So what is foaming bath butter? The ingredients Aqua, Glycerin, Sorbitol, Sodium Cocoyl Isethionate, Disodium Lauryl Sulfosuccinate, Sodium Chloride, Phenoxyethanol, Tetrasodium EDTA.
So what we have is a paste that is made with surfactants - the sodium cocoyl isethionate and disodium lauryl sulfosuccinate - with some humectants - sorbitol and glycerin - with water, salt, preservative, and a chelating ingredient. It is less solid that the most refined shea butter I've ever used, and was easy to get out of the container with a spoon. You can add up to 5% oils by weight to the product.
As a note, it might be easy to remove from the container because it's really hot in my workshop right now - over 30˚C some days. (Darn you, summer! You are my nemesis!) I say this as I've seen some sites saying that you should "cut chunks" of the FBB before using, so it might not be as easy to remove from the container during the colder months. (Source: Stephenson, the creators of the base. Look at this video where they are cutting chunks of the product.)
The glycerin and sorbitol are humectants, but they are also plasticizers, which means they can make things more pliable. In this product, they are used to keep the products whipped instead of solid, because otherwise, you'd just have melt & pour soap that comes in blocks. As well, these ingredients mean the product is milder than a product without the humectants, which is what we call increasing mildness in our surfactant mixes.
Sodium cocoyl isethionate (SCI) is considered a very mild surfactant that leaves behind what is called an elegant skin feel, meaning your skin should feel conditioned rather than feeling dry or tight. Disodium lauryl sulfosuccinate (DLS) is also considered very mild, and is recommended for oily skin as it will remove sebum gently.
What can we use it for? Because it is a surfactant paste, you can use it anywhere you might use surfactants. But it's mainly used to make scrubs or whips - for instance, a shaving soap or a sugar scrub - or to make whipped toppings for bath bombs because it'll melt in the tub when you throw in that lovely bath cupcake! (I did make up my own version of the whipped topping, which you can find in this post!)
SCI and DLS are two very lovely surfactants that can be used in any cleansing product you might like to make from body scrubs to body wash pastes to facial cleansers and even shampoos! (I use this combination in my conditioning shampoo bars for oily hair!) My pH meter registered it as just slightly under 6, which is the perfect pH for hair! (This pH is confirmed by the company, Stephenson, which lists it as 5.5 to 7.)
This product can grow up to double in size if you whip it with a whisk. This should take 3 to 5 minutes or so. Make sure you have enough in the container! I originally used 30 grams because I don't have a lot of it, and it didn't whip at all. 100 grams was a good amount in a tall container. I keep seeing recipes calling for 1 pound or 2 pounds (454 grams to 980 grams), which will make a heck of a lot of product if it'll double in size. I'm going to suggest that you start with smaller amounts - I made 2 - 4 ounce (120 ml) containers with 90 grams foaming bath butter.
What do I plan to do with it? I thought it would make a lovely exfoliating sugar scrub I could use in the shower. You don't need to heat this ingredient - you can just pop it into a container and whip with a whisk attachment to get a lovely whipped scrub. You can add all kinds of exfoliants - I used 50% sugar - and you can add oils to make it more moisturizing.
How much oil can you add? The consensus seems to be 2 ounces of oil or butters per pound, which works out to about 12.5% by weight. It can accept up to 5% in fragrance or essential oil. It's suggested to add up to 60% sugar to the product. I used 50% and really liked that.
You can add water soluble colours to it, and make yourself a coloured product. The Soap Queen made a lovely scrub using clay, which would make it thicker
Where can I find some recipes for this ingredient? I'll be sharing my foaming bath butter bamboo & sugar scrub with you tomorrow. In the meantime, here are a few that looked really nice!
Soap Queen - Cinnamon sugar scrub (part one)
Soap Queen - Cinnamon sugar scrub (part two)
Examples of how to make a soap frosting!
Join me tomorrow as I make a white chocolate foaming bath butter sugar scrub!