I really like going barefoot during the summer. My bathtub and typically clean floors really wish I wouldn’t. There’s something about dirty feet that just end up being a whole different level of dirty. You’ll give them what feels like a fairly dedicated sudsing with a loofah and some body wash and you’ll still leave a black heelmark in the tub directly afterwards, despite being certain your feet were clean. Dangit, feet! That’s where this Whipped Minty Foot Scrub comes in.
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When I was dreaming up this product I knew I wanted it to be exfoliating, minty and fresh, and super effective at cleaning summer dirt off my feet. A reader sent me links to a few whipped shampoo products that were basically whipped surfactant-laced body butters, and that got the wheels turning upstairs. Something like that would be brilliant for my rather grim summer feet!
Knowing this would need to be firm enough to whip, our surfactant blend features mostly solid surfactants—mostly SCI and SLSa, both of which are anionic. Some added Cocamidopropyl Betaine, which is amphoteric, helps make the surfactant blend milder, and transforms our powdered surfactants into a soft paste that gets us much closer to the whip-able consistency we’re after. Altogether we’ve got a total active surfactant matter of about 17.45%, which is on the higher end of the recommended range for a body wash. Given the tough (and stubbornly filthy) nature of my summer feet, this seemed fitting.
Our surfactant paste is further thickened up with some stearic acid. Some shea butter, rice bran oil, and glycerin help make things a bit gentler and richer—easier on the skin. And then we have our decorations! Some green mica for a touch of colour; some tingly peppermint essential oil for a fresh, cool pop of mint; and some scrubby jojoba beads to help buff your feet to squeaky-clean perfection.
While I used jojoba beads, you definitely don’t have to. Because this scrub contains water I don’t recommend water soluble exfoliants like sugar or salt. There are plenty of fun options, though! For something more botanical you could try ground apricot shells. Pumice is always a classic choice for feet, or some colourful vita burst beads would also work. If you use something colourful you could try dropping the mica so the beads contrast with the white base, or choose an exfoliant colour that will contrast nicely with the mica you’re using. There’s lots of room to play!
The final scrub is a very cool mousse-y consistency. Because it’s got quite a lot of added butters it doesn’t lather like crazy, but you definitely will get a low, rich lather that cleanses beautifully. I like to take a scoop on a spoon into the shower—while the scrub does contain a preservative, so you can keep it in the shower if you want to, I wanted to avoid incorporating extra water. I’ll sit on the little ledge in there and massage a generous teaspoon-ish sized dollop of the scrub into the bottom of my feet, working it between the toes and getting everything minty fresh and clean. It’s delightful. I hope you enjoy this Whipped Minty Foot Scrub as much as I do!
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Whipped Minty Foot Scrub
Secondary heated phase
24.5g | 24.50% vegetable glycerine (USA / Canada)
10g | 10% stearic acid (USA / Canada / UK)
12g | 12% rice bran oil
10g | 10% refined shea butter (USA / Canada)
7g | 7% Sodium Lauryl Sulfoacetate (SLSa) (USA / Canada)
Jojoba beads, as required (I used 3g for a 100g batch)
Prepare a water bath by bringing about 3cm/1″ of water to a bare simmer over low to medium-low heat in a medium saucepan.
Weigh the primary heated phase ingredients into a medium sized, deep, heat-resistant mixing bowl. Place the measuring cup in your prepared water bath to melt the SCI into the Cocamidopropyl Betaine.
While the primary heated phase melts through, weigh out the secondary heated phase. Once the SCI/Cocamidopropyl Betaine is uniform, add the secondary heated phase and melt all that together.
When everything is melted, remove the bowl from the water bath. Stir in the water, and let the mixture cool for about an hour.
Once the mixture is cool, whip it with electric beaters until it’s light and fluffy—about 3 minutes. Add the essential oil, preservative, and mica, and beat again. Adjust the mica if necessary to get the colour you want.
Add your exfoliant, briefly blend, and test to see if it’s scrubby enough for you. Add more exfoliant if you want more scrubby-ness.
Shelf Life & Storage
Because this scrub contains water, you must include a broad-spectrum preservative to ward off microbial growth. This is non-optional. Even with a preservative this project is likely to eventually spoil as our kitchens are not sterile laboratories, so in the event you notice any change in colour, scent, or texture, chuck it out and make a fresh batch.
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 (without the exfoliant).
- I don’t recommend altering the SCI, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, or stearic acid. If you do, you’re on your own—I can’t promise this will whip up well.
- You can use a different liquid oil in place of rice bran oil
- You can use a different soft butter, like mango, instead of shea butter
- You can use Bioterge AS90 instead of SLSa
- Feel free to try a different colour and/or scent
- You can use a different exfoliant if you like—just make sure it’s not water soluble (so no sugar or salt). Something like ground apricot shells, pumice, or vita burst beads would work.
The white plastic jars were gifted by YellowBee.