Exfoliate with DIY Sugar Scrub Cubes

When I posted about my winter skin care arsenal a couple of weeks ago, I mentioned that I would be doing a post about the scrub that I made to give as gifts. Today is the day!

sugar scrub cubes in the shape of an owl, stacked in a glass jar on a wooden table with red & green ribbon beside the jar

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I've been making scrubs for 15+ years - as a matter of fact, they used to be part of the product line at I Feel Pretty. But I hadn't made any recently, and I had never made any using this method, so I wanted to give it a try.

I saw the post about Orange Gingerbread Sugar Scrub on Consumer Crafts' blog, Crafts Unleashed. I loved how instead of making a jar of scrub (that tends to get water inside and you have to either find a place for it in the shower or remember to take it in the shower with you) it was little single-use gingerbread men!

As I said, I had never made single-use scrubs before, nor had I made scrub using a glycerin soap base that you melt in the microwave, but I thought it would make a great gift for my neighbors (along with a little bourbon for the men), so I decided to go for it, putting my own spin on it.

You guys!! This is sooo easy to do! Even if you're not crafty, or if you can't cook! If you can use a microwave, stir ingredients together, and press them into a mold - you can do this.

I already had some fragrance oil on hand, so I didn't need to purchase that. I didn't have any silicone molds that I thought would work, and I didn't want to do gingerbread men, so I decided to make mine in the shape of owls so they would be appropriate for all seasons. The only downside to this was that the only tiny owl molds I could find had just six owls per sheet. I bought two sheets, but probably should've gone with three. The glycerin soap base comes in a couple of different variations - plain, honey, coconut (I got honey) - and the 2 lb. packages are already sectioned into small squares, so you can easily figure out how many squares to use. If you purchase the 5 lb. package that has larger squares, you will need to cut it into smaller pieces and weigh it.

orange silicone owl molds on a wooden table

Normally, I wouldn't post a recipe from another blog. But I found that I had to use a significantly smaller amount of  olive oil than they listed (not sure if it was a typo on their site or what), plus I also halved the recipe since I was working with just 12 molds to fill. So I added the link to the original recipe in the second paragraph of this post, and I will post the recipe as I used it here:

As I said, I found that I needed much less oil than the original recipe. If I had used the original amount, the scrub would have been all oil, and I don't think it would have ever set. So I would start with a smaller amount, and add a little at a time until you get a workable consistency.

Items you need to make 12-15 small owls:

After I followed the instructions on the soap base to melt it, I stirred in the olive oil. Start with the smallest amount, then add the brown sugar. You want the consistency to be a little on the dry side, but it should also easily stick together. It will  have a slick, slightly "slimy" feel from the glycerin. If it feels too dry, slowly add more olive oil until you get the right consistency, keeping in mind that you will also be adding a little fragrance oil to the mix. Once you have the consistency right, add your fragrance oil. I recommend starting with a small amount, mixing it up, then testing the scent. You can add more, a little at a time, until you get the right balance. Keep track of how much you add so you will know how much to add to subsequent batches and won't need to do further experimentation (unless you change scents). I made a custom scent of chocolate orange for my scrub.

I used my bare hands to push the scrub into the molds, making sure to get that first layer down into all of those cute little nooks and crannies that make up the owl's face. Then I smoothed the top (which will really be the back) of them flat. I popped them into the freezer for about 20-30 minutes, then removed them from the molds onto some wax paper. If you don't want to mess with the molds, you could just press the mixture into a square or rectangular pan, then cut it into single-use squares after freezing.

orange silicone owl molds on a wooden table

After filling the 12 molds, I usually had enough scrub mix for 3-4 more. To prevent the extra scrub from drying out while the molds were in the freezer, I just covered the bowl with a damp towel. Then I was able to use the scrub mix once I emptied the molds.

small owl sugar scrub cubes

They turned out sooooo cute!! I love owls, and these are adorable! I tied a ribbon around the jars I gave as gifts, and purchased a editable, downloadable label from Etsy. I printed the finished labels on a full sheet of adhesive paper, then cut them out and added them to the jar lids. (They also fit on standard Avery round labels, I just didn't have any handy and I did have plain sheets.)

small little owl sugar scrub cubes stacked in a glass jar

I haven't tried it, but I would assume that you could also make this scrub using turbinado/raw sugar, so that you have bigger crystals and more exfoliation. You might need to use a mix of turbinado and regular brown sugar so everything holds together, but I'm not sure - I'd have to experiment.

small owl sugar scrub cubes stacked in a glass jar

small owl sugar scrub cubes stacked in a glass jar

I keep mine in the refrigerator. It's not necessary, but I like that it keeps them firm, and also makes them a little more refreshing in the warmer months.

Do you use a sugar scrub?


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