DIY Lavender Sea Salt Scrub

By Kate Riley January 3, 2012

My sister’s birthday is coming up this month so I wanted to make her something nice that I know she’d appreciate. I also like a hot bath at the end of the day especially since I’m exercising and eating raw foods and my body is rebelling (“Where’s the cheese? You’ve always fed me cheese! Where’s the d*#$ cheese lady?”) and as a result I’m a hint cranky. 

Plus there’s the whole kids home from school this week and climbing the walls and they’ve already played with their toys 3½ times and watched those two movies I bought, and they’re all “Get out of my room, stop touching me, Mom we’re boooored”.  So bottom line: momma needs a little aromatherapy. 

I go to Whole Foods maybe five times a year, and I stay away mostly because their prices are kinda obscene. My friend Staci calls Whole Foods ‘Whole Paycheck’ and that girl is right on. But the only place I could think of in town to buy the trifecta of ingredients for this latest concoction (essential oil, sea salt, and body oil) was Whole Foods, and since I’m a one stop shopper with kids in tow, I made the trip. 

I took some pretty pictures (with the lens I mentioned here) of the process and officially apologize for the next sentence which sounds like a commercial. A gentle rub with sea salt will exfoliate the skin and the essential oils possess beneficial moisturizing qualities and antioxidants!

lavender sea salt scrub diy


To make your own, first equip yourself with some decent containers. Canning jars, old jelly jars, even plastic containers with lids will do.  I chose these 12 oz. glass jars with plain lids from The Container Store since I wanted to give two away as gifts.


Next, gather the following ingredients:

sea salt scrub ingredients

18 oz. coarse sea salt

18 oz. fine sea salt*

4 fluid oz. grapeseed oil*

½ fluid oz. lavender essential oil

dried lavender buds (optional)

*You can skip the fine sea salt and go with just the coarse sea salt, but the mixture of the two is really nice.  Also, look for other natural unscented body oils like almond, avocado, or even vegetable glycerin.  I found all of my ingredients (except the lavender buds which came from my garden) at Whole Paycheck.   

Mix these ingredients together to make 36 oz. of lavender sea salt scrub . . .

mix sea salt ingredients


Spoon your scrub into your clean glass jar . . . BTW it smells amazing! 

spoon lavender scrub into jar


Make a label (or use mine available here) and package up a few for your friends…

lavender sea salt scrub cg


. . . or keep it for yourself and float away to heaven… ignore the kids, the dishes, the laundry pile, the To Do List, and the husband knocking on the bathroom door with the “Honey, have you seen my gym shorts?” for a solid ten minutes. Baby, you’ve earned it.  

lavender sea salt scrub close up


The two sea salts cost $4, the grapeseed oil was $5, and the large jar of lavender essential oil was $22 (I mistakenly bought the larger one because I misread the price tag and wasn’t paying attention at the register because my kids were asking me if they could have a bag of chips or something… )

But you should be able to find 2 oz. of lavender essential oil for about $10 so not including the jars you can make about 36 oz. of sea salt scrub for less than $20.  A decent price difference when you consider the cost of retail versions

Float away to paradise y’all.

Over and out.




  1. I love taking hot baths! This scrub looks heavenly. We don’t have a jacuzzi bath, so I drive 35 minutes to my moms in my pjs with my hair all up in a crazy bun and have either my mom or dad watch my daughter and I get an hour to myself and soak. It’s heavenly, but a pain to drive. What I wouldn’t give for a nice big bathtub!

  2. This scrub looks just like what I need. Thanks for sharing. After my Thursday girls lunch at my house, I am giving up lots of stuff and cheese is gonna be hard. I love all cheese!

  3. You know you can also make it with sugar. I especially like the course unrefined type.

    I like both types of scrubs because I feel like the salt is better for my skin, but I’m a wuss and it can sting the tiny cuts after shaving so the sugar is good for those instances.

    Thanks for the recipe I hadn’t thought of putting the lavender buds in.

  4. I do 80% of my shopping at Whole Paycheck b/c I’m gluten and soy free. We manage to spend little, because I shop the sales and buy cases of things when they are on sale. Mostly I buy meats and produce so my bill is not astronomical. I find here in Chicago, that Jewel and Dominics are far more $$$. Farmer’s markets are even more pricey here…

    I co-op most of my oils and sundries from Frontier Wholesale {the wholesaler to Whole Paycheck}. Saves a ton of cash, because my lavender oil, the same brand as yours, was $5.


  5. Great idea! I love homemade gifts. My kids act crazy at the checkout too. I think grocery stores should offer a daycare like IKEA. Don’t they realize i’d spend more money because i’m not rushing to get outta there?!? Haha


  6. Not being a bath gal, I use salt scrubs for exfoliating and moisture during the chilly dry months in the shower – of course I need Dawn to clean the oil off the shower floor :-) but soft skin is worth it. I love the scent of lavender – thank you for sharing your recipe!

  7. I am making this this weekend when I don’t have the kids with me asking for everything in the store. I also just added you to my blogroll. I am a northern cal girl as well with a strong appreciation for a reasonably priced item or two. thanks.

  8. I’ve done this project with epsom salts from CVS, essential oils from Michael’s, and food coloring… Ours is more of a bath additive than a scrub. Thinking about trying yours out.

  9. This is one of the homemade gifts I gave this Christmas! It was well received and my sister is already requesting seconds. Lavender is such a lovely scent. Your labels are very pretty! Have a great week, Kate!

  10. ooohhh. me likey! This is great and makes such a neat gift too. Thanks for the wonderful post! I’m going to try this :)

  11. Kate – where would I find lavendar buds this time of year? This is a great gift and I have some gift needs coming soon. What a lovely Valentines present for a special friend! As always, thanks for sharing.

  12. “Whole Paycheck,” I laughed out loud when I got it…..I love that your jars are small. So often I get these giant tubs of things, and sit in my cabinet and I never use them…I think that I recieved this that I would use it. I got one bar of soup, unwrapped for a present for Christmas…Not only did it make my entire booty of Christmas gifts smell good not to mention my car on my ride home, it went immediately to my bathroom and was even used that day. Now that’s a gift.

    happy new year!

  13. Thanks for sharing the tutorial! I have a Whole Paycheck near where I live and like you go there a few times a year. WAY to expensive!!

  14. What beautiful photos to go along with your tutorial! That first shot is so pretty. I Pinned this…tried to do the whole @___ (your name here) in the description, but Pinterest wouldn’t let me do it. :s

    You’re not the only whose kids started climbing the walls! I’m kind of glad to hear about your guys b/c I was starting to wonder if something was wrong with mine. ;) Definitely ready for kindergarten to start back today!

  15. Hi Kate –

    You gave me a good laugh this morning after I read ” Whole Paycheck” too funny, but oh so true. Luckily in my area the supermarkets are starting to carry some of the items I go to Whole Foods for and they cost a lot less.

    I wish blogs had an olfactory button so I could smell how scrumptious the Lavender is – a very nice gift- packaged in perfect style.

    My best- Diane

  16. Hi Kate
    Your scrub looks amazing, I can’t wait to try it this summer when I get more lavender in my yard! I made Ginger Lime sugar scrub this year for gifts and everyone went nuts! I use plain ol’ EVOO, sugar, ground ginger, vanilla, and lime essential oil. Everything but the essential oil was in my pantry!

    Whole Paycheck… ha ha I agree! I am so lucky we have a new store nearby called Mariano’s that’s alot like Whole Foods, but about 1/4 the price! I’m in heaven shopping there, they have a huge section just for gourmet… you guessed it…. CHEESE! Oh, sorry! ;) I’m a fellow cheese addict, you are very brave to give it up!

  17. This sounds really nice and relaxing. Unfortunately, I don’t normally take the time to relax and enjoy a bath. If I do I get annoyed by all the places I find to clean in the bathroom or depressed by the lack of bubbles in my tub. It never looks like the movies!

  18. has the Aura Cacia grapeseed oil for $3.60 for four ounces or $9.19 for sixteen ounces. I think I can wait a few days for my order instead of going to Whole Paycheck! I can’t wait to make this!!! Thank you!

  19. Thank you so much for sharing this idea! I planted lots of lavender in our back yard last year and silly me did not harvest any of it? Kinda crazy huh? I am for sure going to make some of this – what a nice treat to give as a little “happy”!

  20. Love the labels. I made sea salt scrub as favors for a baby shower. I used baby food jars. A way cheaper way to make it is to use Kosher Salt, table salt and coconut oil.


  21. Such a cute idea! I’m a sucker for a nice warm bath. I have always wanted to do something like this for friends, but the ingredients always sounded intimidating. Thanks for letting me know where to find everything in one place (there is a container store right next to a whole foods where I live…so I think this gift idea was meant to be) :)

  22. This is amazing. You have such a wide spectrum of talents!..Another “Idyllic Expression” for the soul!

    Also, I want to thank you for posting the video of the furniture painting tutorial. I can honestly say that it was so much more informative for a person like me to visually see a tutorial rather than reading a tutorial. Great, great job and you do so well in front of the camera…Another talent!! Look forward to any possible future video tutorials!..

  23. That is amazing. What a fun gift and sounds like something even the non-DIY person could handle. Thanks so much.

  24. Happy New Year! I love lavender and this sounds like such a great recipe. I can’t wait to try it. Thanks for sharing!!! Good luck hanging in there with the raw foods diet – one of these days you’ll be able to have pizza again! :)

  25. What a great (easy) project. If I harvest more lavender than I did last year I’m making this. What do you think of using jojoba oil instead of grapeseed? I’m thinking a lot of these ingredients (at a good price) can be had from Trader Joe’s, my favorite store. Jo @ Let’s Face the MUsic

  26. I have been looking for a good, simple recipe for lavender scrub..yours sounds perfect plus the labels are gorgeous..Thanks Kate!!

  27. my birthday is in April, I will send you my address! :) Love this idea. Will be making and taking a bath real soon.

  28. I love this idea. Just for your future reference is a great and affordable to DIY things like this. They have organic products and you wont spend your whole paycheck. :-)

  29. Jo and I are wondering the same: if Jojoba oil would work. As she mentioned, Trader Joe’s has a bunch of these ingredients for very inexpensive prices. I’m gonig to try!

    Also, is there a place to buy dried lavander? A tiny bit would go a long way, since I don’t have my own bush!

  30. No worries Ruthie… I think any body oil will work as long as it’s unscented!

  31. I made it! I whipped up a really big batch, of more than six cups of salts. Here’s how I tweaked it for my skin type:

    3 c. Epsom salts (CVS $4 for large bag)
    1 c. coarse sea salt (already had it, inexpensive)
    1/2 c. fine sea salt (already had it, inexpensive)
    [The above totals 5 1/2 cups of “salt”…you can mix and match them]
    3/4 c. Baking Soda (.99 cents CVS)
    obo. 1/8 c. Vitamin E Oil (Trader Joe’s $3)
    obo. 1/2 c. Grapeseed Oil (Trader Joe’s $4 for 1 pint bottle: big!)
    obo. 60 drops Lavender Essential Oil ($9 local health food store)
    Small handful of Dried Lavender Buds (already had them)

    I eyeballed the amounts on the oils, and added more when I thought the mixture was “too dry.”

    I gave most of it away as a gift, but saved some for me too. It smelled really wonderful!

    So, I spent $21, and got over six cups of bath salts. Even if I had to buy everything, it surely would have been under $30, which is very reasonable. Plus, there are leftover ingredients of *everything.* There’s enough to make several more batches, which means the total price is probably more like $10 to make all this. It’s nice to know that you can source some of these items at places other than Whole Paycheck. LOL!

  32. Love this tutorial, so much so I shared it on my Pinterest board …. hope that’s OK, thanks so much for posting it.

  33. Saw this on pinterest today. I have a whole foods down the street from my office and my boss have me a gift card for christmas. I know what to do with it now.

  34. I made these today for my girl friends for a Valentine’s party I am hosting for my friends & their kids. I think they are going to love them. It smells so good and it left my skin so soft. Thank you!

  35. I like how you called Whole Foods “Whole Paycheck” instead. That’s about right. Funny.

  36. I loved the tutorial; I can do this with my girls!! And I love the “Whole Paycheck” instead comment!! I love going there; but with 5 children to feed it’s hard to justify shopping there, very often.

  37. Made this today and taking it to the “girls” for a gift tonight. I do recommend a well ventilated area though when working with these oils. Whew did I get nauseated! Thanks for posting.

  38. I made this and absolutely loved it! The only problem I found is that after a week or so it turns rancid. I used all the ingredients listed, including a new bottle of grapeseed oil. I gave all the teachers at my son’s school this scrub on the last day…Not sure what happened.

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