11 Homemade Body Scrubs for Soft, Glowing Skin

Using ingredients you probably already have in your kitchen.

woman applying body scrub
(Image credit: Getty)

As much as we treasure (read: hoard) our skincare products, every so often we get the urge to rummage through our pantry and concoct a game-changing homemade recipe. Good news: You don't have to go to the drugstore to find a great new body scrub. Even better news: We consulted our favorite beauty insiders, dermatologists, and estheticians for all of their best body scrub recipes.

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

The Coffee Scrub

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

"We recommend using the peeling 2-3 times a week, but also when the skin looks gray, rough and dull," says  her co-founder and fellow esthetician Darya Rzaca.  "Performing a body scrub brings immediate results and it is best to use regularly, because it will allow you to enjoy the long-term benefits of this treatment."

1. Brew enough coffee to create 3 tablespoon of coffee grounds. For a stronger exfoliation, use 4 tablespoons or as desired. 

2. Mix with 5 tablespoons of honey and 5 tablespoons of olive oil in a bowl until thick. 

3. Apply the scrub to damp skin, massage it gently for a minute, then rinse with warm water and dry with a towel.

The Rose Scrub

"Roses have tons of skin benefits and are super calming for the skin." says 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 will give the scrub a nice fragrance, while rosehip will hydrate, and offer a plethora of skin benefits. Rose ingredients are also good for skin conditions like psoriasis and eczema. My grandma always had us use whatever we had at home to make skincare tinctures."

1. Mash one tablespoon of rosehip oil and fresh rose petals in a small bowl. 

2. Combine with one cup of sugar (as fine as possible) and 1/4 cup of jojoba oil. 

3. Massage the blend into your sin and rinse with water. 

The Anti-Inflammatory Scrub

"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, founder of Squigs Beauty. (opens in new tab) "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 at the end."

1.  Mix  one cup white sugar,  ¼ cup coconut oil,  two tablespoons ground turmeric (haldi) powder, and ½  teaspoon Vitamin E oil together in a bowl and stir well.

2. Apply in a circular motion onto wet skin

3. Rinse with warm water and pat (don’t rub!) dry with a soft towel.

The Brightening Scrub

"This scrub will have you admiring how soft your skin is all day long," says Dr. Janine Mahon (opens in new tab), founder of her self-titled skin and body care brand. "Mandarin oranges ripen during the winter and are perfect for making the transition to spring. The peel has long been used in Chinese Medicine, prized for its ability to move stuck Qi, brighten our mood, and help relieve abdominal distention." 

1. Combine 1 cup of organic cane sugar, 1/3 cup of organic olive oil (or one of your choice), 2 tablespoons 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 5 minutes before using.

3. In the shower or bath apply evenly on dampened skin, massaging in gentle circles towards the heart. Rinse and enjoy! 

The Soothing Scrub

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

1. Mix one cup of quick oats, 1/2 cups of brown sugar, 1/2 cups of olive oil, eight drops of your favorite essential oil in a bowl (we recommend grapefruit to enhance circulation), adding more essential oil if required.

2. Scoop out a small amount in a plastic container, which you take to the shower. Apply to the body in circulation motions at the end of your shower.

3. Rinse off, allowing some of the oil to linger on your skin. Store any remaining scrub in the fridge. It should last for at least five days.

The Sensitive Skin Scrub

Celebrity facialist Lord Gavin McLeod Valentine (opens in new tab), who counts Kim Kardashian-West and Julianne Moore as his clients, spilled the recipe he likes to use on a daily basis that contains sea salt, brown sugar, and one other special ingredient: "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 naturally antioxidant and antimicrobial properties. Honey is also known to help repair skin tissue and prevent against UV damage, in addition to targeting congested pores and bacterial build-up, which leads to body acne."

1. Combine 1/2 cup of brown sugar, 1/4 cup of sea salt, 1/2 cups of the oil of your choice, and two tablespoons of honey in a mixing bowl.

2. Mix thoroughly, adding more sugar, salt, or oil until the consistency feels right.

3. If desired, you can add a drop or two of your favorite essential oil to add an uplifting scent to awaken your senses for the day ahead or calm your mind for a good night’s sleep.

4. Once mixed, jump in the shower, apply evenly on dampened skin, brushing upwards towards the heart to increase blood and micro-circulation.

The Nourishing Scrub

"When used correctly, coffee has many benefits for the skin because it's high in antioxidants" says the founder of nature-inspired skincare brand Arêmês Fermentis, Regan Schneider. (opens in new tab) "These antioxidants help protect skin from free radicals, increase blood flow, and fight against anti-aging effects. The large amount of caffeine in coffee can also stimulate blood flow and dilate blood vessels, which creates a huge tightening effect on the skin."

1. Add 1/2 cup of olive oil into a bowl.

2. Add one tablespoon of fine coffee grounds to the oil and mix thoroughly.

3. Add 1/4 teaspoon of liquid hand soap to the mixture and mix thoroughly.

4. Add 1-2 drops of essential oil of your choice.

5. Gently rub into the skin, rinse with warm water, and enjoy.

The 2-in-1 Scrub

You may not have used 2-in-1 products since your adolescent days, but who's to say you can't rekindle that relationship? This recipe from the founder of holistic clean beauty line BELLA. Skin Beauty, Diana Shneider, can also double as a face scrub too. Now that's a win-win.

1. Mix four tablespoons of brown sugar, one tablespoon of clover honey, and 1/2 tablespoons of sweet almond oil in a bowl.

2. Add in four drops of lemon essential oil and three drops of orange essential oil to the bowl.

3. Stir and lather all over. Wash off with warm water when you're finished.

The Tingling Scrub

"Himalayan fine salt and coconut sugar are both raw and full of trace minerals, which add nutrients to boost the skin’s appearance," explains Sophie Oliver, (opens in new tab) founder of botanical skincare line Baie Botanique. So get ready to feel all sorts of things after seeing how gorgeous your skin looks post-scrub.

1. Mix four tablespoons of fine Himalayan pink salt, four tablespoons of coconut palm sugar, four tablespoons of extra virgin coconut oil (or substitute olive oil), four tablespoons of maple syrup, and two tablespoons of fresh lemon juice (pulp included) in a bowl.

2. Apply in a circular motion to wet skin, keeping some water nearby to apply to skin as needed to increase slip. Massage gently on your skin for 1-2 mins. Rinse and pat dry.

3. You should feel some tingling after as a result of the salt and lemon working their magic to exfoliate even after the scrub is removed, this is a good sign it means the ingredients have penetrated the skin and dead layers will continue to be broken down.

The Glowing Scrub

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

1. Mix and gently apply three tablespoons of oatmeal, two tablespoons of yogurt, and one tablespoon of honey to clean skin.

2. Work in a circular motion for two minutes then allow it to dry on the skin for 15 minutes.

3. Gently remove with a soft washcloth.

The Clarifying Scrub

"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," she says.

1. Using a coffee-bean grinder, grind 1/3 cup almonds into a rough powder. Alternatively, finely chop the almonds by hand.

2. Combine 1/2 cup olive oil with half an avocado (which will blast skin with 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 in two tablespoons of witch hazel (an astringent that’s loaded with antioxidants).

4. Smooth product over your skin, paying extra attention to oil-prone areas, and, as always, avoiding the face.

5. Rinse and dry skin, then slather on a moisturizer.

The Healing Scrub

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.

1. Combine 1/4 cup olive oil, five drops of pure essential lavender oil, three teaspoons of Epsom salt, and one teaspoon (roughly two tea bags' worth) of green tea in a bowl or jar.

2. Mix the ingredients until you’ve created a paste-like consistency, and don’t be afraid to add extra Epsom salt or olive oil, says Dr. Shamban. “Think of these DIYs as you would cookie batter—if the consistency is too runny, add more solid, and if it’s not runny enough, add more oil,” she suggests.

3. Avoiding the face, massage across your damp skin.

4. Rinse, dry, and wind the heck down.

Ruby Buddemeyer
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.

With contributions from