Hand Scrubs With Essential Oils

When you first wonder how to make hand scrubs with essential oils, I doubt you would ever believe it is so quick and easy. Take granulated salts or sugars and mix them with natural exfoliating agents like bamboo granules. Add luscious carrier oils and wonderfully fragrant essential oils to create an experience like no other. You can add milk and honey for a genuinely ancient-inspired experience.

We'll guide you through the best essential oils for hand care, reduce blemishes and provide your skin with all it needs to regenerate those beautiful supple new skin cells. You'll have softer, firmer, more supple skin, which helps your skin appear more youthful.

Learn how to apply the hand scrub to restore radiance and glow to your hard-working hands and to thoroughly pamper yourself with a homemade hand scrub with essential oils.

Why Make Homemade Hand Scrub With Essential Oils?

I always advocate making your skincare products because it allows you to take control of every ingredient that goes into it.

You can kick out all the chemical-based nasties like Phthalates, SLS, and BHA's and bring in all the good stuff instead. It is a great starter project and gateway into natural beauty, with easy-to-source ingredients that are a doddle to use.

Hand scrubs are super simple and easy to make. You will wonder why you never thought to do it before now.

The Benefits of Using Hand Scrub

The fine granulated particles of the hand scrub to slough away dead skin cells to allow any hand cream applied soon after to be absorbed more thoroughly, leading to better moisturization.

Sloughing away the dead skin cells also helps keep pores clear, reducing the possibility of developing ingrown hairs.

In combination with revealing the softer, smoother skin underneath, carrier oils moisturize and nourish the skin making it appear suppler, smoother, and younger.

Specifically Tailored to You

Suppose you have particular skin issues, like hyperpigmentation. In that case, you can target them more precisely by making your hand scrub rather than looking at the few selections on the store shelf and debating which one is likely to work for you.

Develop a product that serves your needs entirely and even develop a small progressive range. For instance, if you have spent all summer with your hands in the garden, by now, your hands probably need some TLC. You make a set of three hand scrubs with varying degrees of granular material, starting with a large granule, like sea salt, that will remove dead skin cells and progress down to gentler, finer granules like a soft brown sugar to soften and nourish the skin.

You can develop your treatment range just for yourself. They make perfect gifts for friends and family over the holiday season too…and they are so fast to knock up that it is practically a no-brainer!

What Goes Into Hand Scrub?

I recently wrote an article about body scrubs and hand scrubs that are very similar; I will teach you about a few notable exceptions in a moment.

You should have a good read of this first because it will explain all about Salts and Sugars and the best carrier oils for you to consider. How To Make Bath Scrubs with Essential Oils will give you a good grounding for getting started with this project.

Hand Scrub is a base of salt or sugar granules, luscious carrier oils, and essential oils. You can add other natural exfoliating ingredients like bamboo granules or poppy seeds. All of these are covered in depth in the article linked above; look!

The Exceptions

The main exception here is that hand scrubs are generally just made from refined sugar, which is considered gentler on the skin. However, from professional experience, salt is also beneficial when hands have been working hard.

Rather than the properties of the salt itself, it is more about the size of the granulation, which is why soft brown sugar is usually suggested. It has the smallest granulation. I often put coarse salt in my coffee grinder to make it much finer to use in projects like this.

Best Essential Oils for Hand Scrub

I have chosen an exciting range of essential oils with various properties and benefits for your skin.

Jasmine Essential Oil

One of my absolute favorites, and I have used it for years to diminish the appearance of scars. After a misspent youth, a hungry car door, and a rabid horse encounter, I have a few spots on my fingers, and this is my first choice to assist with this issue.

Myrrh Essential Oil

An excellent skin healer that brings soothing relief to itchy skin. I include it here because it can tighten the skin and make the skin appear smoother and younger. Given that our hands are very often the first accurate indication of our age, it pays to look after them with this flattering essential oil.

Vetiver Essential Oil

This is just my favorite essential oil at the moment! A critical essential oil for skin cell regeneration and boosting the growth of new skin cells.A good choice for helping to remove those layers of dead, lifeless skin and restore a youthful, radiant glow to your skin.

Palmarosa Essential Oil

Palmarosa helps to balance sebum and the natural oil levels in your skin, locking in moisture and improving skin tone and overall appearance.

Patchouli Essential Oil

It is a beautiful essential oil for soothing irritated and dry skin. Its anti-inflammatory properties reduce redness. It is well used in managing skin conditions like eczema, dermatitis, and acne—a testament to its soothing and moisturizing properties.

Most of these essential oils also have properties that will reduce blemishes and hyperpigmentation marks that we often develop on our hands as we age.

How to Make Hand Scrub With Essential Oils


    • Non-reactive mixing bowl 
    • Measuring jugs or measuring cups
    • Stainless steel spoon or stirrer
    • Jar with a non-reactive lid - glass preserving jars with rubber seals are perfect.

Ingredients - Basic Recipe 

    • 1:1 ratio of salt or sugar to carrier oil.
    • ¼ cup Your choice of salts and sugars
    • ¼ cup carrier oils
    • 30 drops of essential oils (approx. 1.5% essential oils)

Ingredients - Optional Extras

    • Exfoliating agents like bamboo granules or ground apricot kernel
    • Clay powder


    1. In a mixing bowl, combine ¼ cup of your chosen salts/sugars with ¼ cup of your carrier oils
    2. Mix thoroughly with a spoon, ensuring all the salt/sugar is finely covered in the oil.
    3. Once combined, carefully add your drops of essential oils, and then thoroughly mix and combine again.
    4. Scoop it in the jar and clean the rim meticulously before putting it on the lid. Any product left on the rim and caught in the cap could cause it to mold. 
    5. This recipe will store for at least six months if kept in the dark at a consistent and ambient temperature. The only thing that will go 'off' is if the carrier oil turns rancid, which you will smell as soon as you open the jar. If that happens, discard and make a new batch.

My Favorite Hand Scrubs with Essential Oil Recipes and Blends

Hard Working Hand Scrub

This is perfect if your hands are always taking a bit of a battering. Be it in the garden, stable, or washing up bowl!

Hard Working Hand Scrub
65 drops are just over 1.5% essential oil content
¼ cup Coarse Sea Salt
¼ Soft Fine Brown Sugar
1 tbsp Bamboo Granules
2 tbsp Bentonite Clay
¼ cup Tamanu Carrier Oil
¼ cup Jojoba Carrier Oil
20 drops 20 drops 10 drops 5 drops 5 drops 5 drops
Calendula Absolute
(Calendula officinalis)
Myrrh Essential Oil
(Commiphora myrrha)
Tea Tree Essential Oil
(Melaleuca alternifolia)
Roman Chamomil Essential Oil
(Anthemis nobilis L.)
Lavender Bulgarian Essential Oil
(Lavandula angustifoli)
Black Pepper Essential Oil
(Piper Nigrum)
Shelf life: Approx 3-6 months when opened
Safety Data: If you are pregnant, avoid all of these blends for the first 16 weeks and avoid myrrh till 37 weeks.
Check out this link to make a matching hand cream - How to make Hand Cream With Essential Oils

Cleopatra's Handy Secret

This is one that she would have liked to keep secret. I have made these with powdered milk in the past, but you need to use them as soon as you make them. They will not store long in the jar. Why not have a go yourself?

Cleopatra’s Handy Secret
90 drops are just over 2.5% essential oil content
½ cup Soft Fine Brown Sugar
¼ cup of Runny Honey
2 tbsp Rhassoul Moroccan Clay ¼ cup Argan Carrier Oil
¼ cup Jojoba Carrier Oil
¼ tsp of Rosehip Carrier Oil
20 drops 20 drops 10 drops 20 drops 10 drops 10 drops
Sandalwood Essential Oil
(Amyris balsamifera)
Jasmine Essential Oil
(Jasminum grandiflorum)
Essential Oil
(Pogostemon cablin)
Essential Oil
(Cymbopogon martinii var Motia)
Essential Oil
(Vetiveria zizanoides)
Myrrh Essential Oil
(Commiphora myrrha)
Method Change:
Mix all the dry ingredients first.
Then mix in the carrier and essential oils.
Mix in the honey last.
If you do not follow this method the clay will go lumpy in the honey.
Shelf Life: 3-6 months when opened.
Safety Data: If you are pregnant, avoid all of these blends for the first 16 weeks or 37 weeks for Jasmine, rose, or myrrh.

How to Apply Homemade Hand Scrub

There is debate over whether to wet your hands first or not. I always wet my hands first because it makes the product flow better. Resisting the urge to do both hands at once and wringing your hands together like you would when washing them is not the best way to do it. You do not want to damage delicate or sensitive skin.

    1. Wetting your skin first, scoop out some product.
    2. Working on each hand individually, work the hand scrub lightly into the skin, working it in circular motions where possible. 
    3. Pay attention to the webbing of your fingers and around your fingernails, be gentle around your cuticles, though.
    4. Go easy on delicate areas, and don't scrub for about 30 seconds in one place.
    5. Rinse well with clean, warm, soapy water.
    6. Do the other hand
    7. Apply your regular hand cream as soon as possible after.

How Long Will It Last?

The basic recipe here will store for at least six months if kept in the dark at a consistent and ambient temperature. The only thing that will go 'off' is if the carrier oil turns rancid, which you will smell as soon as you open the jar. If that happens, discard and make a new batch.

It will also depend on the natural exfoliators that you have included, remember to check out the How to Make Bath Scrubs with Essential Oils article for all of that information in depth. Some natural exfoliators have a much shorter shelf life than others.

Safety Information

You should be cautious using these scrubs if you have sensitive skin or certain skin conditions like eczema, psoriasis, or dermatitis. Remember to do a 24-hour patch test, but all the more critical if you are dealing with any of these skin conditions.

Use the scrubs very sparingly at first to check your tolerance, and always avoid broken or weeping skin.

However, you can always try diluting some of your hand scrubs in warm water and use it as a beautiful hand soak instead. Just soak your hands for a few minutes. Now, you can choose to work the oil into your hands and leave it, or you can rinse them in warm soapy water.

Always be guided by your skin - listen to what it says.

Check your safety data and avoid using known skin sensitizers and irritants. Because of the scrubbing nature and revealing new sensitive skin, I also urge caution with intense Citrus essential oils like Bergamot, Lemon, and Lime.

Final Thought

You can see now how quick and straightforward these hand scrubs are to make, not only for yourself but as last-minute gifts for friends, colleagues, and family over the holiday season.

You don't need unique or fandangled ingredients—just granular salt or sugar, excellent carrier oil, and fragrant essential oils. You can design them as straightforward or as complex as you like.

Don't forget that the whole point of using a hand scrub is to remove dead skin cells and boost the growth of new healthy skin cells, the massage process will help this and is a crucial component of the process here. Yet, the ultimate goal is to also create a perfect environment for your moisturizer to be better absorbed. This helps to rejuvenate the skin, making it appear softer, smoother, more supple, and radiant.

Don't forget to check out this article on How to Make Hand Creams With Essential Oils; you can develop a matching set and use the same essential oil blend in both products to help a layer of fragrance.

The holidays are almost upon us, waste no more time and learn how to make hand scrubs with essential oils now and have the softest, smoothest, youngest-looking hands in town!

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