Pour some sugar on me

I love emulsified sugar scrubs. I occasionally make mine with a dash of a powdered surfactant- I like SCI or SLSa (or both)- so that the scrub has some bubbles and cleansing action as well, but it’s not mandatory that  you use a surfactant if you don’t like them. You get an awesome scrub either way. 

I have been tweaking this scrub recipe for about a year now and I think I have it at a pretty good place. It uses quite a bit of moisturizing shea butter and less liquid oils than some recipes you’ll find, and I suggest you choose rich oils for your liquid oils like olive, hemp, sunflower, and avocado. Hemp and avocado can get expensive to use exclusively in a product you’re just washing your body with, so consider making a blend of 25% expensive oil and 75% less expensive oil, like sunflower or olive. You can also use a fast absorbing oil that’s inexpensive and non-greasy for a change of pace; I recommend trying this recipe one time with fractionated coconut oil and mango butter (instead of shea) and see how you like it. It will be light and fluffy and very non-greasy, as opposed to the rich emollient feel it usually has, so. 

You can add micas to this to make it pretty and don’t worry; they won’t stain your skin in small quantities. You should also consider using a preservative if you’re going to store this in the bathroom, double dip in the container, or reach into it with wet hands. These things can introduce water and pathogens or mold spores to the batch and cause mold or germs to grow in the container. So definitely add the recommended amount of preservative.  I think I have Phenonip listed in the recipe but you should read up on what other preservatives safely work in anhydrous concoctions. I believe it’s Optiphen ND and Germaben II, but seriously, double check that. I’m sure the Phenonip works. I would have to research the other two to be safe but that’s where I would start if I didn’t want to use Phenonip. Personally, despite my dislike of parabens, I still find them more attractive than mold or pathogens. The usage rate is 1%. I’m willing to use 7g of Phenonip in this recipe which is a very small amount, to ward off mold and bacteria. 

Here’s the recipe and instructions. Please note: you can substitute salt for the sugar and make a salt scrub, and varying coarseness of salt will make different scrubbiness. I suggest 50/50 sea salt and a coarser salt for a foot scrub, and not going any further than that as it gets really abrasive and leaves micro tears in your skin that can lead to further injury and infection. Scrubs should be somewhat gentle. Stick with sugar for the body, and consider pulsing your sugar through the blender if making a face scrub so you are using microfine sugar. You don’t want to damage your skin, only exfoliate it. 

Sugar Scrub with Shea Butter

 Emulsified Sugar Scrub 

64g Olive Oil

62g sunflower oil

70g coconut oil

100g Emulsifying Wax- 50g each BTMS and Emulsifying Wax NF is what I used because I ran out of Emulsifying Wax NF. 

62g Stearic Acid

62g Cetyl Alcohol

100g Shea butter 

285g White Granulated Sugar (10 Oz) 

30g SCI (optional)

30g SLSa (optional, you can also use 60g of one or the other if you only have one-I left the surfactants out of this batch accidentally!)

2 Tsp Colorant (mica, or a few drops food coloring)  

7g Phenonip (add before dividing up to color and swirl) 

16g Of Essential Oil Or Fragrance Oil (4g per 8 oz jar)

Weigh the 100g of Emulsifing Wax and 62g. of Stearic Acid and 62g of Cetyl alcohol and place in stainless steel pan. 
Weigh the 100g. of Shea Butter and add to pot with waxes.

Place over low heat on stove until just melted.

Weigh 64g of Olive Oil, 62g of sunflower seed Oil, And 70g Of Melted Coconut Oil. Mix So Oils Stay Liquid. 

Add to the melted wax/butter mixture, stir gently and remove from stove. Pour melted mixture into liquid oils in separate bowl. With whisk or hand mixer, blend on low until ingredients have emulsified.

Let product cool down and thicken up. Keep mixing with whisk or hand mixer or stick blender. Honestly, I just use a whisk for all of this. 

Add 10 oz/285g of white granulated sugar and whisk in gently to incorporate.

Add 1/2-1 tsp of mica of your choice gradually until you achieve the desired color. There are micas and liquid colors that are available that are skin safe and tub safe. Pay attention when you order.   

Add 7g of Phenonip  and 16g. of the Fragrance Oil or Essentials and mix well. 

Chill For 15-30 Minutes For best results 

Blend with hand mixer until product gets fluffy and smooth.

Place product into jars, filling each to approximately 3/4 full. If more product remains divide up evenly.

Product will thicken up once it has completely cooled.

Place lids on the jars and label accordingly.

To Use: Scoop out a small amount of scrub and add a small amount of warm water. Mix together in your hand and then apply to wet skin. Rinse thoroughly, then pat dry.I

Ideally you don’t take the entire jar in the shower each time but scoop out what you will use into a separate container and use that, preventing water from getting into the main container as much as possible. Your product will last longer and be less likely to go bad this way (even with a preservative). Just to be safe it’s best to educate your customers to use the sugar scrub in this manner. 

This recipe makes 2- 16 oz jars or 4- 8 oz jars of sugar scrub. This last time I scented one jar with blueberry and benzoin upon request and the other jar with Jasmine, lavender, and sandalwood. They both smell great but totally different. One has purple mica; one has purple and blue mica to look more like blueberry. They are 16 oz “soup” take out containers that I have found are perfect for sugar scrubs. 


Super Shea Butter Lip Balm

So this is my FAVORITE lip balm. It works in a tube, or in a small pot (my preference). It’s rich and creamy and stays solid even after a day in a hot car or your pocket. I still love using lavender essential oil and cardamom essential oil for it with a pinch of stevia or Splenda, although rumor is you can even use a gram or two of honey and it will emulsify-but I haven’t tried that. I’m worried the honey will settle at the bottom. You can always use the flavored lip balm oils. I think they have a weird aftertaste but my granddaughter says they are fine, particular strawberry, so there’s that. 

Ultra Moisturizing Shea Butter Lip Balm

Makes 4-5 lip balms or small pots (5g)

4g beeswax

5g Shea Butter (raw or refined)

4g cocoa butter

4g calendula infused olive oil (one time I used infused coconut oil here and the results were fabulous)

4g avocado oil (or skip the olive oil and use 8g avocado oil)

5 drops Vitamin E oil

5-10 drops essential oils (I use lavender and cardamom but you could use spearmint or peppermint-I would only use 5 drops)

Weigh the oils and butters into a pyrex or other heat resistant measuring cup or double boiler. Melt and bring water to simmer; heat and hold 20 minutes to prevent future graininess. Add beeswax and melt through. Add vit E oil. Remove from heat add essential oil and pinch sweeter if desired. Warning: sweetner may make lip balm slightly gritty. 

Pour the melted lip balm into 4-5 tubes or pots and let cool. 

Ultra Rich easy Lip balm 

This past winter, another blog I follow put out a recipe for “Sticky Lip Balm”, which I tried and found too hard and not tacky enough or glidy enough to be useful. I understand it was meant to be thick and, well, sticky, but it was rock hard and left little to no residue on my lips so it didn’t work for me. 

But the idea stuck around in my head. How great would a two or three ingredient lip balm be?!? No measuring out liquid oils, and if it worked, maybe no shea butter and the potential graininess that you risk when you put shea into a product. I love my ultra moisturizing shea butter lip balm, but I’m open to change. 

Then I remembered cocoa butter, and how a simple pure cocoa butter bar can make a fabulous lotion bar and even an emergency lip balm. So I decided to swap some of the beeswax and coconut oil in the original recipe for cocoa butter. 

While I call this a three ingredient lip balm, it’s actually more like five but the last two are up to you. I suggest 5-10 drops of vitamin​ E oil to prevent oxidation of your oils and butters and combat rancidity, especially if it will take you awhile to get through the 4-5 lip balms this recipe makes. The final ingredients are essential oil(s), and you can use whatever lip safe, non-toxic oils you choose. Non-toxic means no tea tree or Wintergreen essential oils, please, and no citrus oils as they make you photosensitive and sunburned lips just sounds miserable. I use peppermint a lot, I’ve been known when doubling batches to use peppermint, camphor, and a few menthol crystals, and my other favorite is cardamom and lavender (with a pinch of stevia or crystal Splenda to sweeten, but just the tiniest amount). 

Here’s the recipe:

9g beeswax

9g extra virgin coconut oil

5g cocoa butter

5 drops vitamin E oil

5-10 drops essential oils of your choice. 

Melt coconut oil and cocoa butter in double boiler or in pyrex measuring cup set in saucepan filled with 1″ of water. Once water is at simmer, hold there x 20 min. This will reduce chances of graininess with your coconut oil. Add beeswax and melt through. Remove from heat, add Vitamin E oil and essential oils and stir well. Pour into lip balm tubes or tiny pots. Should make 4-5 lip balms. 

Manly men

I’ve been developing new scents for beard oil, and reformulating scent combinations that are inspired by stuff I’ve read in other places or off labels of store brands. I’m sharing my beard oil recipe here, and a few of those essential oil combinations that you can mix up to make manly scented beard oil. 

Beard oil is unique. It consists of a light, “dry” oil that is fast absorbing, an oil like hemp or avocado (or you could use both!) that are packed with vutamins A, E, and awesome fatty acids, and I like to add broccoli seed oil-which is unique itself -because it contains natural silicone for extra shine and to keep beard hair healthy. In addition, I use castor oil, a thick, glossy oil that adds a lot of shine and richness to the beard and helps add a little “weight” to the oil to tame frizziness. The oil has no wax or other sticky product in it to otherwise tame fly away stray hairs, so the weight of the castor oil has to do all the heavy lifting as far as control. If you are looking for something to actually shape a beard,you might be better off with beard balm, which has wax in it and can help give form and texture to the hair. The oil is pretty much strictly for conditioning and moisturizing; there’s not really anything here that can offer any hold. I

You can use a premade men’s fragrance oil like Yacht Club, Made to Measure, or Fierce (all from Brambleberry and all just utterly awesome smelling-Brambleberry has a great selection of men’s fragrance oils but I can’t rave enough about these three, they are awesome and I strongly suggest you buy samples of them to try) or you can use an essential oil blend. One of my best sellers is a coffee blend. My other two popular ones are cedarwood and bergamot. I will list the directions below. 

Beard Oil Base (1 oz, double for 2 oz bottle)

5g fractionated coconut oil

6g hempseed oil or avocado oil (or 3g each) 

5g broccoli seed oil (you can substitute jojoba oil) 

6g castor oil

4 drops vitamin E oil or rosemary antioxidant
Coffee essential oil blend:

15 drops coffee essential oil or coffee fragrance oil. I like Brambleberry’s espresso fragrance oil for this recipe. 

7 drops balsalm fir essential oil

3 blobs benzoin, warm benzoin bottle in hot water bath before pouring 

7 drops palmarosa essential oil

3 drops vetiver essential oil
Bergamot essential oil blend:

5 drops lavender essential oil

5 drops rosemary essential oil

12 drops cedarwood essential oil

10 drops bergamot essential oil

4 drops clove essential oil

4 drops nutmeg or allspice essential oil
Cedarwood essential oil blend: 

9 drops tea tree essential oil

9 drops bergamot essential oil

3 drops vetiver essential oil

15 drops cedarwood essential oil