What do I want in a body scrub bar? I want something that contains physical exfoliants that will exfoliate my skin and leave it feeling moisturized.
The first thing we want to think about is the butter you're using. Normally I use butters like cocoa butter, mango butter, or kokum butter to harden the bar, but I can substitut a little stearic acid in the mix to help as well. Stearic acid is not only less expensive than any butter you can find, but it's also a nice emollient. I think I'll use it at 10% in this recipe to make a really hard bar.
The down side of using so much stearic acid is that it can be a bit draggy on your skin, so consider using a greasier butter like shea butter or coconut oil as the secondary butter in this bar.
Do not use coconut oil as the primary butter in this bar as it will be very soft and fall apart in slightly warmer temperatures!
For oils in this recipe, I definitely encourage you to use a liquid oil that will offer some greasiness. We want to get some glide and slip to this product! I generally use soy bean oil here as it has a nice long shelf life and offers all kinds of emolliency and phytosterols. You can use anything you want as an oil, but I do encourage you to use something inexpensive as it's not on our skin very long and we aren't getting all the benefits from the oil when it's being rinsed off.
Incroquat BTMS-50 or Polawax in the recipe to make sure it emulsifies well. You can use any emulsifier you like here.
Before you ask, yes, you can use any emulsifier you want. If it's an emulsifier, you can use it here. I suggest these ones as they tend to be less expensive and more readily available than some of the newer ones like Montanov 68 or Olivem 1000. You can use those, too, as you can use any emulsifier you wish in this recipe.
What combination do I like? I generally go for cocoa butter with shea and soy bean oil for a greasier feeling product with Polawax or Ritamulse SCG. I really liked the black cocoa butter version I made as well. (No, I don't know where you can get it. The shop from which I bought it, Creations from Eden, doesn't carry it any more. If you're in Canada, check them out for other butters, like the golden shea butter, which is less greasy feeling and much stiffer than the refined stuff I normally buy!)
SOLID SCRUB BAR FOR THE BODY WITH STEARIC ACID
48% cocoa, mango, or kokum butter
25% shea butter, coconut oil, or babassu oil
5% Incroquat BTMS-25, Incroquat BTMS-50, Rita BTMS-225, Polawax
5% stearic acid
5% cetyl alcohol
COOL DOWN PHASE
0.1% Vitamin E (anti-oxidant, optional)
1% fragrance or essential oil
Add physical exfoliating ingredients at up to 100% into the product. (See more below)
Melt everything except the the cool down phase in a heat proof container in a double boiler until all the ingredients are well melted. Remove from the heat and add the preservative, 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.
To forestall the question I always get asked about scrubs with exfoliants, I add them extra to the recipe. My base - the recipe above - should total 100%. Then I add exfoliants on top of that. That's because I like to use the base for a few different products, including foot scrub bars, and I use different levels of exfoliants for other products.
Another question I'll get is about the preservative. I have chosen Phenonip because it can handle heat. I can't really use liquid Germall Plus here because it needs to be added at 50˚C or lower, and our bars will be getting quite solid by then. You can use any preservative that can handle heat in this recipe.
If you want to make a less greasy feeling product, use less greasy feeling ingredients like mango butter, babassu oil, any of the BTMS emulsifiers or Ritamulse SCG. If you want to make a greasier feeling product, go for cocoa butter, shea or coconut oil, and a greasier oil, like soy bean oil. It's up to you. I suggest you make a small batch to see if you like the combination you've chosen before making hundreds of these as gifts. (Because you will want to give them to everyone you know! I know I do!)
Back to Basics: Emulsified scrub bars
Black cocoa butter emulsified bars
Incroquat BTMS-50 in solid scrub bars
Formulating anhydrous scrub bars for different skin types
Road trip essentials: Solid scrub bars
Other posts in this series:
One ingredient, five products: Stearic acid
One ingredient, five products: Stearic acid - a hand lotion
One ingredient, five products: Stearic acid - foot cream
Join me Monday for foot scrub bars with stearic acid, and join me Saturday for another Weekend Wonderings!