11 DIY Body Scrubs for Smooth Summer Skin

Coffee, honey, and raw sugar can help you achieve silky, glowing skin.

diy coffee scrub
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No matter the season, I love indulging in a bit of exfoliation. It wards off dry skin, mitigates keratosis pilaris, and helps get rid of ingrown hairs. However, body scrubs can get expensive. Plus, sometimes I like employing the same creativity I exercise in the kitchen to my body-care routine—especially since so many lip scrubs and body scrubs can be made using ingredients already in your kitchen.

"You don't need to spend a fortune on a packaged scrub that's full of preservatives when you can make it yourself," agrees board-certified dermatologist Dr. Shamban, M.D. "The best part about a DIY scrub is that you can customize it to whatever your skin needs at the time. Sometimes, your skin is rough and needs to be exfoliated, and sometimes, it's dry and needs extra hydration."

That said, if you have a preexisting skin condition or a history of irritation, you should check with your dermatologist before experimenting. But if your doctor is on board and you're craving a bit of creativity, check out these homemade body scrub recipes, courtesy of dermatologists and estheticians, that will give you the ultimate summer glow.

The Exfoliating Coffee Scrub

coffee grounds with a cup of espresso and an espresso machine part in the background

Honey and coffee are so much more than a morning pick-me-up. Combine the two for an exfoliating scrub.

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If you're dealing with dead, dull skin or ingrown hairs, you may benefit from exfoliation. In particular, I like exfoliating my legs in the mornings and shaving them in the evenings (doing both during the same shower could cause irritation). If you're looking to mimic that routine, consider a coffee scrub, which both exfoliates skin and boasts that coffee smell that's sure to wake you up.

"In our opinion, the best body scrubs are made from coffee and honey," says esthetician and co-founder of Atelier Beauté, Aneta Zuraw. "Coffee peeling exfoliates dead skin cells, smooths and firms the skin, while honey takes care of moisture. It's cheap, easy to prepare, and is perfect for face and body care."

Zuraw's fellow esthetician, Darya Rzaca, recommends using the scrub two to three times a week, or any time the skin looks gray, rough, or dull.

To make a coffee scrub:

  1. Brew enough coffee to generate three tablespoons of coffee grounds. For a stronger exfoliation, use at least four tablespoons.
  2. Mix the grounds with five tablespoons of honey and olive oil in a bowl until thick.
  3. Apply the scrub to damp skin, massage it gently for about one minute, then rinse with warm water and dry with a towel.

The Nourishing Rose Scrub

hand reaching into a box of rose petals

There's a good reason a lot of skincare products contain rose extract—it's a very soothing ingredient.

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If you're dealing with redness, dryness, or chronic irritation, you'll want a gentler, more soothing scrub. Pending approval from your dermatologist, consider rosewater or rose oil as a natural treatment.

"Roses have tons of skin benefits and are super calming for the skin," agrees Karina Sulzer, founder of Skin Gym, Skin Camp, PaintLab, and YouthHaus. "Jojoba oil is super moisturizing, and I prefer that specifically because it’s ultra-nourishing, but you can use any oil you like. Rose petals lend the scrub a sweet fragrance, while rosehip hydrates. Rose extract is also good for skin conditions like psoriasis and eczema."

To make a rose scrub:

  1. Mash one tablespoons of rosehip oil with a handful of fresh rose petals in a small bowl. 
  2. Combine the mixture with one cup of extra-fine sugar and 1/4 cup of jojoba oil. 
  3. Massage the blend into your skin, then rinse with warm water. 

The Anti-Inflammatory Turmeric Scrub

bowl full of ground turmeric

Turmeric boasts a handful of anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties.

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You can suffer from inflammation anywhere on your body as a result of factors like weather, allergens, stress, and more. Speak with your doctor, of course, before triaging the issue, and once you get approval to go the natural route, look into turmeric to bring that inflammation down.

"Haldi, or turmeric, as most people call it, is one of my favorite ingredients to use for any DIY body scrubs and masks," says Nikita Charuza, the founder of Squigs Beauty. "Like many South Asians, I grew up using turmeric in almost everything from food to beauty products. It has amazing antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. This scrub will leave you with a natural glow and your skin will feel super soft."

To make a turmeric scrub:

  1. Mix 1 cup of white sugar, 1/4 cup of coconut oil, two tablespoons of ground turmeric (haldi) powder, and 1/2 teaspoon of Vitamin E oil in a bowl and stir well.
  2. Gently rub the mixture in a circular motion on skin.
  3. Rinse with warm water and pat (don’t rub!) dry with a soft towel.

The Brightening Orange Scrub

mandarin oranges, one of which is peeled

Get your dose of vitamin C with a DIY orange scrub, which will have antioxidant and brightening benefits.

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If you want to channel summertime all year long, look no further than this citrus-infused scrub, which is crafted to make your skin look, feel, and smell incredible.

"This scrub will have you admiring how soft your skin is all day long," stresses Janine Mahon, a doctor of Traditional Chinese medicine. "Mandarin oranges ripen during the winter and are perfect for transitioning to spring. The peel has long been used in Chinese Medicine, prized for its ability to brighten our mood and help relieve abdominal distention."

To make an orange scrub:

  1. Combine one cup of organic cane sugar, 1/3 cup of organic olive oil (or one of your choice), two tablespoons of local honey, and the zest of one mandarin orange. After zesting the mandarin, cut it in half and squeeze the juice into the mixture.
  2. Mix thoroughly and allow to sit for five minutes before using.
  3. While bathing, apply the mixture evenly on dampened skin, massaging in gentle circles towards the heart. Rinse with warm water.

The Soothing Oat Scrub

a bowl and spoon full of oats

You can buy oat-infusing body washes or serums—they've long been dermatologist-loved options for soothing eczema-prone or sensitive skin.

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Turns out, oats are more than just a great breakfast option. They're also invaluable tools in the worlds of beauty and wellness, capable of softening skin and rebuilding a damaged skin barrier.

"Oats are naturally soothing and are rich in naturally occurring polysaccharides, which bind water and form a barrier to protect the skin," explains naturopath and nutritionist Anna Mitsios. "I love using olive oil on the body as it is rich in antioxidants and is ultra-nourishing."

To make an oat scrub:

  1. Mix one cup of quick oats, 1/2 cup of brown sugar, 1/2 cup of olive oil, and 8 drops of your favorite essential oil in a bowl (Mitsios recommends grapefruit to enhance circulation), adding more essential oil if required.
  2. Scoop out a small amount in a plastic container and apply to the body in circulation motions at the end of your shower.
  3. Rinse with warm water off, allowing some of the oil to linger on your skin. Store any remaining scrub in the fridge.

The Calming Honey Scrub

honey in cups

Honey is both antimicrobial and packed with antioxidants, making it a great natural option for healing your skin.

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Celebrity facialist Lord Gavin McLeod Valentine, who counts Kim Kardashian-West and Julianne Moore as his clients, spilled the recipe he likes to use on a daily basis. It contains sea salt, brown sugar, and one other special ingredient, which you likely use to sweeten your tea.

"In this mix, I love to add honey," Valentine explains. "Honey is one of nature’s super healers, effective at treating a variety of skin concerns due to its natural antioxidant and antimicrobial properties. Honey is also known to help repair skin tissue, prevent UV damage, and target congested pores and bacterial build-up, leading to body acne."

Khloe Kardashian also shared she's a big fan of a honey and sugar body scrub.

To make a honey scrub:

  1. Combine 1/2 cup of brown sugar, 1/4 cup of sea salt, 1/2 cup of the oil of your choice, and 2 tablespoons of honey in a mixing bowl.
  2. Mix thoroughly, adding more sugar, salt, or oil until the consistency feels right.
  3. Optional: You can add a drop or two of your favorite essential oil to give the scrub an uplifting scent that awakens your senses for the day ahead or calms your mind for a good night’s sleep.
  4. Apply evenly on dampened skin, brushing upwards towards the heart to increase blood and micro-circulation.

The Gentle Exfoliating Sugar Scrub

a bowl of brown sugar, with a spponful of brown sugar and brown sugar cubes in the foreground

Brown sugar is gentle enough for use on both the face and body, especially since it dissolves when mixed with water.

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You may not have used two-in-one products since adolescence, but who's to say you can't rekindle that relationship? This recipe doubles as a face scrub. Now that's a win-win.

To make a sugar scrub:

  1. Mix four tablespoons of brown sugar, one tablespoon of clover honey, and 1/2 tablespoon of sweet almond oil in a bowl.
  2. Add four drops of lemon essential oil and three drops of orange essential oil.
  3. Stir and lather all over. Wash off with warm water when done.

The Hydrating Yogurt Scrub

bowl of white plain yogurt

If you don't want to exfoliate your skin too hard, yogurt is a great alternative that works as both a scrub and a mask.

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The nutrition world hails yogurt as an all-star probiotic and protein source, but did you know that you can also apply it topically? Plus, because it's not abrasive, it's excellent for those who shy away from rougher, more traditional exfoliants.

"This scrub and face mask is a great way to reduce inflammation and keep [your skin] hydrated and glowing," says Elizabeth Palomares-Michael, an aesthetician to Dr. Jason Emer in Beverly Hills. "This gentle scrub can also be left on for 15 minutes as a hydrating mask."

To make a yogurt scrub:

  1. Mix and gently apply three tablespoons of oatmeal, two tablespoons of yogurt, and one tablespoon of honey.
  2. Lather in a circular motion for two minutes, then allow it to dry on the skin for 15 minutes.
  3. Gently remove with a soft, wet washcloth.

The Clarifying Almond Scrub

almonds in a bowl

Almonds double as a gentle physical exfoliant.

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If you have acne-prone skin, you may feel tempted to exfoliate all the time. However, this can further irritate acne, or it can cause dryness, which only makes your skin ramp up oil production, exacerbating your acne. Therefore, if you're struggling with body acne, look for ingredients—like the ones in this face mask—that provide balance.

"The exfoliating aspect of this scrub comes from almonds, which are rich in both vitamin E and antioxidants,” says Dr. Shamban. "Plus, unlike some harsh scrubs, which irritate the skin and cause an overproduction of oil, this one uses olive oil and avocado to prevent that dryness, making it especially great for people with oily backs or shoulders."

To make an almond scrub:

  1. Using a coffee grinder or food processor, grind 1/3 cup of almonds into a rough powder. You could also finely chop the almonds by hand.
  2. Combine 1/2 cup of olive oil with half an avocado (which contains vitamins B, C, E, and K) in a food processor until smooth.
  3. Mix the almonds and the avocado mash in a bowl or jar, then add two tablespoons of witch hazel (an astringent loaded with antioxidants).
  4. Smooth the resulting product over your skin, paying extra attention to oil-prone areas. Be sure to avoid the face!
  5. Rinse skin with warm water, dry with a soft towel, and be sure to follow up with a moisturizer.

The Healing Salt Scrub

Epsom salt in a bowl with spoon

Epsom salt baths—which require no mixing—are also a great detox at the end of a long day.

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This DIY is a double whammy, thanks to its hero ingredient Epsom salt, which acts not only as a gentle exfoliant but also as a tried-and-true muscle relaxant.

“Epsom salts are high in magnesium sulfate, which directly relaxes muscle aches and pains,” says Dr. Shamban. The recipe also calls for green tea—one of the best antioxidants on the market, she adds—and lavender oil to create an incredibly relaxing and soothing body formula.

To make a salt scrub:

  1. Combine 1/4 cup of olive oil, five drops of pure essential lavender oil, three teaspoons of Epsom salt, and one teaspoon of green tea in a bowl or jar.
  2. Mix the ingredients until you’ve created a paste-like consistency.
  3. Massage across skin, avoiding the face, and rinse with warm water when you're done.

Meet the Experts

Dr. Ava Shamban
Dr. Ava Shamban, M.D.

Dr. Ava Shamban is a board-certified dermatologist passionate about helping her patients feel their best. A California native, she is currently based in Santa Monica.

Aneta Zuraw
Aneta Zuraw

Aneta Zuraw is a co-founder of Atelier Beauté, a spa in New York City. She is currently based in Brooklyn.

Darya Rzaca
Darya Rzaca

Darya Rzaca is a co-founder of Atelier Beauté, a spa in New York City. She is currently based in New York, where she lives with her partner and children.

Karina Sulzer
Karina Sulzer

Karina Sulzer is an accomplished beauty and wellness entrepreneur, having founded Skin Gym, Skin Camp, PaintLab, and YouthHaus. Originally from Ukraine, she is now based in Miami.

Nikita Charuza
Nikita Charuza

Nikita Charuza is a fashion and beauty editor who has been published in Allure, People, InStyle, and more. She is also the founder of Squigs Beauty. She is currently based in New York City.

Dr. Janine Mahon
Dr. Janine Mahon

Dr. Janine Mahon is a doctor of Traditional Chinese medicine and founder of a body care brand. She is based in the southwest, travelling between the Santa Fe area and the Mexico City area, where she treats patients directly through her private practice.

Anna Mitsios
Anna Mitsios

Anna Mitsios is a naturopath with over 15 years of experience. She is also the founder of Edible Beauty, a sustainable skincare range that's also entirely edible. She is currently based in Australia.

Lord Gavin McLeod Valentine
Lord Gavin McLeod Valentine

Lord Gavin McLeod Valentine is a celebrity aesthetician and facial masseur. Trusted by a litany of A-list celebrities, he is currently based in Los Angeles.

Elizabeth Palomares Michael
Elizabeth Palomares Michael

Elizabeth Palomares Michael is a licensed esthetician and therapist based in the Los Angeles area. She also works as a beauty consultant for brands and editorial.

Ruby Buddemeyer

Ruby was the beauty editor at Cosmopolitan, where she covered beauty across print and digital. Her work has appeared on The Zoe Report, Fashionista, and StyleCaster. Follow her on Instagram.