Today we’re mixing up a fragrant, perfect-for-autumn Cinnamon Sugar Dry Foaming Body Scrub. Starring sugar, rhassoul clay, and a gentle surfactant for all kinds of gorgeous bubbles, this 7-ingredient scrub makes a great gift and a great excuse to take a hot bath ❤️
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It likely won’t surprise you to find that the bulk of this Cinnamon Sugar Dry Foaming Body Scrub is sugar. Mostly plain ol’ granulated white sugar, but I’ve also included some larger-grain “sparkling sugar” for a bit of visual interest and added scrubbiness. Please don’t use brown sugar (too much moisture), icing sugar (that’ll make icing rather than a scrub… could be neat, but not really what we’re going for), or berry sugar (too fine). Rounding out our crystalline ingredients we’ve got some dendritic salt, which keeps this scrub from clumping up into a solid mass. I highly recommend having some on hand if you like making dry things like this (bath salts, powdered scrubs, etc.).
The cinnamon-y colour and scent of this scrub don’t have any true cinnamony roots, and that’s for a very good reason. Cinnamon can be pretty dang irritating to the skin, even at low concentrations—and irritation is amplified by physical exfoliation (check) and sitting naked in a tub of hot water with the irritant (also check). The brown-ish colour is from some rhassoul clay, while the mouthwatering scent comes from Brambleberry’s Cinnamon Swirl fragrance oil. Real cinnamon bark essential oil has a maximum allowable usage rate of 0.07%, which isn’t much at all, especially if you’re wanting a finished product that actually smells like cinnamon. This fragrance oil can be used safely at a much higher level (the IFRA sheet says it can be used in lotions up to 5%, which so much that I think you’d be tasting it in the air for days after each application!)
I’ve included a small amount of marula oil to weigh this scrub down (so it’s not floaty and easily inhaled) and make it a bit richer on the skin. You could really use any liquid oil you have on hand—I grabbed my bottle of marula on a bit of a whim. There’s no need to choose anything fancy, but I would avoid oils that oxidize very quickly, like flaxseed oil.
The foaming part of this Cinnamon Sugar Dry Foaming Body Scrub comes from the inclusion of 20% Sodium Cocoyl Isethionate (SCI). Sodium Cocoyl Isethionate (SCI) is one of my favourite surfactants. It’s really gentle and creates truly indulgent, dense, rich lather everywhere it goes. If you work this scrub into wet skin with your hands you’ll get some great exfoliation and some lather, and then the whole lot will rinse off beautifully and leave your skin clean and velvety. If you want more of a body wash experience, sprinkle a teaspoon or two of the Cinnamon Sugar Dry Foaming Body Scrub onto a loofah and work that up into a great big cloud of luxurious bubbles. Both are lovely—I’ll usually start with a good scrubbing and finish with a loofah-ing down.
The dry bath-salts-y nature of this Cinnamon Sugar Dry Foaming Body Scrub does mean you’ll want to think a bit about how you use it. You don’t want any water getting into this scrub as it’ll cause the scrub to turn into a solid block as it dries, so if you’re taking it into the shower with you, I’d advise using it all up in one go (unfortunately the different particle sizes in this make it poorly suited to a shaker-top container that could possibly make multi-use it shower safe). For baths, you can either take the test tube into the bath with you and be careful (well, not in the bath, but next to it) or pour some into a small plastic container and then just use all that up in one go if you’re dipping wet hands into it.
Once you’ve mixed everything up and let it dry for two-ish days (this helps prevent clumping/hardening), you’re ready to package the scrub and get all cinnamony-scrubbed down 😄 Enjoy!
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Cinnamon Sugar Dry Foaming Body Scrub
Weigh the first four ingredients into a bowl. Mix together with gloved hands. Add the marula oil and fragrance. Massage everything together with gloved hands until the mixture is uniform.
Put on your dust mask. Add the Sodium Cocoyl Isethionate (SCI), and gently mix everything together with your hands until uniform.
Spread the mixture out on a cookie sheet and leave it to dry for two days before packaging. I used a couple of cute test tubes with screw-on caps from YellowBee. I found a 100g (3.5oz) batch filled 3 of the test tubes beautifully.
To use: for a scrub, dispense a teaspoon or two into your palm and rub into wet skin in the bath before rinsing off. For more of a body wash experience, sprinkle a teaspoon or two over a loofah, work up a lather, and wash as usual.
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!). Bare 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. Since we are not adding a preservative you must portion out the amount you want to use into a small shower-safe container for use so you are never taking the master batch into the bath/shower, where it is very likely to become contaminated with water as you’ll be dipping into it with wet hands. Even if you did include a preseravtive, the addition of water will cause the mixture to seize up into a solid brick (also not good!), so it’s definitely in the best interest of this scrub to keep it dry.
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 recipe 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 100g.
- 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 can use coarse or fine rhassoul clay. I don’t recommend swapping out the clay—the brown colour is part of the cinnamon-y appearance.
- You could use table and/or coarse salt in place of the white granulated and/or sparkling sugar.
- You could try Natrasorb instead of dendritic salt, though I haven’t tested this to see if it seizes. This is the only substitution suggestion I have for dendritic salt. If you cannot get either you can use sea salt instead, but be aware that the mixture is likely to seize into a brick, though how quickly that happens will depend a lot on the environment you live it.
- You can substitute another liquid oil like sweet almond, grapeseed, or sunflower seed instead of marula.
- If you’d like to incorporate an essential oil, please read this. I do not recommend putting cinnamon (essential oil or ground) in this product.
- If you’d like to learn more about the surfactants used and compare them to ones you might already have so you can make substitutions, check out this page. Sodium Lauryl Sulfoacetate (SLSa) would be a good alternative.