Rosemary Body Scrubs

Rosemary is our ingredient of the season. Today we’re using the same rosemary essential oil that we used to make those invigorating room sprays. Want the recipe for a perfect evening? Take a shower with these scrubs, pore yourself a Rosemary SAGE Fizz, and roast a plate of rosemary tomatoesliveseasoned_spring2014_rosemaryscrub7-1024x768 copy

We are always down for making our own body care products. Sure, it requires time and sometimes a bit of experimentation, but it’s almost always worth it. Why? It feels good to know the short list of ingredients we use are nontoxic. It’s often cheaper than products from the pharmacy. The options for personalization are endless! And finally, when I’m in the kitchen mixing up a big batch of this or that, I love that Calder refers to them as potions. Silly, but fun.


Our most recent potions have been a few batches of rosemary body scrubs. Since it’s leg shaving season (yes, shamefully, this habit has its seasons), this is the perfect time of year to make exfoliation part of your shower routine. A little scrub before shaving goes a long way to make your legs smooth! In addition to exfoliating, Cup of Jo (one of our favs) has more tips for shaving season.

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Today we’re sharing the recipes for two sugar scrubs. I’m a big fan sugar scrubs, but you can easily substitute an equal amount of epson or sea salts. Salt granules are larger than sugar crystals and generally have sharper edges. The sugar crystals are smaller, more round, and dissolve easier in water producing a more gentle scrub. Salt scrubs can cause your skin to become more dry than a sugar scrub, but at the same time, the salt contains minerals that help to remove impurities from the skin.

All body scrub recipes follow a simple ratio of two parts scrubbing material (sugar, salt, or a combination of both) and one part carrier oil. Carrier oils are oils are used to dilute essential oils when you want a large quantity of oil, as is the case here, and the essential oil would be too potent to use full strength at the quantity needed. Most carrier oils have little or no aroma, and they do not evaporate like essential oils. I’m using olive oil in the recipes below because I had it on hand (and we’re in the using up phase as we pack the house to move), but I generally prefer sweet almond or apricot oils because they are less fragrant.

The flavors for today’s scrubs are provided by grated lemon rind and rosemary and peppermint essential oil. Some recipes call for using chopped up rosemary and mint in the scrub, but I worry about washing those ingredients directly down the shower drain. For the rosemary lemon scrub, I grated the lemon zest using the small, sharp side of a grater, producing a fine zest that washes down the drain without any problems. This summer we have plans to get a bit more courageous with our scrub ingredients, but that’s because we have a secret prop up our sleeve that we can’t wait to share!

Rosemary Lemon Scrub

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4-1/2 cup olive oil
  • finely grated zest from 1 lemon
  • 2 tsps rosemary essential oil

Mix the sugar with the lemon rind and essential oil. Slowly pour the olive oil into the sugar mixture until you reach a consistency you like. I often use less than the amount called for with the 2:1 ratio. I use my scrubs under the running water of a shower and prefer them on the drier side, using water in the moment if I need additional moisture to spread the scrub. Store your scrub in a lidded jar or container.

Rosemary Mint Scrub

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4-1/2 cup olive oil
  • 20 drops rosemary essential oil
  • 10 drops mint essential oil

Mix the sugar with the essential oils. Slowly pour the olive oil into the sugar mixture until you reach a consistency you like. Store your scrub in a lidded jar or container.


As mentioned, when you make your own products you have the luxury of customization. In this case you have a choice between salt, sugar, or both, the type of carrier oil to use, and, when it comes to aromas, the sky’s the limit! You can make either of the two recipes above stronger or weaker by adjusting the levels of the oils. You can also swap out the oils I used above for your favorites. What about adding orange oil to the lemon zest for a citrus scrub? Or reducing the rosemary oil in the second recipe and adding some eucalyptus oil? Looking for more ideas? This site is a great resource for recipes.

On a more serious note, if you like to exfoliate during your showers, please consider a scrub that is not made from plastics. What am I talking about? Many commercial products get their scrubbing power from microbeads that are washed down the drain and are eventually found polluting our lakes and oceans. A number of states are working to ban products containing microbeads and companies have agreed to phase out their use, but until that happens, you can stop buying them immediately and start making your own  biodegradable sugar scrub! Amen.


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