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Looking to learn how to make a salt scrub recipe? This basic DIY body scrub recipe will help you customize it to your liking so you can maximize the detox benefits of this therapeutic scrub.

a mason jar with a homemade body scrub recipe.
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Most of you probably know how different C and I am so it’s rare we have a joint activity we both enjoy. The spa is one of the few exceptions. I’m actually not a big massage person but I love a good, relaxing water circuit and so C and I try to make a point of visiting one every month or so.

Now before the judgment comes let me preface this by also saying that I love a good deal. There’s a zero percent chance I’m going to monthly water spa circuits if I’m not getting some kind of deal involved. Half the experience is actually getting the deal! I am my mother’s daughter…

Once a month or so C and I would go on Tuesdays to the Kabuki spa is San Francisco. They have a Tuesday special where the water circuit is $25 a person. And it’s also the only day that it’s co-ed. So occasionally C and I would play hookie and go for a midday spa circuit.

One of my favorite parts of visiting the Kabuki was the salt scrub they’d offer in the steam room. You’d scoop out a little cup before going in and then rub it all over your body while letting steam soak it into your skin. Then before leaving you’d wash it off and your skin would feel so soft and smooth.

It looks like we won’t be visiting the Kabuki anytime soon so I’ve decided to get creative and create my own little spa circuit aka cranking the shower on super hot and rubbing this body scrub all over my body.

It’s not quite the same but it does feel like a little indulgence you can enjoy at home. So I thought I would share my go-to body scrub recipe with you as well as a couple tips for how to make a salt scrub and use it at home. Let’s dive in…

The Benefits of a Salt Scrub

We often hear about the benefits of exfoliation for our faces. Dead skin cells build up and can clog pores and cause acne. That’s why exfoliating your face is encouraged a few times a week. But what about our bodies? Our body skin also builds up dead skin cells which many of us ignore and never exfoliate. There are a couple different ways to exfoliate your skin, with a body scrub being one of them.

The benefit of a salt scrub is that it not only helps to exfoliate dry skin (leading to smoother, softer and healthier skin), but it also encourages detoxification. By stimulating the lymphatic system, a salt scrub can help our bodies natural detoxification efforts helping us to eliminate stagnant toxins in our bodies.

Why Use a Salt Scrub vs. Sugar Scrub

Many people have heard of sugar scrubs so what’s the difference between a salt scrub and sugar scrub?

Salt scrubs tend to be a bit more abrasive on the skin so if you have sensitive skin, I would stick to a sugar scrub (I like this homemade sugar scrub with brown sugar), however if you’re looking for something a bit more intense, salt scrubs are the way to go.

There are also so many incredible vitamins + minerals in sea salt that are absorbed by the body when using a salt scrub of which there aren’t nearly as many in a sugar scrub.

Note: some people also like using coffee grinds as an exfoliant though I do find it to be quite abrasive.

close up of bowl with salt scrub and lavender

Types of Salt to Use

There are so many types of sea salt out there that you can use in this salt scrub recipe. I’m listing just a few to get you inspired.

Note: I wouldn’t recommend using regular table salt as there is very little therapeutic benefit left in regular iodized table salt. Also aim to get salt that has been finely ground. Coarse sea salt can be a bit intense on the skin so reserve that for tougher areas of the body like the knees, elbows and feet.

Dead Sea Salt

This is one of the most mineral rich sea salts you can find! Coming from the dead sea region in Israel, this sea salt is actually quite different from traditional oceanic salt with a higher concentration of trace minerals such as magnesium and potassium. This is my personal preference for a homemade body scrub thanks to its incredible therapeutic benefits absorbed through the skin.

Himalayan Sea Salt

Himalayan sea salt is believed to be some of the oldest salt found on the planet, dating back to the original remnants of the primal sea. It has a pinkish hue due to trace amounts of iron found in it and like dead sea salt is also incredibly beneficial for body detoxification.

Epsom Salt

Technically, epsom salts aren’t salt at all! Epsom salt is made up of magnesium sulphate which is famous for its muscle soothing benefits. Epsom salt is particularly good for people with skin conditions or those tough areas that require extra scrubbing such as knees and elbows.

Black Sea Salt

Black lava sea salt is usually found regions with high volcanic activity. I brought some home from our trip to Iceland and one of my biggest regrets is not bringing home more! The black color comes from trace amounts of activated charcoal in the salt which adds a nice smokey flavor (if eating) but also has plenty of benefits for your skin. You can also find black lava sea salt from areas in Hawaii and Cyprus.

Basic Salt Scrub Recipe

There are a lot of ways to customize this DIY body scrub but the basic recipe is pretty simple. As long as you get the ratios right you’ll be totally good to go:

  • 1 cup of sea salt: choose from any of the options listed above (I like dead sea salt)
  • 1/4 cup of carrier oil: I prefer jojoba oil but olive oil, avocado oil, grapeseed oil and sweet almond oil work well too. You can also use melted or fractionated coconut oil but I find it can make the mixture a bit thick.
  • 10-20 drops of your favorite essential oil: the list is endless but I really like eucalyptus (for that spa-like experience), lemon or other citrus essential oil (like grapefruit) and lavender essential oil (for relaxation).
  • 1 tbsp optional add-ins: feel free to add some optional add-ins such as coffee grinds, almond meal, herbs (chamomile and lavender are great!), vitamin E oil etc…

How to Make DIY Body Scrub

  1. In a large bowl, stir together sea salt and carrier oil until well combined.
  2. Add in essential oils until desired scent and consistency reached (10-20 drops) and any optional add-ins.
  3. Store in a sealed glass jar (such as a mason jar) in a cool location until ready for use.
all the ingredients required for a body scrub recipe

How to Use a Salt Scrub

Before applying your body scrub you’ll want to turn your shower on and close the door or curtain to let steam build. This will help open up your pores and allow the salt scrub to maximize its effect. You can also do this in the bath and allow your body to soak in the tub in the salt scrub though I find it hard to maneuver scrubbing in the tub but that’s just my preference.

Grab a small amount of this salt scrub recipe and begin scrubbing over a section of your body in circular motions. Reach in for more handfuls if you run out. I find I use about half this body scrub recipe but you may get 2 or 3 uses out of this recipe. I prefer not to use this salt scrub on my face as I find it too abrasive but if you’d like to use it on your face, you can.

Once you’ve scrubbed your whole body let the warm water rinse it all away. And that’s it! I like to moisturize with a body oil after using a salt scrub since my skin is quite fresh and needs a little moisture. Use 2-3 times a week consistently for best results.

Note: Sometimes the oil will separate from the salt so be sure to give it a little mix just before using.

How Long Does a Homemade Salt Scrub Last?

You can store your body scrub recipe for up to date 6 months if kept in a cool, dry place. However, because there are only two-three uses per mason jar it rarely lasts that long.

If you plan on sharing these as gifts know that you can make them in advance and store them until you plan to gift them.


How To Make a Salt Scrub

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Looking to learn how to make a salt scrub recipe? This basic recipe will help you customize it to your liking so you can maximize the detox benefits of this therapeutic scrub.

  • Author: Davida Lederle
  • Prep Time: 2 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 2 minutes
  • Yield: 23 uses 1x


  • 1 cup sea salt (see above for options)
  • 1/4 cup oil (jojoba, olive, avocado or almond all work great)
  • 1020 drops of preferred essential oils
  • optional: 1 tbsp add-ins i.e. coffee grinds, almond meal, herbs etc..


  1. Mix together sea salt and carrier oil until well combined.
  2. Add in essential oils until desired scent reached (10-20 drops) and any optional add-ins.
  3. Store in a sealed jar in a cool location until ready for use.
  4. When using: scoop out desired amount and scrub onto clean, damp skin. Wash off completely.
  5. Use 2-3 times a week for best results
a bowl of body scrub recipe

Like this salt scrub recipe? Here are a few other body care DIYs you might enjoy:

Meet the Maven

Hi! I'm Davida and welcome to my corner of the internet. I'm a wellness blogger, yoga teacher, certified herbalist, and green beauty lover.

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  1. Hi, Just came across this. I typically do sugar, but heard that salt is great for detoxification. What exactly does that mean? I have coarse black and coarse pink, would I grind them in a mortar, or use them as is. I can get fine pink, or even fine dead sea, but only found coarse black salt, so wasn’t sure how to turn it to fine, with mortar or a regular grinder. Also, do different salts detoxify different toxins?

  2. Love this recipe. I don’t include any botanicals bc I would be concerned about water getting to them and molding. Something else to consider is getting a little separate scoop to use so less of a chance of water entering. Thank you!

  3. Hello great article thank you. I have a question if you were to use a coffee mix in what essential oil would you use?

    1. That’s entirely up to you! I would probably go for something more like clove or cinnamon to work with the roasted coffee scent but really it’s a preference thing.

    1. Hi Mary Alice. This recipe will fit an 8 ounce mason jar, however you can easily halve or double/triple the recipe to fit whatever jar size you prefer.

  4. Hi! I am trying to put this together for a gift this year.. How much of the scrub does your recipe make? I am looking to have this for 11 people so I am trying to figure out the needed measurements for supplies, thank you!

  5. Bit confuseed, i’m new, you say use 1/4 cup of oil, is that cooking oil? The only other oil i can find is called base oil and only comes in 50 ml bottles. What should i get?

    1. Hi Sarah – as mentioned in the article and instructions the following oils work great: jojoba, olive, avocado or almond oil.

    2. Olive oil works well, you can also use grape seed oil, almond oil, jojoba oil. All these can be found at hobby lobby