Most foaming sugar scrubs that you see are aqueous, meaning that they include water in the ingredients, however, there is a way to make a beautiful oil-based sugar scrub that has amazing foaming ability, but also incorporates oils for that lovely skin feel you get from oil-based moisturisers.
It can also be customised to be as thick or thin as you like by adjusting the sugar content. It is also scoopable for those ASMR videos we know everyone loves so much!
So, how do we get the foaming ability without using the usual surfactants like SLSA, SCI, Cocamidopropyl Betaine etc? The answer is Lumorol.
Lumorol (INCI: MIPA-Laureth Sulfate, Laureth-4, Propylene Glycol) is a waterless blend of anionic and non-ionic surfactants that holds oils well, creating a beautiful foaming oil-based product without the need for other surfactants. When it comes into contact with water, it self-emulsifies into an oil in water foaming emulsion that cleanses the skin.
Typically, usage is between 35% and 65% (you’ll see in our formula we have it at 20%, if you omit the sugar then the Lumorol works out as around 60% - it’s the addition of the sugar in this formulation that reduces its percentage, but since sugar is an exfoliating addition and not a dilutant, it is not reducing the Lumorols effectiveness). Lumorol is mild and gentle and cleanses the skin well whilst allowing the oils and butters in your formula to leave it feeling super moisturised.
You can omit a preservative in this formula because it is anhydrous and thought that only a minimal amount of water would enter the container whilst in use and would not be enough to affect allow bacteria to grow. If used in a scrub with sugar or salt, the water would dissolve into these components and create an inhospitable environment for bacteria also. So, it’s an exception to the rule for products coming into contact with water needing a preservative as it contains no water within the formula and has a high percentage of sugar.
Overall, it’s up to the individual, but we’ve not had issues with anhydrous scrubs used in the shower ourselves. Provided you aren’t pouring water into the container it should remain fresh for the given shelf life.
If you do choose to use a preservative then I would recommend a 1% inclusion of Phenoxyethanol EHG. This is a broad-spectrum preservative that is both oil and water and effective in a wide pH range.
The other thing to note about this product formula is that Lumorol has a relatively high pH of around 7. The finished product came in at a 6 when tested with pH strips and our pH meter. 7 is a neutral pH, whereas our skin is around an acidic 5, so I am happy with a 6 since this is a rinse of product and moisturising from the oils.
So here is our formula and recipe. If you want to adjust for more or less sugar then write down how much you used at the end and then recalculate your percentages. You can do this by writing down the gram weight of all of your ingredients that you used, then convert back into percentages to add to 100%. If you need help with this, we have an excel calculator available in our website resources section.
4.50% Shea Butter, Refined
4.50% Fractionated Coconut Oil
2.23% Sweet Almond Oil
0.02% Mica or Pigment
1.5% Banana Fragrance Oil
0.5% Vitamin E
66.75% Granulated Sugar
Recipe for a 200g Batch
9g Shea Butter, Refined
9g Fractionated Coconut Oil
4.45g Sweet Almond Oil
0.05g Mica or Pigment
3g Banana Fragrance Oil
1g Vitamin E
133.5g Granulated Sugar
- Measure out Lumorol into a beaker and out aside
- Mix the oils and Shea butter from phase B in a beaker and heat to melt the Shea butter
- Allow to cool to 40 degrees or less.
- Add to the Lumorol and stir gently to avoid foaming.
- Add the colour mica or pigment and stir gently
- Add the fragrance and vitamin e and stir gently
- Add sugar and stir until desired consistency, record weight of sugar added and recalculate percentages if necessary.
- Scoop into containers
If you are adding a preservative, then replace from oil phase.
Go easy on the colour as you don’t want staining, I’ve listed 0.05g, but in reality, probably added less.
There are no anhydrous alternatives for Lumorol that I know of, bit you can customise by changing up the oils that you use if you want. I’ve chosen fractionated coconut oil as it’s lightweight and easily absorbed, and sweet almond as it absorbs well and penetrates deep into the skin. Make sure that if you use coconut oil, it is the fractionated kind and not the kind that can solidify, as you don’t want to clog your drains.
Change up the colour and fragrance for a different look and scent. Try scooping multiple colours on top of one another.
Let us know what you think of this recipe in the comments!
Disclaimer: These formulas and recipes are experiments created for the purpose of sharing on Patreon and YouTube. Revega does not make any claims as to their qualifications or the efficacy of the formulations which are listed here for entertainment purposes and accepts no responsibility for how you use these. We are self-taught and offer these videos from our years of knowledge and experience in making our own cosmetic products.
Remember that if you intend to use one of these formulations for your own product range, do your own research, experiments, adjustments and tests before using, gifting or selling.
To get early access along with exclusive recipes and support, join our Patreon.