Saturday, November 7, 2009

Evolution of a product...attempt #2

Okay, so let's try another attempt at making a sugar cube recipe. (The first attempt didn't go all that well!) Here's what I tried this time...

40 grams white sugar
30 grams baking soda
10 grams mango butter - I thought the shea was too soft
10 grams cream of tartar
10 grams melt & pour soap (white)
2 grams fragrance oil (Cream Cheese Frosting! Yum!)

What was I thinking?
  • I've decreased the sugar and replaced the plantation sugar for white sugar.
  • I've upped the baking soda as I thought it would add some hardness to it.
  • I need to reduce the squishiness, so I've reduced the butter from 20% to 10% and reduced the melt & pour soap from 20% to 10%.
  • I've kept the cream of tartar the same as I thought it would offer some hardness.
It looks nice (remembering that I've never seen the actual product before, just pictures) but is a little soft. I can press on it and it will cause a small dent. It is a little damper than I would like - perhaps the melt & pour soap is sweating in it? - and I'm thinking I need a harder butter, like cocoa butter in there. I realize the original recipe has virgin coconut oil in it, which is quite soft, but I don't have any of that. Perhaps I'll pick some up when I next stock up on MMU ingredients?

In the shower: It held up well. I didn't cut it into a sugar cube simply because I forgot to do it, so I used it as a 3.5 oz (100 gram) bar. It was way too scrubby, but my skin does feel moisturized.

Half an hour post-shower: My skin feels slightly moisturized, but is starting to get a bit dry and tight in some places. I need some kind of humectant in there and some more oils (olive oil would work - or olive butter!) or perhaps a conditioning agent?

An hour post-shower: My elbows feel really dry, as if I'd used a dollar store body wash or a hand sanitizer in the shower! If I used it regularly, I would have to use an after bath oil or moisturizer when I left the tub, which kinda defeats the purpose!

Final assessment: Too scrubby, not moisturizing enough.

As an interesting aside, I have noticed a real difference between generic baking soda and Arm & Hammer baking soda. The no name is far more coarse and feels rougher when I use it in scrub bars!

I think I have an inherent problem with this product - it seems like a bath bomb with a bit of moisturizer in it, using sugar instead of citric acid. It needs to be hard before using, but melt away when you're using it in the shower. I think the surfactants are a real key to this product - it keeps the product solid when dry, but melts away when wet. Although I'm still leaning towards the surfactants being melt & pour, I think I'll try SCI in the next batch. It has a nice creamy after feel to it, and will give the bar some hardness. (Petra tried SLSa in hers. Good idea!)

Although I really think this product needs more humectants and conditioning ingredients, I'm going to give it one more shot staying close to the original product's ingredient list. I'm going with berry sugar at 40% to reduce the extreme scrubbiness (finer grained sugar), and I'll keep the baking soda the same at 30% but substitute it for Arm & Hammer baking soda or sodium bicarbonate from Voyageur with a finer grain. I'm going to use cocoa butter at 10% because I think it will make for a harder bar with some moisturizing and I'll try 8% SCI instead of melt & pour soap. I'm keeping the cream of tartar at 10% because I still think this is essential to the hardness of the bar on the shelf and the softness in the shower. I think the 2% fragrance oil is still a good idea for this product - I can still get the odd whiff of Cream Cheese Frosting but it's not too strong.

If attempt #3 doesn't work, then I'm pulling out the BTMS or honeyquat or something to make my skin feel happier post-shower!


Caroline said...

Susan, the original is quite hard, and you don't use the whole bar in the shower. You're supposed to break a piece of the bar and use that. If you use the sugare babe in whole in the shower it melts, crumbles and is no longer any use ;-) Just a tip. As you seem to be making a bar to use as a total in the shower.
Hopefully my english is good enough for you to understand what I mean.

Good luck ;-)

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Thanks, Caroline! I totally understand you! I wasn't trying to make a whole bar to use, I just forgot to cut it before getting in the shower!

I am obviously making this bar too hard as it stayed very firm in the shower and didn't crumble. I tried cutting off a piece and using it on my hands - I still don't like the moisturization and scrubbiness level - and it didn't crumble away very quickly. (In fact, I had to squish it to make it crumble quickly.) I still don't understand the appeal of using a tiny bit - it was a pain in the bum to use it on my hands, let alone my entire body - but if I'm trying to duplicate it, then I'm trying to duplicate.

So I need to adapt this to be less hard, so it will crumble away, and more moisturizing, so I don't hate it. Okay, here's my plan for attempt #3...

40% berry or white sugar
30% baking soda
10% cocoa butter
8% mango or shea butter
8% SCI
2% cream of tartar
2% fragrance oil (Cream Cheese Frosting)

Thanks for the advice!

Caroline said...

I'm trying to duplicate it as well hehe cause I love the Sugare Babe version. Only the fresh ones, the old ones are murder weapons! So rock hard you cannot use them other then to hammer them to pulp in order to use them :-)
You will get there I'm sure!