Sunday, May 24, 2009

Road trip essentials: Solid scrub bars - part 2

Love your feet! It's sandal season and you know your feet are going to take a beating. So let's modify our solid scrub bar to give our feets a treat (yeah, poor English, but it rhymes!)

So how is this going to be different than Friday's scrub bar? For your feet you'll want something heavier, more oiler, and more stay-on-y. So we're going to modify a few ingredients. I like a heavier oil for my feet - avocado, castor, olive oil - so I'm adding those at equal parts. I like to use stearic acid for my feet because it creates a whitish kind of soap like look, which is somehow appealing, and I'm going to use peppermint essential oil because it feels nice and cool. I'm also going to use pumice instead of salt or sugar - the salt can sting cracked feet.

As for the butters, avocado butter is lovely for feet, but it does feel a little dry, so please don't substitute all the butters for it. I like to use mango and avocado or mango and aloe (aloe is a fine thing indeed for your feet!) Shea butter is fanastic as well. Oh, too many butters, too little time!

For more oil information, click here...for more information on butters, click here.

50% cocoa butter
20% mango, shea or other butter
3% stearic acid
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 - heavier oils are good here - avocado, castor, olive oil
2% cyclomethicone
2% dimethicone
1% fragrance oil (I recommend peppermint)
1% Vitamin E (if you are using oils with less than 6 months' shelf life)
0.5% to 1% preservative of choice

Add up to 100% pumice (or 80% pumice, 20% baking soda)

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.


Anonymous said...

Hi! Just found your blog and LOVE IT! You're so fab for sharing your knowledge and experiences.

My question regarding this scrub bar, if used in the shower, would it be better to use glcyerin rather than the sodium lactate? I read your post on humectants and you recommend not to use sodium lactate for products that wash off. Thanks, Naomi

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Great catch there! Having said that, I do have the sodium lactate in there as a bar hardener as opposed to a humectant. If you want to add a humectant, you can add glycerin or propylene glycol or any other water based humectant you like in small amounts. The BTMS will emulsify it if you keep it below 3% or so. Or you could substitute olive oil for one of the oils - it's a lovely humectant.

I actually didn't think of adding a humectant here because I tend to use the foot scrub bar in the morning and I don't want to attract too much moisture to my feet! If I want more moisturization, I'll use a foot lotion afterwards (usually in the evening) and put on some socks!

Thanks for giving me the chance to clarify that!

SylettSoap said...

I have an embarrassing question here. How do you go about using this? do you rub the bar on your feet? do you rub it over your feet and then rub the residue on your skin? Thanks Swiftcraftymonkey!

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi SylettSoap! The way I use them is to wet my feet, then rub the bar all over them, then rub in the residue (pumice, oils, butter) until I feel they are well exfoliated, rinse, and dry! And it's not an embarrassing question! You don't learn if you don't ask!

Anonymous said...

Hi Susan,

I made the foot scrub bar almost as written except. Only difference was that I subbed frac. coconut oil for the silicones. I used 100 grams of pumice powder and followed your directions exactly. I let it sit for 24 hours and used it this morning. It's nice and hard, not sticky, but I'm having terrible problems with getting it off my skin. When I rub it over my wet skin it becomes like white liquid glue on my skin that will not rinse off. I have to use soap to get it off me. I didn't think it would be like this, so maybe I've done something wrong. I looks and smells fabulous with the cocoa butter/peppermint and all. I used an oval silicone mold and all was well until I used it! Lol! Really, it will not rinse off. It stays in a white glue-like state on the skin and can only be removed with soap. Please help!!

Thanks! D~

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi D. I have no idea what has happened with your bars, because that's not normal! The substitution of FCO for the silicones was a great choice - that's what I would do if I didn't have or want to use silicones - so that's not the problem.

I think the problem is the use of pumice powder instead of coarse pumice. Coarse pumice rinses off your feet as if it were sand from the beach: The pumice powder will create a paste with the oils!

I would suggest re-making the bars from scratch with coarse pumice. I can't see a way of saving this bar because you'll get the same problem every time. I need to make a note not to use pumice powder in this product!!!

Pam said...


Since I do not have pumice could I substitute a coarse salt?

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Pam. If you look at the scrub bar recipe before this, it uses all salt. I do like the pumice for my feet because it's good and scratchy and sometimes the salt can be stingy if you have cuts, but an all salt bar will work well (although it might be a little tickly for some people's tastes!).

Anonymous said...

Hi Susan,

Well, I'm using the botched foot scrub bar with the pumice powder. It's still glue like when you rub it on wet skin, but I just use soap to remove it from my feet and it still leaves a light, waxy layer of cocoa butter goodness. I just couldn't bear the thought of trashing all those wonderful ingredients. I will be making this again soon and will certainly be using the coarse pumice. Thank you for a wonderful blog and all of your help.


Honey Lady said...

Hi, Susan. Fabulous blog! I'm learning so very much. I am wondering as I read this several years after it's been posted if I could make this with the Deodorant Additive available from Brambleberry? I use it in a deodorant soap I make, and like it. But I know several people who could use 1.) foot scrubs, AND 2.) deodorants for stinky toes!

Honey Lady (Republic of TX, USA)

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Honey Lady! I'm answering your question in Sunday, July 20th's Weekend Wonderings. The short answer is yes, you can use it in an emulsified scrub!

Ann said...

Hi Susan,

Can I replace the pumice with sugar for a solid body scrub?


Becky Bravo said...

Susan, is there a reason this doesn't have a preservative? Or am I missing something? Thank you for all you do.

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Becky. It's because I forgot it! Eek! I've updated the post with that information now. I didn't put preservatives into my solid bars for quite some time, and I haven't found all the posts that need to be updated.

desirae curry said...

So thankful I found your blog, so much insightful info. So to keep this short as possible and hoping forbyour input, I followed your recipe to a T. After pouring into a molds and allowing to dry, they wouldn't come out, so into the freezer they go for half hour, long enough so that I can get them out of the mold. So half hr later, they pop right out, put them into my packaging, go to my computer to male labels, go back to my dining room to label, grab a foot bar and there soft as butter(grumble grumble) so figured it needed air, so took them out of the packaging, let them sit, 3 days later still soft as butter, each mold held 5oz so I made 15 oz total, because after 3 days and still butter soft, I had to go back, melt everything down, and add ALOT more beeswax, I added 3 oz more, did the process all over again, and let sit and dry, again another 3 days, still soft but not as soft, since these are a foot bar that is to be rubbed on your feet, I assume they need to be hard, so went through the whole process a 3rd time, adding 3 more oz of beeswax, and finally after the 3rd try I have pumice foot bars that are actually hard.

Any ideas what happened? I've used your recipe to the exact T not once but I made them 2x, and had the same issue both times. Can you trouble shoot for me. Thank you so much

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Desirae! Can you please share with me the exact formula you used with the exact ingredients you used in percentages. As well, please share your inclusion of sugar and process. What was the temperature in your part of the world at the time you made these? (This isn't a full formula in the post. There are variables that are important, like wax, oils, and viscosity of silicones.) I'll look forward to seeing your formula soon! :-)

desirae curry said...

Hi Susan, well to start, sugar was not in the post with the formula so sugar wasn't used. The temp outdoors was in the 80's but indoors is kept at 71. 2 ingredients I don't have so I used another ingredient to sub. But as the breakdown here is my recipe that I changed slightly because 2 ingredients I don't own.
50% cocoa
3% static
4% d-10wax ( I don't have btms)
2% beeswax ( ended up using way way more)
12% oils i did 6% olive and 6%
1% vitamin e
0.5% preservative
2.5% glycerin instead of sodium
4% castor had to sub for the cylomethicone or dimethicone

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Desirae! Thanks for writing back. Unfortunately, I don't have alll the information I need as you don't note anything about the exfoliants or what other oil you used (it says "6%" and ends there), there's a 1% that doesn't have anything associated with it, I don't know what preservative you used, you didn't mention if you used an essential oil or fragrance, and you didn't share your process. (I'm afraid you didn't follow my formula to a "T" based on what you've posted, so it's hard to predict how hard the bar will be with these changes you've made.)

1. Castor oil and beeswax have a syngergistic relationship. The beeswax becomes plasticized, so it doesn't become too hard. This is why they're used together in lipsticks. This can make the bar much softer than one without castor oil. Given you used a lot more beeswax than I did, that could actually make the bar softer thanks to this platicization.

2. Sodium lactate is a bar hardener, which is why I used it in the formula. You've used glycerin, which draws water from the atmosphere to the skin or the bar. This will make the bar much softer because (a) you removed the bar hardener and (b) you're drawing water to the bar. This would explain why they were hard coming out of the mold, but softer later as they took on more water. This one substitution can be the reason your bars are soft.

3. I don't know what emulsifier you're using as I've never heard of d-10, so this could make the bar softer than one made with Incroquat BTMS-50. BTMS-50 has a fatty alcohol that makes things stiffer. You could use Ritamulse SCG or emulsifying wax NF in its place, but not something like Montanov 68 or Simulsol 165, for example.

4. You didn't use the silicones, which are very light. You used castor oil instead, which is thick, which can make a difference.

5. You mention you added 3 ounces of beeswax to 15 ounces of product? (I trust you're measuring by weight, not volume? It's hard to know when using Imperial measurements.) If that's without the exfoliants, this means that you have more than 20% beeswax. That's far too much and won't make a nice bar. (See my notes on castor oil.)

My suggestion is to make the formula as it's written as you can see the changes you've made can have a huge impact on the final product. Having said that, if you aren't getting more ingredients to make this as per my suggestions, here are a few thoughts...

1. Lose the glycerin. It isn't necessary here. You need sodium lactate as a bar hardener. If you don't have that, add more stearic acid or add cetyl alcohol in its place.

2. You can't re-heat the product if it contains a preservative that can't handle heat, like liquid Germall Plus. As well, you'll lose the peppermint or other EO as they're olatile.

3. Maybe reduce the amount of exfoliants you're using? I don't know how much and what kind you used here, but it might be a good idea to reduce it and see what happens.

4. Replace the silicones with cocoa butter or a hard butter to stiffen it up.

I'm afraid I can't predict what the outcome will be as you're basically creating a completely different bar than I made.

As a question, you mentioned going to make labels. Are you trying to sell these? I have no limits on what people can do with my formula, but I would caution against selling something you haven't tested or observed for a while to see how they alter with time. I suggest testing something for at least a year before selling it, so you can see how it holds up.

Let me know what happens with the new formula we've put together here!