Gingerbread Emulsified Whipped Sugar Scrub Recipe for Dry Skin
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This gingerbread emulsified whipped sugar scrub recipe turns into a lotion when you rinse it off.  The gingerbread scent is from natural essential oils.

I've made a lot of sugar scrubs, but I've never made one quite like this one.  This one starts out like a typical sugar scrub, but then when you rinse it, it turns into a lotion.  It's also whipped, which makes it even more luxurious as a sugar scrub.

My skin gets crazy dry in the winter, so I made this scrub with chia seed oil, shea butter, cocoa butter, and coconut oil to moisturize my skin.  While the sugar removes dead skin cells, the oils and butters moisturize my skin.  

Since this turns into a lotion when you rinse, the oils and butters sit on your skin for hours after you use it.  My skin is moisturized for hours after I use this gingerbread emulsified whipped sugar scrub recipe.  

I used a gingerbread essential oil blend, but you can use any other essential oils or fragrance oils in this luxurious scrub.  


When I was making the recipe for this emulsified sugar scrub, I wanted ingredients that would help dry skin.  This recipe is heavy on oils and butters just for that reason.  I wouldn't swap out the butters, but for the oil you can change it to make this more of a summer scrub or a lighter scrub.

I try to make most of recipes measured in cups or tablespoons to make it easy since I think most of my readers are DIYing for home use.  This recipe is measured using a digital scale.  Unfortunately, it just won't work with volume measurements.


Chia seed oil is pressed from chia seeds.  Yes, those are the same seeds as the chia pets that were popular when we were kids.  

Chia seed oil is high in omega-3 fatty acids to moisturize your skin.  It's also naturally anti-inflammatory and calming for the skin.

It's a heavy oil and feels dense on your skin.  I used it in this recipe because it's so moisturizing, but it can be too heavy for some people.

If you want a lighter or less expensive carrier oil, try grapeseed oil or sweet almond oil.

You can also use two or more carrier oils in this recipe.  For dry skin, hemp seed oil, jojoba oil, or sunflower oil.

Learn more about the different carrier oils that you can use in DIY beauty recipes like this one in my book Carrier Oils.

READ Chia Seed Benefits for Skin and Hair


Stearic acid is an essential fatty acid.  It also acts like a cleanser to help remove dirt and sebum from skin, so it's often used in soaps and shampoos.  It can help get your skin clean when added to this recipe.


Emulsifying wax binds with both water and oil.  Emulsifying wax is commonly used in lotion to bind the oils and the water to create a lotion.  Similarly, it binds the oils in this whipped sugar scrub recipe with the water when you rinse it off to create a lotion.  

There are other emulsifies that you can use, but emulsifying wax is the most popular, so that's why I use it.  I'll be using it in more recipes over the next few months, so keep checking back for more recipes to use it in.


Cocoa butter is a solid at room temperature, so it helps this sugar scrub whip up and hold air when you use the whisk.

Cocoa butter is high in antioxidants for anti-aging properties.  It can also help prevent and treat dry skin thanks to its moisturizing properties, so I like to use it natural remedies for dry skin.


Coconut oil is also solid at room temperature, and it whips very well.  It's naturally antibacterial, so I like to use it on dry skin to prevent secondary infections from cracked skin.

It can penetrate the skin for deep moisturizing.  The essential fatty acids help moisturize the skin to heal and protect from dry skin.


Shea butter is hands down my favorite butter to use for dry skin because it's not oily.  Also a solid, it helps this emulsified sugar scrub whip better.

It's high in vitamins A, E, and F to nourish your skin.  It also has essential fatty acid to moisturize without leaving an oily residue on your skin.


I used a Gingerbread essential oil blend from Crafty Bubbles.  It's available on Amazon as part of their Holiday Favorites set of essential oil blends.

You can make your own gingerbread blend with:

You'll have to create the blend and then weigh the oils for this recipe.  I keep empty essential oil bottles on hand to create my own custom blends.


I added vitamin E oil because it's a powerful antioxidant.  It can also help keep carrier oils shelf stable longer, but it's not a true preservative.

Not all vitamin E oils are created equal.  I've used some brands that are really watery, but now I use Crafty Bubbles vitamin E oil.  It's so thick that it barely pours from the bottle.  I think it helps my skin better, so that's what I use.


Technically, this recipe doesn't need a preservative since it doesn't have water in it.  When you use a sugar scrub, you can introduce bacteria and other germs into the container when you scoop out the sugar.

For my personal use, I don't use a preservative.  When I sold sugar scrubs, I did.  It's up to you, but I highly recommend using a preservative if you are gifting this or selling it.  Better safe than sorry!

I chose phenonip because it's considered the best preservative for oil-based products.  It protects against fungi, mold, and bacteria in emulsions and other oil and water based DIY beauty projects.  




Weigh out the emulsifying wax, stearic acid, cocoa butter, coconut oil, and shea butter.  Heat over a double boiler until melted.  

I set a glass Pyrex measuring cup on a canning ring in a pan of water to make a double boiler.  

It's important to use a double boiler and not microwave it because the microwave could get the shea butter too hot, which can make it grainy.  


Weigh the chia seed oil and pour it into the melted butters.  

Stir until it drops in temperature to 175 degrees Fahrenheit.  I use a laser thermometer to check the temperature.  Mine was under 175 degrees as soon as I poured in the chia seed oil.


Add the vitamin E oil, essential oils, phenonip, and colorant if you're using it.  


Place in the freezer until the edges start to harden, about 10 minutes.  

Use the whisk attachment to whip until creamy.


Add the sugar and whip again.  It will seem thin, but it will set up as the cocoa butter and shea butters cool completely and harden up.

This makes 8.5 ounces of whipped sugar scrub.  You can double it or triple it to make more containers.

To use, scoop out about a tablespoon for your hands.  Rub all over the exfoliate your skin.  Rinse well.  When the water hits the scrub, it will turn it into almost a lotion like consistency.  I dry my hands but do not wash it off.  

I used chia seed oil because it's a heavy and very moisturizing oil.  This scrub will feel oily while you are rinsing your hands.  If you want a lighter feel, use grapeseed oil instead.

Don't want to DIY?  Try one of these handmade emulsified sugar scrubs on Etsy.
If you love making body scrubs, then you'll love my ebook Body Scrubs with 30 different recipes for fun or to make to sell!

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Cari Dunn
Cari Dunn

Cari lives on a small farm with her husband, three kids, two dogs, two cats, and a goat. She loves coffee, Gilmore Girls, her chihuahua, and her kids, but not in that order.