Get Soft, Smooth Legs with an Olive Oil and Lemon Sugar Scrub


Homemade Olive Oil & Lemon Sugar Scrub Recipe

Exfoliate your skin on a budget with this super simple body scrub recipe!

Three simple ingredients can come together to give you soft, silky legs. The scrub recipe on this page is a wonderful scrub for using before and after shaving. Enjoy it on any of the tougher parts of your body – arms, elbows, legs, feet, etc., but do avoid sensitive areas of skin such as your face and any areas of your body that may be affected by acne.


  • Granulated Sugar
  • Olive Oil
  • Fresh Lemon

Make this scrub immediately before use. Since you’re using fresh lemon, it’s best not to make large batches for saving.

I’m not one for using exact measurements, but I would suggest starting with about 1/2 cup of sugar. Put the sugar in a small plastic bowl or jar, and add enough olive oil to saturate the sugar without excess oil floating over the top of the sugar. You’ll need to stir up this mixture to determine if you’ve got enough oil in the sugar. Next, quarter an entire lemon and squeeze all that citrusy goodness into the mixture. Stir it up again. Now you’re ready to go!

The Exfoliation:

  • Soak legs in a warm bath or allow them to become saturated in a warm shower
  • Scrub legs and feet thoroughly with scrub (and any other tougher areas of skin like your elbows)
  • Rinse away scrub with warm water

At this point you have a couple of options:

  1. Take a tiny bit of body wash in your hands, lather it up, and quickly run it up and down your legs/feet and any areas of skin you’ve used the scrub on (don’t over wash). Quickly rinse away the  body wash. This step will rinse away the excess oil and leave you soft and silky but free from the greasy feel we often experience with oil based scrubs.
  2. If you are shaving on the day of your scrub, follow all of the exfoliation steps above, shave, exfoliate with the scrub again, rinse – then proceed with step 1 above.


A few things worth mentioning:

Being a licensed skin therapist, I see a lot of misinformation floating around the Internet. Though many homemade skin treatments feel good, they often don’t perform much more than superficially.

That said, when the skin on my legs is dry and flaky, I’m not all too worried about the deeper scientific meaning surrounding it – I just want to fix the cosmetic problem at that moment.

So with all this duly noted, no, olive oil isn’t going to penetrate deeply into your skin and create a magical lifelong change. What it will do is soften the surface of your skin and create a barrier that assists in maintaining moisture levels in your skin.

The reason for sugar over salt: Salt is often rougher and more drying to the skin. Granulated sugar is more hydrating and less abrasive than coarse salt. The lemon juice, although acidic, is not terribly concentrated in this mixture. It will aid in exfoliation and give a refreshing feel to the skin, and you may experience some minor improvement in certain skin conditions, but just as noted above, it isn’t going to be a magical cure to excessive dry skin.


They key here is frequency!
Performing this scrub once a week will keep your skin nicely exfoliated, and restore moisture to the drier superficial layers of skin (the ones we see, touch, and feel).

You will feel a noticeable difference in the texture, smoothness, and glow of your skin after just one application, but to maintain this wonderful softness, you can’t just do it once!

Shoot for weekly if you possibly can.


Oh, and a few words of caution!

  • Oil makes the bath tub slippery… So be careful, will ya!?
  • Oils and all the other random stuff we wash down our drains everyday definitely can create clogs. Keep your drains nice and clean with a monthly drain cleaner treatment – and always run some extremely hot water down your drain for a minute or so after using an oil scrub.





  1. HMR says

    I just made a batch of this! I used the left over stuff that was in the bowl I mixed it in on my hands and they feel amazing! Will be using this on my legs this weeked for my uncle’s wedding! (It’s in Murfreesboro, TN!)

    • says

      So glad to hear you tried it! I absolutely love this DIY body scrub! The first time I used it, I couldn’t get over how great my legs felt! Thank you for taking the time to post your feedback, and congratulations to your uncle on his upcoming wedding!

    • says

      Ella, this scrub should work nicely on most body skin. Be careful on very sensitive and fragile skin like your chest however. I would not use this scrub on the face. The skin of the face has special needs and often cannot take the more abrasive scrubs that are suitable for the body.

        • says

          Hi Milo,

          Due to the complex nature of how facial skin functions – and how every person’s facial skin is a bit different – I do not recommend the use of scrubs on the face. Scrubby particles can be damaging to delicate facial skin, and not all oils work well on the face. Even healthy oils can be too heavy for many peoples’ faces. For facial skin, I prefer enzyme based exfoliants, or cleansing sponges made from konjac root.

  2. Meggu says

    What is the best way to clean the shower after using this so it doesn’t get so slippery? I tried using the spray I usually use to clean the bathroom and it didn’t do much.

    • says

      I find that between body wash, shampoo, and super hot water – the oil residue is usually gone from my shower pretty easily. However, if you’re getting a residue, I would try dish liquid and water on hottest setting. I’d go for Dawn dish liquid if you happen to have it. Close the drain, add some dish liquid to the tub, and just enough hot water to cover the bottom (not deep – too much water you’ll have suds all over the place). Let it sit for 10 or 15 minutes, rinse clean. This should hopefully do the trick!

  3. katie says

    Omg just used the scrub for the first time and my skin feels nothing short of perfect. I was worried it would be too oily for my skin but its amazing. Thank you so much!!

    • says

      Although salt can be substituted, I would not recommend it. The reason is that salt tends to be more abrasive on the skin than sugar, and it is far more drying. Sugar actually has humectant properties, so it will not pull water from your skin but will instead help keep water in your skin. If you will think about how salt draws moisture out of things – including fruits and vegetables when you sprinkle them with salt – this also happens with the skin. The oil in the mixture would limit that to some extent, but I find that the skin stays far softer for longer when sugar is used in scrubs. Hope this helps!

  4. JEssY says

    Hi thank you for this great scrub recipe. LOVE IT!! Is it ok to use it twice a week instead of once? Plus I have terrible scars and dark marks on my lower legs especially. Would the lemon juice help lighten them? Thank you!!

    • says

      Hi Jessy,

      Thrilled to hear you like the scrub! It’s definitely a favorite of mine! Using the scrub twice a week may work okay for you. Just be sure to watch your skin for any feelings of dryness in between scrubs. Though exfoliation can be a great thing, when we over-exfoliate we can actually disrupt the barrier of the skin which can lead to irritation and dryness. So, just be sure to monitor that and don’t over do it. If you’re using it twice weekly, I also suggest really paying attention to not using excessive pressure when you scrub. Perform a light polish rather than an aggressive scrubbing of the skin. The lemon juice may make your skin appear brighter, but it is unlikely to provide intensive lightening of dark areas of pigmentation. You will probably need a lightener with better performance and penetration ability for that.

  5. terence.semmens says

    Hey there! Someone in my Facebook group
    shared this site with us so I came to give it a look.
    I’m definitely loving the information. I’m book-marking and will
    be tweeting this to my followers! Great blog and brilliant style and design.

  6. KellY says

    Love this scrub sooo much :)
    Skin felt soft and radiant.
    One question, can I save the left overs and use it another day?
    I don’t want to waste anything.
    Thank you :)

    • says

      Hi Kelly,

      The high amount of sugar should work as a preservative. However, because we are working with natural lemon juice (not the funky preserved kind), I wouldn’t leave this out more than a couple of days. When in doubt, pop it in the refrigerator and just set it out 30 mins to an hour before you plan to scrub!

  7. FM says

    Oh my god — I’ve just tried this on my legs and arms, and it is amazing! My arms have been a bit rough all my life, so I thought I’d give this a try. They’ve never been this soft! My legs feel great too.
    I have a question though: what do you recommend with respect to epilating my legs? Scrub before, after, or both?

    • says

      Hi! It really is a great scrub, isn’t it!? Thank you for the amazing feedback! As far as epilating goes, since hair removal is always less painful when the skin and hair are both softened and conditioned, I believe your best bet is to use the scrub prior to epilating. The only precaution here is that you want to make sure you do get as much of the oil residue off as possible. If you’re using a handheld epilator, having too much excess oil on the hairs could make the epilation a little challenging. So, just use plenty of warm water to rinse away excess and a tiny touch of bodywash if needed!

    • says

      Hi Kate, you can use the bottled lemon juice. I prefer fresh lemon juice because it is pure and without additives. However, using the bottled lemon juice should be just fine if that’s what you have on hand. :)

  8. Kaitlyn says

    I bought a peppermint scented scrub at the craft fair and i just wanted to know if i could use this before shaving or do i do it after?

    • says

      Hi Kaitlyn! You’ll want to use your scrub prior to shaving. This helps soften the skin and the hairs so the shave is much closer and less irritating! I love peppermint scrubs! Enjoy!

  9. Daisy says

    How do you apply the scrub? Just with your hands?
    I have ingrown hairs on my legs and was planning to try this to see if they appear less.

    • says

      As great as this scrub is, it may not be enough for hardened, thickened, extreme cases of dry skin. If your feet are hard and dry and cracking, you’re going to want to use a foot file to slough away excess dead skin. A scrub just can’t provide the level of friction that a foot file can. Dampen feet (just pat with water – don’t get totally wet), then use the file. This slight bit of dampness with the file should help the dead skin begin to roll off rather than having loads of dust flying into the air. File each foot for about 2-3 minutes per day until they are more in control. Rinse them cleanse and apply foot cream or lotion. Once you’ve got them under control, with most of the excessive dry skin out of the way, the scrub can help you maintain the skin.

    • says

      You’ll always want to rinse away a sugar or salt based scrub from the skin after done applying. The warm water not only helps rinse away the sugar or salt, but rids the skin of excess oil which can stain clothes or bed linens.

  10. nyakundi esther says

    i used dove soap then the brown sugar plus olive oil to exfoliate my facial dead skin and became amazing in the evening i stemmed my face with lemon water and the following day my face was worse than it was wats the problem?

    • says

      I’m sorry you’re having trouble. As noted in the blog article, these types of scrubs can be too exfoliating for sensitive areas of the body like facial, neck, and chest skin. This particular DIY recipe is designed for feet, legs, hands, etc.

  11. vicky says

    Hi Casey,
    I wanted to know my Dad is a Diabetic patient & wanted to use the scrub on his feet , I’m a bit confused don’t know what to do ? Half a cup of sugar that too using on the feet ? Will this scrub affect him in any way ??? I know I sound a bit paranoid but I had a doubt & wouldn’t want to put him at any sort of risk . pls advise .

    • says

      Hi Vicky!

      Diabetic skin can be so very challenging. It’s wonderful that you’ve taken the time to check on this for your Dad! Let me preface by saying that I am not a licensed medical professional and so any information I give is not intended to be medical advice. Whether or not a scrub is acceptable for a diabetic’s feet is really going to go back to how advanced the condition is and how badly the skin and tissues are affected. If your father’s feet are painfully dry, cracking, or tender in any way, a scrub may be too much for the brittle skin that can come with long-term diabetic complications. On the other hand, if his diabetes is well-controlled and the skin is dry but still in relatively good health, using this scrub in a gentle manner could feel really nice for him and provide some nice softening to the superficial layers of skin. I would suggest, if his skin is in relatively good shape and not tender, red, broken anywhere, etc. – that when the scrub is used it is used to gently polish the skin (light pressure used), rather than aggressively scrubbed.

  12. star says

    Im 13 but i have realy REALY rough legs i tried this on my hands and it worked realt good! I think i have Keratosis palaris on my legs and am willing to try more scrubs. Will trying more scrubs frequently effect my skin?

    • says

      Star, at the age of 13, your skin is still so very young, I hesitate to advise you to exfoliate too frequently. Excessive exfoliation at a very young age can prematurely age skin and cause irritation. I would stick to using a scrub once a week, and consider purchasing a body lotion that contains alpha hydroxy acids at a mild level to help loosen dead cells and smooth the skin through the week. I would advise using such a cream 1-3x per week depending on severity.

  13. Debbie says

    the sides of my lower legs have little red dots on them that are not painful, but might be pores or something and make my skin bumpy. I am desperate to get rid of it and have tried several different things. Will this scrub help for htat? any other suggestions? Thanks – i really am desperate!

    • says

      Debbie, you may have a skin condition called keratosis pilaris. Though this is only a cosmetic issue with the skin, and not a health concern, it can definitely be an annoying condition to try to correct. Exfoliation can help, and sugar scrubs can play a role. You may need to also look at a lotion containing an alpha hydroxy acid like lactic acid to help reduce the appearance.

    • says

      You’ll want to use the scrub before shaving. This will soften the skin and hair, making shaving more smooth and less irritating.

    • says

      Olive oil and other quality, skin-improving oils can all be used as a base for scrubs – think Olive oil, Almond oil, even Avocado oil – however, specialty oils can be pricey, so olive oil tends to be the most affordable option.

      Definitely, do NOT use typical high heat cooking oils like canola, vegetable, corn oil, etc. These are unhealthy internally as well as externally and do nothing beneficial for the skin.

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