How to Make a Vanilla Chai Sugar Scrub

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This is the time of year when the weather grows colder and my skin starts doing funny things. Not funny in a haha way, though. More like funny in a bumpy, dry, flaky, red way. Ick.

Sugar Scrub Recipe

A great way to combat this type of skin is to polish it away with some moisturizing, exfoliating, energizing ingredients. Halleluia for DIY body scrubs.

I happened to have a box of chai spice tea I didn’t like, and decided to concoct an indulgent DIY beauty product with it instead of tossing it in the garbage. The Vanilla Chai Sugar Scrub I came up with not only used up my rejected tea, but also mimics my all-time favorite hot drink and smells so good you could almost eat it. (And I may or may not have licked some off my finger when I used it in the shower the other day. What? Don’t tell me you’ve never tasted some of your DIY beauty products.)

Vanilla Chai Sugar Scrub

Sugar Scrub Recipe 1

(Makes a little more than 1 cup of sugar scrub)



Cut open tea bags and empty into a medium sized bowl. Add sugars and cinnamon and mix well. Add vanilla, honey, and coconut oil. Mash coconut oil in with a fork and stir until all ingredients are thoroughly mixed. Transfer to jar, seal, and label. Shelf life is about one year.

To Use

Apply after cleansing in the shower. Rub sugar scrub gently on whole body in a circular motion to slough off dead skin cells, boost circulation, and moisturize. Rinse. Pat skin dry with towel. (If using on your face, be sure to avoid rubbing vigorously, and only use infrequently.)

The perfect gift

With the holidays around the corner, it might be time to start charting out some of the DIY projects you’ll want to do. Homemade natural care products are a popular gift, so why not give this Vanilla Chai Sugar Scrub and other fun DIY products to people on your list?


About Betsy Jabs

Betsy holds a bachelor's degree in Psychology and a Master's degree in Counseling, and for nearly a decade worked as an elementary counselor. In 2011 she left her counseling career to pursue healthy living. She loves using DIY Natural as a way to educate people to depend on themselves to nourish their bodies and live happier healthier lives. Connect with Betsy on Facebookand Twitter.

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  1. Sharon D. says

    help! I love the texture of this but can NOT smell the chai over the scent of the coconut?!!? Can I add more chai tea and/or vanilla?? Thank you!

    • Betsy Jabs says

      Sure, go ahead and add more vanilla and/or chai tea. It won’t hurt a thing. 🙂 I guess I should have mentioned in the article that I use expeller pressed coconut oil for recipes like this – it has a neutral scent. I’ll go add it to the recipe now!

  2. Taylor says

    I’ve found that any time you can use olive oil in something that it does wonders. I was in a car accident 3 months ago that left me with some severe air bag burns as well as lacerations on both arms. As everything began to heal I started using an exfoliating paste made of white sugar and Olive oil once or twice a day to exfoliate and moisturize the burns. To my surprise, the longer I used the scrub, the lighter the scars got. I have a very pale complexion so the scars would be easy to notice, however my scars are almost gone and my skin looks fantastic. I’m not sure how using Olive oil affects the shelf life though.

  3. Julie says

    I love this! Can’t wait to try it:):): but question – the shelf life if ine year seems so much longer than all the other DIY scrub recipes I’ve tried. What makes this recipe last longer?

    • Betsy Jabs says

      The shelf life in the article is of course, an estimation, but coconut oil has a long shelf life. Many other sugar scrubs are made with oils that go rancid after a period of time.

  4. Kandice says

    I love this site! And I cannot wait to make this scrub!!

    I was wondering if someone has tried using agave nectar instead of honey? Does that work okay?

    • Betsy Jabs says

      The honey has been added for its humectant & healing properties. Agave doesn’t possess the same properties, so it would be a “wasted” ingredient in the scrub.

      We’re so glad you’re loving our site and fired up to make the recipe!

      • Kandice says

        Thank you so much Betsy! I totally had a feeling, but I didn’t understand the science behind it! Thanks for helping me learn!

  5. Georgina says

    This sounds wonderful – do you have any ideas on what could be substituted for the coconut oil? I am looking to make this as gifts and at least one person I know is allergic to coconut. I know the consistency of coconut oil at room temperature – can’t think of another carrier oil with the same consistency – ideas?!?!

    Thanks for all of the wonderful ideas that you put up on your website – I have implemented a lot of them in my daily life! 🙂


    • Betsy Jabs says

      Hi Georgina,

      We’re so glad you find our ideas helpful! You can actually use any light oil that is easily absorbed by the skin. I would recommend sweet almond, hazelnut, or jojoba oil (which is a little pricier). You will need less of these oils than what is called for in the recipe though. I recommend drizzling your oil into your dry ingredients, stirring after each addition, and adding a little more until you like the consistency. If you use this method you won’t end up with too much oil. If you do accidentally end up with too much oil, just add more sugar and spices to absorb it. Have fun!

  6. Amy says

    Oh, this sounds HEAVENLY!! My all-time favorite store-bought scented body items are BBW Warm Vanilla Sugar. Any idea if this smells like that? I would LOVE to be able to naturally make their daily foaming scrub. My initial guess would be the recipe you posted above with the addition of some liquid castille soap??

    • Betsy Jabs says

      It does smell similar to the warm vanilla sugar line – except a little spicy because of the chai spices. Yes, you could add liquid castile soap to get a foaming scrub…great idea!

      • Amy says

        Yea! I’m baffled that I was able to make that connection this morning (the liquid castile soap addition) – I was up a bit late and up earlier than usual and I’m still not on all cylinders yet. 🙂

        Now I just need to find some chai tea bags. It’s not too awfully expensive, is it? OR figure out a DIY spice mixture recipe for it. Oh, and find some inexpensive brown sugar. I have some “good stuff” that my mom gave me, but I’d hate to use it for this. Maybe I could just make some using white sugar and molasses. I’m pretty sure that’s all brown sugar is anyway…

        Hubs is going to hate me…LOL(…I did 3 DIY projects yesterday afternoon/evening. Oh well…this one I can do during the day. 😉

        • Betsy Jabs says

          You can use any brand of chai tea bags…you can find them cheap at any grocery store. Also, you can use the cheap brown sugar. No need to use the “good stuff” from your mom.

          Sounds like you’re on a roll with DIY projects! The hub is just going to have to get used to it. 😉

          • Amy says

            Well I found some chai tea at our local Wal-Mart. Almost didn’t…top shelf, labeled but not at the front of the shelf. I had to reach way back to get it. It’s a box of 20 bags.

            I’m going to just make my own brown sugar using the instructions on ehow. Now if I could just find the time to make it, I’d be set.