I had so much fun designing and creating this adorable pink Watermelon Mint Lip Scrub! I’m loving (and needing) lip scrubs pretty regularly these days thanks to Calgary’s dry winter weather (I know it’s technically spring but I don’t think the weather here has noticed!), and a quick buffing with this creamy, minty treat is just the thing to do away with dead skin and refresh my lips.
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There are two parts to this scrub: the creamy base and the scrubby bits. The creamy base is a simple blend of watermelon seed oil and stearic acid. I chose watermelon seed oil for its beautiful, lightweight skin-feel; I don’t like emulsifiers in lip scrubs as I find that makes the scrub too drying for my lips, but I still don’t want the product to leave my mouth and surrounding skin really oily. The watermelon seed oil is thickened it with stearic acid because stearic acid thickens oils in a way that makes them feel like butters—not surprising given the high stearic acid content in butters like shea butter (~42%) and mango butter (~40–45%)! I kept the creamy base fairly soft so it stays soft after we add part two—the scrubby bits!
Plain ol’ granulated sugar is our #1 exfoliant, ringing in at a full 50% of the formulation. While you could use salt instead, it won’t taste nearly as nice, and given it’s a lip scrub you are pretty much guaranteed to taste it a bit when you use it! I complimented the sugar with some black poppyseeds to create that classic black-seeds-on-pink-melon watermelon-y appearance. You don’t need much in the way of poppyseeds to get that look, thankfully, as I find scrubs with high concentrations of insoluble exfoliants tend to have me finding those little exfoliants all over my bathroom for days.
A touch of pink mica colours the bulk of the scrub a pretty melon-y pink, and some peppermint essential oil gives the whole thing a lovely minty scent. If you want to incorporate a watermelon-y note you could look for a watermelon flavour oil; don’t use a fragrance oil, as they aren’t approved for use in lip products. The finished scrub is lovely in a small tin or jar, and is just the thing to freshen up dry winter lips. Enjoy!
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Watermelon Mint 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 wide, flat-bottomed sauté pan.
Regarding the sugar melting: Sugar is water soluble, so it cannot dissolve in the oil base. Its melting point is 186°C (367°F), so it cannot melt in a water bath, where the heat is capped at 100°C (212°F).
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.
Once the heated phase has melted (the sugar, poppyseeds, and mica won’t melt, so they’ll just be sitting at the bottom of the bowl), remove it from the heat and stir for a minute, giving the container a chance to cool a bit. Then place the bowl in the ice bath and stir constantly for about one minute, until the mixture has cooled and thickened. Weigh in the cool down phase ingredients. Stir to combine.
Now it’s time to package the scrub! I used a 30mL (1fl oz) pink tin from YellowBee for 30g (1.06oz) of scrub (I made 15g batches for both the blog and YouTube and put them in the same tin). 15g of scrub will work well in a 15mL (1/2 fl oz) tin, or you can double the as-written formula to make 30g (1.06oz) and use a 30mL (1 fl oz) tin. This scrub is too soft for a twist-up lip balm tube, and I suspect it would clog up the narrow opening on a squeezy lip gloss tube, so I’d recommend sticking with some sort of wide-mouthed tin or jar.
To use, massage a small amount of the scrub into your lips and rinse off the extra with a bit of water. Resist the urge to eat 😝Enjoy!
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.
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 15g.
- To learn more about the ingredients used in this recipe, 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 (watermelon seed oil) please look up the ingredient in the encyclopedia before asking.
- I don’t recommend swapping out the stearic acid. If you have to, cetearyl alcohol would probably be the best place to start. You could also look at using a pseudo-wax like olive wax, though you will likely have to re-develop the formulation to get the right end consistency.
- You could use jojoba beads instead of the poppyseeds or simply use more sugar.
- Make sure you are using granulated white sugar—not brown, raw, demerara, icing, powdered etc. You could use a finer granulated sugar (like berry/caster) though this will reduce the scrubbiness of the product. I wouldn’t recommend using a coarser sugar as that’ll be very scrubby, though you could try it if you love a lot of scrub.
- You could also try table salt instead of sugar, though that’ll taste really salty when you use it (obviously, ha).
- The mica is optional; replace it with more watermelon seed oil if you remove it.
- You could use a different essential oil.
- You could also incorporate a watermelon flavour oil; do not use a fragrance oil as they are not approved for use in lip products.