Facial scrubs: Using the surfactant base to make scrubs! Part 1

It’s been a while, but my testers have responded, so here are the results! 

I’m working with the base surfactant for oily skin we figured out in this post. If you don’t know what the ingredients are, you’ll find them in that post or in the ingredients list or the surfactants section of the blog.

Part 1: Working on our surfactant base recipe
Part 2: More working on our sufactant base recipe
Part 3: More more working on our surfactant base recipe
Part 4: More working on our surfactant base recipe – thickening
Part 5: Tweaking the surfactant base recipe
Part 6: Adding the physical exfoliants to the surfactant base recipe
Which exfoliants to choose? Physical (part 1)
Which exfoliants to choose? Physical (part 2)

I’m using these exfoliants: BC Glacial clay, Australian pink clay, dermabrasion crystals, jojoba beads (28/60 size), and cranberry seeds.

23% distilled water
20% witch hazel
15% C14-16 olefin sulfonate
12% cocamidopropyl betaine
6% water soluble calendula extract
3% glycerin
1% hydrolyzed protein (I used Phytokeratin because I had it!)

3% Honeyquat
5% mallow extract (oil soluble)
0.5% liquid Germall Plus
0.5% powdered rosemary extract
0.5% powdered chamomile extract
0.5% grapeseed extract

up to 2% liquid Crothix

A quick aside: I really encourage you to add your exfoliants before the Crothix as I created Jell-o in a few cases! 

I made a huge batch of this cleanser and to it I added a number of different exfoliants. Let’s take a look at the clay and jojoba bead cleansers.

If the colour of this cleanser bothers you, leave out the powdered extracts and you’ll have a lovely clear to yellow coloured product. 

Why B.C. Glacial clay (which I bought from Voyageur Soap & Candle)? Because I live in BC and thought it would be nice to support my local ingredients. As well, it’s supposed to be a clay that doesn’t leave my skin dry after using and a good exfoliant. (I haven’t been able to find a lot of good information about this clay, so that’s really all I know.)

I removed 100 grams of the cleanser and added 10 grams of BC Glacial clay. I originally added 5 grams, but it just wasn’t thick or scrubby enough. It’s a weird black/green colour which will show up in your products, but it’s not so awful that you wouldn’t use it. If you hate the colour, put it in an opaque bottle.

Melissa’s comment after using it for the first time: “Just tried one of the clay cleansers. The kind of dark green one. Feels awesome! I’ve had some problems with it settling, though. Should I let it get near my eyes and mouth?” She plans to use it every other day this week, so I’ll have more information about repeated use soon.

It’s okay to be near your eyes and mouth, just try not to get it in your eyes because it’ll sting a bit. And it doesn’t taste great. (Ask me how I know!)

The clay does settle to the bottom. The way to alter this would be to use more Crothix or thickeners. I didn’t want to do that for a product meant for oily to really oily skin as we don’t need more oil most of the time, and the thickeners I have are oil based. Or store it upside down, or on its side so it settles differently.

My suggestion for a tweak: Don’t use Crothix until the product has cooled and you’ve added the clay. I think it would be okay on its own and it would make it easier to shake when you wanted to mix up the clay!

I added 5 grams of 28/60 sized jojoba beads to 100 grams of cleanser. I had to add 3 grams of Crothix to it to get the product thick enough. I only had orange beads, so it looked quite awful when combined with the red brown of the cleanser.

Wanda comments, “I like that the scrub with jojoba beads exfoliates but does not feel like it scratches my face. It doesn’t leave my skin feeling dry or tight. The scrub was a bit thick, and the jojoba beads stayed on top of the wash. Overall, I really like it, it just needs a bit of tweaking.”

I admit that it’s a bit thick, and I can’t figure out how to get those very light, oil based beads from floating to the top of the bottle. It did this with the previous version I made with 60/100 jojoba beads. If I only use 2% Crothix, it feels like it’s too thin, but maybe I need to live with the thinner viscosity to keep the beads from floating to the top. Hmm, have to think about that.

Having said this, I think using a carbomer like Ultrez 20 would be a good start for creating a suspending surfactant base, but I haven’t had time to try this yet! 

I love this cleanser, but I do find it a bit too moisturizing for my oily skin. I would say this is best for normal to dry skin.

I messed upon this one and it was far too thick to use! I added 9 grams dermabrasion crystals to the 100 grams of cleanser, but it didn’t feel thick enough. I decided to add some liquid Crothix, and I added too much at 5 grams! It felt great on my skin – the crystals are scrubby, but not too scrubby for me – but it was just too thick for any container other than a jar, and it’s not suitable to be in jar. If you want to try this at home, I encourage you to add up to 9% to your cleanser, and leave it until the next day before thickening it further. I think it would have been a little more liquid than I would have liked with no extra Crothix, but 5% was far too much!

Join me tomorrow for more fun with surfactant based facial cleansers with physical exfoliants!