Today we’re whipping up a bit of cherry pink summery fun! This perky pink sugar scrub smells wonderfully of juicy watermelon and fresh peppermint. A creamy base self-emulsifies with your bathwater, turning into lotion as you scrub away dead skin with the sugar in the formulation, leaving you with ultra-soft, smooth, and moisturized skin. Lovely!
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The bulk of this scrub is plain ol’ granulated sugar. It’s our primary exfoliant, and a great choice as it’s inexpensive, readily available all over the world, and water-soluble—meaning it’s wonderfully scrubby as you use the scrub, but dissolves into your bathwater once you rinse it off, making for a cleaner tub post-scrub but also meaning you don’t end up sitting on a layer of grit on the bottom of your tub. If you want something less scrubby you could use a finer sugar, like berry sugar (not icing sugar!). You could also use table salt, or a blend of sugar and salt (possibly playing with larger grain salts or sugars for a scrubbing boost, though start small on large grain things as that can get to be too much fairly easily). Please don’t use brown sugar—it has a higher moisture content than white sugar and we don’t want that in this project.
Our creamy base is primarily a blend of inexpensive fractionated coconut oil that’s been thickened with cetearyl alcohol. You could easily use a different lightweight liquid carrier oil instead of fractionated coconut oil, but I recommend sticking to inexpensive ones since this is a wash-off product. Scrubs like this can also be a good way to use up oils that are nearing the end of their shelf life as you use quite a lot of ’em and can really motor through the scrub with full-body usage.
The creamy base also contains some lovely watermelon seed oil and some emulsifying wax, which allows the scrub to self-emulsify with your bath water when you use it. Not only does this make for a lovely transformation from pink scrub to creamy white goodness, but it also means your bath doesn’t get super greasy and slippery, and your bath water gets all velvety and gorgeous.
A touch of pink mica turns our scrub into a watermelon-y pink, and some black poppyseeds complete the watermelon-y look of the scrub. You could also use a different small black exfoliant instead of poppyseeds; if you had some black salt that would work nicely, as would black jojoba beads or black bursting beds (though those are more of a skin-nourishing thing than an exfoliant—but with 49% sugar we aren’t short on exfoliants in this formulation!).
And that’s about it! Melt, chill, whip, and you’re done 🍉 Enjoy!
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Watermelon Mint Whipped Sugar 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.
Weigh the heated phase ingredients into a medium-sized, deep, heat-resistant mixing bowl. Place the bowl in your prepared water bath to melt everything through.
Once the mixture has melted, remove it from the heat and stir in the sugar. Freeze the mixture in the bowl for five minutes, and then remove it promptly. Grab your electric mixer, and whip up the mixture for about 3 minutes, until it is fluffy and uniform.
Leave the scrub to fully cool to room temperature and then whip it again—I like to do the last whipping at room temperature to make sure it’ll stay nice and fluffy at room temperature. During this final whipping, you’ll weigh out the cooldown phase and whip that in as well.
And that’s it! Gently spoon the scrub into a jar—I used a 100g plastic jar from YellowBee for my 100g batch, and that worked well. To use, portion out a small amount of scrub into a shower-safe container, and take that container into the shower or bath with you. Massage small amounts of the scrub into your skin and rinse off. Enjoy your lovely soft, exfoliated skin!
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. I highly recommend portioning 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. If you plan on giving this scrub away, please include 0.5% Liquid Germall Plus™ (USA / Canada).
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 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 please look up the ingredient in the encyclopedia before asking.
- You can use a different complete emulsifying wax instead of Polawax.
- You can use a different inexpensive lightweight carrier oil instead of fractionated coconut oil.
- You could use more fractionated coconut oil instead of the watermelon seed oil.
- You could try a blend of stearic acid and cetyl alcohol instead of the cetearyl alcohol. I’d probably start with 50/50 and see how that works.
- Do not increase the amount of peppermint essential oil used; it’s not irritating at this level, but high concentrations of menthol (a component of peppermint essential oil) in a hot bath can be.
- You can use a different fragrance/essential oil blend if you prefer.
- You could use salt instead of sugar.
- Read the pre-amble for alternatives to the poppyseeds.