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.