4 DIY Body Scrubs to Make You Glow

by Julia Teen

Be honest: How often do you really exfoliate your whole body? Only when your legs aren't hidden by tights? On (rare?) fake tanning occasions? Many people (myself included, don't worry) are all about applying rich, hydrating lotions to our bodies regularly but often skip exfoliating. Turns out that's not a good move.

It's important to understand that your skin ages everywhere — not just on your face, says Beverly Hills aesthetician and skin guru, Gina Marí. "Exfoliating the dead skin cells off your body encourages cellular turnover, which gives the appearance of younger, more radiant skin from head to toe," she tells Bustle.

Convinced? Now you need a scrub that will get the job done. Before you drop a bunch of hard-earned cash at a beauty counter, consider going the DIY route. Brooklyn based beauty apothecary Meow Meow Tweet owner (and ex-chef) Tara Pelletier has created her own scrubs using grocery store ingredients and easy-to-follow recipes.

"The recipes we’ve created use organic demerara cane sugar as the main exfoliating ingredient, which means that you can nibble a little in the shower, and it'll be tasty!" Pelletier says. "If you are a savory person, you could use sea salt in place of the sugar."

According to Marí, which you choose is up to skin type and preference: "Salt is much more abrasive than sugar, so we believe it is more beneficial on rough areas like heels and elbows. But it's great for body acne breakouts due to the fact that it absorbs oil well," she says. Otherwise, and especially if you have sensitive skin, sugar is your best option. "Sugar scrubs are gentler on the skin because sugar is less drying and dissolves in warm water," she explains.

Below are four of Pelletier's favorite body scrub recipes and a list of the tools you'll need to make them:


Arm yourself with:

Mixing bowl


Jars with Lids

Food Processor (optional)

Coffee Grinder (optional)

Sharp Knife

Vegetable Peeler

Spice Grater (optional)

Zester (optional)

Tea Towel or Sandwich Bags

Saucepan or microwave safe bowl

Virgin coconut oil (It's great for the skin because it's quick-absorbing, moisture locking and anti-fungal. However, you could use another oil like olive, walnut, avocado or sunflower oil in its place if you have it.)


4 Lemons

1 tbs Poppy Seeds

1 cup Sugar

1 tsp Vanilla Extract

¼ cup Cornmeal

½ cup Coconut Oil

  1. If the coconut oil is solid, melt it and cool to room temperature. "These recipes require the coconut oil to be in liquid form for thorough mixing," explains Pelletier. "The easiest way to melt coconut oil is in a saucepan, at low heat. Keeping stirring while it is heating until it’s just melted, and take off the heat to cool to room temperature. As oils are heated their healing properties change, so the less heat used, the better." If you must microwave, heat for 10 seconds at a time until liquefied.
  2. Zest the lemons, then leave the zest to dry for 1 to 2 hours.
  3. If you don't have a zester, carefully remove the lemon peel with a vegetable peeler and then mince the peel with a knife.
  4. In a bowl, mix poppy seeds, sugar, cornmeal, vanilla, and lemon zest.
  5. Pour the oil over the ingredients and mix to combine.
  6. Store in a sealed jar.


½ cup Coffee Grounds

2 tbs Mint Leaves or 2 peppermint tea bags

½ cup Sugar

½ cup Coconut Oil

  1. If the coconut oil is solid, melt it and cool to room temperature.
  2. If you are using fresh mint, pluck all mint leaves from the stalks and spread onto a cookie sheet.
  3. Bake at lowest temperature for 1 hour.
  4. Let the leaves cool completely before crumbling them between your fingers into a powder. If you are using peppermint tea bags, snip open the tea bags and use the leaves.
  5. In a bowl, combine coffee, mint and sugar.
  6. Pour the oil over the ingredients and mix to combine.
  7. Store in a sealed jar.


¼ cup Black Tea

1 tbs Dry Ginger, ground

1 tbs Cinnamon, ground

½ tsp Cloves, ground

½ tsp Nutmeg, ground

½ tsp Cardamon, ground

¼ tsp Black Pepper, ground

1 tsp Vanilla Extract

1 cup Sugar

½ cup Coconut Oil

  1. Grind the black tea leaves to a powder. If you don't have a coffee grinder or a mortar and pestle, put the tea leaves in a sandwich bag or tea towel and roll with a rolling pin or lightly hit with a hammer to grind the leaves up. Cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg can be bought already ground (easiest method) or you can use a grater to grate them.
  2. In a bowl, combine all dry ingredients and vanilla thoroughly.
  3. Pour the oil over the ingredients and mix to combine.
  4. Store in a sealed jar.


½ cup Almonds

1 tbs Cocoa Powder

1/2 cup Sugar

1 tbs Coconut Flakes, unsweetened

½ cup Coconut Oil

  1. Grind the almonds in a food processor. If you don't have a food processor, put the nuts in a sandwich bag or tea towel and lightly hit with hammer to pulverize. You can also use pre-ground almond meal.
  2. In a bowl, combine all dry ingredients and vanilla.
  3. Pour the oil over the ingredients and mix to combine.
  4. Store in a sealed jar.

For the best results, Marí recommends exfoliating a couple of times a week in the shower, where the exfoliant granules get softer and skin is hydrated. "Always remember to moisturize your entire body immediately after to replenish your new cells and leave a soft, smooth feel to your skin."

Image: Fotolia