spa service - sugar scrub

If you don’t currently offer spa services, consider doing so by adding a simple, luxurious hand, foot or body scrub. Whether you choose a commercial scrub product or create your own, you can learn to harness the potential of this endlessly customizable product and offer an amazing new spa treatment to your massage clients.


Glowing Skin

Scrubs require very few ingredients. They begin with sugar, which acts as a powerful exfoliant, helping remove dead skin cells and bringing out a healthy, natural glow to the skin.

“Scrubs can be as simple as sugar, a few drops of body oil such as olive, almond, coconut or jojoba oil and a few drops of an essential oil,” said Shawna Kunselman, a massage therapist and blogger at Shawna Kunselman Nutritional Healing and Holistic Living.

She added that sugar scrubs are great for promoting circulation and encouraging cleansing of the body. Sugar scrubs should be applied to less-sensitive areas of the body—avoiding more-sensitive areas such as the face.

“The massage action of applying the scrub increases blood flow and circulation while boosting lymphatic flow,” Kunselman said.

By using sugar scrubs, your client may benefit from the skin-boosting properties of scrubs alongside the benefits of any essential oils blended with the scrub. A variety of high-quality essential oils for blending are available for purchase, or you can buy pre-made sugar scrubs that contain these oils. Essential oils add their own properties to the sugar scrub, allowing you to offer customized scrubs to your clients.


four white towels

Using Sugar Scrubs

Kunselman suggests using sugar scrubs during typical massage sessions. You can even apply sugar scrubs in a dry room as long as you effectively remove the scrub from your client’s skin after the session is finished. You will need extra dry towels and sheets.

“A sugar scrub is best applied warmed onto damp skin,” Kunselman said.

Sugar may leave a sticky residue on the skin if it is not rinsed properly, so some form of rinse or removal is necessary. When you are ready to remove the scrub, use moist, hot towels, unless you have a shower available for clients to use.

After removing the scrub, apply a moisturizer to the skin to finish hydrating and prevent over-drying.


Retailing and Marketing

Sugar scrubs are great for retailing. Even if you only offer massage and don’t have scrub services on your menu, you can retail sugar scrubs and allow your clients to purchase them from you for home use.

If your clients sample sugar scrubs as part of their massage, they may just buy some directly from you, without much further selling required on your part. Marketing scrubs is often as simple as sharing information about their benefits.

“Private massage therapists can certainly market sugar scrubs just as easily as any day spa!” Kunselman said. “Sugar scrubs are typically marketed as an add-on to a massage, emphasizing the amazing benefits to the skin and circulation.”

Finding products your clients enjoy may help boost your retail sales and encourage recurring business. From there, the beneficial properties of your products may very well speak for themselves.

If one of your clients finds a favorite product or service, use the opportunity to tell them that you appreciate referrals. This simple form of advertising and product marketing can be an effective way to reach new clients.


coffee and sugar scrub


For many clients, sugar scrubs are safe and gentle. There are, however, contraindications that massage therapists should be aware of.

Kunselman says scrubs should not be used on damaged or sensitive skin; for example, skin that has a rash or is sunburned. You should also ask your clients about any allergies they may have and avoid using scrubs that contain relevant ingredients.

Keep in mind that clients with certain health conditions may be particularly sensitive to sugar scrubs or their ingredients. Pregnancy increases skin sensitivity in some women, as well.

“Some women experience heightened skin sensitivity during pregnancy, so that should be taken into consideration,” Kunselman warns. “Essential oils or other chemicals added to sugar scrubs may pose risks to the pregnancy and should be avoided.”


Try Sugar Scrubs on Your Menu

If you want to boost the benefits of massage, sugar scrubs are a smart, easy-to-use and easy-to-sell product.


About the Author

Kaitlin Morrison is a freelance health and wellness writer living in Moses Lake, Washington. A former chiropractic assistant and health care publicity person, she now follows her passion of informing and educating her readers about health care, business and marketing. She has written several articles for MASSAGE Magazine and, including “Massage Cream vs. Gel: Make the Right Choice.”