Thursday, January 3, 2013

Facial scrubs: Emulsified scrubs - template recipe and tweak!

If you've been around the blog longer than five minutes, you'll surely know one of the products I could not live without is the emulsified sugar scrub. I love the fact that it exfoliates and moisturizes my skin with the added bonus of washing off more cleanly than an oil based scrub. It isn't much harder to make than the oil based scrub, but there are a few more steps and you'll definitely need to heat this!

Here's my basic recipe for an emulsified scrub...

10% emulsifying wax (e-wax, Polawax, BTMS-50, BTMS-25 BTMS-225)
10% cetyl, cetearyl, or behenyl alcohol or stearic acid (5% cetyl and 5% stearic is very nice)
10% cocoa butter (or other really hard butter)
10% shea or mango butter (or quite soft butter - shea aloe would be great here)
56% oil
1% Phenonip
1% Vitamin E (optional)
2% fragrance or essential oil (optional)

Weigh all ingredients except the fragrance or essential oil in a heat proof container and put into a double boiler. Heat and hold for 20 minutes at 70C. Remove from the double boiler and put into your fridge or freezer until it reaches 45C. Add the fragrance oil, then return it to the fridge or freezer to cool further.

When the mixture starts to harden slightly on the sides of the container and gets a thick film on the top, remove it from the fridge or freezer and start whipping it with a hand mixer with whisk attachments or your Kitchenaid with whisk attachments. Whisk until it looks like vanilla pudding - this might take a little while - then add the sugar and whisk until well incorporated. Pour into jars and let sit until hardened.

If I were to make this for my body, I'd add 140% or 140 grams of sugar for 100 grams of sugar scrub base. If you're making it for your face, you'll definitely want something less scrubby! This is definitely a case of trial and error, which you might remember from the oil based scrub recipes! (Click here...) Choose from any of the physical exfoliants we covered in part one or part two of that topic.

Let's go over a few tweaks we could make for an emulsified scrub for your face...then I encourage you to check out this post on modifying sugar scrubs for your skin type!

10% BTMS-225
10% cetyl alcohol
10% cocoa butter
10% mango butter
38% oils of choice (see below)
6% oil soluble green tea extract
4% oil soluble aloe extract
1% Phenonip

1% Vitamin E
10% dimethicone

Note: I increased the oil amount by 2% because I'm leaving out the fragrance/essential oil for a facial product. And if you don't have the ingredients in a specific example, substitute what you have on hand for what I've used by referring to the general recipe above! 

This recipe will produce a drier feeling sugar scrub. I chose BTMS-225 because it is a powdery feeling emulsifier but not as powdery as BTMS-50, which I find too powdery. (That word has lost all meaning now...) If you want something less powdery and greasier, consider using Polawax, e-wax, or another emulsifying wax!

I like cetyl alcohol because it thickens without making the product feel more waxy, which is what I find with cetearyl alcohol. I like cocoa butter for the occlusive nature and mango butter because it's a drier feeling butter that offers some great moisturizing! I added oil soluble green tea extract to get the awesome power of green tea - anti-oxidants rock! - and oil soluble aloe vera so I could get some of the anti-inflammatory nature of that ingredient.

As for oils...if you want this to be a drier feeling product, then consider using oils like hazelnut or macadamia nut. Yes, you can use grapeseed oil here, but it will have a shelf life of three month as opposed to up to a year with hazelnut and macadamia nut. If you find it's too dry, consider using light oils like sweet almond oil or apricot kernel oil or even fractionated coconut oil which will add a little more greasiness to the product without being overwhelming.

I've added dimethicone to this product to behave as an occlusive. (If you don't like it, don't use it. Just add 10% more oils of your choice to the heated phase.)

As for what scrubbies to choose...After you've whipped it, I suggest removing about 50 grams of the product and adding 10 grams of your chosen scrubbies to it. Take it to the sink and try a bit. If you like it, leave it and do the math (when you have 100 grams of product, you want to add 20 grams of exfoliant), and add what you need to the entire batch. If you don't like it, add 10 grams more, then 10 grams more again until you reach the desired level of scrubbiness!

Join me tomorrow as we take a look at a few more tweaks for this emulsified scrub for our faces!


Stephany&Stacia said...

Hi Susan, I was wondering how I could incorporate SCI and cocomidropyl (spelling?)betaine into the emulsified scrub for body to make it a little sudsy so it washes and exfoliates together?

PS thank you so much for your blog, it is my bible... lol

Stephany&Stacia said...

In casse this helps, this was my guess:
Heated Surfactants Phase:
20% sci
10% cocomidopropyl betaine

Heated Oil Phase:
10% E-wax
10% Cetyl Alcohol
25% cocoa butter
23% Oils
1% Vitamin E

1% Phenonip after it has cooled.
After it hardens slightly whip it until it is like pudding and then add the sugar.

Do you think this would work? Can I use sugar or will it disintegrate with surfactants? If so, if I put in something else like pomegranate seeds would it be ok?

Thank you sooooo much!!!

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Stephany. I really encourage you to read the posts on surfactant based facial scrubs that come after this series. I've address your question in today's Weekend Wonderings, but the answer is no, you can't use surfactants in this product.

Stephany&Stacia said...

Hi Susan, thanks for getting back to me, all of your help is so wonderful! I couldn't get the link to the Weekend Wonderings to work but it's good to know I can't use surfactants in it, thanks!

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Stephany! That's because I forgot to post it! Great question - keep them coming!!!

Ellen said...

First I'd like to thank you for writing such a lovely blog! I'm so glad I found it, lots of helpful tips and ideas! Then to my question, why are you using emulsifiers in a recipe without a water phase? What does the emulsifiers do in this case?

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

HI Ellen! The answer's in the post! I use emulsifiers because it will rinse off more cleanly than one without an emulsifier, plus it turns into a lotion when water hits it.

Deirdre Garza said...

Just made this recipe as a body scrub. Really love it. Thanks Susan!

InfinitelyInspired said...

Greetings Susan,

New to your blog, but I love how informative it is and I really have a great time reading it. Thank you for creating such an awesome site. I noticed someone asked about using SCI which I bought after reading your post on it. I am interested in creating something for my really dry skin as well as something I can bring with me since I travel. What I have at home if the following: Sugar, SCI, Coconut Flour, Coconut Oil, Apricot Oil and both Optiphen and Aspen Bark Extract (which I read about on another blog, but have never used). I want a somewhat drier/stiff scrub that foams really well.

Using what I have at home and based on what you said to Casses here's what I came up with:

30% SCI

15% Coconut Flour
30% Sugar

23% Coconut OIl/Apricot Oil

1% Fragrance
1% Aspen Bark Extract/Perservative

What do you think? Still new to whipping things up so percentages are somewhat challenging. Thanks.

- T T

jennb216 said...

I have made the first recipe with the soybean oil for my wife, but then read soybean oil is not good for acne prone skin. She didn't seem to have any problems with this, but what kind of oil should I use for acne prone skin in this recipe?

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi jennb216! If it works, why change it? Soybean oil is a great moisturizer! Check out the emollient section for charts and listings for oils if you think you might change it for something else. But consider keeping the soybean oil if she liked it. It might not work for some people with acne probe skin, but if it works for her, leave it in!

Sophia Jhajj said...

I have a question, if you are already using E-Wax, why do you need to add the cetyl/cetearyl alcohol as well because isn't it already in E-wax? I have used this recipe many times and love it but was wondering what it does adding more than what is already in the ewax.

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Sophia! I've answered your question in today's Weekend Wonderings. The short answer is that cetyl alcohol brings a lot of wonderful properties to a scrub!

Paula said...

Hi, I would like to make an emulsified sugar scrub and use phenonip as the preservative like I see you do as well. Question is I have read that phenonip can become in active with e wax because of the polysorbate? Is this true? If so what preservative do you recommend in place of it?

Anonymous said...

I used your info as a base to create my own version and it is much loved!
Thank you for all of the information you have shared.
I plan to become a supporter of your cause shortly!
Happy Holidays!

Anonymous said...

Most emulsified scrubs that I've made the consistency has been really thick and kind of hard. Does anyone know how I can make the consistency softer? Sort of like a playdoh consistency?

Vanessa said...

In soooo confused. I thought Phenonip would not work in a scrub. That you needed a water soluble preservative.

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

HI Vanessa. Check out this post for mor einformation...

Melissa said...

Hi Susan. I'm wondering why the e-wax in the sugar scrub is 10%. Isn't it normally around 2-4%? I made this recipe (minus cetyl alcohol) and it turned out great so thanks very much.

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Melissa. I've answered your question in today's Weekend Wonderings. The short answer is that this was the amount that felt nice when I was experimenting with the recipe.

Ameenahsvirginhair Balogun said...

Hi, thanks for this recipe as I would love to try it out tho but I don't understand the measurements as they are in % can you please refer me to a conversion table or something for better understanding as am new in trying out DIYS so kinda lost when you measured in 10%. How many tablespoon or teaspoon is 2% please. Thanks

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Amernasvirginhair! Please visit the FAQ to learn about converting percentages to grams and why we don't use volume measurements!

Camirra said...

Do you think I could add bentonite clay to this recipe? And use it as a scrub/face mask?

Nisha said...

hi, i made emulsifying scrub but rather than putting the jar in the fridge to harden and whip i mixed the sugar when the oil cooled down. n now my oils are floating on top at room temp. how can i fix it now?

Nisha said...

can i put for sugar? or should i add bee wax? or ewax?

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi NIsha. There's something wrong with your recipe if you have oils floating on the top. Can you please write up your complete recipe and process - the one you actually did, not the recipe you found on my blog - and post it here so I can help further.( My prediction is that you are using some very low temperature oils - coconut oil or babassu - and it's warm where you live right now. Or you didn't use an emulsifier?)

And I'm not really sure about your other question. As I mention in the post, there is sugar in e-wax in this recipe already.

Amy said...

Thank you so much for this post. I made the body scrub with fractionated coconut oil and avocado oil and followed your recipe and method. I love this stuff and the way my skin feels even a day or two after using. When I opened my container this morning (it's about a week old) it had deflated, and felt like I could mush the air out of it if I pressed. I opened a new container and it had also shrunk a bit, pulling away from the sides. I do love this and will make more, but is this normal? Might I have messed something up?

Annie Peters said...

Hi Susan! Love your blog and am looking forward to making my first body scrub this weekend.

I'm curious: If the body scrub recipe contains no water, why do you recommend a 20 minute heat and hold phase? I thought heat and hold was mostly to kill any bacteria that would be in a water based recipe?

Thanks for all you do!

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Annie! I address this in the FAQ, but the quick answer is to ensrue everything is melted well because some things like stearic acid have a melting point of 69˚C, and even thought it may appear to be melted, it's not melted and will cause shards and crystals in your product. I encourage you to read the whole post at the FAQ.

Jinx Dixon said...

Hello Susan, and you for all the awesome info, I have been reading your blog for years and have learned so much. I was wondering if in place of the sugar in this recipe, could I use a clay? I am looking to make an easy to rinse-off Clay cleanser, and have been playing with a few different recipes but anything I add water to I am very nervous about using with clay as it is hard to preserve.
I currently sell my clay masks as a dry "do it yourself" kit, but this scrub is one of my favourites and I just wanted to know if there was a reason against adding the clay. Thank you again!

Sugar and Oats LLC said...

none of these will make me break out ? like butter wise ? also is it dumb to use rosehip oil or sea buckhorn oil in a wash off product?

Sugar and Oats LLC said...

is it going to make me break out with these butters ? also is sea buckthorn or rose hip oil dumb to use in a wash off product

Bunni Lennon said...

Since we became friends (you're going to love me when you get to know me, I already love you!) I have been reading about this emulsified sugar scrub and how great it is so I finally had to try it. I don't usually like scratchy in soap but since this was made to be scratchy and didn't sneak up on me it was different. I followed the instructions (using sunflower oil as the main). It came out perfect and I have 16 8 ounce jars just waiting to exfoliate my friends and family and then I realized there is one thing I don't know. How do you use this stuff? I am not a girly girl, don't have TV or see many ads and I need a correct instruction for use. Since it turns to lotion (lovely!!) it should be the end of the shower, I would surmise. Do you use soap before it or forego the soap and just use the scrub? Please help. My jars await your answer. ;) Thanks so much,


Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Sugar and Oats. I have no idea if they will or not because each person's skin is different and only you can experiment to see what works for you. I can tell you that every oil makes me break out, but my mom could use straight shea butter on her face with no problems. You'll have to try each oil one at a time to see what works for you.

No, it's not stupid to use any of those oils in a rinse off product because the point of an emulsified scrub is to leave behind a lotion on your skin.

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Bunni! I think we will be awesome friends! :-)

I use this by doing all the things I need to do in a shower like wash my hair or use body wash, then I apply this on my skin, scrubbing it around to exfoliate. I rinse it off, then leave the shower feeling all kinds of moisturized! My best friend doesn't bother with soap or body wash, she goes straight for the scrub, while I like to use my body wash for a good wash, then the scrub. I think it depends on how dirty your skin gets in a day. I'm very oily and I wear shorts all year round in a climate that isn't really suited for it, so I get mud and such on my legs all the time and need a good wash before moisturizing.

What fragrance did you make this in? Just curious!

Katie Hamre said...

Hello, Susan. If I were going to leave out the extracts you used, would I just add more of my liquid oils in place of them? Thank you!

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Katie! Yes, just add more oils to the mix. Which ones were you thinking of adding?

Jacque Scott said...

Do you have to use butters in your emulsified scrubs? I've searched a bunch of recipes and I only see recipes with butters.


Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Jacque! As I say, in my recipes you can exchange any oil for any oil, any butter for any butter, any oil for any butter, and any butter for any oil and it'll still work. You might see a change in viscosity and so on, but the recipe will still work. I encourage you to try this without oils and report back on your experiences.

Kat said...

Hi Susan! I recetly concocted an emulsified scrub recipe that I'm pretty pleased with. With the recipe ingredients totaling 100%, it looks similar to this:

Stearic Acid-3%

My question it ok to formulate an emulsified scrub recipe to total 100% with the addition of the exfoliant included in it? In other words, instead of having the recipe to total 100% without the addition of the exfoliant, is it ok to formulate the recipe with the addition of the exfoliant included it to total 100%? I've made many versions of scrubs as experiments, but felt that the above recipe seemed to yield the best results adn wanted to run it by you. Thanks so much for all of your input and providing us all with your expert advice! : )

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Kat! Sure!

Kat said...

Awesome! Thanks so much!!!

Simply_Me said...

Hello :-) I was wondering if I can use Glycerol monostearate as the emulsifier? I bought this without understanding the HLB system and now I don't know what to do with the supply I have. I am also not sure if it's the same as Glyceryl Stearate or Glyceryl Stearate SE.

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Simply Me. I have addressed the issue of glyceryl stearate versus glyceryl stearate SE on the blog in the past, which you can find here. I also have a section on the HLB system if you want.

My suggestion is to get another all in one emulsifier rather than trying to figure out how to use this one at the moment. There are loads of good ones - e-wax, Polawax, Incroquat BTMS-50, and so on - which are super easy to use and will make you happier than working with this one.

BubblyB said...

Hi there,

For the facial version of this scrub, can I sub in emulsifying wax and stearic acid for the first 2 ingredients or would it be a weird consistency if I do?

I made the body version and it's quite nice and would like a face scrub as well but trying to not buy ingredients should I be able to use what's on hand =)

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

HI Bubbly B! The first two ingredients are emulsifying wax and cetyl alcohol. I wouldn't use stearic acid on my face as it's super draggy, but you can try it and see what you think. Emulsifying wax is very nice, so use that and see what you think. Cetyl alcohol is inexpensive, lasts for years, and feels so much nicer than stearic, so if I can persuade you to get that, I would!

tara malhotra said...

Hi just came across your blog and I love it! This is my first message here :) I have the same issue as Nisha (oils floating on top)
Pasting the recipe I found online for you to tell me what's wrong with it please ! IV made this 3 times and eventually the oils floats on top in the jar ! I do live in India and the temperature is warm.

Thank you so much for your help !!!

136 grams - Olive Oil
113 grams - Sweet Almond Oil
68 grams - Cocoa Butter
68 grams - Shea Butter
45grams - Emulsifying Wax
9 grams - Beeswax
9 grams - Fragrance Oil
5 grams - Optiphen preservative
5 grams Vitamin E Oil
For a Light Scrub - add 16 oz white sugar
For a Very Scrubby Scrub - add up to 32 oz white sugar

Ally H. said...

Thank you for this lovely recipe! I made the first formulation you posted here, added no fragrance, and 7% dermabrasion crystals (aluminum oxide) for the exfoliating. Unlike other harsher products I've used that include aluminum oxide, this makes my skin feel conditioned, not tight and dry afterward. After some gentle scrubbing, I leave it on my skin for about five minutes or so and let the oils sink in a bit (like a mask). I find that I don't need to moisturize right away because my skin feels so soft--even a couple hours after rinsing. For my second batch I may reduce the crystals to 5% to make the scrub a bit more gentle. This is my first emulsified scrub and I am in love--thank you again!

Anne Harris said...

Hi Susan!
I was planning on making a simple sugar body scrub (for my boyfriend's mom and sister, so I don't know their skin types) with coconut oil, emulsifying wax, sugar, and a little essential oil. Do you think this will work? What ratios would you recommend? Or should I add in some type of butter as well? I already bought the coconut oil and emulsifying wax, and I noticed you don't usually recommend coconut oil because it gets melty easily. Mine says it will liquify above 76'F. How should I fix this?

Thank you!!!

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Anne,
There's a formula in this post and there are dozens of emulsified scrub formulas on the blog, so I'm not sure what I can offer that isn't in those posts. I have written about using coconut oil on the blog and avoiding meltiness more than once, so I'll refer you to a search for those posts as I'm afraid I don't have time to do that today.

Even the oilest skin types seem to love emulsified scrubs, so I think they'll love it! Just make sure you put in a preservative as anything that goes near water needs one! Have fun formulating!