butters & scrubs

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i've never been a big fan of body butters and scrubs. i know that butters are great for lubricating dry skin and scrubs are excellent at exfoliating, but my problem [with each] is that they're usually greasy and/or messy. some [many] butters are designed to be rubbed in and left on, but this [usual] butter and oil combination can be greasy. and scrubs, which usually have an oil base, need to be washed off after application. generally, i've found these products impractical [for my use] ...that is with two exceptions that i'm listing here. one is a non-greasy body butter (intended to be rubbed in) and one is a self-cleaning sugar scrub (that rinses off).
whipped shea cream
the recipe:
10parts shea butter (mango butter could also be used)
6parts shea oil (or other light oil ...fractionated coconut, olive, sweet almond, etc.)
1part silicone blend (2 parts cyclomethicone to 1 part dimethicone)
1part glycerin
2parts "natrasorb" (modified wheat starch)
fragrance -- (actual scent and amount is determined by personal preference)
the process:
blend all the oils (except fragrance) into the [melted] butter in a stainless steel container and place in the freezer for four minutes or until a crust starts to form around the edges. remove from freezer and beat with an electric mixer [as if you're fluffing egg whites] for two minutes. if the mixer is equipped with a wisk, all the better, however, regular beaters will work well enough. place the mixture back in the freezer for three to four minutes. remove from freezer and beat while slowly drizzling in the glycerin. sprinkle the natrasorb on top of the mixture and blend in. now really beat [at high speed] for 6 or more minutes ...the longer, the fluffier the product. re-freeze (for a few minutes only) and re-beat for a lighter, fluffier mix.
blend in fragrance -- (if you're not sure of the actual amount, start with a little; you can always add more) -- and spoon into jar(s).
the silicone oils improve the feel, glide, and quick absorption of the butter, and in combination with the natrasorb, help to eliminate the greasy feel. you could use corn starch in place of the natrasorb, (and in fact, i've seen several recipes which do include cornstarch), but the natrasorb is made specially for this type of application, and makes a much better product.
glycerin and oil? yes! although the glycerin is water-based and the rest is oil, the [small amount of] glycerin, when added in this manner, stays incorporated and contributes to the creaminess and stability of the end product.
the mixing goes better with larger batches, but you can process as little as 2 ounces -- it will just be less "aerated". like lip balm, this is the type of product where you "tweak" the ingredients and their quantities until you get that balance that meets your personal requirements.
note: although the mixture is stable, it is vulnerable to temperatures in excess of 80° f.
the product starts out light and creamy, but many have experienced this type of mixture firming up after 24 hours ...and getting even firmer upon standing. this could be caused by:
  • making small batches. the larger the batch, the more efficient the mixing (read aerating).
  • although beaters work well, the mixing is more efficient if a whisk attachment is used.
  • although the silicone oils improve the feel and texture, they produces a product that is denser and less "creamy" ...more like a salve or balm.
  • finally, you could try using less "oil", since it's the solid aspect of the butter that holds its "fluffiness" at room temperature.
the application:
simply apply [a small "dab"] to any dry areas and rub in. the cream liquifies immediately on contact with the skin and soaks in without leaving a greasy feel. a little goes a long way.

oatmeal sugar scrub
the recipe:
12parts oatmeal powder (or orange peel powder, almond meal powder, etc. -- or combination)
8parts granulated sugar
4parts liquid soap (preferrably unscented) -- this also act as a preservative
2parts jojoba oil
* 2parts melted shea butter (or mango butter) or
1part melted butter and 1 part light oil (olive, shea, sweet almond, etc.)
fragrance -- (actual scent and amount is determined by personal preference)
the process:
combine the sugar and oatmeal, set aside. mix all the other (wet) ingredients together except the shea butter. melt the shea butter and add to the wet ingredients. now blend it all together.
blend in fragrance -- (if you're not sure of the actual amount, start with a little; you can always add more) -- and spoon mixture into jar(s). upon sitting, the granular ingredients may settle and oil will rise to the top* -- (like natural peanut butter) -- so a [small] spoon serves to mix the ingredients before use as well as a way to use the product without having to "scoop" it out with your fingers.
*if you use the oil and butter combination, the scrub will have a moist look and [slightly] easier spreadability, but the granular ingredients will settle. if you use all butter, this settling doesn't occur. the mixture will have a solidified appearance. however, the texture is still very soft and liquifies instantly on contact with the skin. if, after 24 hours, you feel that this non-settling mixture is too dry (either visually or texturally), you can adjust it by stirring in a very small amount of light oil or glycerin until you have the desired consistency.
the application:
spoon out the desired amount and rub all over the hands, feet, or wherever, massaging into the nail beds, knuckes, heels, elbows, etc. if it tends to dry out, you can use a little more, or apply a little (read a "few drops") of water to ease spreadability. don't add too much water as this will dissolve the sugar and defeat the purpose of the scrub. when finished, rinse under warm water. you won't get a lather, but the soap [in the product] will emulsify the oils, the water will dissolve the sugar, and it all rinses off ...leaving behind a thin film of emollience. your skin will feel refreshed, moist, and smooth.
facial scrub: a variation on this recipe can be used as a facial scrub by substituting super-fine granulated sugar (sold as baker's sugar). however, when combining the ingredients, you will end up with a mixture the texture of cookie dough. ..because of the sugar's fine granulation. slowly add [your favorite] light oil -- (or glycerin, if you prefer) -- (or melted butter ...for a non settling mixture) -- until it reaches a slushy consistency. this scrub can also be used to exfoliate any skin area for which the regular scrub is too coarse.