Salt Scrub Vs Sugar Scrub: Which Is Better For Exfoliating?

This post may contain affiliate links, which means I may receive a small commission, at no cost to you, if you make a purchase.

Similar to your face, your body needs to be exfoliated to stay healthy, smooth, and soft. 

If your body care only involves using a soap bar and a loofah, now is the best time to bring your exfoliating game to the next level. 

Using scrubs is one of the best ways to exfoliate your body and face. The most common types of body scrubs are salt scrubs and sugar scrubs. 

Choosing between salt scrub vs sugar scrub can be difficult and puzzling, especially if you don’t have any idea about the benefits they offer and how they work. 

If you’re confused about which one to use on your face and body, don’t worry; we are here to help!

What Are Body Scrubs?

A specialist doing a body scrub to a woman

Body scrubs are physical exfoliants, which means that they help physically eliminate dead skin cells from your skin’s outer layer using an abrasive ingredient, such as salt or sugar. 

Body scrubs accelerate skin cell turnover, leading to brighter and smoother skin. Aside from that, it can also prevent acne breakouts in the future. 

So if your skin starts looking dull and dry, a mild exfoliation with body scrubs might be the solution!

For many years, body scrubs have been used and produced in the beauty industry. But whether you’ve tried using one before or not, you’re probably wondering what benefits these scrubs can offer. 

Besides making your skin feel extra smooth, body scrubs give promising skin benefits, which we’ll be explaining in the next section. 

Benefits of Body Scrubs

Our skin is constantly in a turnover state. It means that dead skin emerges on the skin surface, which naturally sheds and exposes the new soft skin underneath. 

Over time and as we age, this process decelerates and eventually contributes to dead cell buildup on the skin’s surface. Combined with some environmental stresses and pollution, you may get rough, itchy, and dull skin. 

This is where exfoliating comes in handy. You can do so by using exfoliants like body scrubs.

The main goal of exfoliants is to eliminate dead skin cells and promote the healthy production of new ones. 

Not only do body scrubs make the skin look and feel polished and smooth, but they also help draw out impurities on the skin. 

Here are other excellent benefits that body scrubs provide:

  • Improves your skin’s moisture absorption
  • Clear congestion and draw out impurities
  • Leave your skin smoother and more even
  • Prevent ingrown hairs and unclog pores
  • Promote skin cell turnover and improve circulation
  • Remove dead cells from the surface of the skin
  • Smoothen razor bumps and frees ingrown hairs
  • Soften and smoothen dry, rough skin

Most body scrubs are made of two common ingredients easily found in your kitchen: salt and sugar. 

In fact, you can easily DIY a salt scrub and sugar scrub at home! (More of this later!)

Continue reading to know the characteristics of salt scrubs vs sugar scrubs and determine which is best for your skin needs. 

What Is Sugar Scrub?

A bottle of sugar scrub in a light colored background

You might wonder whether to use sugar or salt for a face scrub. 

If you’re planning to make a facial scrub, sugar scrub is the ideal abrasive ingredient instead of salt. 

Sugar has round edges on the granules, which does not cut the skin. Because of this, sugar is a better option for those who have sensitive skin types. 

It is one of the most popular body scrub ingredients today thanks to its less-abrasive property. Using this ingredient, you can clean and exfoliate your skin without causing too much irritation. 

Moreover, sugar scrubs melt with heat and easily dissolve in hot water. So it won’t leave your skin feeling grimy or coated. 

Sugar is also an excellent option for naturally dry skin because it does not dry out the skin. 

If you want to try sugar scrubs, you can check out this highly-rated Brooklyn Botany Brown Sugar Body Scrub, which claims to reduce fine lines, stretch marks, and fight acne scars. 

However, it’s important to note that sugar does not contain a similar mineral content in Epsom salt. Hence, you won’t acquire all of the health benefits that salt scrubs offer. 

What Is Salt Scrub?

Salt has sharper edges compared to sugar, making salt scrubs more abrasive. Salt scrubs are best used for rough skin that requires smoothing. 

Since salt scrubs are made of sea salts, they are packed with minerals that can help eliminate impurities from the skin’s surface. 

On top of that, the minerals found in salt body scrubs can help tighten the skin, improve skin texture, improve circulation, and reduce inflammation. Overall, its mineral content is both relaxing and therapeutic at the same time. 

So you can use coarse salt if you want to remove rough skin from your elbows or feet. These coarse granules of salt are incredibly effective in dealing with calloused skin to reveal the softer skin underneath. 

One of our favorite salt scrubs is MAJESTIC PURE Himalayan Salt Body Scrub with Lychee Oil, which is made of 100% pure and natural ingredients perfect for great exfoliation and deep cleansing.  

However, it’s advisable not to use salt scrubs every day because they can be very abrasive, harsh, and dry on the skin. If you have sensitive, softer skin, it’s best to avoid coarse scrubs like salt scrubs as much as possible. 

Difference Between Salt Scrub and Sugar Scrub

To help you decide which body scrub is for you, here’s a list of the differences between salt scrub vs sugar scrub:


As a scrubbing ingredient, salt has a large particle size, making them a stronger scrub than sugar. 

On the contrary, sugar particles are relatively smaller in size, making sugar scrubs less abrasive. Hence, sugar scrubs are more suited for people with sensitive skin types. 


As mentioned earlier, salt scrubs have grittier granules, which can cause breakouts and be too harsh on your skin when overly scrubbed. 

For other people, the salt’s sharp-edged granules are perfect for shedding off the dead skin present on the rough areas of the body, such as feet, knees, and elbows. 

It can also be scrubbed on your arms and legs; just make sure to rub them lightly. 

On the other hand, sugar scrubs have rounder granules, which are ideal to use on more sensitive parts of your body, such as your chest area, arms, and face.

Through gentle exfoliation, sugar scrubs can give you glowing, smooth skin. 

Effect and Properties

Due to the abrasive nature and the large particle size of salt, salt scrubs can be applied to slough off tough dead skin cells from dehydrated parts of your body. 

Moreover, it has trace minerals that remove skin toxins and work as natural purifiers, which also help reduce inflammation. 

Meanwhile, sugar can help retain skin moisture since it keeps your skin from drying. Sugar scrubs hydrate your skin by pulling water from the natural environment to your skin cells. 

Apart from that, sugar is a great glycolic acid source. Glycolic acid breaks the bonds between the dead skin cells and the outer layer of the skin cell. As a result, a peeling effect will eventually make your skin look even and feel smoother. 

 Benefits of Salt Scrub vs Sugar Scrub

Here’s a side-by-side table of the benefits of salt vs sugar body scrub:

Salt ScrubSugar Scrub
  • Eliminates toxins from your skin
  • Gives better exfoliation
  • Gives you a rosy glow
  • Has anti-aging abilities
  • Helps repair tired skin
  • Provides minerals, vitamins, and nutrients
  • Reduces inflammation
  • Tones and restores skin simultaneously
  • Deposits minerals into your skin that keeps toxins out
  • Gives gentle exfoliation
  • Gives hydration to the skin
  • Great for sensitive and dry skin types
  • Helps draw water into the skin
  • Less abrasive compared to salt scrub
  • Smoothens and brightens skin

DIY Salt Scrub vs Sugar Scrub Recipes

Sugar and salt are easy to find at local grocery shops and even online. 

If you want to save money, making homemade exfoliating body scrubs using simple ingredients is a good idea. 

We are here to help you make the perfect body scrub!

Listed below are simple yet customizable body scrub recipes. You can make these easy sugar scrub or salt scrub DIY recipes depending on your skin needs and preferences. 

Salt Scrub DIY Recipe

What You Need

  • 1 cup of sea salt (can be Black Sea salt, Epsom salt, Himalayan sea salt, or Dead Sea salt)
  • ¼ cup of carrier oil (can be almond oil, avocado oil, olive oil, or jojoba oil)
  • 10 to 20 drops of essential oil


  1. Combine your chosen sea salt and carrier oil until mixed well.
  2. Add drops of essential oils until you reach your desired scent.
  3. Store and seal it in a jar.
  4. Place in a cool location until ready for use.

Sugar Scrub DIY Recipe

What You Need

  • ½ cup of organic coconut oil
  • ½ cup of granulated sugar
  • 15 to 20 drops of essential oil


  1. Use a spoon to stir in sugar in melted coconut oil.
  2. Mix well until fully incorporated.
  3. Add your desired drops of essential oil and continue mixing until combined.
  4. Put your sugar scrub into a container. 
  5. Seal it shut.
  6. Place in a cool location until ready for use. 
An infographic featuring the benefits of salt scrub vs sugar scrub and diy recipes

How to Exfoliate Skin Using Body Scrubs?

Back of a woman while exfoliating her skin using body scrub

You can use your all-natural DIY body scrub in the shower or bath. Remember that the key to healthy, glowing skin is to exfoliate regularly. 

To help you create a consistent skincare routine, skin experts recommend the following tips:

Cleanse Your Skin

Before doing anything on your skin, make sure to soften and prepare your skin for exfoliation. To do this, wash your skin in warm water with a natural soap. 

Always Be Gentle to Your Skin

Get one scoop of body scrub and gently apply it using small, circular motions. 

Instead of using pressure to scrub, letting the natural abrasive ingredients exfoliate your skin is best. 

Do this for approximately 30 seconds, then rinse it off with water. 

If you have wounds or open cuts or if your skin is freshly shaved or sunburned, never exfoliate your skin in order to avoid causing irritation and micro-tearing. 

Apply a Natural Moisturizer on Damp Skin

Exfoliating can be quite drying to the skin. So after your exfoliating session, ensure to follow it with a natural moisturizer, like Sky Organics Organic Shea Butter, while your skin is still moist. 

Do this to lock in hydration. This step is crucial to keep your skin glowing, hydrated, and healthy. 

Be Consistent

Being consistent with your skincare routine is key to healthier skin. However, be careful not to over-exfoliate your skin as this can cause redness and irritation. 

How frequently you need to exfoliate greatly depends on your skin type. Most dermatologists suggest you exfoliate at least once or twice a week if you don’t want to compromise your skin barrier and overly strip its natural moisture.  

Frequently Asked Questions

How often can you scrub your body?

According to experts, exfoliation is a must if you’re eyeing to achieve more youthful and nourished skin. 

However, keep in mind that exfoliating your skin every day can do more damage than good to your skin. 

Hence, the safest range for you to follow would be scrubbing at least once or twice every week. 

Which scrub is for you?

Both scrubs provide incredible skin benefits, making them great add-ons to your weekly self-care regimen. 

Choosing between salt or sugar scrub depends on your skin’s needs and preferences. 

If you have dry or sensitive skin, sugar scrubs may be better to use since they are less likely to cause irritation and feel much better on your skin. 

But if you want to exfoliate and detoxify your skin, salt scrubs would be better for you.

Are body scrubs good for your skin? 

If used correctly, body scrubs can give several benefits to your skin. 

When you start using them regularly, you will notice a more beautiful glow on your skin. Plus, your pores will stay free and clean, and your skin will feel delicate and soft.

Body scrubs also brighten the top layer of your skin and make your skin tone more even. Using body scrubs can also prevent and smoothen those irritating razor bumps and ingrown hair. 

By removing dry and dead skin, your skin can better absorb moisture, look much brighter, and feel much smoother.

The Bottom Line: Which Is Better Salt or Sugar Scrub?

So which is the best body scrub for you? Salt scrub vs sugar scrub?

As you decide between two ingredients, examining what your skin needs is key. 

Sugar scrubs are ideal if you want a gentler exfoliating effect. But if you need deep exfoliation and detoxifying effects on the rough parts of your body, choose the salt scrubs. 

Regardless of which type of scrub you opt for, both offer great skin benefits that leave your skin supple, smooth, and soft. 

Try these DIY salt and sugar scrub recipes today and experience the perks of exfoliating your skin!

Do you want to learn more about skin care?

Read these articles below:


  • Stephanie Martin

    Stephanie Martin blends her beauty industry background with expertise in communications to lead in the fashion and beauty world. As a fashion and beauty editor, she is known for engaging and informative articles. Her lifelong passion for fashion, makeup, and hair shines through her work, earning her widespread respect among readers and clients. Stephanie's style, a mix of classic and contemporary, makes her a dynamic and influential figure in the industry, inspiring others with her knowledgeable and approachable insights.

  • Amanda Meehan

    Amanda Meehan, a licensed esthetician and massage therapist, brings holistic beauty to the forefront. Trained at the Aveda Institute Denver and the Center for Natural Wellness School of Massage Therapy, her accolades include the High Honors and Beauty Is As Beauty Does awards. Beyond skincare, she's a certified Reiki Master and yoga instructor.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *