By Jaimie Zinski

That daily shower is a relaxing way to start your morning, or wash off after a long day gardening, working or playing with the kids. Although it smells sweet, that standard body wash isn't removing any dead skin cells, which can clog your pores. Adding sugar to your body wash is an inexpensive way to gently exfoliate your skin every day.

high angle view of a bowl of white sugar
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Create an inexpensive exfoliating scrub with sugar.

Benefits of Exfoliating

Sugar is added to the body wash to exfoliate the skin, a process which removes the top layer of dead skin cells. According to dermatologist Dr. Jessica Wu, a contributor to WebMD, exfoliating your skin gives it a bright, healthy glow. In addition, exfoliation also improves the appearance of acne-prone skin by removing the dead skin cells that trap dirt, oil and bacteria in the skin's pores. According to Dr. Wu, it's critical to exfoliate during the winter months or times of low-humidity, as skin cells dry out and accumulate in pores more during these periods.

Choosing the Sugar

Granulated and brown sugar are the most readily-available, inexpensive options for creating a homemade sugar scrub. The granules are small enough to gently remove the dead skin cells without irritation. It's a matter of preference and what you have available. Organic sugar is another option, although it's more expensive.

Adding Sugar to Your Body Wash

Add the brown or granulated sugar to your existing body wash. Remove the cap and add a small amount, such as 1 to 2 teaspoons. The sugar will combine more readily with the body wash if there is a small amount removed from the bottle. Replace the body wash's cap and shake vigorously to incorporate the sugar fully. Remove the cap and test the body wash's consistency by rubbing a dime-sized amount into your skin. If it's effective, there is no need to add more sugar. If you prefer, continue to add sugar until the desired consistency is reached.

Using a Homemade Sugar Scrub

Squeeze a dime-sized amount of product into your palm and apply the scrub to damp skin. Work the sugar scrub over your skin using overlapping circles. An area prone to rough patches, such as your elbows, knees and heels, may require additional scrub to completely remove the dead skin cells. If your skin is sensitive or prone to acne breakouts, Dr. Wu cautions against working the exfoliating scrub into your skin too harshly. In the case of sensitive skin, rough exfoliation removes excessive amounts of natural skin oils, which can cause irritation, dryness and inflammation. If exfoliating sensitive skin, Dr. Wu recommends applying a hypoallergenic moisturizer after rinsing away the homemade scrub.