Do it Cheaper: Brown Sugar Face Scrub

I, like almost every person on the planet—minus a few lucky ones whom I automatically hate (sorry, not sorry)—struggle with my skin.

I had acne in high school, but it actually got worse for me in college. Which was awesome. And even now, I still get zits and get embarrassed with a frequency that my inner fifteen-year-old almost can’t handle. However, every story needs a silver lining, and mine is that, lately, I’ve felt like my skin is improving.

(If my face looks like I was attached by a horde of angry insects after I publish this post, the universe is too cruel.)

This improvement could be because I’m 24 and am—please God—growing out of it (trying not to get my hopes up), but I think it could also be because of the products I’m using. And as you’ve already guessed, one of those products is a DIY sugar scrub. And and and, it’s cheap to pull off! I bet you have almost all the ingredients in your cupboard right now.

Much as I’m tempted by all the pretty bottles and tubes at the store (marketers, damn you, you do your job well) I just can’t bring myself to spend all that money. For this, DIY is the way to go.

The beauty of this “recipe” is that you can adjust the ingredients as you see fit. There’s A LOT of DIY face scrubs out there for you to try. I originally went looking for something with olive oil because I thought it might give my combination skin (combination skin: I feel like I’m in a Seventeen magazine article ?) the moisture I needed without being too thick and pore-cloggy.

Pore-cloggy. That’s a thing.

Turns out that olive oil and brown sugar tend to be pretty popular partners. The lemon and honey are little additions that may or may not make a huge difference, but I found them in some recipes and, with my “more is more” mentality, thought they should join the party.

Now, mostly I don’t measure things, and go by what consistency looks or feels right. But only you, dear lovely readers, can get me to measure things. So here we go.


6 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 tablespoon lemon juice
1 squish honey
10 drops tea tree essential oil
+ Sealed container (I have a little glass jar because I have a thing about glass jars, but tupperware will work here folks—and when I say tupperware I totally mean a leftover container from yogurt or sandwich meat because who actually wants to spend money on legit tupperware?)


Mix it all together!


-I’ve found that sometimes I need to add more sugar after a few days to keep it from being too goopey.

-I measured in tablespoons because I have a lil’ baby jar for my scrub. I prefer to make it in small batches to keep things fresh, and this also allows you to keep tweaking your recipe without waste or long wait times. If you want a bigger batch and are good at the maths, I assume things will work if you enlarge this recipe proportionally. (That sounds legit, right?) Added benefit of using just a tablespoon though: only one thing to wash.

-I feel I should tell you to use all organic ingredients, and—in my mind—that’s what I did. In reality however…as much as I want to be an all natural person, sometimes I just can’t get over the price tag. We went Target brand (minus the tea tree oil) on these things, folks. And I’m still alive. So do what makes your heart or wallet happy.

-Speaking of that tea tree oil. It’s the one thing that you’re likely to not have hiding in your cupboard, but, in my humble opinion, it’s worth the trouble to get it. I’ve spent a lot of money on acne “spot treatment” products over the years, and this beats them all. It’s possible that it’s just a personal thing or all in my head, but if you’ve tried everyone with minimal success, take the gamble and give it a try.

-Full disclosure: I used bottled lemon juice. But real lemon slices are so much more photogenic.

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