The daylight is waning, the wind blows more briskly, and I am staying inside to get cozy! Winter is here. This shivery season brings loved ones together to share in quality time. Planning for how I want to show my appreciation for my lovely sister -a new mother- reminded me that this time of year is also about luxurious indulgence! I have always used regular sugar for exfoliation in the shower, and now I want to share the experience with a twist of warming ginger.

This sugar scrub is incredibly easy and fully customizable. For instance, I chose to use ginger extract (essential oils work too), and two of my favorite oils- but you can choose any combination that suits you and/or your recipient. I like to use sugar, over salt, because I have sensitive skin and have found that sugar is finer and dissolves more easily while I’m scrubbing; so I’m not too rough on my skin. There are plenty of oils ranging from thin and fast-absorbing, to thick and long-lasting, as well as heavily scented oils and oils baring very little scent. Both my sister and my mother have sensitive skin that dries out easily during this time of year, therefore I chose two light oils that will not irritate their skin.

Measurements depend on the size of your gifting jars.

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• White sugar
• 3 inch thumb of ginger
• Sunflower oil
• Almond Oil

To make the ginger extract: slice the ginger as thinly as possible, and put it on the stove in enough water to cover the slices. Let it come to a boil, then turn the temperature down to a slight simmer. To be strong enough, allow the ginger to cook down for a few hours, adding a cup of water here and there, to ensure the ginger pieces are not scalded.

For every 3 cups white sugar, use 1 cup oil to mix with it. Find a few jars that will be good for gifts. Mix the oil with the extract, and add to the white sugar in a large bowl, then mix to the consistency of your liking.

Ideas for Extras: Baby spoons for scooping, colorful sugar sprinkles.

Note: You can make sugar scrubs specifically for your face, be mindful of the type of oil you use- there are many that are good for the face and that will not clog pores.

I use this scrub about once a week. In the middle of my shower, when my skin has had some time to steam and soften a bit, I spoon a few dollops and start scrubbing in circular motions with my fingertips. The sugar sloughs away dulling dry skin, and the oil is left to moisturize, for velvety skin. It’s the perfect gift for my sister, that won’t take any extra time in the shower, and make her feel glowing and pampered.

To package my Skin Polish for gifting, I used recycled jars with personalize labels and tags from Evermine Labels. I even received some pretty holiday gifts tags free for placing an order of $50 or more!

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Zoe (64 Posts)

Zoe is born and bred in Portland, Oregon and recently moved to Orlando, Florida. She studied sociology and philosophy at University of Oregon, and is currently employed at a law firm. Presently, she devotes her time to being lost in the tropical vegetation of her backyard, sun-scorched bike rides, repurposing everything she can think of, quirky cooking, and promoting the creative lifestyle that she loves.


    • Jeanette,

      In order to add the ginger; I needed to make a concentrated dose. I sliced the ginger as thinly as possible, and put it on the stove in enough water to cover the slices. Let it come to a boil, then turn the temperature down to a slight simmer. To be strong enough, I allowed the ginger to cook down all day, adding a cup of water here and there, just to ensure the ginger pieces are not scalded.

      I’ve tried mincing (or grinding, as you say) and that adds a much stronger scent- I love it!!

      Please let me know what method you chose!

  1. You say that for every 3 cups white sugar, use 1 cup oil to mix with it. Do you mean 1 cup of sunflower oil and 1 cup of almond oil? I want to make this scrub but want to have the measurements correct. Thank you

  2. Marcie,

    I used 1/2 cup almond oil, 1/2 cup sunflower oil. This is a very rich combination of oils- I just used it to exfoliate before going on vacation, to aid in the longevity of my tan! Use it before you shave your legs, you’ll love it! Thanks for asking that question, I’m sure other people wondered as well. Enjoy!

    • Susan,

      I’m excited you’re going to try this- I haven’t yet. Essential oils are tricky; depending on the potency of the oil you choose. I found this site that should aid you in choosing what is right for your skin.

      For my recipe I use 1 cup of carrier oil. Also, considering this is a scrub recipe, meant to slough away dry skin, I do not recommend using cinnamon or clove; both are quite strong, and you would be applying it to very delicate skin. I’d love to hear how you tweak the recipe and what oil you use!!

  3. […] sugar, almond oil, and sunflower oil this scrub looks almost good enough to eat! This recipe from My Own Labels also comes with some customizable labels you can print out to personalize the jar for […]

  4. I only have he kind of ginger you would find on a spice rack in a jar. Would this work two and if so, how much should I use?

  5. Summer,

    You know, I haven’t tried it with the dried spice. The oil or nectar from the ginger is pretty important to the potency of this recipe. If you are unable to come by ginger root, I would suggest some lavender, mint, or even some fresh rosemary. I’m afraid the dried spice will not yield the same results. If you try it, I can offer a suggestion of warming the oils in a sauce pan, and add enough ginger spice until fragrant. Only add the sugar after your mix has cooled completely. Let me know what you decide, and thank-you for posing that question!

  6. I was curious about making some with ginger. I can purchase frozen minced ginger at the local grocery store here, and I think I till try that with some orange to see how it turns out. If nothing else, I will use it. 🙂 thanks for your recipe!

  7. I’m planning on making your Ginger Polish for a few Christmas gifts. But, I’m a little confused. After steeping the ginger all day long. How much of the ginger liquid do I use? And how do I incorporate the ginger extract into it? I’m planning on using coconut oil. And since oil and water do not mix. How would I do this? Thanks for the awesome idea. I just love ginger!!!

  8. […] beautiful way to show your mom or sister in law how much you appreciate them. Go to my own ideas to see how this great gift is […]

  9. Hi Zoe,
    Your link is not working for the essential oils.
    I am hoping to try your recipe using ginger essential oil.
    I also have lavender and a couple of light citrus scents.

    Thank you for your recipe!

  10. Thank-for alerting me, Lilli!

    Here is another site I would use:

    Also, there are other carrier oils that work better for some:

    I’ve also made this recipe with used coffee grounds; the scent of coffee did not overpower the essential oils! Please be cautious with the citrus scents. I personally have very sensitive skin, and its highly reactive to most citrus oils. Lavender, however, is my tried-and-true favorite!

    I’d love to see your recipe!

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