Body scrubs are an effective way to exfoliate your skin. Exfoliation is the process of removing dead skin cells from the surface of your skin using a chemical, granular substance or an exfoliation tool.

According to the American Academy of Dermatology, your skin naturally sheds dead skin cells every 30 days or so to make room for new cells. Sometimes, dead cells don’t shed completely, resulting in dry, flaky patches and clogged pores. Exfoliating can help prevent this, keeping your skin looking vibrant and healthy.

While there are plenty of pricey body scrubs to choose from, for just pennies, you can make your own equally effective exfoliators with ingredients you already have in your pantry.


After cleansing the skin, turn off the shower water. Scoop a small handful of salt scrub, and rub in a circular motion all over your skin. Rinse with water. You can wash again if you desire, but you will enjoy the greatest benefit if you simply towel dry without soaping up again.

If used every time you take a shower, dry skin will become a distant memory. The body scrub helps to get rid of all those dead skin cells and then seals in the moisture with the oil.


Generally, it is safe and healthy to exfoliate once or twice a week. More frequent exfoliation could lead to dry, irritated and sensitive skin. Once you use a body scrub regularly, you’ll discover your perfect regimen.


To make body scrub, you need:

— Oil. Olive oil, coconut oil, almond oil, baby oil, jojoba oil or grapeseed oil.

— Grains. Sea salt, Epsom salt, sugar or coffee grounds.

— Optional fragrance. A few drops of your favorite essential or aromatherapy oil are optional to add a subtle fragrance.

— Sealable container. Because you’ll be using the scrub in the shower, it’s wise to consider a nonglass option to store your body scrub and a rubber mat to protect against slipping.


Granulated sugar (white or brown) is an inexpensive ingredient that works well in body scrub for sensitive skin. Sugar is gentler on the skin than salt.

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 cup oil

Essential oil (optional)

Combine sugar and oil in a bowl, and mix thoroughly. Add additional oil or sugar as needed to achieve your ideal consistency. If desired, add one or two drops of your favorite essential oil. Spoon your scrub into a container, and apply the lid. Label clearly.


1/2 cup Epsom salt or sea salt

1/2 cup oil

Essential oil (optional)

Follow the same steps you would for the sugar scrub, but replace the sugar with salt.


1/2 cup coffee grounds (used or unused)

2 tablespoons hot water

1 tablespoon coconut oil, warmed

Add the coffee grounds and hot water to a mixing bowl. Mix thoroughly with a spoon. Add the coconut oil. If needed, add more coffee grounds or more oil to get the consistency right.

Spoon the mixture into a container, and apply the lid. Label clearly.

Would you like more information? Go to for links and resources for recommended products and services in this column. Mary invites questions, comments and tips at Everyday, “Ask Mary.” This column will answer questions of general interest, but letters cannot be answered individually. Mary Hunt is the founder of, a lifestyle blog, and the author of the book “Debt-Proof Living.”


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