The holidays are over and the last of the sweet temptations are finally gone, too. Christmas cookies and candy canes are a treat, but overindulging can do a number on your teeth not to mention your waistline.

Sugar certainly gets a bad rap most of the time … and that’s well-deserved. But did you know sugar can be good for you as an excellent ingredient in skincare?

Consider these three benefits applying sugar topically has to offer:

1) Softens Skin

Sugar is a natural humectant, drawing moisture from the environment into the skin. So when you apply products made with sugar, they’ll actually help hydrate your skin and keep moisture within.

2) Balances Oil of Skin

One of the major benefits of sugar for your skin is that it maintains the oil balance. Sugar contains two important components, glycolic acid and alpha-hydroxy acid. These components help to maintain oil balance in the skin. They will not allow your skin to become too dry or too oily. So all you are left with is a healthy and radiant glow.

3) Exfoliates Skin

The texture and small particles of sugar make an excellent topical exfoliant. When used to gently scrub the skin, sugar exfoliates dead surface skin cells and reveal the glowing, healthy-looking skin underneath.

Sugar vs. Salt

Sugar scrubs also have a few benefits over salt scrubs. First, small sugar granules are generally gentler than salt, which can cause microscopic tears in the skin. In addition, because of sugar’s natural humectant properties, these scrubs are more hydrating than salt scrubs, which can strip skin of natural oils.

Which Sugar?

When choosing a sugar to make homemade sugar scrub, consider how you will use it. Brown sugar is softer than granulated sugar, so it can generally be used on the face and on sensitive skin. Raw sugar (also known as turbinado sugar) is more naturally coarse, so is usually reserved for the body, hands and feet. You’ll want to do a small patch test if you aren’t sure how your skin will react.

Homemade Sugar Scrub

You can make a simple sugar scrub at home using 1) sugar, 2) a carrier oil like Young Living V-6 oil, and 3) a few drops of your favorite Young Living essential oil. You may also want to consider using one of Young Living’s massage oils blended with your sugar to create a therapeutic scrub.

Mix organic raw sugar with Young Living Ortho Ease Massage Oil. It soothes and warms tired and stressed bodies, helping to combat the damaging effects of everyday activities. With a calming blend of Young Living Therapeutic Grade essential oils, Ortho Ease will leave you feeling relaxed and refreshed.

Try Relaxation Massage Oil in your scrub to help create a state of relaxation and restore vitality to body, mind, and spirit.

Dragon Time Massage Oil in your scrub can be a soothing, stabilizing blend that helps calm and uplift women during challenging times of the month.

A scrub made with Cel-Lite Magic Massage Oil combines the health-enhancing benefits of specially selected vegetable oils with vitamin E and essential oils to nourish and tone skin. It includes grapefruit essential oil to benefit skin texture and juniper essential oil to help detoxify and cleanse skin.

You only need to use a topical sugar scrub about twice per week. Sugar scrubs are great to use in the winter, as exfoliating the top layer of skin helps moisturizers penetrate more deeply and hydrate longer.

Sugar gets a bad rap

Keep in mind: A high-sugar diet won’t do your skin many favors, but incorporating sugar and Young Living Therapeutic Grade essential oils into your topical beauty routine can deliver some pretty sweet results.