DIY Brown Sugar Face Scrub Recipe

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If you know about skin, you know how important a good quality exfoliant is. To help you out with this, I’ve made several face scrub recipes for you to try, and in this post, I’m going to focus on an easy-to-make brown sugar face scrub recipe that could be the answer you need for perfect-looking facial skin.

This DIY brown sugar face scrub is formulated with emulsifying wax for an oil-based scrub that isn’t too heavy. It smells & feels terrific, & does its job amazingly well. No complaints here about it, and it’s a lot easier to make than you think. 

DIY brown sugar face scrub


We all shed dead skin. Every month, a whole new layer of skin reveals itself. While this shedding process will happen on its own, we don’t shed skin like snakes. It doesn’t happen all at once. Sometimes our skin is flaky, patchy, and occasionally tired or dull looking.

By exfoliating the skin, we reveal the fresh, radiant skin beneath so much faster. It’ll feel smoother and softer too, after scraping off all that dried-up dead skin cells.

What’s In This Brown Sugar Scrub

Emulsifying Waxes and Thickeners

Emulsifying wax can be an excellent additive to many oil-based recipes. While you might think e-wax’s only job is to create an emulsion, in reality, they can do lots of different jobs in our DIY skin care. 

While regular waxes, such as beeswax, could be used in this recipe, it wouldn’t be nearly as good. Natural waxes can make a product too heavy, or create drag rather than allowing our oily ingredients to slip and slide, doing their job to protect our skin from raw exfoliants. 

E-wax doesn’t do this as much. They provide body without weight and allow for a nice, slippery scrub that will feel heavenly on the skin. We’re using Emulsifying Wax NF, but you could easily substitute this for Polarwax, BTMS 25 or 50, or Olivem1000. Some even provide excellent skin conditioning benefits too. 

We’re also using a little cetyl alcohol in this, which provides even more thickening, whilst retaining a light, airy texture on the face. 

butter and wax for a diy sugar face scrub

Cosmetic Butters 

Butter is the backbone of this recipe. It provides excellent stiffening power, before letting the emulsifying wax and cetyl alcohol finish off the job. 

But butters are excellent for many other reasons, too. They provide deep hydration, with few ingredients able to moisturize the skin so well. 

We’re using a combination of shea and cocoa butter. Both are excellent skin softeners and moisturisers. They’re also both rich in the antioxidants, minerals and vitamins that our skin craves. 

If you wish to substitute either of those butters, you will need to pay close attention to their hardness. Shea is relatively soft, whereas cocoa butter is much harder. If you wish to substitute the shea, consider mango butter. It’s soft, and mimics shea in this recipe.

As for the cocoa butter, if you must use something else consider kokum butter. It’s not as hard as cocoa, but the only other butter that comes close. However, It’s much harder to get hold of and is actually more expensive. Barring any problems with allergies, there is no real reason to substitute the cocoa butter. 

Carrier Oils

Sweet almond oil is our chosen carrier oil here, and it’s a great choice for all skin types. It’s really your go to when you’re not sure what to do (providing you don’t have any nut allergies). 

It’s skin softening, nourishing, and has good absorbency. However, you can absolutely substitute this for whatever works best for you. Also, if you don’t have this to hand, you can basically use anything that agrees with your skin. Be careful if subbing for coconut oil if you live in a cold climate, where it can be too hard. Consider using fractionated coconut oil, which is always a liquid at room temperature.

Argan, grapeseed, flaxseed, apricot kernel, and even the readily available extra-virgin olive oil are all great options for substitutes. All of these would provide light, easily absorbed moisture to the skin. If you want something a little more heavy duty, consider sunflower or safflower (thistle oil). These provide better hydration.   

Benefits Of Rapadura Brown Sugar On Skin

adding Rapadura brown sugar to a face scrub recipe

You might think getting brown sugar will be super easy, because they sell it at the grocery store. But unfortunately, ordinary brown sugar will literally tear your face up.

Rapadura brown sugar, however, is much finer and also way more natural than anything you’ll get at the store. softens skin, provides gentle exfoliation, and is totally unrefined. Often, ordinary brown sugar is actually just white sugar that has been dyed brown. Can you believe it?!

We’ve also included a little ground oatmeal, to help provide extra gentle exfoliation. It’s also intensely soothing and moisturizing for the skin. Perfect combo for our gorgeous brown sugar.  

You can happily use colloidal oats, if you have them. But I find it a little bit expensive for what it is. So I get some regular rolled oats and throw them into a blender for a few minutes. I have yet to notice a difference. 

Gorgeous Vanilla Scent 

We’ve chosen benzoin essential oil for its vanilla-like aroma. We just thought that it really went well with the creamy consistency of this face scrub. It’s on brand, so to speak. But you can use whatever you like.  

I’ve also made this scrub with lavender essential oil, which also blends nicely with the rich sugary scent. However, I wouldn’t be too concerned about the skin benefits. Because this is a mostly wash off product, there won’t be too much time for your essential oil to do its magic. 

So don’t use anything too expensive, and focus more on your favorite aromas.

Ok, lets make a brown sugar face scrub

DIY brown sugar face scrub

Rapadura Brown Sugar Face Scrub Recipe

This DIY brown sugar face scrub smells & feels amazing, & does its job amazingly well. No complaints here about it, & it's a lot easier to make than you think.
5 from 4 votes
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Prep Time: 15 minutes
Active Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Yield: 100 grams
Author: Angela Wills

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  • Weigh your emulsifying wax, cetyl alcohol, cocoa butter, shea butter, and sweet almond oil into a heat-proof container
    9 g Emulsifying Wax NF, 9 g Cetyl Alcohol, 9 g Cocoa Butter, 9 g Shea Butter, 40 g Sweet Almond Oil
    weigh ingredients for a brown sugar face scrub
  • Create a water bath by filling a shallow saucepan with a couple of inches of water. Then, place the container into the water bath. Bring the water to a gentle simmer, until the waxes and butter have melted. Once melted remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly.
    Create a water bath by filling a shallow saucepan with a couple of inches of water
  • Stir the melted wax/oil/butter until they cool to below 104f (40c) and has started to leave a trace on the top of the mixture while stirring. This may take a while. I usually work in intervals of stirring a bit and resting for a while.
    You can quicken this process by placing the container into an ice bath for a few minutes. An ice bath can be made by placing a little cold water and some ice cubes into a bowl that's big enough to stand the container in. This speeds up the process immensely so you will need to stir continually. If you feel the mixture is becoming too cold you can pop it in and out of the ice bath as needed.
    Stir the melted wax/oil/butter until they cool to below 104f (40c)
  • Once your mixture has thickened to trace, add your preservative, vitamin e and benzoin to the beaker. Then mix well.
    1 g Vitamin E Oil, 1 g Preservative, 0.5 g Benzoin Essential Oil
    add your preservative, vitamin e and benzoin to the beaker
  • We can now add our exfoliants. We’re using oatmeal and rapadura brown sugar. You can use colloidal oats, or you can save money by buying regular rolled oats and blending them in a blender or food processor. Make sure your exfoliants are mixed in well.
    15 g Rapadura Brown Sugar, 6.5 g Colloidal Ground Oats
    add rapadura brown sugar to face scrub recipe
  • We can now transfer to your chosen pot to store. As we have included essential oils in this recipe, you will need to make sure your pot is made of glass, PET plastic or aluminium.
    Your scrub will likely be a little loose at this point. Don’t worry, it will harden up in the pot overnight. Avoid putting the lid on until fully cooled.
    Cosmetic Jar 4 oz
    transfer brown sugar face scrub to your chosen pot to store


We’re using a preservative in this recipe. You might think it is not necessary, as we have no water-based or soluble ingredients here. However, this scrub is ideal when kept in the bathroom, so it can be easily applied and removed. This makes it much more likely for water to find its way into the product, and therefore needs a preservative.

How To Use A Face Scrub

Face scrubs should be used around once or twice a week depending on your skin type. For instance, those with mature, sensitive skin, or acne-prone skin should avoid exfoliating too often.   

  1. Place a small amount of face scrub onto the fingertips and apply it to the face. Use circular motions, to gently massage the scrub into the skin, being careful not to drag or pull at the skin as you go. 
  2. Spend a few seconds on each area of the skin, ensuring that the whole of your face has been covered. 
  3. Rise off with warm water, pat dry, and moisturize with a good quality DIY face serum, DIY face cream, or other homemade moisturizer.

Final Thoughts

This DIY brown sugar face scrub smells amazing, feels amazing, and does its job amazingly well. I have zero complaints about it, and it’s actually a lot easier to make than you’d think. 

If you have any problems with this recipe, let me know in the comments below. Any questions or queries are welcome. We can work through the problems together. But also let me know how amazing it feels, too! 

Try This Green Tea Face Scrub

I’ve formulated a green tea face scrub recipe to be milder & more suitable for someone with either sensitive or oily skin. It’s brand new face gel & we love it.

Author: Angela Wills

Title: Founder and Author - Savvy Homemade

Expertise: Beauty Recipes, Skincare Formulation, Soapmaking, DIY Crafts, Parenting

Angela Wills is an author, founder, and the driving force behind Savvy Homemade. With over fifteen years of experience, she brings a wealth of knowledge and dedication to every post she writes. She is fearlessly dedicated to creating tried and tested beauty recipes, skincare formulations, soap recipes, and many other DIY crafts that will work for everyone. Angela has a Diploma in Skincare Formulation, is a proud member of the Handcrafted Soap & Cosmetic Guild, and infuses each DIY product with her passion and expertise.

Discussion (2 Comments)

  1. It is a wonderful product. I would recommend using deoderized butters once I finished the only thing I could smell was cocoa butter. I will know better next time! Thank you.5 stars

    • Hahaha yes. This is often a problem. Raw, unprocessed shea butter smells an awful lot like rotten dairy products. However, I would say that the processes by which they deodorize your butters can also damage the delicate, therapeutic benefits too. It’s a balance I think.

5 from 4 votes (4 ratings without comment)

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