The DIY Sugar Scrubs


The best thing about Mondays is Last Week Tonight with John Oliver. (OK—it actually airs on Sunday but I don’t have HBO so I wait to watch it by less virtuous means) Without fail, he’s there: suit jacket, tie on, British accent. It makes me feel better about the world.

In one episode, Oliver explored America's overwhelming consumption of sugar. The average person eats 22 teaspoons per day, 75 pounds per year, or roughly “Michael Cera’s weight.” Maybe not the best thing in the world. Also apparently that kind of sugar intake activates the brain in a similar way to cocaine (according to a neuroscientist quoted on LWT). Bully.

I’m no expert on either sugar or drugs, but I am a devotee of the sugar scrub. Such a devotee that I make it myself. (You could buy it, I suppose. You could also take a cab five blocks home.) Like all DIYs, it makes me feel self-sufficient and crafty. Unlike all DIYs, it’s so fast that it can’t be abandoned before finishing. Plus, it’s the only confection I can create. It’s addictive.

Rifle through your cabinet, mix equal parts sugar and oil (the type is entirely up to preference). Then, scrub for skin left both exfoliated and moisturized.

For a lip scrub I like to use:

- 1 tbs raw sugar

- 1 tbs coconut oil

Personally, I don’t melt the coconut oil. I just mix the two straight up, scrub my mouth, and then wipe it off (alternatively: crunch on the little granules left behind). Muji makes a cute little Cream Case for storage of bulk batches. The same formulation can also be used as a body scrub—or, you can try this one:

  • 1 cup avocado or grapeseed oil
  • 1 cup raw sugar
  • lemon zest or few drops of essential oil

I store this mix in a mason jar and leave it in the shower, where I scrub down and then wash it all off with Dr. Bronner's. No extra moisturizer necessary.

—Alexis Cheung

Photo courtesy of the author.