Thursday, December 18, 2014

Last minute Christmas present idea: Oil based scrubs

I hate it when I hear "last minute" on the 18th of December. I've barely started shopping or crafting, and you're calling it last minute? But I thought it might grab your attention, so I used it in the subject line of this post. For shame, Susan! There'll be coal in my stocking this year!

If you're in need of a crafty gift and have little time to shop for supplies or make it, consider the oil based scrub! It takes maybe 20 minutes to make - not including the hemming and hawing you'll do in choosing oils - and it feels so fabulous and luxurious on your skin.

96% liquid oil of choice (or combination of oils)
2% fragrance or essential oil
1% Vitamin E (optional)
1% Phenonip, Optiphen, or Liquipar Oil preservative

Mix your oils together well. Into a clean jar add 100% salt. Pour the oils over top, mix, and you've got yourself a lovely scrub! This will need to be mixed every time you use it as the oils migrate to the top of the jar. (Buy a few little spatulae from your local supply store, like Voyageur, to ensure you aren't contaminating it!) If you are using this in the tub, please buy some plastic jars - glass and slippery surfaces aren't a winning combination (unlike alcohol and night swimming, according to Lenny from the Simpsons!)

If you want to make a completely saturated oil scrub that won't need much stirring, you can put salt up to the top of the jar, then pour your oil over it. Let it sit overnight and see how much oil comes to the top. If it doesn't rise up and form a layer (or at least a significant layer), you have a saturated oil based scrub that won't need much stirring. It will feel drier than a scrub that has more oil available to it.

If you don't have preservative, package your product with a little spoon or spatula and indicate to the giver that they are never to put their wet hands into the jar!

You can choose any assortment of exfoliants for this application, but I recommend salt or sugar. (Physical exfoliant posts, part one and part two.) They're both inexpensive and they work well. You need a lot of exfoliants for this product - at least 100 grams for a 4 ounce or 125 ml jar - and that gets expensive when you're using something like apricot shells or loofah.

You can choose any assortment of oils for this application. Take a look at the links below to see some variations on the scrub recipe. If you want to use thicker oils, like babassu or coconut oil, go for it! Try it at 10% to see how you like it!

In the pictures, the top one is an oil based scrub with all oils. The second picture is the manicure scrub that contains lanolin and lecithin, and is much thicker. 

Related posts:
Back to basics: Oil based scrubs
Body scrubs, oil based
One ingredient, ten products: Sunflower oil - oil based scrubs
Chemistry of our nails: Oil based scrubs
Facial scrubs: Creating the base of the oil based scrub
Facial scrubs: Oily or acne prone skin
Facial scrubs: Dry and normal skin
Facial scrubs: Adding essential oils to an oil based scrub
Facial scrubs: Adding exfoliants to the oil based scrub
Facial scrubs: Adding an oil based extract


Miranda said...

Hello! Thank you so much for all the wonderful info on your blog! I'm just starting out, so forgive me if this question sounds silly.

You recommend Optiphen as one of the preservatives for this scrub. However, your blog entry on Optiphen seems to say that it is water soluble, and therefore not compatible with anhydrous products. Am I missing something?

Also, I'm wondering if you are familiar with any oil-soluble preservatives that do not contain parabens. I personally don't have a problem with parabens, but I know a lot of people look for products that are paraben-free. I would like to sell my products eventually, and am wondering if it's possible to preserve an anhydrous product (like this scrub) without parabens... or is it a hopeless cause? Thanks! Nina

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Miranda! Check out this post on Optiphen revisited. It has updated information on Optiphen!

Tara (not the same T in your blog) said...

I have made a scrub using whipped shea butter, almond oil, sugar (for exfoliant), lemon and vanilla cake fo, and phenonip.

Lisa H said...

Hi Susan,
I thought this is a good time to ask this about oil scrubs vs emulsified scrubs. I have made your emulsified scrub twice now. What is the final texture supposed to be like? I love the fact that it washes off so cleanly with a soft after feel but my problem is getting it out of the jar. Its almost solid after it sets up; not like a whippy soft sugar scrub. I am using the BTMS-50 and following the recipe. I heat and hold ingredients, sit in refrigerator til it partly solidifies then whip, whip away. Its soft at that point. What in the world am I doing wrong? Or is that the way it is supposed to be?