so easy to make sugar scrub soap bars with this recipe for beginners. Even if you’ve never made melt and pour soap before, you can easily make this winter skin care product at home without having to purchase a lot of tools. In fact, you most likely have everything you need to make this project, aside of the ingredients and the silicone mold.
To make these solid sugar scrubs, start by weighing out the melt and pour soap base using a digital scale. Cut the soap into cubes. (Alternately, if you don’t own a scale, you can simply cut out the necessary amount from a block divided into one ounce cubes.)
Now place the soap base into a heat safe measuring cup or glass bowl.
Place the container of soap into the microwave. Then heat the soap base in the microwave for 30 seconds.
Measure out the mica powder and stir into the base. (Alternately, you can also use a liquid soap colorant. Simply add the color a few drops at a time, then stir, until desired shade is achieved.)
Next, use a measuring cup and spoon to measure out both the sugar and the carrier oil called for in the recipe. (You can find the full recipe for this winter skin care product in the recipe card below.)
Add the sugar and the oil to the melted soap base. Then heat the ingredients in the microwave for an additional ten seconds.
Stir to combine. Then add the essential oil or essential oil blend of your choice. Mix well to thoroughly incorporate the fragrance throughout the melted base.
Now pour the sugar scrub mixture into the cavities of the mold. (I used this silicone mold with hearts, butterflies and flowers.)
Allow the soap scrub to solidify for about an hour, or until hardened.
Tip: For quicker cooling times, simply place the mold onto a cutting board before pouring your scrubs. Then transfer the mold to your refrigerator once poured.
Once your sugar scrub soap bars have solidified and cooled completely, remove them from the mold.
Then wrap tightly in foodservice film and label as desired for personal use or gifting.
- 2 oz. white melt and pour soap
- 2 Tablespoons white granulated sugar
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon rose pink mica powder
- 20-30 drops rose absolute, to suit
- Silicone soap mold
- Heat safe measuring cup
- Measuring spoon
- Utensil for stirring
- Weigh out the melt and pour soap base using a digital scale. Cut into cubes.
- Place the soap base into a heat safe measuring cup.
- Then heat the soap base in the microwave for 30 seconds.
- Measure out the mica powder and stir into the base.
- Use measuring cups and spoons to measure out both the sugar and the olive oil.
- Stir the sugar and the oil into the soap base. Then heat the ingredients for an additional ten seconds.
- Stir to combine. Then add the rose absolute. Mix well.
- Pour the sugar scrub mixture into the cavities of the mold.
- Allow the soap scrub to solidify for about an hour, or until hardened.
- Remove the scrubs from the silicone mold.
- Then wrap tightly in foodservice film and label as desired for personal use or gifting.
For quicker cooling times, simply place the mold onto a cutting board before pouring your scrubs. Then transfer the mold to your refrigerator once poured.
How to Use Solid Sugar Scrubs for Winter Skin Care
To use your solid sugar scrubs, simply scrub the bars onto damp skin in the shower or bath.
However, for best results, I recommend that you break off a small piece from the bar and crumble it in your hand first. Then massage the crumbled bar onto your skin the same way you would a traditional sugar scrub.
Rinse, then pat dry. Follow with your favorite body moisturizer.
More Exfoliating Sugar Scrub Bar Recipes
Now that you know how to make a basic recipe for sugar scrub bars, try these other exciting variations for making solid sugar scrubs as well as sugar scrub bars without soap.
Solid Sugar Scrub Recipes with Melt and Pour Soap Base
Here are several of my solid sugar scrub soap bar recipes. All of these recipes are made using a melt and pour soap base.
- Melt and Pour Soap Recipe with Solid Sugar Scrub Hearts
- Strawberries & Champagne Solid Sugar Scrub Bars
- Strawberry Chocolate Solid Sugar Scrub Bar Recipe
- Solid Sugar Scrub Cubes Recipe
- DIY Solid Sugar Scrub Hearts
- DIY Sugar Scrub Soap Bars
Sugar Scrub Bars without Soap
Here are some of my recipes for solid sugar scrub bars without soap. These solid scrubs are made without a melt and pour soap base and use hard butters and/or wax as a substitute for soap in the recipe.
- White Tea Solid Sugar Scrub Bar Recipe
- Lemon Verbena Solid Sugar Scrub Recipe
- DIY Solid Sugar Scrub Snowballs
- Solid Coffee Sugar Scrub Recipe
Discover more winter skin care products you can make at home by following Soap Deli News on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram . Or subscribe to my newsletter for more skin care recipes and ideas.