This bright and juicy Whipped Lemon Poppyseed Emulsified Sugar Scrub is a new bath time favourite of mine. In addition to leaving my skin wonderfully soft, hydrated, and exfoliated, it also leaves me craving pound cake, and I definitely don’t think that’s a bad thing. It’s rich and creamy, packed with scrubby sugar and a sprinkling of poppy seeds, and thanks to the emulsifying wax in it, it won’t leave greasy globs of shower death in your bathtub. All good things, says I (my shower, skin, and skull agree).

The thing that makes an emulsified sugar scrub extra special over other sugar scrubs is how it’ll emulsify with your bath water. This is awesome for two reasons. Reason #1: It doesn’t turn your bath into a death trap. Oil + smooth bath tub = crazy high slipping hazard. Fortunately, the oil in this scrub will emulsify with your bath water, and wash harmlessly down the drain instead of floating on top and then leaving an oil slick as your bath water drains off. This also means less tub scrubbing, which I am all for!

Reason #2: emulsified sugar scrubs basically create a lotion right on your skin, right as you use them. So, in addition to getting some kick-butt exfoliation going on, your skin is getting a serious dose of made-to-order hydration. I definitely can’t argue with that in February (or any month of the year, really—Calgary is dryyyyyy).

Despite the prominent poppyseed bit in the name, most of the scrubbiness comes from sugar. This is because sugar is water soluble and will dissolve into your bath water and wash down your drain after you scrub with it, unlike poppy seeds. A few will easily wash away, but lots of poppyseeds = lots of tiny black dots in your tub, which seemed… less than ideal. We’re really just going for that fun yellow-and-black studded look rather than a swarm of black mini-beads in your bath.

In keeping with the wonderfulness of DIY, you can customize the scrubbiness of this scrub to your tastes. 100g (3.5oz) of sugar is really quite scrubby, so if you aren’t fond of an enthusiastic buffing, I’d recommend starting with less. If you’ve got quite sensitive skin you can work up from nothing—simply wait to add the sugar until you’re whipping the chilled oils part, and add a wee bit at a time, testing between additions, and stopping when you’re happy (and be sure to take notes so you can do it again!).

Once you’ve whipped up this scrub you’ll have a beautiful tub of creamy, scrubby goodness that is downright lovely to use. It leaves your skin soft and hydrated, and definitely not too oily—thanks to the emulsifying wax, this scrub rinses off beautifully, leaving just soft skin. You’ll also probably want pound cake, but I’m definitely not going to apologize for that 😉 Enjoy your brand new Whipped Lemon Poppyseed Emulsified Sugar Scrub!

Whipped Lemon Poppyseed Emulsified Sugar Scrub

20g | 0.71oz complete emulsifying wax (not beeswax!)
20g | 0.71oz refined shea butter (USA / Canada)
8g | 0.28oz stearic acid (USA / Canada / UK)
40g | 1.41oz safflower oil
3g | 0.1oz sea buckthorn fruit oil (sea buckthorn seed oil is ok, too—it is just for colour)

20 drops lemon essential oil
70–100g | 2.47–3.5oz white sugar (USA / Canada)
1g | 0.03oz poppy seeds
2 drops Vitamin E MT-50 (USA / Canada)

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.

Weigh the emulsifying wax, shea butter, stearic acid, safflower oil, and seabuckthorn oil into a small heat-resistant glass measuring cup. Place the measuring cup in your prepared water bath to melt everything through.

Once everything has melted, remove the measuring cup from the heat and dry the outside of it off with a dish towel. Set the measuring cup on a towel or hot pad to insulate it from the counter and stir the mixture to combine. Stir in the essential oil, sugar (read the blog above to decide how much sugar to use), poppy seeds, and vitamin E. Transfer the mixture to a bowl you can use electric beaters in, and pop that bowl in the fridge to help the sugar scrub mixture solidify—this will take 30–40 minutes.

When the sugar scrub mixture has solidified, remove the bowl from the fridge. Use electric beaters or a stand mixture to beat the mixture until it is light and fluffy, like when you’re creaming butter and sugar together at the start of a cookie recipe.

Lightly spoon he whipped scrub into a 250mL/8oz tin. 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!

From what I hear from readers, my sea buckthorn berry oil is much less orange than is usual. I used 3g (0.1oz) with that in mind—I expect your scrub will be a brighter colour than mine, but it still shouldn’t stain anything, especially since you’re using it in the bath with quite a lot of water to dilute it. If you don’t have sea buckthorn oil, you can use another 3g (0.1oz) of safflower oil and either leave your scrub un-coloured, or you can colour it with a bit of yellow iron oxide or yellow mica.

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).