DIY Tattoo-Brightening Exfoliator Scrub Recipes With Simple Ingredients

Updated on January 6, 2020
P FOR PEONY profile image

Peony is a tattooed tattoo enthusiast who loves studying and discussing tattoo history and meanings. Japanese themes are her favorite.

Keep bold colors bold by taking good care of your ink.
Keep bold colors bold by taking good care of your ink. | Source

Keep your tattoos looking fresh and vibrant with DIY tattoo scrubs. You don’t need to shell out excess cash for exfoliators made “exclusively for tattoos.” Here are some simple recipes using ingredients right in your kitchen pantry.

Exfoliation is one of the ways we can keep our tattoos looking fresh and new by sloughing off the dead, outer layers of our skin that accumulate and clog pores. Proper exfoliation will not only brighten a dull tattoo, but also improve your overall skin condition and help your skincare products (such as moisturizers) penetrate better and work more efficiently.

How to calculate?

Ingredients are listed in simple ratio formats. Example, Sugar : Olive oil = 2 : 1, so if you were to use 2 cups of sugar, you'll add 1 cup of olive oil correspondingly. 6 tablespoons of sugar will require 3 tablespoons of olive oil and so on.

DIY Tattoo Scrub Recipes

We've chosen to post these particular recipes because we've tried them, they are uncomplicated to make and do not require any fancy cosmetic ingredients.

Simple Sugar Scrub Recipe

Some people might use salt (we have a recipe below for that) to replace sugar and that’s perfectly fine too. However, sugar is a smooth particle (microscopically) as opposed to salt, which has sharp and jagged edges. Due to this, sugar scrubs can be used twice a week, while the more abrasive salt scrubs should only be used once in the same week.

Granulated Sugar : Olive/Coconut oil*
2 : 1
DIY Coffee Scrub to brighten tattoos!
DIY Coffee Scrub to brighten tattoos!

Tattoo Invigorating Coffee Scrub Recipe

Coffee lovers, we got you. This not only re-purposes the used coffee grounds you might otherwise throw out, but it also smells amazing and feels revitalizing.

The caffeine found in coffee grounds is a stimulant that also improves blood flow and may temporarily reduce the appearance of cellulite.

Coffee Grounds : Brown Sugar : Coconut Oil*
2 : 1 : 1

Detoxifying Himalayan Pink Salt Tattoo Scrub

Himalayan Pink Salt is said to an excellent anti-inflammation and detoxification ingredient due to the trace minerals contained. However, salt scrubs are generally more aggressive due to their abrasive structure and should only be used once a week at most.

Fine Himalayan Pink Salt : Coconut Oil
2 : 1
Note: Coconut oil may not be suitable for all skin types as it is a very rich and moisturizing oil. If you have dry skin, this will be a luxurious god-sent. However, if you are more to the acneic or oily skin spectrum, it could cause clogged pores an

Nourishing Oatmeal Honey Tattoo Scrub

Clinical studies have shown that oats are antioxidant and anti-inflammatory. Not only do they help comfort any irritation, tightness or itch but are skin protective.

* Oats are not recommended if you have Celiac Disease, unless you are using gluten-free oats—most “normal” oats have gluten.

Finely ground oats : Honey
2 : 1

Directions for Mixing Scrub Ingredients

  1. Clean and dry your air-tight container (we use mason jars because of how versatile it is for other purposes when not storing scrubs, and we get them cheap) or use a new ziplock bag.

  2. Mix all the ingredients as stipulated in the recipe chosen and store them in your container or bag of choice.

  3. That’s basically it!

Essential oil may be added to the sugar scrub for a therapeutic experience, only a drop or two is required (best diluted). Do note that essential oils can be irritating to sensitive skin, so unless you are absolutely sure that your skin is not reactive, it is best to just avoid them completely. These scrubs work wonderfully as simple as they are.

How Long Do These Scrubs Keep For?

In a cool, dry environment, away from direct sunlight, these keep for around 1 month (or more). But make sure that they are away from humidity or moisture and to avoid having water go in the scrub. Using a spoon or scoop is ideal, it will minimize any chance of water dripping in from wet hands.

TIP: To extend the shelf life of your scrubs, you can prick a vitamin E oil capsule and empty that into your scrub, mixing thoroughly. Vitamin E oil is a natural preservative that is found in many skincare products due to its anti-oxidizing properties.

How to Properly Exfoliate Tattooed Skin

  1. Make sure that your tattoo is completely healed. (It will take one month or longer, depending on how well you heal.) Do not scrub on fresh tattoos, that’s akin to rubbing salt on an open wound.

  2. In the shower and on damp skin, grab an amount that is appropriate for your tattoo size and gently rub in circular motions. Do not use force and do not scrub frantically. Easy does it.

  3. You might feel that the sugar is getting smaller, you might not even feel it anymore. That’s perfectly fine as the sugar will dissolve with body heat.

  4. Rinse off well to get rid of any remaining sugar and residue.

  5. Dab dry your skin, moisturize and you’re done!

Be careful when you exfoliate in the shower, oils in the scrub will make your floor or tub slippery.

Tattoo Exfoliating Scrubs to Avoid

Most over-the-counter exfoliants or scrubs will work on healed tattooed skin. However, those with spherical micro-beads are notorious for being environmental pollutants when it leaves our drainage system. They are washed out into large bodies of water by the billions every single day.

If you think that once it leaves you it’s not your problem, then think again. These micro-beads absorb toxins (e.g. pesticide) like sponge to water, they then get ingested by marine life causing a chain reaction that could possibly end up coming back to you, on your dinner plate.

Due to that, they’ve even been banned in several countries because authorities are finding it to be such a huge destruction to the ecosystem and the world's water resource in general.

So the best tattoo scrub would be one that you can easily make yourself — you know exactly what you put in it.

Avoid products with microbeads at all costs. A single shower can flush as many as 100,000 plastic microbeads into nature.
Avoid products with microbeads at all costs. A single shower can flush as many as 100,000 plastic microbeads into nature.

A single microbead can be up to a million times more toxic than the water around it!¹

Is It Damaging to Exfoliate Sensitive or Acne-prone Skin?

It’s a misguided skincare myth that sensitive or acne-prone skin should never be exfoliated. Exfoliation is beneficial in so many ways, but should always be done in a method that best suit your particular skin type.

It only becomes a problem when you exfoliate abrasively or too frequently. We wouldn’t even suggest that for normal skin types, however tolerant they may be.

Sensitive and acne-prone skin should opt for exfoliation methods that are gentle, and at minimal frequency in order to protect reactive and fragile skin. One of them is the oatmeal scrub listed below, it's not only an effective scrub but it's also moisture retaining. When skin is healthy and hydrated, it functions like a well-oiled machine.

If you'd like to read more about how to keep your tattoos looking bright and new, read my other article: How to Keep Your Tattoos Looking Fresh and Prevent Fading.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

Questions & Answers

    © 2019 Peony


      0 of 8192 characters used
      Post Comment

      No comments yet.


      This website uses cookies

      As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

      For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

      Show Details
      HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
      LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
      Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
      AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
      Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
      CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
      Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
      Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
      Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
      Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
      Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
      Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
      Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
      Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
      ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
      ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)