Sugar scrubs are one of the easiest skincare products to make at home. With just a few natural and simple ingredients, you can exfoliate and moisturize while promoting softer, smoother, radiant skin. It’s also great before shaving.
It only takes about 5 minutes to make, using just a few ingredients that you already have in your pantry.
If you are making a larger batch or are making sugar scrub as a gift, it may not be used right away. So you’ll want to know: does sugar scrub expire?
In this article, we’ll be looking at whether or not sugar scrubs expire, how long they last, and how you can keep your sugar scrubs from going bad before they should.
Does sugar scrub expire?
Sugar scrub can expire. If it looks and smells normal, it’s probably okay to use. If the scrub has changed color, consistency, or smell, it’s time to toss the scrub.
How long do sugar scrubs last?
If it’s a store-bought sugar scrub , there may or may not be a ‘use before date’ on the container. They generally tend to last about 2 years. Of course, this depends on the scrub.
A sugar scrub made at home will not last as long. Manufactured sugar scrubs will often contain a lot of additional ingredients that act as preservatives.
To make a sugar scrub, all you really need is sugar and some type of oil, and often essential oils are added for fragrance.
Sugar does not technically expire, but the packaging it comes in usually has a ‘best before date’. If sugar is stored properly in an airtight container, it can last for years.
The carrier oil you use has a shorter shelf life than sugar. How long it lasts will depend on the kind of oil you are using. Here are the recommended time frames in which to use different oils:
- Olive Oil : 18–24 months
- Coconut Oil : 24 months
- Apricot Kernel Oil : 12 months
- Avocado Oil : 4-6 months
- Grapeseed Oil : 6 months kept in the pantry, 12 months if kept in the fridge
- Sweet Almond Oil : up to 12 months
- Sunflower Seed Oil : 12 months
- Jojoba Oil : indefinitely. Jojoba oil is not actually an oil but a liquid wax. It’s made of predominantly monosaturated fatty acids, so it is very stable and less likely to go off.
The expiration of carrier oils may also depend on the quality of the oil. Read your labels and use your oils by the ‘best before’ dates.
Essential oils, on the other hand, don’t spoil like food and other carrier oils do. They last much longer, but they do change over time. How long the essential oils last will depend on the essential oil that you are using. Follow the best before dates on the labels.
How long your homemade sugar scrub lasts will depend on the ingredient you use with the shortest shelf life. That’s not to say if you make a sugar scrub using sugar and coconut oil, that it will last 24 months! It just means that a sugar scrub made with coconut oil will last longer than a sugar scrub using avocado oil.
Homemade scrubs will generally last from 2-6 months. If you add fresh ingredients to your homemade scrub, like herbs, your homemade scrub will not last as long.
It’s recommended not to add fresh ingredients to your scrub unless you are making a small batch to be used within a week.
What can cause body scrubs to spoil more quickly?
The two main culprits that cause body scrub to spoil more quickly are moisture and bacteria getting into your sugar scrub container.
Preventing Moisture from getting into your scrub
Getting moisture in your sugar scrub will cause the consistency of the scrub to change and become unusable.
To avoid moisture from getting into your scrub, store it in a glass container with an airtight lid. Essential oils can strip plastic, so make sure you are using a glass container.
It should go without saying: Keep your container away from water to reduce the chances of moisture getting inside. Don’t keep your sugar scrub jar sitting on the counter or edge of the tub. Avoid water splashing into it or accidentally knocking it into the sink or your bath.
Moisture can also get into your container as humidity. An open container plus a running hot shower is a sure-fire way to introduce humidity into your sugar scrub.
It’s best to keep your sugar scrub stored outside of the bathroom. When you want to use it, scoop some into a separate bowl. Bring that with you into the bathroom to keep the rest of your scrub moisture-free.
Preventing Bacteria from spoiling your scrub
If your sugar scrub is exposed to moisture, humidity, or heat, bacteria can grow.
Keeping moisture out of your sugar scrub is important. Using a spoon to scoop your body scrub out of the container will cut down on the risk of bacteria passing from your hands into the scrub. Storing your scrub in a cool, dark place will minimize the chance of bacteria getting into your scrub.
Can sugar scrubs get moldy?
Yes, they can. Bacteria leads to mold. If you notice any signs of mold growth, throw your sugar scrub away.
Does sugar scrub expire? Yes it does.
The best way to keep your sugar scrub lasting as long as you can is to store your sugar scrub in an airtight glass container in a cool, dry, dark place, outside of your bathroom.
If you notice any change in the color, consistency, or smell of your sugar scrub — even if it should not have expired — moisture or bacteria may have found its way in. Time to make or buy a new scrub!