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When it comes to sugar scrubs, a vanilla sugar scrub seems to be the original. At least in terms of DIY sugar scrubs, vanilla is the classic.

For good reason too! Everyone loves vanilla. It’s simple, yet delicious smelling. It works year round and especially so during the holiday season!

Which brings me to the point that sugar scrubs (especially this vanilla sugar scrub) make great DIY gifts! They are the perfect last minute, need to make in seconds without having to run to the store gifts!

Of course, I love the more complicated sugar scrubs too! Scrubs like my hibiscus sugar scrub, skin firming coffee scrub, and chai spice scrub have their place and will always be in my sugar scrub rotation.

However, simple is always nice! No fancy  ingredients to buy, in fact you probably have all the ingredients in your pantry right now!

Homemade Vanilla Sugar Scrub

Two Ways to Make This Vanilla Sugar Scrub

There are two ways to give this sugar scrub its vanilla scent. I wanted to make sure you had options!

The first method uses vanilla extract which will likely be the easiest way to go as you probably have vanilla extract in your home. Vanilla extract also makes this sugar scrub 100% edible (just saying!)

The second method uses vanilla essential oil  Vanilla essential oil (often diluted with jojoba oil) is amazing stuff and it’s one of my favorite “oils” because quite frankly I’m addicted to all things vanilla.

This sugar scrub uses just 3 simple ingredients. Odds are you can guess at what they are but let’s get into why we are using them in this recipe.

sugar for sugar scrub


Vanilla is mainly added just because it smells amazing. That said, I’ve also read that vanilla can help calm you with is great if you are dealing with any anxiety or stress (yet another reason why this is a great holiday scrub!)


The sugar in this recipe is really just for the exfoliating properties. Sugar helps scrub off those dead cells helping your skin look bright and fresh. (it also helps this scrub taste amazing… should any find its way into your mouth.)

Coconut Oil

I love using coconut oil for my sugar scrubs because of a few reasons. Coconut oil is a solid oil or at least it is at temperatures below 76 degrees. This means it’s a little less messy to use this scrub because it holds its shape a bit better.

Coconut oil is also an amazing moisturizer which will leave your skin feeling oh so smooth! It’s also helpful for aging as it’s packed with antioxidants.

But if you just don’t love coconut oil, feel free to swap it out for your favorite skincare oil.

Vanilla Sugar Scrub

Vanilla Sugar Scrub

1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup coconut oil – melted
1 tsp vanilla extract OR 5-10 drops vanilla essential oil

Mix all ingredients in a bowl.
Transfer mixture to a container of your choice (I love these jars).
To use, gentle massage over your skin and rinse off.

Need even more sugar scrub recipes?
Check out these 52 DIY Natural Sugar Scrubs!