DIY Intermediate, MsBarb, The Scrub Me Down Kitchen

DIY: Fragrant Bombs

I know. What an original name.

We’ve been thinking of ways to put a bunch of fragrance in a bottle so it is safe to apply to hair and skin without worry of skin safety and spillage. Originally I was thinking about putting it into a roller bottle, but then nixed that idea when I learnt just how messy they kind of are. One of my favourite FUGLY purses suffered the consequences of a roller bottle. And, roller bottles how would I apply that to my hair?

So dropper bottles for the win! And that also means a little more versatility. You can apply it to your hair brush, your comb, a drop in you palm and feel up the ends of your hair. You can add a drop or two to your regular body lotion to enhance the scent, add to the existing scent or apply this neat to your skin. I wouldn’t suggest it on the face as some people find too much fragrance on the face annoying or sensitive to fragrance oils on the face.


I have had a lovely bottle of dimethicone (silicone) that I’ve been jonesing to play with for the past month and I finally gave in and played with it. I’ve needed a new hair balm or oil or hair lotion to help my ends and give my hair some extra TLC as it’s summer, so that means my hair is always up in a ponytail so breakage is more than likely. And since Sonia is learning all about hair balms and various ingredients, I decided to try my hand at a hair oil with my newest ingredient… silicone, as hair is on the mind here in The Scrub Me Down Kitchen.

3And with any new ingredient, you actually have to use it first before you know how your skin and hair reacts to it. I know right? How weird is that concept!

And this recipe is really easy. I picked argan oil and fractionated coconut oil, added in some fragrance oils, poured directly into my dropper bottle, capped, shake shake shake and used. All while my hair was up in a towel. It took about five minutes to gather all the ingredients, weigh, cap and shake. But it took about twenty minutes to get the right picture.

I’ve never really been a fan of argan oil because it is outrageously (albeit well deserved for the price, I am not arguing with that) expensive, so I’ve just been weary of using it based on the price alone. I’m petrified that it would be wasted in any product I made or I wouldn’t like the end product. Then I knew I’d feel guilty about wasting something so expensive so always played it safe and just didn’t play with it. Then, the oil would go rancid then I’d have to throw it out and then I’d feel worse, but then for sure would order it again just in case I’d come across a recipe where I might need it. Then never use it. Toss it. Buy again. And repeat. So this time around I finally decided to use it.

Argan oil is always said to be great for the hair, fast absorbing into the skin, and the United States National Library of Medicine National Institute of Health concludes that argan oil does indeed have antiaging properties and can improve skin elasticity in postmenopausal skin. So my thought rational is, if it is good for postmenopausal skin, it should be good for middle aged skin as well. We’re getting up there in age, our hair is not as strong as it once was so the ends dry and break willy nilly.

6I decided to use fractionated coconut oil as I’ve never used it before on my hair. I’ve used it in soaps, I’ve used it in lotions, but never in hair care. So this being a new new new recipe, why not give it a go go go? Fractionated coconut oil is a liquid coconut oil that won’t solidify when cold. To make fractionated coconut oil, they have removed the long chain triglycerides… so if you are asking if it is natural, in my opinion no. It’s one of those neat natural plus ingredients.

I’ve been using it for a couple days now, and I have to say, I’m quite keen on it. I know right? Argan oil, where have you been? My too stubborn mind refused to play with you for years and I was so missing out!

If you store your argan oil in the fridge, it can solidify slightly and sink to the bottom of your container. Just warm between your hands and shake! You’ll be grand!

So how to use this neat little bottle of pretty? I take one drop, rub between my palms, then feel up the ends of my hair. I sandwich my hair between my hands, and use a back and forth motion while my hands travel down the hair shaft. I take another drop and do the hair around the front/long fringe/bangs as those ends seem to never want to be undamaged. I then give a war cry and attack my hair with my boar bristle brush to help disperse the oil throughout my hair. I also like to add a drop or two to a handful of lotion and give it an extra OOMPH in the smell department. I like lots of citrus smelling goodness on me.

I used fragrance oils to make this as I find most citrus essential oils are like most kids and vegetables. The vegetables seem to be invisible, I’ve watched kids eat egg fried rice and leave the vegetables. Now that takes not only commitment, but talent too! An essential oil like grapefruit can help with shine, but then you have to worry about photosensitivity and did you wash your hands and get it all off? I save myself the worry and just used Ruby Red Grapefruit from NDA. But, you can use any scent you’d like. I cannot wait to try different oils and try out coconut fragrance oil in the cooler weather. Coconuty goodness. Mmmmmm!

Swish your hair around throughout the day and get a whiff of something other than kid farts! Maybe I should have put it like this; swish your hair around throughout the day and catch a whiff of bright, cheery and happy thoughts!

Screen Shot 2017-08-09 at 8.47.00 PM


  1. place your new dropper bottle onto your digital scale and tare
  2. measure out your argan oil and your fractionated coconut oil
  3. using a pipet, count out your drops. I found 8 to be not enough grapefruit and ten was plenty. But if I were to use something like coconut, I’d probably only use four or five drops. Do not exceed your fragrance oils useage rating.
  4. cap and shake!
  5. and use! Swish and feel like a hair model.


DIY Intermediate, Lips, MsBarb

DIY: Summer Lovin' Minty Lip Butter

Well, I’m tired of pink lips. How about you? I enjoy summer,  but I want to put something on my lips that makes them go va va mint?

I love making soap. I really do. But in the summer when it is so hot and ugly weather going on, making soap is just to hard. I don’t fancy my sweat dripping off my nose into the soap. Yeah, it’s happened before. It’s not pretty. So I end up making small batches of this and that and try out some new recipes, colours in old recipes and give them a go.

2And I love making lip stuff. You get instant gratification (if you think 30 minutes or more is instant), they make neat little gifts, and you can colour them however you’d like!

So back to the pink. I’m tired of pink. I much prefer a deeper shade of red with some sparkles tossed in. So I decided to make it since most lipsticks/glosses/tints here in China I cannot wear. It almost seems like there is orange in the colour and no sparkles.

8The colour is totally optional, this lip butter is fantastic colourless, or you can add in 1/2tsp of of your favourite mica for a light shimmer. Might I suggest forgetting the carmine and just using the gold and pink?

So, I am also tired of thin feeling Lippy’s that are wonderful and beautiful and give your lips lots and lots of shine. I wanted something thicker. I wanted something that was thicker, longer lasting and something that would sink in and provide me with a wee hint of colour.

10Mango butter is lovely as it sinks in pretty quick and is considered to be a dry oil. It has similar properties to shea butter, but, is almost four times the price. I find shea butter leaves my skin feeling greasy and gross. Mango butter on the other hand, sinks in very quick, leaving your skin hydrated and feeling like silk without the grease. And on your lips, it is no different. The mango butter sinks in providing your lips with lots of happy thoughts!

I used cocoa butter and sweet almond oil to help provide glide. Cocoa butter will melt pretty easily against warm skin, and give you a wee bit of shine.

12For an added punch, I decided on adding in some flavourings. Mint and chocolate. I figured with Autumn right around the corner, this Summer Lovin’ Minty Lip Butter can work double time right into winter. YAY! Same with the colourants, you don’t have to add anything. Keeping it plain still gives you a fantastic lip butter!

Screen Shot 2017-07-23 at 4.33.06 PM

  1. weigh out your cocoa butter, beeswax, mango butter and sweet almond oil into a small heat proof glass. Place the heat proof glass over your double boiler and allow to melt keeping your stove top at a barely there simmer. This will take about ten minutes
  2. once everything is melted, remove from heat stirring with a stir rod or a clean chop stick
  3. add in your colourants and stir well
  4. add in your peppermint essential oil and cocoa absolute
  5. working quickly pour into your prepared lip tubes
  6. if you need to, place your heat proof glass back into the double boiler to melt down the lip butter and then pour again
DIY Intermediate, MsBarb, The Scrub Me Down Kitchen

DIY: Making a very easy lotion

Today we are going to be making a very simple lotion. This lotion is perfect for summer as it is not too heavy, and I think it is the perfect consistency for a very light summer recipe! We’ll be making 100g of lotion today.

Firstly, let’s get one thing straight. Beeswax is NOT an emulsifier! No matter what anyone tells you, beeswax is not an emulsifier. 

Got that? Good. 

And yes, this recipe calls for a preservative. And yes, we will always use one when making lotions.

Now that Scrub Me Down- Happy Skin has begun to regularly post some DIY recipes, there will be a lot of lotion recipes posted especially come Autumn when the cooler weather starts to come (I can’t wait!!! I hate China’s horribly humid weather think 30C with 97% humidity and NO air conditioner). And yes, that means some fantastic body butter recipes too!

All the ingredients you’ll need: ewax, coconut oil, vitamin e, glycerine, preservative and silk

Making a lotion is crazy fun! It’s worse than soap making I think in terms of what you end up collecting to make stuff. I’ve half a room dedicated to soap stuff, and the other half to lotion and cream making. So many choices to choose from! For this recipe, I just closed my eyes and grabbed a jug and that is the oil I decided to use to make this lotion. You could substitute coconut oil for babassu oil, shea butter, cocoa butter. And each one will give you a different result! My skin really likes coconut oil, but everyone has different skin, and coconut oil is pretty cheap and it probably is already is in your kitchen cupboard. 

I decided to use Emulsifying Wax NF for this recipe as it is a pretty common ewax and easy to get a hold of in western countries.

Oil Phase: coconut oil and ewax

For the liquids, I decided to just use plain water, as this is a simple recipe! I love glycerine as my humectant and it goes into every lotion recipe I make! It steals moisture from the air and deposits it on the skin! This time of year…. I can actually feel the glycerine working on my skin! Which is super neat! I added silk for a silky smooth feeling and a humectant boost. And I mean come on! It’s silk! If you don’t have access to silk, feel free to remove it and just add more water. 

Liquid Phase: water, glycerine and silk peptide

The extras, I decided to keep it simple. Just some Vitamin E, a preservative and a couple drops of fragrance oils. A preservative is a must. You’re mixing oil and water together, if you don’t have a preservative, your lotion is only good for a day before you really need to toss it! Safety first please! I used Liquid Germall Plus from the NDA to make this recipe as simple as possible with ingredients one can easily get a hold of in any country. 

You are going to heat two parts or phases as we call them: a liquid phase with an oil phase, then mix a fair bit and allow to cool, mixing every now and then as it cools down. Then you’ll add in your extras. Stir again. Decant. And voila! That is how you make lotion! Lotion making in a few sentences!

My Oil Phase and Liquid Phase before heating

There are many bogs and websites out there that tell you, “you don’t need to heat and hold” and some that tell you that “you have to heat and hold your liquids and oils for twenty minutes and make sure they are the same temperature”. I love Susan’s blog. And I am enjoying Formula Botanica. But I personally have come to the decision, that it depends on what ingredients used and which emulsifying wax used which will determine if I heat and hold or not. I do feel that Emulsifying Wax NF is pretty dummy proof (and a great ewax to introduce lotions with) , so I personally just heat both in a double boiler on a barely there simmer till the oil phase is melted, then carry on my merry way. 

In the double boiler they go!

While you are waiting for your liquid and oil phases to melt, measure out your vitamin E and preservative into your small bowl.

Once everything is melted, remove the liquid phase and dry off the outside. Pour the liquid phase into the oil phase and gently stir with your spatula. Continue to stir and enjoy how your lotion at this moment looks like warm milk! And smells heavenly!

Combining the Water Phase and the Oil Phase while in the double boiler

Remove from the double boiler and let sit on a towel (so not to ruin your counter top!), with your immersion blender, tap out the air pockets and blend on low for about five to ten seconds. Then walk away for five to ten minutes. You want to alternate blending and cooling of your lotion without getting too many air bubbles in there. And you want to make sure you blend enough to get the emulsion to hold. All in all, I usually spend about thirty minutes to an hour on this part of lotion making. 

Blending and waiting to cool down

Once you have your mixture (should look like stiff yoghurt right about now) cooled down, add in your Extras and your fragrance oils if you choose to use them. Stir and decant into a 100mL pump bottle or 100mL flip top bottle. Be sure to leave the lid off and allow to cool fully before capping. Container condensation is NOT our friend! 

I really like this simple lotion. It comes together quickly and it is really hard to get wrong. It’s a great recipe for beginners! I have been using this as my foot lotion before bed, but it is an all purpose lotion that is lovely and light! It’s nice and light weight, great for summer but definitely not heavy enough for winter. I found the natural coconut oil scent a wee bit sweet, and I love love love tropical scents. So added in some fragrance oils; Ruby Red Grapefruit from NDA and Thai Coconut from FNWL. I love how the scent is rounded out to make a perfect scent blend for the nose and makes me feel like I am back in Mexico! 

Plop, plop, plop goes this summer light lotion!

So what do we need and what do we do to make a lotion? 

You will need:

– two heat proof pyrex measuring cups

– one small beaker/glass bowl+ pipet 

– silicon spatula 

– spoons 

– immersion blender 

– digital scale 

To make it simple and easy to understand, I split my recipe into three parts. Liquid Phase, oils+wax phase and extras.


Liquid Phase

79% water

1%  silk peptides

2% glycerine

Oils+Wax Phase

11.5% coconut oil

5% ewax


1% Vitamin E

.5% Liquid Germall Plus (preservative)

Optional into your Extras

5 drops Ruby Red Grapefruit Fragrance Oil

3 drops Thai Coconut Fragrance Oil

I cannot stress this enough, a preservative is a must for this recipe

  1. measure out your liquid phase ingredients into one heat resistant measuring cup
  2. measure out your oil phase ingredients into a second heat resistant measuring cup
  3. measure out your extras and optional extras into a small bowl
  4. place your liquid and oil phase heat resistant measuring cups into a double boiler on a barely there simmer and allow to melt (approximately 10 minutes)
  5. once melted, add your liquid phase ingredients to your oil phase ingredients and gently stir
  6. remove from heat
  7. using your immersion blender, blast your lotion on short bursts, be mindful of splattering
  8. alternate giving your lotion time to cool and blasting it with the immersion blender
  9. allow your lotion to cool to approximately room temperature
  10. add in your extras and blast it one last time with the immersion blender
  11. decant into your container
  12. allow to cool completely
  13. cap and enjoy!

So? What do you think of your lotion? What are you going to try next?

DIY Intermediate, Face, The Scrub Me Down Kitchen

DIY: Morning Moringa Magical Mask

When you get to run around looking like Jim Carey in “The Mask”, how can life ever be bad?

It has been so long I cannot even remember where my love affair of the stinky moringa powder came from. But it’s been something I religiously buy and keep a stockpile of for use in masks and in soaps. I used to add some to my smoothies, but found moringa burps were not something I or those around me were comfortable with.

Moringa has been said to help heal blemishes, improve dull skin, even skin tone, fight the signs of aging and bring Santa Claus to your house for tea. There is currently not a lot of studies on moringa, and the studies that have been done appear to have some benefits when taken internally. I know in my own skin care DIY projects, moringa is a star as I find it helps brighten my skin. Look at the breakdown of moringa powder:

Screen Shot 2017-06-18 at 10.36.56 AM
This nutritional value chart is from

Look at that vitamin C and E count! Not to mention all those minerals? I know the skin doesn’t absorb all that much but there is always a chance it might absorb some of those goodies right? Like magic! It could be magical or it could be magic with strings attached. Who knows! My skin loves it!

img_5902Kaolin clay is a very common clay and is a very gentle clay great for sensitive skin or very oily skin. It gently helps to remove uglies from deep in the skin. It’s a star in many of Scrub Me Down- Happy Skin products!

Making a mask is pretty simple. You take a small bowl, add in your ingredients and stir. I always add my powders first, then my liquids and oils.

So what are you waiting for? Whip this mask up and give it a go!


1 tsp moringa powder
1 tbsp kaolin clay

1/2 tbsp liquid (I like to use coffee, but you can use: various milks, water)
1/4 tsp honey
10 drops moringa oil or another carrier oil of choice

Optional: no more than four drops of your favourite skin essential oil

Mix together, I like a nice thick mask, but if you prefer yours to be thinner, add in 1/4tsp of liquid at a time until you get the consistency you like.

Apply to a freshly washed face, neck and chest area and sit back and relax! Or do the dishes or clean the bathroom, or answer the door. I’d strongly not suggest hanging up your laundry while wearing a mask!

Leave on the face for 15-20 minutes then wash off.  I find it gentle enough to not cause my skin to go into oil overdrive and putting it on in the morning doesn’t cause any issues later on through the day. This is a one time only mask, so please do not put any left overs in your fridge for tomorrow.

But, moringa powder is stinky! You’ve been warned!


DIY Intermediate, Face, MsBarb, The Scrub Me Down Kitchen

DIY: Cucumber Mint Toner

I got so lost in the deep dark abyss that is Susan Barclay-Nicols blog “Point of Interest” before the technical drama of the past week and decided we needed to order in some cucumber extracts. And we needed not just one, but two different types of cucumber extracts. And we needed more hydrolised oat peptides, and green tea, and grapefruit, and papaya, and comfrey, and liquorice extract and about five or six other extracts too. I just really wanted to stock up the fridge with all the winter scrubs, exotic oils, luxury waxes and extracts till the door wouldn’t close.

YAY! I think I might finally have enough to play with!

Yeah, no.

Two and a bit weeks in, and I still love it!

My DIY addiction runs very deep.The Cucumber Mint Toner came about because I needed a new toner and so did Sonia and I wanted to see how my skin would take to a different style of toner after all these years. I’ve been using the Bee Happy Toner for so many years hardly changing the recipe since I created it, and since I’m not getting any younger, I should try something new! And to see how my skin likes cucumber products. Because everyone around here goes on and on about cucumber products, I wanted to see what all the hype is about.

Aloe juice has become quite the staple in my face care of late, the more I learn about the skin the more amazed at the various ingredients I can choose from to do one thing or another or combine them and have a super power. I have found the more I work with aloe, the more I respect it. I love how it deals with the redness in my skin! Then there is this cucumber extract which everyone and the witch’s knee has gone on about but it is new for me to play with in a liquid form so I’m treating it like it is new. I really like the thought of the cucumber being astringent, which makes the skin feel (and possibly look) tighter after use. There are a few properties in cucumber and aloe that are similar, both are soothing and hydrating and both contain polysaccharides.

Polysaccharides provide our skin with a hydration boost, emolliency, and create a light gel barrier for the skin. Basically, both aloe and cucumber help to keep water IN where it should be for awesome looking skin.

Cucumber Toner 1

There is also a bunch of vitamins in here too! And because this was being made specifically to test to see how the cucumber extract works, I decided to make it cucumber minty. So there is some peppermint hydrosol and peppermint essential oil in here too for some tingle and cool factor! I cannot wait till next week when I can make the mint tingle summer spray that’s been playing around in my head of late.

Some of you who have known me from some various DIY blog’s, know I’ve never been keen on using hydrosols as they have their own types of issues chiefly exactly how fresh are they? Are they contaminated? Ok, let’s be honest here. I was really into hydrosols years ago, took one out of the fridge, shook it and opened it and it exploded. I have a wee little scar on my forehead and I have never wanted to use hydrosols again and used the “freshness” as a reason.  Anyways….

I really like to keep a bottle of this in my fridge for after work, walk in the door, reach into the fridge for my version of a cold one, shake some out on a cotton face pad and sigh with bliss on these ridiculously hot June days! I’ve been using this toner for a few weeks now and have been loving it!

Ok! So are you ready to make this toner? Sleeves rolled up? Apron on? Everything been wiped down and you are ready to create?

So what we are going to do is break this recipe into two parts. Pre-heat and Post-heat.


  • 59% distilled water
  • 20% aloe juice (the cosmetic kind, not the drinking kind)
  • 1% vegetable glycerine
  • 1% allantoin
  • 1% niacinamide

Post Heat:

  • 10% liquid cucumber extract
  • 5% peppermint hydrosol
  • 1% panthenol (I use the liquid)
  • 1% water soluble Vitamin E
  • 1% preservative NOTE 


4 drops peppermint essential oil

Measure everything in the preheat group into your heat proof beaker and set it in your double boiler on a barely there simmer. Now whistle a jaunty tune while you wait.

About tenish minutes or so later you should have everything dissolved and now it’s time to take it out of the double boiler. Stir and allow to cool till about 40C. You are looking for your liquid to be transparent with no crystal formations or white powders to be on the bottom.

Mix the post- heat ingredients into the beaker and stir well. Add in your peppermint essential oil and fragrance oil if you’d like. Decant into a 100mL bottle, and allow to cool. Once you’ve brought your toner to room temperature, cap, label and enjoy! Remember to shake before use!

NOTE: My preservative is the Chinese version of Liquid Germall Plus. My useage rate is 1%. Be sure to read your preservative information guide and go with what they recommend. If you do not need as much preservative, remove some of the water. 

So, what did you think about this product? How are you enjoying it?

Toner 3