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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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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.

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Easy Beard Oil Recipe

Just like the hair on your head, beard hair can get frizzy, too. To keep yourself looking dapper, add a little beard oil to that scruffy thing! This beard oil recipe can help to condition the skin under your beard, also.

Beard Oil Recipe

beard oil recipe

Add your essential oils to a 1 oz glass dropper bottle. Then add your carrier oils. The bottle won’t be completely full. I left a little room in case I wanted to add more fragrance. You can test it with 15 drops first, and add more to your preference. Just remember that essential oils on the face will seem way more potent, simply because it’s on your face.

Use 1-2 drops for a trim beard. Use 3 drops or more full a full beard. Rub the oil between your hands and rub your hands over your beard. The oil will soak in quickly and leave you with a tame, manly-smelling beard!

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The Best Aluminum-Free Homemade Deodorant

homemade deodorant
image via i love images | Cultura | Getty Images

I have tried lots of different “crunchy” deodorant alternatives, with little success. Popular brands that you can buy don’t work for me, and any deodorant recipe that has baking soda in it irritates my skin. The two things that have worked the best for me in the past were 1) straight up milk of magnesia smeared on my pits, and 2) using some leftover lanolin salve that I had made for healing cracked skin and following it up with some homemade body powder to eliminate the stickiness of the salve. The milk of magnesia really did fight odor for pretty close to the entire day, and the salve did almost as good of a job (it was just kind of gross to apply). I figured the reason the lanolin salve worked so well was the tea tree oil in the recipe, so I thought I would try adding tea tree oil to the milk of magnesia and then put it in a handy dandy applicator to keep my hands clean and eliminate waste.

And you know what? This aluminum-free homemade deodorant works like a charm! I wasn’t sure if the tea tree would mix in or just float on top, but it mixed in just fine. I like using this so much better than the lanolin salve. And it’s portable, so I think I’ll make up a second bottle for my gym bag. I may even try out a few other fragrance combinations.

The Best Aluminum-Free Homemade Deodorant (with no baking soda!)

Directions: Add your tea tree to the empty deodorant bottle and fill it the rest of the way with milk of magnesia (shake it up before you pour it). Then insert the roller ball into the top of your bottle, shake and apply. You’ll want to shake the bottle before each application, because milk of magnesia tends to separate a little.

It literally takes about 5 minutes to make this deodorant, and it works really well! This makes me happy, because I refuse to go back to store-bought deodorant with aluminum. This girl is not having any part of breast cancer, thank you very much.

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Homemade Makeup Remover Recipe

removing makeup
Image via Bambu Productions | Iconica | Getty Images

For a long time now, I have been relying on pre-moistened makeup remover wipes from Burt’s Bees or Yes to Carrots to clean my face at the end of the day, but I wanted to find a more Earth-friendly, yet quick and easy way to remove my makeup at the end of the day. So I went on the hunt for a recipe to use. What I came up with was a combination of two different methods: Susan’s recipe for an oil-based cleanser at Swift Craft Monkey, and Leslie’s instructions on the oil cleansing method at Crunchy Betty.

The oils I chose were based partially on my skin type, and partially on what I had available at home. In place of the coconut, rice bran, apricot kernel or argan oils, you could try sunflower, safflower, shea, or jojoba oil.

Homemade Makeup Remover Recipe

  • 50% castor oil (use 1:3 for dry skin, 1:1 for normal skin, or 3:1 for oily skin)
  • 20% fractionated coconut oil
  • 10% rice bran oil
  • 10% apricot kernel oil
  • 9% argan oil
  • 9% polysorbate 80surfactant that reduces greasiness, according to Swift Craft Monkey (optional and I replaced with argan oil for now).
  • 1% Vitamin E
  • Essential Oils: optional, use 6 drops per oz for 1% strength. The guide below was partially borrowed from both Purified Skincare and Soap Teacher. I skipped this, too, because I get concerned about the overuse essential oils. 
Acne/Oily

  • tea tree
  • lavender
  • neem (not actually an essential oil)
  • bergamot
  • cedarwood
  • sandalwood
  • helichrysum
  • clary sage
  • geranium
  • rosewood
  • patchouli
  • frankincense
  • cedarwood
Sensitive Skin

  • german chamomile
  • rose
  • helichrysum
  • rosewood
  • calendula
  • carrot
  • geranium
  • lavender
Dry Skin/Anti-Aging

  • geranium
  • lavender
  • neroli
  • rose
  • rosemary
  • carrot
  • sandalwood
  • german chamomile
  • myrrh

How to use this makeup remover

Apply oil to a dry face, massaging into the skin. Then place a very warm washcloth over the face and allow it to steam your skin for 15-30 seconds. Wipe away the oil with the cloth.