Easy Homemade Hand Scrub {DIY Satin Hands}

12/18/2013. This post may contain affiliate links. Read my Disclosure Policy.

Homemade Sugar Hand Scrub

I have seen sugar hand scrub recipes many times in the past in magazines and on tv and such.  I finally got around to experimenting with a few myself and I was so pleased with the results.  I really do recommend trying one of these scrubs out – I bet you are hooked!

I do crafts with the kiddos and DIY projects all the time so my fingers are quite regularly covered in paint or glue or glitter…  Plus I get dry hands in winter from washing them so often and then there are always those cooking odors- onion and such that can stick to your hands even after washing.

So this is something for sure I would recommend that you try and see what you think!  My original intent in making these hand scrubs was to get a little gift for a neighbor that is an avid gardener.  I didn’t want to spend a lot but I did want to give her something she might actually use.  I liked this so much after experimenting, I am going to keep a jar on the kitchen sink for myself from now on!

So here are two recipes to try depending on what you preference is.  These are both very easy and very inexpensive to make.

I don’t have exact measurements for you on all the items because the container/jar you use will not be uniform in size.  Trust me though that this is really so simple- my 6 year old helped me with this and she could have actually done it all by herself.

Lemon Sugar hand Scrub

Lemon Sugar Hand Scrub

Add about 2/3 of  sugar to a jar or container of your choice (whatever sugar you have in the pantry is fine).
Next mix in about 1/4 cup of either coconut oil* or olive oil. This varies depending on the size of your container so the idea is not quite 1/3 of the container to be the liquid. It is best to ad the liquid slowly and stir with a knife as you go.

Your final consistency should be semi-dry- like sand that is just a little damp.

Next squeeze the juice of one fresh lemon or approximately a tablespoon of lemon juice into your jar. Stir well.

You will need to make adjustments at this point to get the right texture. This should be nice and creamy and not too dry but yet not runny. So continue to add more sugar and or more lemon juice/ oil until it looks like a thick hand cream.

And that is it!

*I used coconut oil and if it is in a solid state you just want to pop it in the micro for a few seconds to get it to melt to liquid form. Not too hot- just about 20 seconds or so. I didn’t get a ton of fragrance from this scrub so you can always add a few drops of essential oil if you like and stir well. Lemon or rosemary fragrance would be lovely!

I liked this scrub a lot and I love the freshness of the lemon and the pretty color of the mixture. I did find a very tiny bit of a greasy feeling on my hands after washing from the coconut oil. I think I am hyper sensitive to any sort of greasiness and I don’t like about 80% of the lotions on the market for this reason so it is probably something that most people wouldn’t notice.

DIY Satin Hands from Mary Kay

Homemade Mary Kay Satin Hands 

This next sugar scrub I really loved and it is even easier to make! We did this awhile back in MOPS and I wound up giving away the jar that I made. Now I wish I had kept it!

To make this recipe takes 2 ingredients:

  • Dawn Hand Renewal Dish Soap (this was $.88 at my local CVS)
  • Pure cane sugar (or whatever you have in the pantry)
  • Essential Oils- optional

The process is identical. Just dump about 2/3 of your container full of sugar. Next add the Dawn Dish Soap in slowly until you get the right texture. Approximately 1/3 of the final product is going to be Dawn.

Don’t get nervous about quantity because you really can’t mess this up.  If you use more sugar the scrub will be grainier on your hands and if you use too little sugar it will just be a bit silkier.  So really no matter what there will be a nice result.

Now the Dawn is great for many reasons- it is a soap so your hands are getting extra clean. It also has magical properties for softening hands (whatever stuff they ad in is really nice), it comes out this pretty light pink color and it has a nice smell.

So you could use other varieties of dish soap but this is the one that is the best because of the extra hand softening magic in the bottle.

I found it easier to stir with a knife instead of a spoon and again just add more sugar or add more Dawn until it gets to be the right consistency.

If you want to add a few drops of essential oils that works– a citrus fragrance, Jasmine, Lavender or Rose would be great.  The Dawn already smells wonderful in my opinion so I skip this step.

And that is it!! Add the lid and pop on a bow and you are good to go!

This would be a great hostess gift, something for Mom or add it to a gift basket.   You will probably want to keep some on your own sink year round.

To give you a very rough idea I used about 3 oz of Dawn when I made the container you see above.  That container was from some farmstand jam we bought over the summer and I just repurposed the little jar it came in.  I am guessing it is an 8oz jar.

Here is the final product- just use a spoon or your fingers to scoop a bit out, rub over your hands and wash! You can follow up with a hand lotion or skip that because the soap is moisturizing.

Update:  Prices can change at any time, but if you are looking for jars for your scrubs there is a great deal on Mason jars from Amazon here.  Get the quilted jars for just $.58 each!  A great deal if you want to make these for gifts.

Homemade Sugar Hand Scrub

I hope you will consider following me on Pinterest for more fun projects.

Here are some other things you might like:

Homemade Bath Bombs Recipe

Homemade Oatmeal Bath Fizzies 

Homemade body butter recipe

Homemade Body Butter-- just like the Body Shop

Fresh Raspberries with White Chocolate- so simple and absolutely delicious

Quick and Easy White Chocolate Raspberries - after all you might want a treat after making all those lovely products!

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{ 34 comments… read them below or add one }

Jessica t December 18, 2013 at 2:00 PM

I have become addicted to making homemade sugar scrubs over the last few months. They are the only thing I have found to help my Eczema that doesn’t sting and burn my skin, and they are neons cheaper than all the expensive Eczema creams I have bought over my lifetime. I love making these:

Strawberry Sugar Scrub:
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup olive oil
4 drops strawberry extract( I just use McCormick)

Almond Sugar Scrub:
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup olive oil
4 drops almond extract

Both smell amazing!!! Thanks again for this post!

Laura January 31, 2014 at 2:23 PM

Is this made with “cooking grade” Olive Oil?

Charlene January 31, 2014 at 2:45 PM

Laura- I have EVOO in the cupboard so that is what I used. If you plan to make a large quantity you might want to grab Star or whatever is inexpensive. I only made a small batch to test it out so the EVOO was fine.

Deebi27 March 3, 2014 at 9:37 AM

I have using the EVOO and sugar for about a month and a half…love this!!! After I rinse the sugar off I keep a bit of EVOO and add some Auqapure or CVS version of the same. MY hand are now Baby bottom soft and smooth! I will have to try the Coconut Oil I have.

Alyssa March 25, 2014 at 6:35 AM

I just made this and after it sitting unused it separated, is this unevitable?

Charlene March 25, 2014 at 9:45 AM

No Alyssa I did not have that happen on any of the batches I have ever made. Did you use Dawn and plain white sugar and stir well? What temperature did you have it stored at? Mine is right by the sink for weeks and it looks exactly the same.

Beth March 28, 2014 at 6:06 PM

When I worked for Western Airlines we were known as the Champagne Airline bc we served champagne on every flight. At the end of the day, we would use several sugar packets and fresh lemon juice to scrub our hands and pour the leftover champagne as a rinse… we had lovely soft hands!

Charlene March 28, 2014 at 6:23 PM

Beth that sounds wonderful! What a great memory :)

amanda March 29, 2014 at 8:39 AM

Do you use pure cane sugar or granulated

Charlene March 29, 2014 at 11:49 AM

Amanda I use the cheap-o regular white granulated sugar that comes in a 4lb bag for $2. :)

Martha Brooks March 31, 2014 at 10:36 AM

I have been using this since my boys were in the boy scouts in the 70′s. They told me it would take the smell of fish off your hands. I put a spoon of sugar and some dish liquid in my hands and scrub away. I wonder if you could use this with the coconut oil as a facial scrub. Maybe with some liquid Dove soap instead of the dish detergent. I’ve always used Dove soap.

Martha Brooks March 31, 2014 at 11:00 AM

I have been using this since my boys were in the boy scouts in the 70′s. They told me it would take the smell of fish off your hands. I put a spoon of sugar and some dish liquid in my hands and scrub away. could you use this with the coconut oil as a facial scrub. Maybe with some liquid Dove soap instead of the dish detergent.

daisy April 17, 2014 at 2:56 PM

We try to watch “sharks” every week on TV. there was a young woman who stated her own company by making sugar scrubs. The only competition was a company who charged 90.00 o a small bottle, and hers was $12.00. I believe Mark Cuban went into partnership with her. His son has skin issues and itches all the time.


catherine April 25, 2014 at 5:56 PM

love sugar schrub making favors for my grandughter holly cuemuain

Paula May 2, 2014 at 10:02 PM

I just made the sugar scrub, I didn’t have almond or strawberry extract. I did have vanilla extract and pillar box red food colouring. Looks like you could eat it, and smells so good.

Angie June 2, 2014 at 6:31 PM

I made the Dawn version. 2 different size jars and both seperated which makes it really annoying when you want to use it. I love it and the outcome but wish I didn’t have to stir each time. Especialy the larger jar I used. Harder to stir because there is more sugar.

Patty June 2, 2014 at 7:40 PM

I just love making sugar scrubs: I made coconut-lime, and is smells really nice. Next up vanilla/lavender.

Charlene June 2, 2014 at 9:53 PM

Sorry Angie that has not been my experience at all. Mine I have not needed to remix.

Andrea June 21, 2014 at 8:28 AM

Separation problems: I wonder if maybe there’s too much oil to the amount of sugar? Just a thought.
I will be making a scrub today with coconut oil, almond extract, and regular sugar…hope it turns out well! :)

Janet June 25, 2014 at 11:29 AM

If you will mix the coconut oil with a mixer for about 20 minutes it will liquefy and stay that way.

Amy July 7, 2014 at 5:51 AM

How long do they keep?

Charlene July 7, 2014 at 7:42 AM

Amy- the dish soap one will last for ages. I have had a large jar on the sink for weeks and weeks at a time. Just seal it securely each time.

Cathy August 19, 2014 at 12:24 PM

These sound wonderful. Thank you for sharing at Share It One More Time. Cathy

Jeannine August 21, 2014 at 6:22 PM

Love this! I love home based products over those you buy in the store and I have all the ingredients here! I can’t wait to try out the Lemon Sugar Hand Scrub. Thanks for posting on Great Idea Thursday Blog Hop!


Katerina August 25, 2014 at 7:39 AM

I love homemade cosmetic products! You know exactly what you put on your skin! Thanks for coming and linking up at The Weekend Social. All posts get pinned on our pinterest board! Please be sure to come back next week starting Thursdays at 9PM EST on culinaryflavors.gr ! I hope to see you there!

Midge September 5, 2014 at 5:37 PM

I keep a ceramic shell shaped soap dish on my guest bathroom counter with a small seashell tucked halfway in the scrub so my friends don’t have to dig in with their nails to get the scrub. I also keep a small wicker basket with small sheets of pretty paper towels folded in half for those times they use a bit too much and it saves my hand towels from absorbing extra oil.

Charlene September 5, 2014 at 6:49 PM

Great ideas Midge!

amanda September 17, 2014 at 6:10 PM

Hi, wondering how long these last? Looking to make as gifts I will give in November.

Also, for those of you that use olive oil, any particular type? I know there is pure olive oil, evoo….not sure which type would be appropriate for these recipes.

angie October 1, 2014 at 10:41 AM

Hi, I tried the Mary Kay satin hand scrub and it is wonderful. The only problem is that when it is left unattended next to my sink, it separates?? Any ideas? I hate to give it as a gift and it does this….thanks!

Charlene October 1, 2014 at 11:03 AM

Really? I have not found that to be the case. Did you use Dawn or another brand? Also did you stir the heck out of it? Did you start with sugar at the bottom? Mine stays together- I usually make smaller batches in mini jelly jars and they last a few weeks with no issues. I wonder if you need to adjust the sugar ratio to make it a little higher. I have a really heavy sugar in mine- sort of like walking in wet sand at the beach.

diane r October 15, 2014 at 7:10 PM

I did the Mary Kay Satin Hands also. I love it but yes it did separate. I used 2/3 cup sugar and 1/3 cup Dawn. I will try with more sugar next time. Great on feet, legs and arms too!

Amanda October 20, 2014 at 6:06 PM

I haven’t made any of them yet but I want to. I was thinking a lot of people could be having separating issues due to room temperature or maybe higher or lower elevation levels. I know it can effect what temperature you have to cook at in an oven.

Renee October 30, 2014 at 9:15 AM

I also tried the Dawn scrub and mine separates as well…very disappointing. However I feel better seeing I’m not the only one that this happens to.. I might try adding more sugar??? but it all seperates and the top is smooth like its right out of the Dawn bottle..not grit at all. Dang…

Charlene October 30, 2014 at 12:40 PM

Hi Renee-

Sorry you are so disappointed. That hasn’t been my experience at all. It isn’t the end of the world though right because you either scoop it with your fingers or with a spoon anyway and you can sort of give it a quick stir or a little stir as you are getting it out? Perhaps the climate is the reason or the size of the container used?

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