Here's attempt #3...
40% berry sugar (finer grain than white sugar)
30% baking soda (Arm & Hammer brand)
9% shea butter
2% cream of tartar
2% fragrance oil (Cream cheese frosting - what else?)
Why the changes?
- I chose the berry sugar because it's finer than white sugar. I found the other versions too scrubby but I need a high sugar content to keep the bar together.
- I switched to Arm & Hammer baking soda because it is finer than generic baking soda.
- I chose shea and mango because they are both lovely moisturizing butters. I had planned to use cocoa butter, but at the last minute I switched to these two butters as they will melt at body temperature, and the meltiness in the shower is vital!
- I'm using SCI in place of the melt & pour soap. I thought the melt & pour might be drying, and I'm really obsessed with moisturizing right now. It's got a creamy after feeling, and I figured having the SCI hold it all together might not be a bad thing.
- I reduced the cream of tartar because it's expensive and I wanted to see if I could reduce it and still have it remain hard.
Pre-shower: I think the bar has held up well. I managed to cut it with a moderately sharp knife and it didn't crumble away. It looks nice - I can see some sugar crystals on the top of the bar and it does look like a sugar cube.
In the shower: I like the level of scrubbiness in this. I can feel a nice layer of oil on my arm. The tiny bit of bar has completely melted away. I needed to use a larger bit for the shower - I managed to scrub one arm completely and my forearm.
Post-shower: I can feel moistness on my arm. It feels very nice.
Half an hour post-shower and on-wards: I can feel some moisturization, but not enough. I don't think I'm being unrealistic - I get all day moisturization with my sugar scrub or an apres glow bar - so I have to figure out how to do this without making the bar soft!
I admit I'm pretty happy with this version. I still want more butters and oils, but I worry that will make the bar softer. I think the reduction in the cream of tartar wasn't a bad thing - it seems to be holding up well. I have to include some vanilla stabilizer with the fragrance oil or try another one - it is going brown quite quickly. I think the SCI worked out well - I think it is helping deposit oils on my skin better than the melt & pour did, so that's a keeper. (Petra has been using SLSa, but the concept is the same!)
So what shall I try next? I admit I'm not completely sure right now. I think I'm reaching the goals we set out - must remain hard out of the shower but melt in the shower - and it does offer a decent level of moisturization. It does look like a sugar cube with the bits of sugar on the top looking all sparkly and pretty, so I think I've accomplished that goal. I think I need to buy one of these from the shop and see what it feels like.
Honestly, the key problem I'm facing now is the moisturization level. Right now I think it needs one of three things - an emulsifier to deposit the oils on my skin, a humectant to keep the moisturization going throughout the day, or a conditioning agent to make my skin feel soft - but none of these things are in the original product, so including them would be unfair!
My plan? I'll buy one from the store - I think I'm going to be near a Lush today - then try it. It's hard to know if I'm accomplishing my goals if I have no idea of the skin feel!
Watch for Petra's latest attempts coming soon!