All About Sugar Face Scrubs

by Linda Robison

Using sugar as a face scrub is natural, CHEAP, and essential if you want a healthy glowing face. Or, as I call it, Glass Skin!

Which is a Korean beauty term for smooth luminous skin that looks almost translucent, resembling glass.

Among all the scrubs out there, sugar face scrubs are most popular because they hydrate, exfoliate, and improve skin texture.

How to use sugar as a face scrub for smoother, healthier skin.

And, we love them because they fit into any skincare routine, and feel so good!

What is a sugar face scrub

These scrubs use sugar crystals to slough off dead skin cells. Different types of sugar, such as granulated white, brown, or even powdered, can be used depending on the desired level of exfoliation.

They can be used alone or can be combined with oils and other natural ingredients (often found in your kitchen) to create a soothing and nourishing experience.

Adding exfoliating sugar scrubs to your facial routine can visibly improve and rejuvenate your skin.

Types of sugar to use in a scrub

Different types of sugar can be used in a face scrub.

There are several types you can use for your face scrub, depending on your needs.

And, you don't find something you like here, check out our 40 different coffee skin hack recipes for face and body! 

Here is a list ordered from the coarsest to the most gentle:

  • Raw sugar (turbinado): Coarser and more abrasive, suitable for body scrubs. This type is best for smooth out bumpy chicken skin!
  • Granulated sugar: Provides good exfoliation, slightly less coarse than raw sugar.
  • Cane sugar: Similar to granulated but is less processed, offering natural exfoliation.
  • Brown sugar: Softer texture, suitable for sensitive areas.
  • Coconut sugar: Finer texture than brown, a gentler option.
  • Superfine sugar (caster sugar): Delicate exfoliation, ideal for very sensitive skin or facial use.
  • Powdered sugar (confectioner's sugar): Extremely fine, providing the gentlest exfoliation suitable for sensitive skin areas.

Basic DIY sugar face scrub recipe

There are countless sugar scrub recipes out there. However, we discovered some truly exotic and exciting ones, like this amazing at-home Korean face scrub.

A basic recipe starts as follows:


A basic recipe uses a 2:1 ratio of sugar to oil. 

For example:

  • 2 tablespoons of sugar (your choice depends on your skin type)
  • 1 tablespoon of your favorite oil (almond, coconut, jojoba, ect…)

You can adjust the amount depending on how much you wish to make.

I use 1/4 cup of sugar to 1/8 cup of oil and store it in a closed container. This will last me about a week.

Note: I make a large amount because I use the scrub all over my face, neck, chest, and arms. And I love to use coconut oil because the smell is amazing and tropical.😊

Optional: essential oils

You can add a few drops of essential oil. But be careful and test it first. Some people are sensitive to essential oils. Here are some gentle oils with anti-aging benefits

They include:

  • Sweet Almond Oil
  • Argan Oil
  • Apricot Kernel Oil
  • Jojoba Oil
  • Frankincense
  • Neroli Oil
  • Pumpkin Seed Oil
  • Rosehip Oil
  • Rosemary Essential Oil


Combine sugar and oil in a bowl, mixing well. Add essential oils if desired. Use right away. Store leftovers in an airtight container.

Customizations for Different Skin Types

We'll list full recipes for the top most extravagant, delightful sugar scrubs you can find!

But, just to let remind you, you can customize all recipes for your complexion needs and skin type:

Aging/Wrinkles: Add a few drops pomegranate seed oil.

Dry: Add a tablespoon of honey or a few drops of avocado oil for extra moisture.

Oily: Incorporate a few drops of lemon juice or hazel nut oil to help balance oil production.

Acne-Prone: Add a teaspoon of tea tree oil to help combat acne scars.

How to use a sugar face scrub

How to use a sugar face scrub.

Preparation: Start with a clean face, removing any makeup.

Application: Gently massage the scrub onto your face in circular motions, avoiding the eye area.

Frequency: Use the scrub 1-3 times a week, depending on your skin’s tolerance.

Post-Scrub Care: Rinse with warm water and follow up with a moisturizer to lock in hydration.

Benefits of using sugar scrubs for the face

Natural Exfoliation: Want smooth, glassy skin? Then you need to get rid of dead cells. This is super important, especially if you're using anti-aging products like AHA's peels and retinols.

Prepping the Skin: Regular use of sugar scrubs allows your complexion to better absorb moisturizers and other skincare products, like retinols!

Hydration: Sugar acts as a natural humectant, helping to draw moisture into the skin.

Anti-Aging Benefits: Exfoliation helps reduce the appearance of fine lines and promotes a youthful glow.

Improving Circulation: Massaging the face boosts blood flow, enhancing skin's radiance.

Gentle on Sensitive Skin: The fine granule ones make a gentle exfoliator, suitable for sensitive complexions.

Tips and side effects

Tips and Precautions

Avoid Over-Exfoliation: Overuse can lead to irritation; listen to your skin.

Be Gentle: Apply with light pressure to prevent micro-tears.

Patch Test New Ingredients: Always test on a small skin area first to avoid allergic reactions. Especially if adding essential oils. Test them separately.

Storage Tips: Keep homemade scrubs in a cool, dry place to maintain their effectiveness.

Looking for other types of scrubs

Prancier scrubs.

For those with acne-prone skin and clogged pores, a DIY salt scrub can be an excellent alternative.

Salt naturally cleanses, helps fade acne scars, and unclogs pores. Laura, from the has some wonderful scrubs options that may suit your skin type.

Or try a 5-minute turmeric scrub for less dark spots and clearer skin.

Takeaway ...

Using sugar as a face scrub offers numerous benefits, including inexpensive and effective exfoliation.

It also increases the absorption of anti-aging products, enhances hydration, improves skin tone, creates a smoother complexion, and decreases the appearance of lines and wrinkles.

Whether you opt for a commercial product or a homemade sugar scrub, incorporating this natural remedy into your anti-aging routine can lead to radiant, healthy skin.

Give it a try and enjoy the glowing results!

References and Further Reading:

  • How to Use Sugar Scrubs for the Best Results