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How to Make an Emulsified Sugar Scrub

emulsified sugar scrub
This coffee-scented scrub has 2 T of ground cardamom added in place of 1 ounce of sugar. Click on the photo to view it on Etsy.

It’s taken me two and a half years to get around to making sugar scrubs. I’m not really sure why…maybe because “emulsified” sounded intimidating…maybe because I rarely purchased them to use myself…or it could have just been laziness. Whatever the reason, I finally kicked myself in the pants and said “get on with it already!” I decided that having mostly soap wasn’t serving my customers as well as having a variety of products would. So I’ve been experimenting and gradually rolling out some new things.

And you know what? Customers have been expressing great interest in these new things! And emulsified sugar scrubs are actually super easy to make, so I don’t know what I why I was being so stubborn. If you’ve been intimidated by scrubs, now is the time to dive in and get your hands dirty. Or clean…

Emulsified Sugar Scrub Recipe and Instructions

Slowly heat the above ingredients just until melted. Allow to cool to under 122 degrees F. Then mix in the following:

  • .35 oz (0.1% to 0.5% <– that’s point five %, not a half %) Liquid Germall Plus
  • .65 oz (1%) Fragrance or Essential Oil

At this point, place the mixture in the refrigerator until it looks thickened and the bottom of the bowl doesn’t feel warm. Blend with a hand mixer until you have a pudding consistency. Now you can add your sugar.

  • Up to 64 oz of cane sugar
  • Up to 1/2 tsp mica if you choose to color your scrub. Mix the mica into your sugar before adding to your emulsion

Stir sugar into your emulsion until well incorporated, then spoon into jars. This recipe made 10 jars of scrub (9 oz each), with about 6 ounces left over. I split the batch in two and made two different fragrances. That left enough extra to offer a small tester jar of each at markets.

This is a very thick scrub, so there is no dripping oil when you use it. Feel free to experiment with the amount of sugar you use, in case you prefer a thinner scrub. You can add other exfoliants in place of some of the sugar, as well.

Don’t want to make it yourself? You can purchase one here.

Do you have a favorite sugar scrub? What additives do you like to use in yours? I’d love to hear from you in the comments!

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A Better Recipe For Cold Process Salt Bars

positano salt bar 2The first time I tried making salt bars, I was just a beginner at soap making. I only used a 10% superfat and the soap made my skin really dry. Ever since then I’ve been kind of iffy about trying salt bars again. And I resolved that if I did try again, I was going to use less coconut oil, even if the lather suffered for it.

So I stalked some Facebook groups for conversations on salt bars and found that not everyone uses 100% coconut oil in their recipes. Yay! So armed with that knowledge, I came up with a new recipe, dropping my coconut oil down to 75%; and I came away with a soap I really enjoy.

75% Coconut Salt Bar Recipe
I had planned to use all white salt when I made this soap, but discovered I only had about 12 ounces of regular sea salt. Oops! But I had this other pink Himalayan salt, and since the pink salt would color the soap, I decided to do a two-tone soap instead of a solid pale pink bar.

After combining the lye and oils, I added my fragrance and split the batch in two. I added my mica to one half and added the white salt to it. Then I filled each soap cavity halfway. After that, I added the pink salt to the other half of my batter and filled the cavities the rest of the way.

And you know what? This soap has lots of lather and just the right amount of exfoliation. I love it! I think I could have cut the coconut oil to 50% and it still would have worked. I guess I’ve got an experiment for another day, but I’m going to roll with this recipe for now and make some more scents with it.

If you’d like to try this soap before you make it, I’ve listed them for sale here.

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How to Rebatch Soap in the Oven

ugly soap
They can’t all be beautiful, I guess.

I messed up a soap recently…I purchased a salad shooter and made the mistake of soaking my soap shreds before adding them to my soap. Of course, they turned to mush and looked awful in the soap. I shouldn’t have added them at all (another case of I should have gone with my gut, but didn’t). I decided it wouldn’t sell looking like that, so I’d better rebatch it. I had only had to rebatch soap once before – I used the crockpot and it got really dried out, so I wanted to try a different method. After reading through the Bramble Berry guide to rebatching, I decided to try the oven method at the bottom of the tutorial.

I had two loaves of this disaster soap, but after cubing up one loaf, I realized only one loaf would fit in my baking dish. So I did one loaf at a time. With the first loaf (3.2 pounds), I added a cup and a half of water (which is about 1/2 C per lb of soap).

This is less than the tutorial recommended, but I felt like 1 cup per pound of soap was an awful lot of water.

rebatch soap
Cubed soap ready for rebatching.

Turns out, even the amount I used was too much water. I froze the soap the next day to get it out of the mold, but it’s been sitting on the counter for three days and it’s still very soft. *sad face*

So the next day, I rebatched the second loaf using only a half cup of water total. This one turned out much better. So, here is the process, all laid out:

Rebatch Soap in the Oven Tutorial

Step 1: Preheat the oven to 200 degrees.

Step 2: Cut your problem soap into cubes and place them in a baking dish.

Final result.
Final result. It looks like hot process, huh?
Step 3: Add 2.5 Tablespoons of water per pound of soap.

Step 4: Cover your dish with foil.

Step 5: Bake soap for 35 minutes, stir and bake an additional 35 minutes. Stir again.

Step 6: At this point the soap is going to be the texture of hot process soap. You are now ready to add color and/or fragrance to your soap and scoop it into your mold. Be prepared to work quickly. Just like hot process soap, rebatch soap likes to get firm quickly. You could add a little sodium lactate to the melted soap to keep it fluid for a little longer.

I still froze the soap the next day to get it out of the mold, and then let it sit overnight. I was able to cut it the following day with no issues. One day later, the bars are softer than a regular bar would be, but I know it will harden up soon. The first batch…time will tell. That one might get pitched.

rebatch soap top
I added glitter for good measure. And that’s Layla (she’s being super needy and won’t let me take a photo without her).
Notes: My soap was only a few days old when I did my rebatch. That may be why I only needed 2.5 Tablespoons of water per pound of soap. If your soap is fully cured, or even older than that, you might need more water than this. I haven’t tested it, so I don’t know for certain, but it does seem logical.

Who else hates to rebatch soap? Do you have a better method? Please, share it in the comments!

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How to Make an In-Shower Moisturizer Bar

I got the idea for an in-shower moisturizer a year or so ago after stumbling across Curious Soapmaker’s blog about trying to recreate a Lush product – body conditioner bars. I don’t believe they sell these anymore, but I was intrigued by the concept. Using fresh banana and avocado in the recipe, however, just freaked me out – you’d have to use it all up immediately in one use or you’d have a nasty, moldy mess. Sometimes I don’t know how Lush gets away with this stuff…but I digress.

The point is, I liked the idea of a body conditioner, because my skin itches like crazy in the winter (I take longer, hotter showers when it’s cold, which probably isn’t helping). So I decided to make this without following the Lush recipe at all. Instead, I modified my own lotion bar recipe to make it more melty, and ended up with a product that is quick to apply and keeps my skin moisturized all day.

I keep one of these in the shower, next to my soap. It stays in the container with the lid on, so it doesn’t melt away when I’m not using it. I got five little bars out of this 8 oz recipe and each bar lasts a little over a week.

Skin Conditioning In-Shower Moisturizer Recipe

  • 6.4 oz cocoa butter
  • 1.2 oz apricot kernel oil (or other quick absorbing oil like meadowfoam, grapeseed, hemp)
  • .4 oz beeswax pastilles
  • up to .08 oz fragrance or essential oil (I think .05 is plenty, but the cocoa butter scent is strong, so you don’t really need to bother with fragrance)
  • 1 ml (.04%) vitamin E (tocopherol) – I skipped this because I don’t intend to sell these.

Melt the cocoa butter and beeswax over low heat. Add the apricot kernel oil, vitamin E and fragrance. Pour into  melt-resistant 1-4 oz plastic containers with lids. You will need to be able to pop your bar out of the container once it has hardened, so make sure the plastic has a little give to it. I use containers from Dollar Tree or Dollar General for this. They are very inexpensive.

in-shower moisturizer

How To Use Your In-Shower Moisturizer Bar

After bathing, while your skin is still wet, rub the bar over your skin. The heat of your skin will cause the bar to melt, leaving moisturizer behind. Place the bar back in its container and rub your hands over your skin to evenly distribute the moisturizer. Pat your skin dry with a towel (don’t rub or you’ll wipe it away).

At this point, I put on a bath robe and put on my facial moisturizer and deodorant and brush my hair. By the time I’m ready to get dressed, the moisturizer has absorbed, so I don’t have to worry about it staining my clothes.