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citrus coconut sea salt scrub

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I don’t talk a lot about beauty products here because, quite honestly, it just isn’t my thing. I don’t wear makeup. I’m the queen of air-dried hair. I don’t even paint my nails anymore (although this is more a causality of my in-the-dirt lifestyle than a lack of desire—I love sparkly nails!). I used to love beauty products. I loved putting on makeup and wearing smelly-good lotions. But sometime in college, I developed a pretty nasty eye allergy to almost all makeup (I’ve only found one mascara that doesn’t make my eyes swell up, and it was discontinued years ago). So I stopped wearing makeup. And slowly, other products kinda trickled out of my life, too. At first, I was bummed, but now, I totally love my low-maintenance lifestyle. Give me some lip balm and my sunglasses and I’m ready to head out the door.

When I do find myself needing some sort of beauty item, I almost always try to make it myself before buying something. I’ve made my own powder makeup, deodorant, lotion, face masks, and even Craig’s shaving cream. I like knowing exactly what is in the stuff I’m slathering on the biggest organ in my body. Plus, it’s fun to make it yourself! And extremely cost-effective.

sea salt scrub

So when I started to notice that my skin wasn’t quite enjoying my always-outdoors lifestyle as much as I was, I decided to whip up a quick little moisturizing exfoliator in the kitchen. I’ve never had issues with dry skin in the summer before, but the sun, wind and chlorine from the pool are causing all kinds of not-so-smoothness (especially on my legs) this year, and I figured a little sea salt scrub might do the trick.

sea salt scrub

I think the key to making a perfect-for-you scrub is figuring out the right ratio of exfoliant (here, I use salt, but sugar works well, too) to oil. If you have extremely dry skin, you might want to try upping the oil a bit. Skin on the greasy side? Try a little less. My ratio here is just a touch on the oily side, and it has been working beautifully on my dry skin patches. Everything is smooth, soft and moisturized. Plus, the citrus zest makes it smell absolutely amazing! I am hoarding this all to myself—I keep it in the jar in the shower—but these would make great gifts, too. Everyone needs a good exfoliant!


Citrus Coconut Sea Salt Scrub

Citrus Coconut Sea Salt Scrub

Yield: About 1 1/2 cups
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes

This citrus coconut sea salt scrub will leave your skin feeling moisturized and smooth.


  • 1-1/2 cups fine sea salt
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil (liquid)
  • Zest of one lemon
  • Zest of one lime


  1. Combine all ingredients in a small bowl and stir until well-mixed. Store in an air-tight container.
  2. To use: scoop out a small handful of the scrub and rub on skin in a light, circular motion. Rinse off. Enjoy smoothness!


Does anyone else out there have issues with dry skin and summer? Am I alone? Bueller?

Cassie is the founder and CEO of Wholefully. She's a home cook and wellness junkie with a love of all things healthy living. She lives on a small hobby farm in Southern Indiana with her husband, daughter, two dogs, two cats, and 15 chickens.

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16 Responses
  1. Denise Miller

    I just made this! I had lots of lemons at home, and went out and got liquid coconut oil and some fine salt for my project. Of course, I can never tackle something like this without tweaking it a bit, so here’s what I did. I’m making this up for my girlfriends that I’m seeing this week, one of whom is moving out of state next month.

    I had some dried lavender stalks from several years back that have been shedding everywhere, so I stripped the stalks of the lavender buds and mixed that in. Then I rubbed dried mint leaves between my fingers until they crumbled to a powder. (I added the herbs before the oil). In addition to the liquid coconut oil, I also add a small amount of vitamin E oil for its healing properties, forgetting how *sticky* it is (I hope that doesn’t impact the final result). Next, thinking I had read “juice of one lemon” and not “zest of one lemon,” I proceeded to juice one small lemon into it (!). And, to intensify the aroma, I also added drops of high quality essential oils of lavender and peppermint. Fingers crossed! I set some aside for me to try before I package everyone else’s up.

  2. I’m with you on the dry skin- year round! I go through a crazy amount of lotion (and having no humidity here in CO doesn’t help!). I love this “recipe” and will totally be trying it. I spend a ton of money on salt/sugar scrubs and go through them quickly. I can also imagine that this smells SOOOO good…

  3. What’s the shelf life of a scrub like this? I imagine the salt sort of acts as a preservative. Whenever I buy scrubs, I never seem to go through them very fast.

    1. Cassie

      Hmm, you know, I’ve been using it so often, I don’t think it’s had a chance to go bad. If you’re worried about it, you could easily just make a half batch (and maybe only use the zest of a lemon or a lime). But I think there is probably so much salt in it that it could last for months and months.

  4. Honestly, the summer weather used to do wonders for my skin. I would rarely have to wear foundation and I didn’t use near as much lotion as I did in the winter months. But I’ve noticed this summer that my skin has been really dry! I don’t know if it’s me changing with age, but my skin hasn’t been reacting as it used to. I’ll definitely try this scrub! I love homemade scrubs 🙂

  5. i love this! sounds like it will smell amazing. i’ve wanted to try my hand at making some of my beauty products for a while, but this scrub might have to be the first one i try.

  6. Kristie Naylor

    I just use olive oil and raw sugar most of the time but I’m learning coconut oil sinks in better. Have you tried the new mascara from Lush? Most people with eye allergies seem to have better luck with it.

  7. Karen

    I make our sugar scrub all the time. At first I used salt, but a massage therapist warned that salt can be drying, and an irritant to already dry skin. My hubs can attest to that – the salt scrub burned urn til his skin shaped up. I buy raw sugar in bulk for a little over $1/ lb, and use almond oil and essential oils for smell. We love lemon balm or lavender. My hubs has ongoing thyroid issues and he is like a lizard! Using this scrub in the shower daily keeps him from getting cracks in his skin. Where can you get liquid coconut oil?

    1. Cassie

      Hmm, that’s interesting, I haven’t had any issues with salt like that!

      Liquid coconut oil is just regular coconut oil at room temperature (or slightly above). Our coconut oil isa always liquid in the summer! 🙂

  8. ty

    Hey, can you post your recipies to the other beauty products you have created. I have pretty sensitive skin and off the shelf items are really hit or miss for me. I’m most interested in the shaving cream. This scrub sounds really good too, love the idea of it for a gift.

  9. Colleen

    This sounds great! I was looking for something just like this last weekend when I had a DIY spa day. I might suggest using epsom salts instead of sea salt, it’s pretty cheap and the magnesium in it is great for our skin and muscle health. I can’t wait to try and make this!

Meet Cassie
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Hello. My name is Cassie, and I’m a healthy home cooking expert.

I'm a Certified Holistic Nutritionist, and I've been developing healthy recipes professionally for over 15 years. Food is my love language, and my kitchen tips and nourishing recipes are my love letter to you!

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