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Lemon Sugar Scrub

This homemade lemon sugar scrub makes a great gift idea. It will help exfoliate your hands and make them so soft!

I’m thrilled to be back with you this month sharing another amazing and simple DIY gift idea! This wonderful lemon sugar scrub is great not just for the mothers in your life, but also works great as a gift for your kids teacher or even as a little pampering gift to yourself.

lemon sugar scrub in a jar with a label

By the time spring rolls around, my hands and feet are always incredibly dry from the cold winter months. This sugar scrub will help combat that! Plus it only takes about 10 minutes to make. It is just as luxurious, if not more so, than the expensive scrubs you find in the store.

This is a great gift for all those special women in your life. Or even as a gift to yourself! So go ahead, treat yourself and make up 2 batches!

ingredients for lemon sugar scrub on counter


  • 2 1/2 cups granulated sugar; divided
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil , melted
  • 10-15 drops lemon natural oils
  • Lemon zest (optional)

How to make lemon and sugar scrub

  1. Place sugar in a large bowl. Set aside. Measure out 1/4 cup of coconut oil and place it in a microwave safe bowl. Heat coconut oil in the microwave for about 30 seconds, or until the oil is melted. Pour oil over sugar and mix to combine.
  2. Add in lemon drops. If desired, add lemon zest for scent and color. Using a zester or small grater, zest the rind of 1 lemon. Stir to combine. If sugar scrub is still too “wet”, add up to 1/4 cup more sugar until desired consistency is reached.
  3. Then place the sugar scrub inside of a jar with a closed lid.
scooping a teaspoon out of a jar of lemon sugar scrub

Instructions for use

Place about 1 teaspoon in your hand and scrub away! When you are done scrubbing, rinse thoroughly. The lemon gives off a wonderfully clean scent, the coconut oil helps to moisturize your skin, and the sugar helps to exfoliate!

How long will it keep?

The diy lemon sugar scrub is best if used within 1-2 months. It does not need to be refrigerated. Simply store it in a jar with a lid. And make sure to screw the lid on tightly after each use so it stays fresh!

Free printable label

I whipped up a few labels and printed them off on label paper and cut them out. I wanted to make them available to you too! There is a round version and a rectangular version. 

labeled jar of lemon sugar scrub

More sugar scrubs

This post was a contributor post from Talitha from Love, Pomegranate House.

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  1. This sounds so simple. I’ve never tried them with sugar in fact I thought they were only made with salt. I could use this myself. Great idea and love the labels. Thanks for sharing those.

  2. I love this scrub! I’ve seen quite a few recipes out there, but this one is the easiest I’ve seen so far! Thanks for sharing 🙂

  3. Sounds easy enough – gearing up for a spa party for my daughter and I would love to use this recipe!!!

  4. I love making these as gifts – I always add lemon essential oil also as the lemon alone doesnt make it smell enough
    Thanks for the labels!

  5. This looks fantastic and I think it will make a GREAT gift for my mom this Mother’s Day! One quick question: is there any special way to store this or is it okay just being stored in the bathroom?

  6. I made this over the weekend and it is excellent – your skin feels like you have been at a spa! I used the Almond Oil but next time will try the Coconut Oil to see if there is a difference. Great idea for hostess gift/teachers, etc.

  7. This sounds so wonderful. Does anyone know how to store it and how long it will keep for? Thx for any information 🙂

  8. These are definitely going on my Christmas to-make list (I know it’s early but I am planning early this year!). I think it would be fun to make with different citrus scents and give it as a gift set (lemon, orange, grapefruit). How long with this keep with the fresh juice in it? I am wondering if it would just be better to use essential oil instead of fresh juice and I can make it up awhile before hand.

  9. Does anyone know how long this stays good for? What I mean is, is there a shelf life before the lemon becomes rancid or anything or will it last a while? Just debating about making for Christmas gifts but don’t want to make them too far ahead.

  10. sorry – new to this internet reply instructions! Can’t wait to try this – would do it tonight but I do not have coconut oil in the house – I do have a fertile lemon tree outside so I AM ON MY WAY! THANKS FOR SHARING!

  11. My mom and I are making this for my sisters shower as her favors. I am sure it will be a huge hit! Thanks for the instructions!

  12. I just made a batch for a friend for her birthday. We have had such a harsh winter here in Michigan, she’s really going to enjoy this. I took your advise and sampled it on my own hands, its WONDERFUL! Thank you!

  13. I do not believe the questions were answered in regards to expiration date and storage . Will it make a difference if you use essential oil vs. fresh lemon ?

    1. I have not tried it, but I used essential oils as an additive to organic lotion along with either almond or apricot oils and there is no expiration date. I have read that fresh ingredients without a preservative have a shelf life of about 2 weeks if kept in the frig. I drink fresh lemonade every day and even with distilled water and diluted it will get bacteria if left out overnight. I day is good to stay unrefrigerated. Just my opinion. Use the lemon oil sparingly, start low and work up, it is a stingy in large quantities. Start with about 6 drops and work up.

    2. Hi Dolores! This scrub is best if used within 30 days. There shouldn’t be too much of a difference! The essential oil is probably healthier for your skin too! 🙂

  14. Wow!! This looks so simple and amazing at the same time!!!!! Love the labels as well!! I can’t wait to try this out!! 🙂

  15. I’m in the middle of making this and I’m having to add a lot more than 1/4 cup of coconut oil to the sugar to get it to the right consistency. I noticed you’d listed the sugar as 2 1/2 cups, divided but then didn’t see how to divide it in the instructions. Was I supposed to add a little sugar at a time to the oil or…?

  16. I am contacting you in behalf of my girlfriend – she writes at kathln.com and she just published a post that rounds up great homemade gifts for moms and featured this post. I’m editing it and adding images, and am asking for permission to take one image. Can we do that? Thanks.

      1. Yes. The post is finished (quite a while ago actually, just was not able to get back at you). Thanks for letting us use an image!

  17. Hi! I’m interested to do this, what kind of sugar did you use? Is it the white sugar bought in the market? Thanks. 🙂

  18. about how much does your recipe make? i think i’m going to make some for a baby shower so i need like 50 little jars worth! so i’m wondering how many times i’ll need to double it 🙂 thanks!

  19. I had the same issue with the olive oil so I added some lemon juice and vanilla extract and called it a lemon vanilla scrub so I didn’t have to throw out 4 cups of sugar! 

  20. Seriously , that was pretty cool to do …i had some oil (coco) almost the double and it was nt to liquid …pretty happy with the result …oh by the way im a guy ..and this is not my usual stuff . i did that for my sister in law «!! happy christmas folk !!

  21. Made this for our family Christmas gathering- gift exchange game. I crocheted a cloth for the top of the recycled jar used..So cost $0. All material was on hand. Use packing tape and printer paper for lables. The scent is not strong. But I like the food safe quality.

  22. Money is tight so I made this for EVERYBODY this Christmas and found some cute jars at the Dollar Store. I don’t like the smell of coconut oil so I used 1/3 olive oil, 2/3 canola oil (just what was in my cupboard) and added some vitamin E oil also.   It was a big hit, especially with my colleagues in healthcare who are always washing their hands. It was simple enough my three short’uns could help for real (not just pretend) even if the floor was sticky for weeks, regardless of mopping, scrubbing…
    My sister is an art teacher and said it is great for cleaning hands after each class because the grit helps slough off paint, glue, etc without drying her hands out. In fact, she demanded the recipe and made a mondo batch ford beside the sink at school. 
    Thanks for the idea!

    1. I’m so glad this recipe turned out so well for you and that you could use it for so many gifts! Thanks for stopping by again to leave a comment Elizabeth! 🙂

  23. Thank you for sharing. Girl I just turned 50 and I’m here to tell u I want to do sny try everything to make others smile. Just like you. Thanks again

  24. Juices, fruits, hydrsols,honey or other botanicals or food items should never be used in a scrub without a preservative.  And also should NEVER be kept in the shower or allow any water to enter the product.  This is how yeast,mold and other nasties grow.  Even though you can not see it it will begin to grow immediately!  This can cause staph and blood infections that could prove to be deadly. 

  25. Hi!
    This recipe looks amazing. I’m planning on making these for my boyfriend’s sisters bridal shower and I was wondering how to print more than one label off at a time.
    The labels are so cute!

  26. I could not believe that making a scrub would be this easy! Just made it this afternoon and tried it out immediately afterwards. This is a bliss… total bliss! My husband loves it too! I used coconut oil and it is so moisturizing and soft! Thanks a TON for sharing this with all of us!

  27. This looks amazing! I really want to make it, but I don’t think I can get coconut or almond oil. Would sunflower oil work? Or is the consistency wrong?

    1. None of the ingredients should really “go bad,” but if you’re concerned, I’d use it up within two to four weeks. 🙂

  28. I love this scrub. Used lemon essential oil as was not too confident to use real lemon juice as bacteria can get into it rather quickly. My only difficulty was that I had to use a little more coconut oil to get the right consistency and that overpowered the fragrance of the lemon essential oil. So got some very strong smelling scrub in the end. Any suggestions? Also what other subsitute could I use instead of coconut or almond? Thankyou

  29. This scrub is amazing! This is my definite go to recipe. Thank you for sharing! I use this for myself as well as my whole family. My daughter uses it for her eczema and it works beautifully for her. No chemical side effects! I just don’t put in the essential oils. I leave everything as is. 

  30. I just finished making this scrub with essential oils, was invited to an essential oil class and asked to bring a small gift for the person who had brought the most guests.  will be just the right gift  .  So glad to find the instructions, will be making more for just because small gifts.  

  31. I plan on making this as Christmas gifts for people! Quick question for you, though- what type of label do you use to print the lemon labels? What size/style? 
    Thank you!

    1. We used a sheet of stickers, and then you print off the stickers and cut them out. Super cute and super easy! 🙂

  32. Hi, we don’t measure in cups, basically in grams, can use “cup” as a part?? for example 1 part of sugar, 1/2 part of oil ??

  33. I find it hard 🙂 cause cup of sugar is different from cup of oil, big math 🙂 if i could take 1 cup (what is 236gr) and measure with same cup sugar oil ant etc….

  34. Hello! i was hoping to make this for my mother for Christmas; and i was wondering how long it lasts. will it need to be refrigerated at all? thanks!

  35. Thanks Talitha for sharing this lovely recipe using what we already have in our kitchen.  And also thanks for the free printable sticker designs.  I will make some of these soon for giving and for myself to use.  Love anything natural and homemade.
    do drop by and visit my blog

  36. Can you tell me how much one recipe makes? We’d like to do this with our Sunday School Kiddo’s for Mother’s Day, but need to know how much it will make to get enough ingredients!

    1. Olive oil would be good on dry hands and feet, but I wouldn’t recommend it for more delicate skin (like face and neck).

  37. Thank you for sharing this! I live in Singapore where the humidity levels are high. Do you think this needs to be refrigerated or it can be placed in the bathroom. I guess I’m concerned that the mixture might be spoilt after some time.

    1. If it’s humid there, I probably would put in the fridge just to make sure it’s OK for awhile. I find it only lasts a week or two, though (because it’s amazing and I use it so much!).

  38. I just made this with real lemon juice (I didn’t have oil) and it turned out great! Thank you for sharing these. I am going to try vanilla scrub next Sana roses (I don’t have those either).