Often one of the first DIY skincare recipes people try, body scrubs are easy to make and get big, awesome results.

Made to exfoliate the body, leaving skin feeling great, body scrubs are quick and easy to make and use.

But what’s even better than a regular body sugar scrub?

A shea butter body scrub!

While body scrubs are often just oil + sugar or salt, adding whipped shea butter can take your body scrub to a whole new level of awesome.

I know because a DIY shea butter sugar scrub is one of my favorite weekly treats for my skin. My skin just feels so amazingly good afterwards and seems to glow. I also enjoy the process of applying it – it’s like I’m getting a full body massage.

Best DIY Shea Butter Body Scrub

And there’s no reason you can’t start treating your own skin with one!

Below, I cover everything you need to know about how to make a shea butter sugar body scrub from telling you why each ingredient in these recipes are great to exact details of why you should make one. If you aren’t quite sure what a body scrub or sugar scrub is, I cover that too.

Finally, I give you two awesome shea butter sugar scrub recipe options. The first is one you can customize with whatever essential oils you want. The second is my special rose and lavender shea body scrub recipe which is my favorite way to customize this recipe. You’ll love it.

What Is Shea Butter?

Shea butter has many properties which makes it a great ingredient in skincare. It’s full of many nutrients, vitamins and fatty acids which can hydrate and heal your skin.

Shea butter itself comes from the fat extracted from shea seeds. These come from fruit on shea trees found in West Africa.

shea tree and fruit
Fruit on a shea tree

The process of turning these seeds into shea butter is quite involved and starts with removing the seeds from their shells within the fruit and drying them.

There are two choices at this point of what to do next. One method creates refined shea butter. This is when high-heat and chemical solvents are used to extract the fat from the shea seeds and create shea butter.

This is the cheapest and easiest method but isn’t ideal because it also strips most nutrients from the shea butter. When you are making a shea scrub, this is not ideal and this type of shea butter is not recommended.

Instead, you want unrefined or raw shea butter. This can be made from hand and is nutrient-rich.

In this process, the dried shea seeds are ground into powder which are roasted and ground to form a viscous, dark-colored substance.

This is kneaded and then whipped, all the while adding water.

In this process, the oils form together on the surface of the substance with the water sinking below. The oils are then removed and boiled to remove any remaining water. Any impurities rise to the top and are removed, leaving behind shea butter.

shea butter
Shea butter

It’s strained and left to cool and solidify.

Click here to buy shea butter.

Raw shea butter is an off-white or ivory color with a smoky and nutty smell. It’s a solid at room temperature with a thick cream-like consistency.

Read more about the differences between refined and unrefined (or raw) shea butter here.

What Is A Body Scrub? Is It The Same As A Sugar Scrub?

A body scrub is an exfoliant. It’s basically something you rub against your skin that has abrasive ingredients that will help remove dead skin cells.

The abrasive ingredients are usually sugar or salt, although coffee and other ingredients can be used as well. They are mixed with other ingredients to form a thick texture which is spreadable and easy to apply.

While skin will shed dead cells by itself, this speeds up the process encouraging smoother, softer skin. It can also help prevent ingrown hairs and possibly help prevent acne as well thanks to cleaning out pores.

It can particularly help in areas where you shave or wax as it’s easier for dead skin cells to get stuck in these places. It can also help if your skin is dry or just not looking as healthy as usual. It can brighten it up.

Regular use of a body scrub to exfoliate can help with general skin look and feel and leave you feeling and looking great.

A sugar scrub is the same thing. It just means that its prime ingredient for exfoliation is sugar. A sugar scrub can be for the body or you can make sugar scrubs especially for other parts of the body like lips or hands.

Likewise, a shea salt scrub is one made with salt as the abrasive ingredient. A shea butter coffee scrub has coffee to do the exfoliating. All of these are types of body scrubs.

Shea butter body scrub
Shea butter body scrub produced using my recipe below

Why Make A Shea Body Scrub?

There are many reasons why I love making a shea exfoliating sugar body scrub and why I recommend you do too. Here are the top ones.

There Are So Many Shea Butter Scrub Benefits

There are so many DIY shea sugar scrub benefits. For a start, it provides your skin with great exfoliation leaving it looking healthy, smooth and great. It can also help prevent acne outbreaks and ingrown hairs as well as the other body scrub benefits mentioned above.

It leaves my skin feeling great, and I especially notice the difference in areas where I shave. I highly recommend it.

Creating a whipped sugar scrub with shea butter instead of just one with sugar and oil also adds in extra benefits. I love that it leaves my skin feeling very hydrated and moisturized. It’s a total win.

It’s Cheap And Easy

One of the other big shea butter sugar scrub benefits is that it’s cheap and easy to make. Most of the shea butter scrub DIY ingredients are probably already in your pantry. You’ll likely only need to buy the shea butter which is inexpensive.

It’s much cheaper (and better!) to make this shea sugar scrub recipe than to buy a body scrub.

It’s also very easy to make a shea butter body scrub. You are simply mixing together a few ingredients. Simple!

I also find it fun to make and experiment with different oils and different amounts of the ingredients to help make this body scrub absolutely perfect.

It’s All Natural

It’s important to me to keep chemicals off my skin and that’s what I can do with this great shea butter body scrub DIY. It’s completely natural and great for my skin with no nasty chemicals.

sugar scrub
It looks great packaged in a bail jar for gifts

Shea Butter Sugar Scrub Makes A Great Gift

Another plus of making homemade body scrubs is not just that your skin will have an awesome treat, but that it makes a great present for others. Put it in a nice jar, make a label and you’ll have an excellent gift for friends and family.

A Body Scrub Is Great For Special Times 😉

If you have a shower or bath buddy, this body scrub can be lots of fun. It feels great when it’s rubbed in and it’s extra great if you have someone who can rub it into your back.

You Deserve It

A body scrub is just such a treat for your body – and you deserve it! Who doesn’t like soft, healthy glowing skin.

Mixing all the shea butter body scrub ingredients
Mixing all the shea butter body scrub ingredients

An Extra Note For First Timers About Using Body Scrubs

I had never used a body scrub before I made one for the first time and I was worried that it would be messy, oily and annoying to apply.

I worried for nothing and fell in love with body scrubs from my first use.

First of all, it’s easy to apply and feels so good! The sugar exfoliation feels like I’m getting a body massage.

Secondly, it does feel a little oily but not in a bad greasy way. My skin felt beautifully nourished and moisturized afterwards.

As for messy, you may need to spray the bottom of your shower stall to get rid of any leftover sugar scrub. I find any scrub that washes off my body disappears easily, but if I drop any bigger amounts, they may need a hand getting out. So it’s nowhere near as messy as I imagined.

Ingredients For A Shea Butter Exfoliating Scrub

The most important part of making a shea butter sugar scrub DIY is to get your ingredients right! Since you basically just have to mix them together to make your scrub, getting an ingredient wrong is a big deal.

It’s easy to get the ingredients right as there aren’t many and they are easy to purchase. The only one that’s a bit trickier is shea butter, but that’s easy to purchase on Amazon here.

Shea Butter

shea butter

Shea butter is full of antioxidants, fatty acids and vitamins. In fact, you can think of it as a superfood for the skin!

It softens, soothes and moisturizes your skin while being easy to spread and use. It has anti-inflammatory properties and can form a protective layer on your skin while it hydrates underneath.

The jury is still out on whether it can clog pores or not (if it does then it’s not good for oily skin – read more here), but it is definitely great for dry skin.

It’s great in this body scrub as it’ll moisturize and hydrate your skin as the sugar exfoliates as well as help the body scrub be a good consistency making it easy to rub on your body.

Click here to buy shea butter.

Coconut Oil

Coconut oil is awesome on your skin.

It will cleanse, moisturize and soften your skin, especially dry parts. It also works well to moisturize your skin while it’s being exfoliated.

Coconut oil also has antibacterial and antifungal properties.

You don’t have to use coconut oil though. You could also switch this for olive oil, almond oil or sunflower oil. Note if you want to color your scrub, using a whiter oil, like coconut oil, will make this easier.

Click here to buy coconut oil.


Granulated table sugar

The key ingredient, you definitely need some sugar in your shea sugar scrub DIY.

The sugar granules do the heavy lifting when it comes to exfoliating your skin.

For a body scrub, I use granulated sugar which has some essential nutrients for the skin and works for all skin types.

If you have sensitive skin or want something softer, you can chose to turn this into a brown sugar shea butter scrub recipe. Simply use brown sugar instead of white sugar and it’ll be softer on your skin.

Your other choice is to use raw sugar. This is coarser than granulated sugar which means it provides the greatest exfoliation. It’s also not as processed as other sugar types so it has more beneficial minerals. However, you may find it’s too rough for your skin.

Essential Oils

lemon and lavender essential oil
Lemon and lavender essential oil – this is a good combination if you want a refreshing body scrub

While it’s not essential to add essential oils to your body scrub, I highly recommend it 🙂

Essential oils can add some extra benefits to the body scrub depending on the ones you use. They also smell great and add to the feeling of awesomeness of this sugar scrub.

You can use whichever essential oils you most like to put on your body. You can use just one or a combination of oils. Stronger smelling oils work better if you want a good scent as they coconut oil and shea butter have their own smell and can be a little overpowering with softer scents.

Below, I have a recipe using rose and lavender essential oils which I just love or you can use the first recipe where you can pick the essential oils you love.

  • Lavender – my personal favorite. Lavender is great for skin and smells beautiful. It’s known for being relaxing and helping you be alert
  • Lemon – is uplifting, refreshing and is good for attention and focus. It’s also good for cleansing
  • Orange – is also uplifting and good for depression
  • Peppermint – is good for inflammation and the cooling effect it has feels great on sore lips. It can also help focus the mind
  • Spearmint – also has a cooling effect with a sweeter smell than peppermint. It’s also good for stress
  • Vanilla – is a mood lifter and good for depression
  • Rose – doesn’t just smell great but is also good for skin imperfections and stimulates the mind
  • Chamomile – is soothing and relaxing which makes it good for anxiety

You can buy essential oils here.

Note that below, I give you the amount of essential oils that I use. You need to make your own judgement of what is a safe level of essential oils for you.

Optional: Brazilian Clay

brazilian purple clay
Brazilian purple clay

Brazilian clay is full of minerals and vitamins which can be great for cleansing, moisturizing and exfoliating the skin. It’s also quite gentle and suitable for sensitive skin.

It comes in many colors which will help give your body scrub a color. The different colored clays do have different properties, like the purple Brazilian clay I use in the recipe below is rich in magnesium which is good for moisturizing and soothing skin.

Click here to buy Brazilian clay.

How To Make Shea Butter Sugar Scrub

Beating the shea butter and coconut oil to make this body scrub
Beating the shea butter and coconut oil to make this body scrub

It’s easy to make a shea butter body scrub. You are basically just mixing all the ingredients together.

Below, I have two recipes to pick from. The first one is a general scrub recipe which you can choose which oils to add based on what you prefer.

The second is my special lavender and rose sugar scrub recipe. It’s also got Brazilian purple clay added to give extra shea butter body scrub benefits based on the properties of this clay as well as a purple color.

If you want to make a shea butter face scrub instead of a body scrub, use brown sugar. Faces are extra sensitive so you should use the softest sugar. Note that some people find that using any sugar scrub on their faces can be too much.

If you would like a scrub for rougher areas, like foot heels, consider using raw sugar for extra exfoliation.

In general, though, granulated sugar is the best choice.

Store your body scrub in an airtight container and keep it away from moisture to help it last longer. I recommend you use it within a month.

I am average build, and I find the recipes below make me enough for about four treatments – so about a month.

[mv_create key=”9″ type=”recipe” title=”Shea Butter Body Scrub Recipe” thumbnail=”false”]

Mixing in the Brazilian purple clay
Mixing in the Brazilian purple clay

[mv_create key=”10″ type=”recipe” title=”Lavender Shea Sugar Scrub Recipe” thumbnail=”false”]

How To Use A Shea Butter Body Scrub

Now you have your DIY scrub, it’s time to learn how to use shea body scrub.

This is what you do for best results:

  1. Wet your skin in warm water. I stand in my shower until I’m all wet (except my hair – so it doesn’t drip on the scrub when I’m applying it) or you can have a quick soak in the bath. This opens your pores and softens your skin so you are set to start.
  2. You’ll need to turn off the shower or stand up in the bath. Basically, get out of the water.
  3. Take some body scrub in your hand.
  4. Rub it into your skin in a circular motion. You don’t have to push it in hard. Just rub it on the surface.
  5. Let it sit on your skin for a minute or two.
  6. Fully rinse off the body scrub. I do this under the shower or you can do it in the bath. Rub it off in a circular motion until it’s all removed.
  7. Moisturize as usual if you wish – I personally find my skin feels VERY moisturized from this body scrub so I don’t need it.

Congratulations! You are all exfoliated with your own awesome body scrub.

While it is great for your skin to do this regularly, it’s not recommended to do it more than once or twice a week. It can damage your skin if you do it too often. As a general rule, oily skin needs it more frequently than dry skin.

Lavender body scrub
Lavender body scrub


I hope you have found this guide to making your own shea butter body scrub useful. It’s a great treatment to use on your body weekly, and this recipe is exfoliating, lush and feels good!

It’s also fun to play around with these recipes a little. Try some different essential oils as well as coconut oil replacements. Almond oil can feel very moisturizing too. It also can be nice to try a softer brown sugar in the recipe.

Whatever you use, I hope your skin is looking and feeling great. Let me know how you found these recipes by leaving a shea sugar body scrub review above.

You can also find our great shea butter lip balm recipe here, face cream recipe here, body lotion here and foot balm recipe here. Have problems with hyperpigmentation? Find out how shea butter can help here. Find more useful guides to using shea butter here.


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