DIY Body Polish: 5-Minute Coconut Oil Sugar Scrub

May 18, 2021 (updated May 10, 2023) — Written by

This exfoliating homemade body polish (or sugar scrub) takes 5 minutes to make and blends 4 simple ingredients: turbinado sugar, Manuka honey, coconut oil, and cacao powder. Application is easy — after you shower, stay in the shower and apply the sugar scrub to warm skin. Scrub in circular motions and then rinse; the body polish will leave your skin feeling glowy, hydrated and super smooth! Not intended for use on the face.

The ingredients for LILFOX's DIY body polish are laying on a white table.

By: Lisa Fennessy


What makes this DIY beauty exfoliating body polish so special? It’s formulated by the one and only Alexis Rose, founder and formulator of LILFOX. Alexis Rose is a perfumer, aromatherapist, aromatherapy educator and trained in organic cosmetic formulation and natural preservation via Formula Botanica. 

Alexis is an artist when it comes to formulating with natural ingredients. Cold-pressed maracuja oil, prickly pear seed oil and unrefined maru maru butter are common themes in the LILFOX line. 

And if you haven’t heard of LILFOX, Alexis has been creating some of our favorites for years. We are especially smitten with Dewy Dream Bean (a natural retinol alternative), The Haute C (a potent, plumping and skin-evening vitamin C treatment) and Jungle Glow (a hydrating honey-based mask + face polish). We are also obsessed with her Chill Wands.  

RELATED: Try this DIY antioxidant face mask or this DIY moisturizing face mask.

DIY beauty: exfoliating body polish ingredients

A woman with all the ingredients for DIY body polish scrub.

If you are not using an exfoliating body scrub or body polish on the regular, you may want to reconsider. There are so many benefits to using body polish, including breaking down and removing dead skin cells, hydrating the skin and even increasing blood circulation. This specific DIY beauty exfoliating body polish is packed with so much goodness—check it out. 

Manuka honey 

Manuka is basically nature’s Neosporin. It’s different from any other honey and it can legit treat almost every skin problem known to man. Manuka contains what’s called Methylglyoxal (MG)—an antibacterial action not deactivated by the human body’s natural defenses. The higher the MG rating, the more active the honey. More here.

Manuka is our recommendation but it’s also mad expensive so feel free to sub this for a local or grocery store honey. Honey in general is perfect for a body polish because: 

  • It’s a humectant which promotes rehydration (1) by drawing moisture into the skin. 
  • It gently nourishes the skin without stripping skin of it’s natural oils. 
  • Acts as a light exfoliator. 
  • Has anti-inflammatory properties (1) and can help to decrease inflammation caused by blemishes. 
  • Delivers vitamins (B2, B4, B5, B6, B11 and C), minerals (calcium, iron, zinc, potassium, magnesium, selenium), antioxidants (flavonoids), enzymes, amino acids and more (1). 
  • It’s antiseptic and cleanses the skin (1). 
  • Improves softness and texture (1). 

RELATED: Try this DIY moisturizing face mask from Dr. Sarah Villafranco, founder of Osmia Organics.

Turbinado sugar

Turbinado is a larger sized granule of sugar and it brings it when it comes to exfoliation, polishing, smoothness…all of it. You can typically find this at your local grocery store—I ordered mine from Whole Foods. 

Sugar is excellent as a body polish because if it’s unrefined, it has the added benefit of delivering a small amount of minerals like calcium, iron, magnesium and potassium (2). 

Sugar also tends to be gentler than salt. And, as you use sugar (as the main ingredient in a scrub), the sugar crystals gradually morph from a scrub to a polish which helps to treat the skin gently via removing dead skin cells and even increasing circulation (3). 

Coconut Oil

Adding in an oil helps give this polish a little give on the skin. Alexis says you can use any oil but recommends coconut oil as her top pick— and we are right there with her. We all know the saying, “I have 99 problems and coconut oil solved 97 of them” (lol). In this formula, coconut oil acts as an effective moisturizer, helps to reduce transepidermal water loss and improves skin barrier function. It can also work to reduce inflammation (4).

RELATED: Try this DIY facial oil from Laurel Skin’s founder.


That’s right, we just said chocolate. Believe it or not, cocoa is a skin-nourishing beast when ingested but also when it’s applied topically. 

Cocoa bean is an extremely rich source of many essential minerals, including magnesium, copper, potassium and iron (5). The predominant mineral, magnesium, is a cofactor in more than 300 enzyme systems that regulate diverse biochemical reactions in the body (6).

Cocoa is also a rich source of polyphenolic compounds with a high amount of flavonoids and antioxidants (5) (read: antiaging). 

AND! Some studies show (5) that routine topical (and oral) use of cocoa polyphenols may provide effective protection against UV radiation and subsequent photoaging (read: wrinkle prevention) as well as improved skin elasticity and skin tonus. 

So, up to you if you want to add another scoop or not for good measure. 

RELATED: DIY Antioxidant Mask

Essential Oil

Alexis says you can add the essential oils of choice but she recommends citrus like sweet orange or pink grapefruit which is “not only delicious with the sugar, honey and cacao trio, but also highly antibacterial.”

We chose orange essential oil as Nadim A Shaath, PhD adds, orange oil is “antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, antidepressant and can be used to treat antiaging and wrinkles.”  

RELATED: Check out my favorite body tools and a DIY deo recipe from the One Love Organics founder.

DIY body polish recipe

Watch as I mix up this homemade body polish recipe.

A recipe for a homemade body scrub.

A DIY Body Polish Scrub.

Tips for making a DIY beauty exfoliating scrub

  • This body polishing scrub is designed to use on the body only. Not your face. 
  • After you shower, stay in the shower and apply to warm skin. Scrub in circular motions and then rinse.
  • Use 1-3x a week depending on your skin needs.  
  • Store in a dark, airtight container in the refrigerator.

Give this homemade body scrub a try and let us know how it goes!

Or, if you’re like, “I do NOT DIY,” may we suggest pretty much anything from LILFOX, like her Body Scrub? Or Dewy Bean Dream Overnight Mask? Or Bitter Orange Neroli Toning Mist?

RELATED: Learn more about Lymphatic Drainage Massage for Glowing Skin

So… will you try this body polish sugar scrub?

xo, lisa in cursive

TNK Team Note: This article contains affiliate links. TNK uses affiliate links as a source for revenue to fund operations of the business and to be less dependent on branded content. TNK stands behind all product recommendations. Still have questions about these links or our process? Feel free to email us.


Do you exfoliate before or after shaving?

You should exfoliate before shaving. Check out our recipe for a DIY exfoliating body scrub and learn more here.

How often should you use a sugar scrub?

Use 1-3x a week depending on your skin needs. We recommend this sugar scrub recipe here.


1. Ediriweera, E. R. H. S. S.; Premarathna, N. Y. S.; Medicinal and cosmetic uses of Bee’s Honey – A review; An International Quarterly Journal of Research in Ayurveda, April 2012.

2. SR Legacy, April 2018; FoodData Central, Nutrients;

3. Mackinnon, Nicolle; Well Insiders, Well Summit; Should You Choose a Sugar Scrub Over a Salt Scrub in Your Skincare Routine?; September 24th, 2018;

4. Lin,Tzu-Kai; Zhong, Lily; Santiago, Juan Luis; Anti-Inflammatory and Skin Barrier Repair Effects of Topical Application of Some Plant Oils; International Journal of Molecular Sciences, December 27th, 2017;

5. Scapagnini, Giovanni; Davinelli, Sergio; Di Renzo, Laura; De Lorenzo, Antonino; Olarte, Hector Hugo; Micali, Giuseppe; Cicero, Arrigo F.; Gonzalez, Salvador; MDPI Nutrients, August 11th, 2014; Cocoa Bioactive Compounds: Significance and Potential for the Maintenance of Skin Health;

6. US Department of Health And Human Services; National Institute of Health, Office of Dietary Supplements; Magnesium Fact Sheet;

By Lisa Fennessy

Lisa is the founder of The New Knew. Passionate about clean beauty, organic eats and nontoxic lifestyle, Lisa writes to create awareness. Conscious consumerism and informed decisions will impact the marketplace, our health and THE WORLD!


  1. Reply

    Kathy Zapp

    4 stars
    Physicians especially skin doctors warn against using essential oils in beauty routines as they aggravate the skin. This sounds delicious enough without adding another scent.

    1. Reply


      Yes! You can totally remove the EOs and it would still work beautifully! Thanks for reading! xo, Lisa

  2. Reply


    5 stars
    What is the life span on this?

    1. Reply

      Hello TNK

      We checked with Alexis and she said, “I would recommend to use within a couple of weeks!”

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