Fabulous (and thrifty!) plastic free exfoliating sugar scrub

I love when my plastic free journey leads me to discover new ways of doing things that not only work as well as the original (if not better), but are in fact cheaper and more natural too! Maybe it is the worlds way of saying a little thank you for trying to do my bit.

This amazing tip happened to come from a friend of mine, and I have since done my bit to spread the word to my fellow colleagues and friends. As so many people have come back to tell me just how great it is, it seemed only right to share it….so here it is.

The only two ingredients you need for amazing exfoliation are…

…Olive oil & Sugar!


It really is that simple. So next time you want to exfoliate – forget the store bought stuff, head to the kitchen cupboard instead!

It used to be that micro-beads in exfoliating scrubs were the biggest issue, but as some incredible campaigning has got the law changed on micro-beads (yay!) this one is more about avoiding the plastic packaging itself, getting rid of the chemicals and saving yourself lots and lots of money! (Because sometimes it’s nice to be rewarded for your hard work).

The Recipe

  • 1 part olive oil
  • 1 part soft brown sugar

Depending on the level of exfoliation you’re after you can add caster sugar to the mix, just switch it out for some brown sugar. It is a little coarser so works well on the knees and elbows and well as a once a week gentle face rub.

  • Mix the ingredients together – a clean and empty jam jar works a treat and comes with a lid to keep the moisture out.
  • I recommend 1-2 tablespoons of oil and sugar for a face scrub that will last a month or two.

How To

  • Keep a spoon handy in the bathroom to give it a mix before each use and to avoid dipping your fingers in, which could get water into the mix.
  • Use about 1/2 to 1 level teaspoon for each use (on face) and use dry hands to apply to the skin.
  • Ensure your skin is dry or just lightly damp before applying – the sugar dissolves in too much water so you will lose the scrub factor quickly if not.
  • Rub gently – there is no need to scrub hard and this will likely just damage your skin as with any scrub.
  • Rinse with warm water. The sugar will just dissolve away and you can remove as much or as little of the oil as you like with either water, a flannel or toweling.


The Results

I absolutely love it! The sugar seems to be able to get into the smallest pores that even my shop bought products would struggle to reach.

The place I notice the difference the most is on and around my nose. Often a trouble spot for blackheads, this looks as clean and clear as if I had used a nose pore strip. It isn’t just my word for it either – even my husband agrees, and he isn’t one to rave about facial cleansing.

The only downside that some might find is the oil residue on the face. The first time I used it it felt pretty strange and I was worried about having a shiny face all day. The good news is that it didn’t. Of course we all have different skin types, but the beauty is that you can remove the oil with a flannel and a towel if you need to, so I wouldn’t worry much.

If, like me, you have quite dry skin, you will probably love that your face doesn’t feel itchy and dry once you pat it dry after washing. I have no need to moisturise afterwards and it makes a lovely base for my makeup.

The benefits

  • It is 100% natural – no chemicals going anywhere near this face of mine!
  • It is plastic packaging free – unless your sugar comes in plastic. Even if this is the case, the amount of sugar you go through is so low that it will definitely be a huge plastic saving.
  • It is incredibly cheap – just buying a bottle of olive oil and a bag of sugar will probably be cheaper than one tube of facial scrub. Add this to the fact that just one tablespoon of each ingredient will be good for about a months worth of facial scrubbing (twice weekly) and you are talking pennies per scrub.

I would love to know if any of you have managed to try this out for yourselves. How did you find it? Do you have anything to add?

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