A sweet autumn treat for your skin, this DIY pumpkin body scrub recipe is easy to make and needs no refrigeration. Perfect for gift-giving! Reformulated and updated September 2023.
Are you tired of all things pumpkin? If you are, I’m so sorry, because I’m going to add yet ANOTHER pumpkin-spiced object to your world: a sweet and spicy DIY pumpkin body scrub that’s perfect for smoothing dry autumn skin.
I, actually, don’t think I could ever tire of pumpkin. Love, love, love it–from lattes to pie, to this amazing sugar scrub. It’s just like bathing in pumpkin pie.
You’ll notice that this recipe doesn’t contain any pumpkin puree, by design. Pumpkin puree is a fine addition to single-use scrubs, but won’t keep on your shelf. Despite what all those other yummy-sounding recipes say, pumpkin puree will cause your sugar scrub to spoil in a hot minute.
(Go ahead and take a look at this article to learn why adding fresh pumpkin to your DIY skin care products can be a bad idea.)
Please don’t add any pumpkin puree to a product you’re keeping on the shelf. Even in the fridge, it will last 7 days MAX.
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But with pumpkin seed oil, you get all the skin-yummy benefits of pumpkin without the spoilage issue.
Pumpkin seed oil is high in essential fatty acids. It’s ultra-emollient and leaves your skin feeling extra smooth and soft.
You can often find it at larger health food stores, and definitely at soap making suppliers online.
I’ve also added a bit of pumpkin powder for extra pumpkin-y goodness. Pumpkin powder gives all the vitamin-enriched benefits of pumpkin but reduces the spoilage issues puree causes.
And forget greasy feeling scrubs that leave an oily residue on your skin. Thanks to the addition of emulsifying wax, this DIY pumpkin scrub massages into a lotion-like cream and rinses away fully, leaving your skin soft and exfoliated but not greasy.
So, don’t leave this ingredient out! The emulsifying wax I use is vegetable-based and super easy to work with. Once you use it, I promise you’ll never make a DIY body scrub without it.
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Note: This recipe is formulated for home use, and isn’t meant for retail sale. If you’d like to make this product for retail, you must add a conventional preservative and do any stability testing required by your locale.
DIY Pumpkin Body Scrub Recipe
This DIY pumpkin pie scrub will fit perfectly into a pint-sized mason jar. Decorate the lid with a cute fabric scrap and tie on a label with a ribbon and it’s ready for gift-giving.
The recipe below makes enough for 2 to 4 jars of scrub, depending on the size of your scrub jars. You can double or triple the recipe if you’re making larger quantities for gifts.
- 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
- 1/2 cup white granulated sugar
- 3/4 cup pumpkin seed oil
- 2 tablespoons emulsifying wax (vegetable-based)
- 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon of your favorite pumpkin pie cosmetic fragrance oil (my fav of all time is Sweet Pumpkin Spice by Crafter’s Choice)
- 1/8 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice or cinnamon
You’ll also need:
- Measuring cups and spoons
- Small heat-safe container (I use a half-pint size mason jar for this recipe)
- Small pan
- Mixing spoon or silicone spatula
- Small jars to package your scrub*
*I recommend plastic jars for this product. Glass + slippery hands don’t mix!
Step 1: Mix the sugars together in a small bowl. Set this aside.
Step 2: In a heat-safe container, add pumpkin seed oil and emulsifying wax. Place this into a small pan filled halfway with water, to make a small double boiler. The water should come partway up the side of your container.
Heat gently over low heat until the emulsifying wax is fully melted.
Note: Don’t place your container directly on the bottom of the pan, otherwise it may crack. Instead, use a small rack to keep the container up off the bottom. I use the metal rings that come with the mason jars to create a make-shift rack, and set my jar on top of these. It works.
Step 3: When the emulsifying wax is completely melted into the pumpkin seed oil, pour it into the sugar and stir until the sugar is completely coated.
Tip: If the scrub is too liquid or too dry for your liking, feel free to add more sugar or oil to get the consistency you like. That’s the beauty of DIY skin care, my friend!
Step 4: Add in the fragrance oil and spices and stir well.
Step 5: Let the mixture come to room temperature, stirring occasionally.
Step 6: Spoon mixture into your jars or containers. Label with the product name and date made.
To use: Remove 2 tablespoons (or so) of scrub from the jar and place into a small, shatter-proof container. Take this small container into the shower with you. Massage the scrub gently over the entire body, paying attention to especially dry areas like elbows and feet. Rinse well.
You can also use this as a hand scrub. Set next to the sink, rub into the hands whenever needed, and rinse off.
Important: Don’t get water into the scrub, since this could cause mold growth. Use a small scoop or spoon to get scrub from the jar, instead of dipping in with wet hands. Never store in the shower or next to the tub. Instead, take just enough scrub for a single use into the shower with you.
Also please take care: This product can make the bottom of your tub/shower slippery. Be cautious to avoid falls.
If you’re giving this scrub as a gift, please share appropriate usage and safety guidelines with your recipients.
Yield: Just shy of 1 pint (16 oz)
Shelf life: About 4 months