Thursday, June 26, 2014

One ingredient, ten products: Incroquat BTMS-50 in emulsified scrubs (part one)

If there is one thing in the world I could not live without, it would be the emulsified scrub. I love love love this product to exfoliate and moisturize my skin in the shower. They're super easy to make, and the way they turn into lotion in the shower still amazes me years after making my first one.

Why choose an emulsified scrub over an oil based scrub? The functions of the two scrubs are quite similar - they are both intended to exfoliate the skin with salt, sugar, or other scratchy things and leave behind a nice oily film - with one key difference - the emulsified scrub turns into a lotion type product when water is applied while the oil based scrub is rinsed off when water is applied and doesn't turn into a lotion type product. The oil based product will leave behind an oilier feeling film than the emulsified scrub.

In an oil based scrub, we use only oil soluble ingredients like oils, butters, and esters. In an emulsified scrub, we use oil soluble ingredients like oils and butters, but we can include water soluble ingredients because we're including an emulsifier, so you could add some humectants or proteins or other water soluble ingredients.

In my emulsified scrubs, I like to use a cationic emulsifier like Incroquat BTMS-50 or Rita BTMS-225/Incroquat BTMS-225 because it will condition our skin more than using a non-ionic emulsifier like Polawax and because it offers a less greasy feeling to the product.

As a note, this is a great place to use your Incroquat BTMS-25 because we aren't worried about the stability of the emulsification while the product sits in the container.

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.

How much sugar to add? I add 3/4 cup per 100 grams of product, which works out to 150 grams of sugar per 100 grams of product. You can add more or less depending upon your preferred level of scrubbiness. I made my last batch with 1/2 cup of sugar or about 100 grams per 100 grams of product, and my friends said it wasn't scrubby enough.

Can you use another exfoliant? Sure, why not? I have used salt before at the same amount I would the sugar and it worked out well. But sugar can sting cuts or newly shaved skin, so I prefer sugar.

Related posts:
Physical exfoliants (part one)
Physical exfoliants (part two)
Chemical exfoliants

There are some debates about whether we should use a preservative in our sugar scrubs. I say yes! If you'd like to know more about why there's a debate, check out this post on sugar scrubs and water activity.

Which preservatives can we use in this product? Because it's an anhydrous or non-water containing product, we have to use a preservative suited for anhydrous products. This means we have a limited selection, including Phenonip, Liquipar Oil, or Optiphen. Using a water soluble preservative like my favoured liquid Germall Plus is on par with using no preservative at all, so please make your choices wisely.

Related posts:
Formulating with soy bean oil - includes recipe for sugar scrub!
Formulating for dry skin
Formulating for other skin types - sugar scrubs!
Emulsified scrub with Ritamulse SCG
Black cocoa emulsified scrub
Question: How do you know what and when to substitute? (All about emulsifiers and scrubs)
Experiments in the workshop - golden shea sugar scrub
Using behenyl alcohol in sugar scrubs
Experiments in the workshop - using behenyl alcohol in the Ritamulse SCG sugar scrub
Pumpkin seed oil: Making an emulsified scrub
Oil or emulsified scrub?

Facial scrub related posts:
Facial scrubs: Template post and tweaks
Facial scrubs: More tweaks

Other posts in this series:
One ingredient, ten products: Incroquat BTMS-50
One ingredient, ten products: Incroquat BTMS-50 in a rinse off conditioner
One ingredient, ten products: Incroquat BTMS-50 in a leave in conditioner
One ingredient, ten products: Incroquat BTMS-50 in an intense conditioner
One ingredient, ten products: Incroquat BTMS-50 in a facial moisturizer (part one)
One ingredient, ten products: Incroquat BTMS-50 in a facial moisturizer (part two)
One ingredient, ten products: Incroquat BTMS-50 in a body butter

Join me tomorrow as we make a few tweaks to this emulsified scrub!


Bonnie in SJ said...

Must try. Magical lotion suddenly appearing on my skin? Too intriguing to resist!

Always always always, thank you for your insightful analysis, formula and technique.

Don't laugh, but how much of this should one be using over the course of an average shower, assuming one scrubs all one's scrubbable bits? A tablespoon, a handful, the entire batch? Just curious, as I've never used a scrub before.

Nanda said...

Hi Susan!

Yesterday evening I bought an E-book (The anhydrous one) from you through a link on your blog, and I still haven't received it to my mail. So I just wanted to check if you had received the payment.

Thanks in advance.

Nancy C said...

Thank you for all you do and especially helping us to learn to formulate the recipes. Question: I understand that the BTMS used in sugar scrubs will turn to a "sulphur" smell over a period of time if not used in a few months as a result of chemical action with sugar. Therefore haven't used it in sugar products. Have you found this to be true?

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Nanda I sent the ebook minutes after you donated. Check your spam inbox for it if you aren't seeing it in your inbox.

Nanda said...

Ok, I found it now - thank you! :)

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Nancy. I've never heard of this and I definitely haven't experienced it!

Where did you hear this? Do they mention the mechanism by which this is supposed to happen?

Sandra said...

Hi Susan! I wonder if it's possible to masterbatch this formula with sugar/pumice inside and scoop it out to add fragrance to it later on, or will it become really hard when it cools down?

Also, as I understand it Optiphen isn't completely oil soluble, I'm guessing only the caprylyl glycol part is. But can it still be used in this anhydrous recipe due to the e-wax or BTMS added to it? Thanks!

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Sandra. No, you can't put the sugar/salt in it and master batch it. You can do it without the scrubbies, thought.

As for the Optiphen, I'm not sure why it is supposed to work in anhydrous products, but it looks like it does. I'm not going to use it in my anhydrous products as I really like Phenonip but others do!

MK said...

I made this scrub the other day,but what can we do to heat/humidity proof it? I had a thin film of oil on the top after this product got a little hot in our heat and humidity blast last week. Does it make sense to sub a butter with 3-4% of beeswax or 2-3% of candelillia wax?

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi MK. This was a longer answer than I thought, so look for it on Tuesday, July 8th. The short answer is that you can add some waxes to the product to heat proof it, but there are other ideas, too!

Patricia said...

Would it be possible to make an emulsified lotion bar for the face using BTMS-50? Would it just be a scrub with no scrub? I'm imagining it as a camping/travel thing.

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Bonnie! Sorry I missed your comment! I use a ton of it, to be honest. I'm a bit of a waster when I use it because I slather it all over myself! (I'm sure I've written a post about how I use more when I make products for myself!) To answer the question - hmm, I would say you would want to use enough to cover an entire limb, which, for me, tends to be as much as I can put in the palm of my hand in a thin layer. It's hard to be more specific than that, other than it's more than a dime, smaller than a bread basket! :-)

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Patricia. You can totally make this without scrubbies. I have done it before, but it wasn't my cup of tea as my facial skin doesn't like lotions and my body skin really likes scrubbies, but it would be a great way of getting a lotion to a camp site without being in a lotion bottle. Just have a nice container to store it in so you don't end up with pine needles and dirt all over it!

Paige B said...

This is part review, part sharing of a recipe...

So I use the oil cleansing method exclusively for facial cleansing, but I like to exfoliate sometimes. In addition, I have several powdered botanicals that are great for skin, but aren't fine enough to use in a lotion, so I figured they would make good exfoliants. I love BTMS as a conditioning emulsifier so I thought I'd try out this recipe as a facial product. For the oils, I used the mixture I use for cleansing:


30% Castor Oil
25% Tamanu Oil
15% Grapeseed, Avocado, or Sunflower Oil
10% Coconut Oil
6% Kukui Oil
6% Pomegranate Seed Oil
6% Rosehip Seed Oil
2% Seabuckthorn Oil


Heated Phase:

10% BTMS 25
5% Cetyl alcohol
5% Behenyl alcohol
5% Cocoa butter
5% mango butter
5% Orange butter
52% Oil cleanser blend
5% Oil soluble green tea extract
5% Oil soluble sea buckthorn extract

Cool Down Phase:

1.5% Jeecide Cap-5 or Optiphen Plus
0.5% T-95 Vitamin E
0.5% Lavender essential oil
0.5% Geranium essential oil

For exfoliants, I used 50% white sugar I whirled in the blender to make finer, and 50% powdered botanicals. In this case I used blueberry fruit powder, carrot powder, powdered citrus fruit peel, hibiscus flower powder, and noni fruit powder. I have since gotten pomegranate fruit powder, bamboo powder, and powdered rosehips, so I might use those another time. You could use any fine exfoliant you like, just add around 100g of exfoliant for every 100g of product to start, and adjust as you like.

This turned out quite nicely, although the botanicals tend to add a lot of colour that ultimately makes the scrub black. As well, the combined natural fruit scents can be rather strong. The nice thing about the powders is that while you get some stronger scrubbiness from the sugar, it quickly dissolves on wet skin, but the much finer fruit powders stick around, giving gentle scrubbing until you actually rinse it off. It rinses off well and leaves skin feeling nice and soft and moisturized. Even if you don't use the OCM, this would work really well after your regular cleanser. Like many of these scrubs, I find some of the oil will separate after standing, leaving a drier solid underneath, but it is easily mixed back together. I like to keep this in a squeeze bottle to reduce potential contamination - I'm not sure how the botanicals will affect the shelf-life. Also, I don't want to use Phenonip in a facial product, and it may be that Jeecide/Optiphen plus are less effective in this kind of product. I use the silicone GoGear bottles, usually used for travel, which makes it easy to squeeze and mix the scrub between uses. It needs to be mixed so the consistency stays squeezable. I would be interested to try different emulsifiers to see if the scrub would stay better mixed, but I would definitely continue to make and use this. I use this a couple of times a week instead of cleansing with the oil blend. My mom loves it too.

Danuta Kildan said...

Hi Susan I went through the comments and can not find the answer
Do I use 1% of Phenonip counting the sugar which comes in 200 grams so it would be 1 gram. Maybe it is 1% of 100 g? I think it would be a nice gift for my daughter.

Paige B said...

You calculate based on the scrub BEFORE you add sugar. So if your recipe says 1% preservative, and you make 100g of base and add 100g of sugar/scrubbies, then you add 1g of preservative.

Camirra Williamson said...

I just made this today. tried it on my skin, it feels amazing!! love it

Linda Blackburn said...

Hi Susan,

I have been making this scrub for about two years. Everyone loves it, but I have a real problem with the shelf life. I am totally baffled because I use fresh oils, etc. and they are the same oils I use for everything I make. The scrubs go rancid very quickly - like a month or two - but I never have this problem with lotion bars or lotion using the same oils. This is driving me crazy. Do you have any idea why this may be happening? Here are my ingredients:

10.5% cocoa butter
10.5% e wax
10.5% shea butter
10.5% stearic acid
20% avocado oil
34% rice bran oil
1% Optiphen
T-50 natural vitamin e - 25 drops per 100 ounces of oils
% essential oil - peppermint, lavender or grapefruit

I am packaging in opaque white PET jars. Any light you can shed on this would be greatly appreciated.

Linda Blackburn

Judy Garcia said...

Hi Susan, I made your emulsified scrub today. Love it ! Thank you so much for sharing it with everyone!

Febe said...

Love the recipe. I am concerned about Phenonip and the parabens. As i see the INC Phenonip is Phenoxyethanol (and) Methylparaben (and) Ethylparaben (and) Butylparaben (and) Propylparaben. The parabens. It has parabens and i am trying to stay away from them. I see others in the blog mention Optiphen. Do you think that is an alternative to Phenonip? Thanks in advance for your comments.

jennifer chaloux said...

Hi Susan,

I made this sugar scrub yesterday and it feels amazing. This morning I noticed that some of the oil has separated out of the emulsion. The only change I followed your instructions precisely with only one substitution, I used optiphen instead of phenonip. Any ideas what happened? Thank you!

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Febe! I've answered your question in today's Weekday Wonderings. Thanks for asking.

Hi Jennifer. Without your exact recipe in percentages and process, I can't really help. If you can provide those things, I can do my best to answer your question.

EDEN said...

I made this scrub today only using a tad bit more fragrance (3% as I like it strongly scented)- It is AMAZING!!! like you mentioned- it becomes a washable lotion in the shower which leaves my skin feeling so great and moisturized. I love it, and from now on it's a must in my shower routine :) thanks!!

EL said...

HI, thank you so much or all your posts ,,, lots of knowledge here.

Can the sugar or salt be substituted for bicarb soda?, i like the cleansing properties that it has. but using it on its own can be very drying , so was wandering if it can be incorporated into a emulsifying scrub?
Thank you again
regards 'EL

EL said...

HI, thank you so much or all your posts ,,, lots of knowledge here.

Can the sugar or salt be substituted for bicarb soda?, i like the cleansing properties that it has. but using it on its own can be very drying , so was wandering if it can be incorporated into a emulsifying scrub?
Thank you again
regards 'EL

EL said...

HI, thank you so much or all your posts ,,, lots of knowledge here.

Can the sugar or salt be substituted for bicarb soda?, i like the cleansing properties that it has. but using it on its own can be very drying , so was wandering if it can be incorporated into a emulsifying scrub?
Thank you again
regards 'EL