Friday, May 22, 2009

Road trip essentials: Solid scrub bars!

Solid scrub bars are a fantastic way to get the exfoliating and moisturizing action of a sugar scrub in the portability of a bar (as Homer notes, the only way to get the awesome power of food is in a bar format, only ours won't contain Chinese newspapers). Solid scrub bars are really modifications of the lotion bar with exfoliants, and it's designed to be used in the shower or tub, rinsed off, but leave behind lovely moisturizing and conditioning qualities so you can by-pass the lotion. It is an anhydrous bar - all oil soluble ingredients with no water - and it is going to be all the ingredients of the oil phase of a lotion bar...we'll let the shower add the water.

So we know what a scrub bar is...what do we need to include in it?

Scrubbing action - that's obvious. You can use salt or sugar for your body, pumice for your feet. I've tried loofah. I wasn't impressed by it. You could use jojoba beads as well. I don't suggest clay beads as they will melt. Sugar is a great choice, but it can melt in the heat of the recipe, so consider salt. Although do not use salt after shaving - it will sting and you will curse my name as you feel the burn!

Moisturizing - We want something really moisturizing that will stay on our skin after we rinse. We're going to use oils for this one. I love olive oil - a beautiful oil full of phytosterols and other good things, and a humectant. Or include other oils you love. Sunflower is a lovely moisturizer and rice bran oil is full of Vitamin E. Let's blend!

Solidness - We need the bar to retain its shape and stay solid in the shower. Butters and waxes are a great way to get the moisturizing and emolliency and still have a solid shape. Waxes can drag, so we only want a bit and I'd leave it out of the body care version. I'm thinking 2% should do it. I'm going to go for my solidness through cocoa butter (about 50%), mango butter (about 20%), and cetyl alcohol or stearic acid (about 3%).

A note on butters - cocoa butter is hardness 10 on a scale from 1 to 10, so we need a lot of it. The other butters - mango, shea, aloe - tend to be less hard. If you want to add shea butter, then do it at 20% and keep the cocoa butter at 50%. For aloe butter, the same thing. If you like something else I haven't listed here, then try it at 20% first - it may be too hard, so you can reduce your cocoa butter and increase your soft butters.

Humectants - We love our humectants, and we want something that's going to be lovely after we leave the shower. We can't use anything water soluble here, so glycerin is right out, but something like sodium lactate is going to help harden the bar and offer humectant-y qualities, so let's use that.

Conditioning - We love our conditioning agents around here, so we're going to include something substantive.

Emulsifying - We want the water and the oils to mix, so we're going to need an emulsifier...BTMS will be both substantive and emulsifying, so let's use that one. (You can use Polawax or e-wax here, but like Alton Brown, I'm not a fan of unitaskers!). I'm thinking 4% because I have some silicones and oils in here.

Glide and slip - We don't want to be dragging this over our bodies, so I'm going to suggest 2% dimethicone, 2% cyclomethicone. Both offer slip and glide, and dimethicone acts as a film former. Never a bad thing.

Fragrance - 1% fragrance to pick you up in the morning or calm you down at night. (Something like Lemon Curd, Hello Sweet Thang, or Jewelled Citrus would be awesome. Can you tell I'm a citrus in the morning kind of girl?) Use essential oils at safe levels.

All right! We have a recipe. Let's formulate!

49% cocoa butter
20% mango, shea or other butter
3% cetyl alcohol
4% Incroquat BTMS
2% wax of choice - beeswax, soy wax, etc. For candellia wax, please use 1% as it is very hard.
3% sodium lactate
12% oils - sunflower, rice bran, olive oil at 4% each
2% cyclomethicone
2% dimethicone
1% fragrance oil
1% Vitamin E (if you are using oils with less than 6 months' shelf life)
1% Phenonip (preservative)

Add up to 100% sugar, salt, or beads. It really is your preference.

As an aside...the amazing Apres Glow Bar on the Dish uses baking soda. You can try this - add 80% exfoliant with 20% baking soda. It feels really nice.

Melt everything except the silicones, fragrance oil, and Vitamin E in a heat proof container in a double boiler until all the ingredients are well melted. Remove from the heat and add the silicones, fragrance oil, and Vitamin E. Add your exfoliant and mix well. Then pour into a mold and put in the fridge or freezer until set. Let sit for 24 hours before using.

If you are going to add colours to this, make sure they are oil soluble - water soluble colours are going to sit there in tiny droplets and look really weird.

Join me on Sunday for modifying this for your feet!


Christine said...

Hi Susan, Hope you're having a wonderful time with your new hubby on your adventures!
I'm going to play with the scrub recipe in the next week and wanted to know what are the best substitutes for the dimethicones and cyclomethicones! I'm thinking IPM & FCO. Since a few of your recipes include the cones and I'd still like a slip feel etc would the FCO & IPM be the best choices?or is there some other magic ingredient I havent thought of?
Have a great weekend and don't go changing!

SwiftCraftyMonkey said...

You can leave the silicones out and substitute one or two oils of your choice. Fractionated coconut oil is a great choice and I love it in a bar, so try that. IPM is a great ester and it will make the bar feel less greasy, so try it and see if you like it.

Scrub bars and lotion bars are awesome creations to play with - as long as you keep them hard and don't include a ton of water soluble ingredients, you can play around as much as you'd like.

Try some exotic oils in small amounts to see if they offer the slip and glide you want - something like aloe oil is lovely in a scrub bar (especially during the summer) or sea buckthorn (good for itchy dry skin) or evening primrose. Do not use comfrey oil as it isn't great for open wounds, and we might get a few microscopic scratches from the scrubby ingredients.

Lalla said...

I just made a version of your scrub and posted it on my blog, hope you do not mind! Here is the link: . Thank you very much for this wonderful recipe.

Lalla said...

I am sorry, I thought you were Canadian and spoke French. I used cocoa butter, shea butter and almond following your percentages; since I don't have any silicone I replaced both of them by Fractionated coconut oil. My oil mixture weighted 500g. I then added 200g of sugar, 100 g of baking soda and 50 g of sea salt. I seems a bit too scrubby for my taste, but overall I like it. It glides smoothly on the skin and melts easily. Thanks for the recipe.

SwiftCraftyMonkey said...

I am Canadian and took French until grade 12 - I even won prizes for it! - but I remember very little as I didn't get a chance to practice with anyone. I would actually like to go back now and re-learn it...I think the big problem is I didn't understand what parts of the English language were all about, so I couldn't figure out how to use them in French (the future conditional - what's that?) Like any Canadian, I can read packages and a few other things in French - I remember "Paul, Jean, quel bruit!" and pamplemousse - but otherwise I have just guess!

Naomi said...

If I wanted to add hydrovance, how much do you suggest and reduce what (to get 100%)? This is a great recipe!

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

You could substitute the hydrovance for the sodium lactate - it's there as a bar hardener because it's not a great humectant when you are rinsing it off - or you could reduce the butter by 2 to 3%. I always find it best to remove the thing with the highest amount - you can generally get away with a little less water in a hydrous products and little less water in anhydrous product. (As a general rule...there are exceptions, but I can't think of those now.)

Deborah Jones said...

hi Susan, i'm gonna try this recipe shortly but I wanted to ask why you don't have a preservative in this. is it because it is one time use only? just checking cause ive never made one and i wanted to be on the safe side. Thank you in advance.

Anonymous said...

What on earth is IMP...I am guessing that FCO is Fractionated Coconut Oil.

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Anonymous. IPM means isopropyl myristate. I normally don't use a lot of abbreviations, but IPM is more commonly used in the abbreviated form than the full form. If you look to your right, you'll see the ingredients list. Scroll down to the I section and you'll see IPM. You can leave it out. It's an ester that makes things feel less greasy.

Anonymous said...

Hello Susan, I would like to let you know that I truly appreciate everything you have put together here. The info is amazing and the things I have made have been stunning, for the most part. I made this scrub a few weeks back using the sugar and baking soda mix. As I was washing I found I was being covered in a heavy waxy film. It was so thick I found huge amounts under my nails. I had to use lots of soap to get it off. I attributed this to the beeswax. I am not a big fan of beeswax because of the heavy waxy film it leaves. I am going to reformulate this by leaving out the beeswax entirely and increase the mango butter or coconut butter.

Thanks for everything you do here


Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Christine. Did you use e-wax of some kind in it? The point of it is to rinse off cleanly. And watch out with coconut oil as it has a very low melting point you can easily reach in your bathroom.

Anonymous said...

Hi Susan,

Can you explain why a preservative isn't needed in this recipe? I thought anhydrous products without preservatives needed to be kept away from water so as not to introduce bacteria but obviously shower scrub bars are going to get wet!

Many thanks

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Gail. I should update this to include a preservative - Phenonip, specifically - as I do include a preservative now. This is a pretty old post, and I've learned a lot since then!

Anonymous said...

Hi! I'm loving your blog. What a wealth of information! I have a question please. I'm a real amateur and would like to make a sugar scrub bar using Cocoa butter and coconut oil, but I need to use bees wax so that the bar is usable many times but also because I live in a very hot climate and even cocoa butter goes gooey here in the summer. What ratios of these 3 ingredients with E.O's do I need to use please? Thank you Rozina:)

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

HI Rozina. I'm afraid I don't have time to create a recipe from scratch for you. May I suggest reading the newbie section of the blog to see if there are some recipes you could use there? I know there's a lotion bar recipe you could turn into a scrub bar there. (Although ask yourself if you want something that has that much wax in it!)

Ameashia Turner said...

hi susan! sorry to comment on such an old post-- but this recipe looks amazing and i can't wait to try it. i have everything but the silicones-- gonna sub fractionated coconut oil.. maybe a bit of meadowfoam since it leaves such a silky feel on the skin?

also i have done so much combing trying to find the original apres glow recipe to no avail. i am very interested in the combo of cornmeal, sodium bicarb and oatmeal. i am a total newb at this so would like a for sure recipe to follow before i start experimenting. if u have it would it be possible to share it so that i can try both cathymb's and yours? i saw on the dish that the original had 88% cocoa butter, and that sounds so decadent for my ultra dry skin!