How to Make Lavender Hand Scrub

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Lavender Hand Scrub comes together in minutes, an easy and affordable gift that feels special and smells amazing.

lavender scrub in glass jar

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On a whim one day I walked into the bath and body store at the mall. The smell was overwhelming — so much so that my son got a headache in the first five minutes. He waited outside while I got what we came for quickly and hightailed it out of there.

Don’t get me wrong. I love yummy-smelling things, but to have all those scents — and chemicals — in one place, made it clear that there must be a better way.

Seeing how easy it was to mix up a Lavender Milk Bath, I tried my hand, literally, at making a Homemade Lavender Hand and Foot Scrub that’s great for exfoliating dry skin. It’s super easy to make and definitely an affordable DIY.

lavender scrub in labeled jar with lid

What is hand scrub?

Hand scrub is a paste made from oils and exfoliants to both moisturize and soften your skin. They also help remove dead skin cell buildup.


Use a quarter-size amount of salt or sugar scrub every once in awhile on hands, elbows, and feet. Rub a small amount into your skin, gently massaging it in, and rinse.

As this is slightly oily, take caution in the shower or bath, being sure to rinse well to avoid slipping.

A salt or sugar scrub is not for daily use as exfoliating too much can irritate or damage your skin. Do not use it on your face. Avoid using it on sensitive or sunburnt skin. Those with lavender allergies should avoid this specific recipe.

ingredients for this project


As always, please use common sense and discretion when making a home remedy or beauty product. Read the packaging carefully and be mindful of any health concerns. This scrub is for external use only. Please keep it away from children.

Exfoliant – the grit in sugar and salt acts as an exfoliant to remove dead skin cells. You can use granulated sugar as well as brown sugar, the latter has a slightly softer texture and is said to be gentler. You can also use salt, such as fine grain sea salt, table salt, or even epsom salt.

If you use epsom salt, as I have here, be sure to read the medical warnings on the package. Some medical conditions caution against the use of epsom salt.

Carrier Oil – Essential oils are not to be applied to the skin neat, but instead need to be combined and diluted with a carrier oil. There are several carrier oils to choose from; what’s best for you will depend on your skin type.

Essential Oil – Obviously for lavender hand scrub, I’m using lavender essential oil. You can use a different essential oil if you’d rather, such as

Lavender Flowers – Dried lavender flowers added to the scrub offer a visual cue as to its contents and make the scrub prettier. They are an optional addition.

DIY on a Dime graphic, with text overlay reading Great Gifts.More DIY on a Dime

This is part of the DIY on a Dime: Great Gifts series. For more easy and frugal gift ideas, check out the list.

This post was originally published on December 11, 2012. It has been updated for content and clarity.

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  1. Jessica,
    Thanks so much for this idea! I am making this scrub this weekend for the friends I want to get presents for but just plain don’t have that kind of cash to be spending! I was wondering if I could use the expeller pressed coconut oil for this scrub? I have a ton of that, and would rather use something I already have than buy a new bottle of oil. The oil I use is from Tropical Traditions, and it doesn’t smell like coconut, so I don’t think it would compete with the lavender. Also, I think it will last longer than 6 months. Would that work?

    1. Yes, you can use that. It might not have as long as a shelf life, but it will definitely work.

      1. Just found this info on the Tropical Traditions site:

        “The expiration dates on our Virgin Coconut Oils are for two years, and on our Expeller-pressed coconut oils they are 18 months, but they will usually be fine much longer than the expiration dates. ”

        I think even if my oil were close to the 18 months, which I am not really sure of, for the hand scrub it should be fine, right? 🙂

        1. I think that changes when it’s mixed with other ingredients. My reading on scrubs said six months to a year. So, if you gave your gifts with a three to six month expiration, I think you’d be great.

  2. The headache your son got from the store is the kind I get whenever I’m around lavender (or lilac) for some reason. I’m thinking for a refreshing scrub, some peppermint or eucalyptus oil. For a clean scent lemon…but I think I would like to try with a patchouli oil. I just love the way it smells and it makes me feel sexy for some reason! LOL

    1. lots of people are allergic to the (low) grade of essential plant extracts many skin care and fragrance brands use. I know doTERRA oils are a higher grade and fewer people react to them.

    1. You can see a variety of essential oils at the health food store. You could use anything that is safe for skin. I think they all are. Peppermint, citrus, tea tree….