They say the best gifts are handmade, but we tend to think the best gifts are handmade and persuade the recipient to take a warm bath. Indulgent, exfoliating body scrubs are (and do) exactly that: Recipients of scrubs suddenly have an excuse to kick back in the tub, and you earn brownie points for a DIY gift (and bonus points if you have your kids do the stirring).
Sugar scrubs are little transformers with endless personalities. Their foundation is always the same: Granules of sugar buff off dry, dead skin; oil moisturizes the new skin underneath. What makes them shine, though, are doses of extra ingredients—citrus, herbs, extracts—that give the scrub color, scent and, in some cases, skin-boosting properties. Mix up these sweet-smelling, skin-sloughing body scrubs as gifts—and make extra for yourself.
Coconut-Lime Sugar Scrub
You put the lime in the coconut … and mix up a killer scrub that’s a veritable vacation in a jar. Amy at The Idea Room makes this überfresh lime-and-white-sugar scrub—and printable jar labels to boot!
Berry Blue Cotton-Candy Sugar Scrub
The secret stirred into this bright blue, sweet-smelling body scrub? Frosting mix. Christina at Sweet Haute shows you how.
Baby-Rose Sugar Scrub
It’s always a bit painful to throw away a dying bouquet of roses, so Kelly at Smart School House developed a luxurious way to repurpose those petals: Zap a dozen of them in the food processor, then fold them into a floral, pink-studded sugar scrub!
Grapefruit Sugar Scrub
Dear Crissy blogger Crissy Page harnesses the anti-aging power of grapefruit (Vitamin A! Vitamin C! Antioxidants!) in this sorbet-like scrub that’s almost too pretty to wash down the drain. Almost.
Strawberry Sugar Scrub
Resist the urge to eat this body scrub with a spoon: The blend of sugar, strawberry “dust” and two oils looks that delicious. Tonia at the Gunny Sack smartly grinds freeze-dried strawberries instead of fresh to make this scrub last.
Root Beer Float Sugar Scrub
Layers of white and brown sugar and the unmistakable essence of root beer make Blommi’s nostalgic sugar scrub an impressive gift for a float lover.
Essentially an alarm clock in a jar, Garden Therapy’s invigorating scrub wakes up your senses with vibrant lemongrass and ginger essential oils. Bonus: Its zesty scent also deters mosquitoes!
Our favorite, favorite scrub, though, is this wildly rich brown-sugar scrub that exfoliates with coffee grounds and moisturizes with coconut oil; watch us mix it up, below:
1/4 cup coconut oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup coffee grounds
Melt the coconut oil in the microwave until just warm and stirrable. Stir in vanilla extract. Mix all ingredients together and store in a sealed jar; personalize it with a DIY label and a gift tag, if desired. This makes 1 to 2 jars of scrub, depending on the size of your jars; multiply the recipe to make more.