Emulsifying Sugar Scrub Guidance

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The Efficacious Gentleman

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Hello SMFers

I am looking at working out how to make an emulsifying sugar scrub. I don't use e-wax so a lot of the recipes shared are not suitable for me, so I was looking for guidance on what is needed:

For example, can I take a normal lotion recipe that has around 45-50% liquid oil, leave out the water phase and use that recipe?

Does that 45-50% liquid oil equal 100% when added to the solid oils, or is that a % of the total recipe including preservative, emulsifier and so on?

For example, I have this recipe:

76% Water
13.5% Avo
4% Shea
5% Olivem 1000
1% Preservative
0.5% Fragrance

So if I was to drop down the Avo and up the shea to around 50/50, and of course leave out the water, would that be a good start? 150% sugar, of course.

Help me, SMF Kenobi's, you're my only hope.
 

cgawlik

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My understaing is an emulsifier has to be used for it to remain stable. The one I make I do use ewax in.

Why no Ewax? Is it just a prefrence?

When I started making my scrubs I used my basic lotion recipe replacing the water phase with glycerine and my liquid soap. when all was done and I used it I had to ask myself, is it a scrub, is it a lotion or is it a soap.

One thing i have figured out though is you will want a higher percentage of liquid oil than hard, but all ingredients including fragrance and preservitives should equal 100, your sugar should be 100-200 % of your total liquids. hope this helps
 

lsg

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I use M&P soap in my emulsified scrubs and no water. It works great for me.
 

DeeAnna

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Gent -- The way I make this kind of product, the oils are a % of the total "base" ingredients. By "base" I mean the oils, preservative, fragrance, emulsifier, etc. And then the sugar or other scrubby filler is kept separate and added as a % of the base -- just as you are doing.

I haven't used Olivem as an emulsifier, so I don't know how that will behave compared to e-wax, but I would think pretty much any emulsifier should be fine in this type of scrub.

Your lotion recipe without water would be a good start and then do some trials to dial in the emulsifier % and also the proportion of liquid to solid fat. There's a lot of juggling going on with the choice of fats for the skin benefits and the choice of fats for the proper consistency of the product.

For me, a proportion of 1 part solid fat to 1.5 to 2 parts liquid oil gave a good texture to the product given the amount of emulsifier I used. Remember the solid fat plus the emulsifier will thicken the product in the jar. You will want to look for that ideal consistency where you have enough emulsifier and solid fat to get a thick-enough paste to spread on the skin, but not so much that the product is crumbly, too firm, or too dry.

Once I got a consistency I liked, I found I also had to tweak the % of emulsifier slightly again to control the amount of "wash off" of the fats. My goal was to get a lotion-y but not greasy final finish on my skin after washing with tepid water and gently patting the skin dry. I didn't want all the fat to wash off, but I didn't want to see any obvious fat left on the skin (this will be more of an issue with a higher % of solid fats such as your shea) or an overly greasy feel. In cool to cold water, I needed a titch more emulsifier than in warm water to get the right amount of wash-off.

What helped me think about this problem was to look at the ratio of total fats to emulsifier. I found with e-wax that a ratio of 3.75 left the skin too dry and a ratio of 8 left the skin far too greasy. What felt best for me was a ratio of 4.25 to 4.5.

Hope this helps.

ETA: The proportions I give above are all based on adding sugar at 150% of the base weight. So if I weigh out 100 g of base, then I would add 150 g of sugar.
 
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The Efficacious Gentleman

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Thanks for the tips, all

Gent -- The way I make this kind of product, the oils are a % of the total "base" ingredients. By "base" I mean the oils, preservative, fragrance, emulsifier, etc. And then the sugar or other scrubby filler is kept separate and added as a % of the base -- just as you are doing.

I haven't used Olivem as an emulsifier, so I don't know how that will behave compared to e-wax, but I would think pretty much any emulsifier should be fine in this type of scrub.

Your lotion recipe without water would be a good start and then do some trials to dial in the emulsifier % and also the proportion of liquid to solid fat. There's a lot of juggling going on with the choice of fats for the skin benefits and the choice of fats for the proper consistency of the product.

For me, a proportion of 1 part solid fat to 1.5 to 2 parts liquid oil gave a good texture to the product given the amount of emulsifier I used. Remember the solid fat plus the emulsifier will thicken the product in the jar. You will want to look for that ideal consistency where you have enough emulsifier and solid fat to get a thick-enough paste to spread on the skin, but not so much that the product is crumbly, too firm, or too dry.

Once I got a consistency I liked, I found I also had to tweak the % of emulsifier slightly again to control the amount of "wash off" of the fats. My goal was to get a lotion-y but not greasy final finish on my skin after washing with tepid water and gently patting the skin dry. I didn't want all the fat to wash off, but I didn't want to see any obvious fat left on the skin (this will be more of an issue with a higher % of solid fats such as your shea) or an overly greasy feel. In cool to cold water, I needed a titch more emulsifier than in warm water to get the right amount of wash-off.

What helped me think about this problem was to look at the ratio of total fats to emulsifier. I found with e-wax that a ratio of 3.75 left the skin too dry and a ratio of 8 left the skin far too greasy. What felt best for me was a ratio of 4.25 to 4.5.

Hope this helps.

ETA: The proportions I give above are all based on adding sugar at 150% of the base weight. So if I weigh out 100 g of base, then I would add 150 g of sugar.
DeeAnna I <3 you!

So I am thinking -

59% Avo
35% Shea
5% Olivem
0.5% Fragrance
0.5% Preservative

150% Sugar

I think as a first draft it will give me a basis to look at changing the oil ratio and/or the amount of emulsifier.
 

cgawlik

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Thank you DeeAnna, you explained that so much better than I could have.

On a side not do you have any idea how strange it was for me to reply to a question from you? I mean seriously I look for posts from you when I have questions..

best of luck
 

DeeAnna

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Gent -- I think your recipe would be a very good place to start. I know you like shea and avocado oil, so this combines these two favorites. If olivem works comparably to e-wax, this amount of olivem might be a wee bit low. A person has to start somewhere, however, and this is as good as any.

For comparison, here is the version I liked best when I was designing a lard-based scrub:

Meadowfoam 46.70%
Lard 31.20%
E-wax 17.30% (fat:emulsifier ratio of 4.5:1)
Liquid Germall Plus 0.50%
Fragrance 3% (2% to 3% works pretty well for light to medium strength scents)
Clay 1.30% (Clay was only used to add some color. I used pink clay and French green clay in separate batches)
 

The Efficacious Gentleman

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Hmmm, very good point. I need to look in to e-wax more as I don't have that feel for it that would come from using it. Olivem is also odd in the way it emulsifies things

I'll up that to something more in that range, thanks DeeAnna
 

lsg

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Do you have access to sulfonated castor oil? I am wondering if that would work to help emulsify your scrub.
 

DeeAnna

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When I'm tweaking a recipe like this, I don't necessarily make wholly new batches of each version. If it is practical to do so, I will add ingredients to the current batch to alter the proportions and test as I go. Since e-wax is a pain to melt and stir into a room temp mixture, I would most likely start with a higher % of the emulsifier in my first test batch than I think I want, and then gradually increase the fat:emulsifier ratio by adding more fats.
 

DeeAnna

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I really like how this kind of scrub makes my skin feel so clean, smooth, and soft. I hope yours turns out great!
 

lsg

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It looks good enough to eat!:)
 

Rowan

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Your scrub looks absolutely scrumptious:).

Craig, I'd be happy to post you some E-wax if you wanted to try it. I have a fair sized bag of it. I make huge batches of scrubs for presents! Just pm me if you're interested?

I use an adapted version of the soapalooza recipe to make my scrub and love it, but also love the suggestions of different oils to try. I can feel some new tests coming on:) What bliss :)
 

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