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Gardeners Hand Scrub

Pantry Ingredients – Natural Hand Scrub


Gardeners Hand Scrub

I wear gloves in the garden, almost always…certainly when I am planning on working for a period of time, gloves are the first thing I grab.  Despite this, my hands seem to always be stained.  The thumbs and index fingers are split and cracked and always look dirty. It has been beginning to bug me!

On a one income family budget I am always  on the hunt for new ways to make the budget go further.  I admit to having a hankering for good quality.  For us this means that we grow as much of our own fresh food in the garden as possible, ensuring that we are eating fresh organic produce often. We eat high quality meat, straight from a farm, but less of it and less often than in the past. We shop at farmers markets and farm gates. I buy organic Australian grains in bulk via a co-op – you get the picture.  I have spent the last two years working out where to find the best quality at an affordable cost.  

So that brings me to skin care…..I have been wondering what I could do to return my hands to their previous state. As with food, I could be described as obsessive. I will only use natural skin care.   What you may not know about me is that I was a qualified Aromatherapist practitioner many many many years ago . As an Aromatherapist I created my own range of skin care that I sold to my clients and anyone else who was interested in using it. I have not practiced Aromatherapy for many years but I have continued to use essential oils on a daily basis and continue to be mindful of ingredients in products that I put onto my skin, and that of my family.  That leads us here – why was I not getting out my old recipes and making my own skin care again????? Why indeed.

This recipe has worked beautifully to soften and heal my poor old battered gardeners hands. I use it each afternoon and if I have been in the garden I often use it again in the evening. When I first made it I used it daily to get my hands back into shape. Now I use it as required.

A natural hand scrub made from pantry ingredients. Give it a try. It also makes a fabulous body scrub.

Gardeners Hand Scrub
Prep time
Total time
This recipe has worked beautifully to soften and heal my poor old battered gardeners hands. I use it each afternoon and if I have been in the garden I often use it again in the evening. When I first made it I used it daily to get my hands back into shape.
Recipe type: Skin Care
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • ½ cup white sugar
  • ½ lemon juiced (a small lemon)
  • sprig of fresh rosemary chopped
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  1. Combine in a bowl and stir to combine
  2. Add to a steralised jar and store in a cool location away from direct heat
  3. To use the scrub wet hands a little and scoop out some of the scrub and rub your hands together. Focus on the areas of your hands that are rough
  4. Moisturise hands after scrubbing
Depending on the weather the ingredients in this recipe may separate when not in use. Simply mix around with your finger prior to scooping out to use.
Coconut oil will solidify in cold weather. If this occurs it will melt upon rubbing together of your hands
Gardeners Handscrub

This is a quick summary of the properties of the ingredients that I have used, thus the reason they were included:

Ingredient Name Ingredient Properties 
Coconut Oil Inhibits moisture loss, soothing, natural cleanser
Honey Hydrating, antiseptic, soothing and healing, bonding agent and natural preservative
Lemon Juice Cleansing, removal of stains, antiseptic
Rosemary Healing, removal of spots and marks, aids circulation
Sugar Exfoliating, stabilizes the fragrance

I adore the fresh clean smell of this scrub. It also works beautifully on the feet and as a body scrub as the sugar is not too harsh ( a good thing as skin starts to age…)

Avoid scrubbing any areas of the skin where you have a sore or wound. 

Do you have gardeners hands? Have you tried making your own skin care preparations?


  • The depths of my brain!
  • Complete Aromatherapy Handbook, S Fishcer-Rizzi, 1990, New York, Sterling Publishing Company
  • Kitty Little’s Book of Herbal Beauty, K Little, 1980, Middlesex, Penguin
  • Natural Beauty, L Horrocks, 1992, Pymble, Harper Collins
  • The Fragrant Pharmacy, VA Worwood, 1990, Toronto, Bantam Books





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{ 15 comments… add one }
  • Krista March 11, 2014, 12:08 pm

    I do have gardener’s hands – and feet since I work barefoot much of the time – so this scrub sounds absolutely wonderful! So luscious and nourishing. 🙂 I do make my own products and can’t wait to try this one. 🙂

    • Kyrstie Barcak March 13, 2014, 8:44 pm

      Thanks Krista. I have always envied people who could walk around bare footed. Mr Fresh and the kids do it – it is hard to get them into shoes but I am a softie!

  • e / dig in hobart March 13, 2014, 9:57 am

    yum! i used to get very bad gardener’s hands but i use these great gloves now, which offer some protection. but still – this would be a great treat for feet other parts of the bod – i swear i must be an elephant; my knees and elbows and tootsies get so gnarly.
    i’ve heard great things about coconut oil. i love sweet almond oil, but must try the coconut.

    • Kyrstie Barcak March 13, 2014, 8:43 pm

      Ohh I would love to know what gloves you have found to use as I put holes in the finger tips of mine in a weekend! I drives me crazy!

  • Krystal March 14, 2014, 11:57 pm

    This scrub sounds just what I am looking for – land hands!!

  • Debbie May 2, 2014, 2:58 am

    I just made this for a niece’s bridal shower for favors to take home. It is amazing. The only thing I would consider is how large your lemons are. I used pretty good size lemons and it was to much liquid so added more sugar, rosemary. I also chopped the rosemary up pretty good. What I love is that men can use it to without it being to feminine smelling.

    • Kyrstie Barcak May 2, 2014, 4:35 pm

      Hi Debbie, thank you for taking the time to return to tell me this. I am so thrilled that my hand scrub was part of such a special day. Thank you! Thanks also for the feedback on the lemons – you are right, mine were small home grown ones so I will amend the recipe for others. Thanks again and best wishes to your niece and her future husband. Kyrstie x

  • Lina Martin October 19, 2014, 3:21 am

    Hi, love your post. How long can the scrubs be kept and under what conditions?

    • Kyrstie Barcak October 19, 2014, 3:09 pm

      Hi Lina, this recipe is quite stable so should last a 2-3 months in a cool location. Mine has been fine kept in the bathroom. I leave it on the bench so that I remind myself to use it after the garden as often as possible. Keep it in the fridge if you are concerned but that will mean it hardens and will be a little more difficult to apply.

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