You already know sugar is tasty and sweet. With this sugar scrub science project—perfect for Mother’s Day and beyond—find out how a couple of its other properties make it a treat for your skin, too!

What You Need:

  • 1/2 cup granulated white sugar*
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil or olive oil
  • 8-10 drops essential oil
  • 2 drops food coloring
  • Plastic mixing bowl
  • Plastic mixing spoon
  • Jar with lid or other airtight container

What You Do:

  1. Add the sugar and coconut oil to the plastic mixing bowl.Single-use sugar scrub DIY science project
  2. Mix well, until the sugar and oil are blended together in a paste.
  3. Add food coloring and essential oils.
  4. Mix well until all food coloring is evenly dispersed throughout.
  5. Use the spoon to scoop the scrub into the jar, and close it up tightly.
  6. To use, rub the scrub into your skin using a circular motion.
  7. For further customization, try adding lemon juice and zest, dried herbs, coffee, and essential oils to your scrub. Ground coffee beans are said to have firming and toning capabilities.

What Happened:

Sugar is more than just a sweet treat! When applied topically, it also offers attractive benefits to the skin. The sugar in this DIY scrub acts as a natural humectant and exfoliant.

A humectant is a substance that readily absorbs water from its surroundings. So the sugar in our scrub provides moisturizing properties.

Exfoliation is the process by which the outermost layer of dead skin cells is removed, either by mechanical or chemical means. This bath product exfoliates through mechanical means (scrubbing vigorously aided by sugar crystals). This scrub helps to slough off dead skin cells and possibly improve circulation.

*If you find granulated sugar too rough, try using it only your feet, as that skin is typically calloused and not as sensitive as skin on other body parts. Alternately, try making your homemade sugar scrub with caster sugar, which is superfine, or brown sugar.

For further study, try these other fun spa science projects: