Today we’re stirring up a creamy five-ingredient lip scrub that pairs beautifully with my Candlelight Lip Butter; buff away any dry skin and then spread on some rich lip butter for an indulgent lip-moisturizing experience. Let’s get started!
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A creamy lip scrub needs a creamy base; ours is made from a blend of rich jojoba butter and silky sweet almond oil. Jojoba butter is a pseudo butter rather than a true butter—it’s made by blending liquid jojoba oil with solid hydrogenated soybean oil. If you don’t have jojoba butter you could use a different pseudo butter instead—there are TONS of them! Just be sure to look at the INCI to confirm the base is a hydrogenated vegetable oil; some of them are based around coconut oil and that’s not quite the same.
You’ll notice that this lip scrub doesn’t include any sort of emulsifier—something you’ll usually see in creamy body scrub formulations. That’s because we want some oil left on the lips; I’ve experimented with lip scrubs that contain emulsifiers for improved rinse-off and found that improved rinse-off left my lips feeling really dry.
The scrubby-ness of this lip scrub is entirely from white sugar. Yup, just plain ol’ “put it in your coffee” white sugar! It’s inexpensive, easy to find, and if you happen to get a bit in your mouth it’ll taste nice. You could use salt instead if you don’t have sugar, but it will taste pretty darn unpleasant if you happen to taste it! I add the sugar after heating to help speed along the cooling process and to make it really easy to tell when the jojoba butter has melted.
The creamy base and sugar comprise 98.5% of the formulation! To top it off to 100% we’ve got a bit of vitamin E (to delay rancidity) and a touch of a warm gold mica to give this scrub a nice golden colour and make it match the rest of the formulations in this year’s Candlelight theme.
You’ll want to package this scrub in a tin or other wide-mouthed jar; once you’ve brought it to trace it’s far too thick to attempt to pour into a screw-up lip balm tube. Make sure the scrubs you give away include a label that makes it very clear the user cannot add water to it. I don’t find this is a huge issue for lip scrubs as they aren’t great candidates for shower storage, but all the same, make sure your recipients know.
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Relevant links & further reading
- Sweet Almond Oil in the Humblebee & Me Encyclopedia
- Coloured Mica in the Humblebee & Me Encyclopedia
- Tocopherol (Vitamin E) in the Humblebee & Me Encyclopedia
- Simple Creamy Almond Body Butter (discusses pseudo butters)
- 6 Vegan Waxes for Organic Cosmetic Formulations from Formula Botanica (discusses pseudo waxes, which are similar to psuedo-butters)
- Other Candlelight formulations:
- Other lip scrub formulations:
Candlelight Creamy Lip Scrub
Prepare a water bath by bringing about 3cm/1″ of water to a bare simmer over low to medium-low heat in a small saucepan.
While the heated phase melts, prepare an ice bath. Take a bowl that is large enough to accommodate the container the heated phase is melting in, and fill it about halfway with ice cubes and cold water.
After about 20–30 minutes everything should be completely melted through. Remove the water bath from the heat, remove the measuring cup from the water bath, and dry it off with a dishtowel. Set the measuring cup on a towel or hot pad to insulate it from the counter and stir the mixture with a flexible silicone spatula to combine everything.
Place the measuring cup containing the heated phase into the ice bath and cool, stirring constantly, for about thirty seconds—until you start to notice some building viscosity. Remove the container from the water bath and add the cool down phase. Stir to incorporate.
Continue stirring the mixture in the ice bath until you reach a fairly thick “trace”—the mixture should have enough viscosity that a small amount drizzled over the surface of the mixture leaves a 3D “trace” for a moment. The mixture should appear opaque. Refer to the video to see it in action! This part can be a bit tricky as too much viscosity will mean the batter won’t pour into the container nicely, so be careful and make sure your packing is standing by.
Once you reach trace you can now pour the product into its container and leave it on the counter to set up.
Shelf Life & Storage
Because this scrub does not contain any water, it does not require a broad-spectrum preservative (broad spectrum preservatives ward off microbial growth, and microbes require water to live—no water, no microbes!). Be sure to keep it dry to ensure it lasts as long as possible—don’t let any water get into the container and it should easily last a year. If you notice it starts to smell like old nuts or crayons, that’s a sign that the oils have begun to oxidize; chuck the product out and make a fresh batch if that happens.
As always, be aware that making substitutions will change the final product. While these swaps won’t break the recipe, you will get a different final product than I did.
- As I’ve provided this formulation in percentages as well as grams you can easily calculate it to any size using a simple spreadsheet as I’ve explained in this post. As written in grams this recipe will make 130g, which will fill four 30g (1.06oz) tins.
- To learn more about the ingredients used in this formulation, including why they’re included and what you can substitute them with, please visit the Humblebee & Me Encyclopedia. It doesn’t have everything in it yet, but there’s lots of good information there! If I have not given a specific substitution suggestion in this list please look up the ingredient in the encyclopedia before asking.
- You could try a different pseudo butter as an alternative to jojoba butter; look for something that contains some sort of hydrogenated vegetable oil in the INCI.
- You could also try making your own pseudo butter; hydrogenated vegetable oil is basically vegetable shortening, so you could try blending some unflavoured vegetable shortening with jojoba oil. I’m not sure what the ratios would be, so you would have to experiment with that yourself.
- You could try a soft “true” butter (mango, shea, murumuru). You may have to re-develop—I haven’t tried it.
- You can substitute another lightweight oil like grapeseed or sunflower seed instead of the sweet almond oil.
- Do not use brown sugar instead of white sugar.
- You could use salt instead of sugar but that will taste gross.
- If you’d like to incorporate an essential oil, please read this.
- The mica is optional; replace it with more jojoba butter if you don’t want to use it.