DIY Advanced, Lotions & Butters, The Scrub Me Down Kitchen

DIY: Better than Lingerie body butter

Let me tell you the happiest part about this butter. When you feel yourself up after putting it on? All I can say is, you’re welcome! Your skin will feel just… I don’t even know if there is an adjective adequately describe how this feels on my skin . And yup. I am so going to try to make this butter better in future attempts!

‘Tis that time of year where all this dry weather, heating systems are causing your skin to look like a pair of gross, old, worn out yoga pants. Oh yes. I so went there. Where regular body butter is still awesome and works wonders, but you’re a DIY junkie and can’t use the same body product for more than a few days in a row because you’re itching to make something new. And try out all those new ingredients! So you use crazy dry weather as an excuse to yourself to create something new.

img_2925.jpgAnd trying out new ingredients I did! Silk Amino Acids! Hydrolized wheat protein! A new panthenol that is more like an actual liquid not a clear sticky sticky mess that brings to mind molasses in January on crack! And, I had to try Olivem 1000 in a body butter with cetyl alcohol as it’s back up singer (for additional stability). Everyone talks about how awesome it is, I needed to try it out. I mean for a while there I was dead set against it because of the cost factor.

Cards down? More testing is needed. This is my third recipe in making a body butter with Olivem 1000 (needed to get that consistency just right! Thick, but not too thick. Thin, but not too thin. Scoopable, but not pourable. Then had to play with some oils and and and… I think I got it. Of course I will play with more it and properly compare Olivem 1000 to my emulsifier stash I’ve got going on.

Cause a girl can never have too many emulsifiers. Am I right? And they are all in competition.

img_2933.jpgLet’s talk a little about Olivem 1000. It is a fantastic product for a wide range of skin needs. Used in anti-aging products, great for oily skin, sensitive skin, normal or combination skin. It’s perfect in an eye cream, and great for cosmetic products that have a low to medium low oil phase. Want to know something neat about Olivem 1000? It kind of has a skin-like fatty acid so it can help to strengthen the lipid barrier of the skin and provide oodles of moisturization! It’s pretty dang cool in my books and I’m quickly finding it does live up to the hype!

What I find really neat about Olivem 1000, is that once you mix your liquid phase and oil phase together, you can whisk it together and you get a thinner consistency. But mix it with an immersion blender? and you get a much thicker consistency! But, the one issue I’ve discovered with the whisking, you do need to make sure you add in an ingredient like a cetyl alcohol or xanthan gum to aid in stability, or else you run the risk of losing your emulsion (this is kind of where I find Olivem 1000 fails me). And, if you blend with a whisk or something other than an immersion blender, your lotion/butter will take a good 24 hours to get to its full viscosity. I personally prefer the immersion blender. 

img_3046.jpgI really wanted to use liquid oils and to use oils that I know my skin likes. So that had me dusting off my last bottle of avocado oil I’ll ever buy in China and checking to make sure that it was still good to use! And one of my favourite oils, wheat germ oil. Wheat germ oil is an awesome oil for dry winter skin as it is naturally packed full of Vitamin E, which is one of the biggest reasons why you don’t see me add in extra Vitamin E when I make stuff with wheat germ oil for me. It’s said that wheat germ oil can help repair damaged skin, give you a boost of collagen, helps with blood circulations and replaces the kitchen sink. Unfortunately, wheat germ oil has received a negative reputation as being a pore clogger (Comedogenic rating of 5 which means you are guaranteed to break out).

IMG_3015Yeah. That comedogenic rating belongs with the dinosaurs. Extinct. I really like to thumb my nose at the rating system and live on the wild side by using ingredients like cocoa butter and wheat germ oil with amazing results. Don’t take one rating system that has been debunked often as your bible! Try out some fun oils!

Avocado oil is a fantastic oil and much loved for its spreadability and its ability to penetrate deep into skin. Perfect for giving dull winter skin a boost! I used refined avocado oil in my recipe, but unrefined would work well too!

IMG_3008My additives I went a little crazy. I know. My hydrolized wheat protein I think is  an awesome new ingredient to play with. Yup. This stuff is mainly for hair, I wanted to check out how it works on the skin, and I have to admit, I like the results. I used it in a hair brightening mask and I noticed the results immediately after washing it out. So far I’m liking it quite a bit!

The silk I used in this recipe is silk amino acids from The Soap Kitchen. I am really loving not tasting the silk peptides every time I open the bag!

IMG_2998So, this Body Butter leaves your skin feeling amazing. I’ve brought two different tubs of it to work, and both tubs grew some legs and walked out of my classroom.

I scented this with Garden Path from Gracefruit, which imparted a very light and delicate fresh scent of Springtime outdoors. I think next time I will be using some sort of grapefruit or citrus scent or even possibly something a wee bit sultry to match that amazing silky feeling left on the skin. I also added in some white mica (1/2tsp) and some pastel blue (a drop) to give this some shimmer. Let me tell you. You might think you need more shimmer, but PLEASE don’t. Even with these small amount there is more than enough shimmer going on here!

IMG_3034I decided to try the new preservatives I bought while in Ireland. Gracefruit POG  preservative (Phenoxyethanol and Ethylhexylglycerin) and give it a test. If you do not have the same preservative, feel free to use your usual preservative system.

Did you make it? What did you think?

Screen Shot 2018-01-06 at 10.45.46 AM.png

Prepare your work space by wiping everything down with a 10% Bleach solution. Wipe all your equipment, tools, beakers down with isopropyl alcohol. Don’t forget your immersion blender, countertop AND your scales! I like to use beakers when I make stuff, makes me feel all sciency! If you don’t have beakers, use some Pyrex or heat resistant glass cups. Wide mouth Mason jars will work too!

  1. Into Beaker A, weigh out all your liquid phase; water, aloe and glycerin. Place into your double boiler on a barely there simmer.
  2. Into Beaker B, weigh out all your oil phase; Olivem 1000, wheat germ oil. avocado oil and cetyl alcohol. Place into your double boiler on a barely there simmer.
  3. Into Beaker C, weight out your additives; panthenol, liquid wheat, liquid silk, preservative and fragrance oil and set aside.
  4. Let Beaker A and Beaker B sit in the double boiler for about 20 to 30 minutes. Once everything is melted, remover Beaker A (liquids), wipe off the outside, and gently pour the contents in Beaker B. Stir gently with your spatula for a moment before removing Beaker B from the double boiler.
  5. Using your immersion blender, blend the contents in short bursts until you see things thicken up a wee bit. Continue the short bursts, whilst using your spatula to scrape down the splatter.
  6. Once the Body Butter has cooled to below 40C, add the contents of Beaker C and stir.
  7. Decant your butter into three 100g pots, or a 250g (you’ll have a wee little bit left over though for immediate use!), leave the cap off while they fully cool down.
  8. Label your pots with the date, and enjoy!


My 250g pot of Butter grew legs and found a new home.


The other pot that grew legs and the new owner has demanded a face lotion that would make her face feel the same. Challenge accepted!
It’s a shame all the sounds I made while trying this lotion for the first time didn’t come through. There were plenty of ooohs and ahhs and holy coffee pots!


For some reason, this post was originally posted without pictures. Hopefully, the situation is sorted and all is well! One day soon, this blog will be in a country that will never need to use a VPN!

DIY Intermediate, Hands & Feet, Lotions & Butters, The Scrub Me Down Kitchen

DIY: Mangotastic Hand Butter

You know how it is. Your hands are dry, scaly so you reach for your awesome shea butter based body butter and apply it whilst sighing that your hands shall be smooth one again. You go to sleep, wake up and feel up your hands. YAY! All is good. So you go to wash up for the day, and apply more body butter to your hands, rub it in and off you go!

Look at that hunk of awesome! Mango Butter! 

Only, you begin to see greasy hand prints everywhere. Elevator doors, your door handles, your floor (I sit on the floor a lot with work), your coffee cup, steering wheel (if you drive), everywhere! But your hands are nice and soft! But your hand prints are everywhere! Let’s not begin to talk about how my phone screen or key board look these days. So how to fix this?

Shea butter is an awesome ingredient that I have been recently been enjoying playing with and adding into various products but always in small amounts. But my hands take a beating with all I do and need something with a little more oomph but less shea butter grease. But something with all that shea goodness. 

What does that leave us with? Why mango butter of course!

I think all butters and lotions once mixed look fantastic! 

Shea butter contains oodles of fatty acids which help to keep the skins elasticity and moisture. High in oleic and stearic acid, which are fantastic in keeping the skin moisturized which has an awesome side effect. Highly moisturized skin looks healthy and healthy skin looks younger. And has oodles of Vitamin E. And mango butter contains pretty much all the same awesomeness as shea butter… only not greasy! The glory that is mango butter is that mango butter is a “dry” butter. As in it sinks in pretty quickly not that it dries you out. It doesn’t. Really. It just sinks in fast leaving your skin soft and supple.


Mango Butter is three times the cost. So don’t spill any on your counter tops. D’uh!!!

But mango butter is three times the cost. So, that is something to be aware of. I’ve worked with it a lot in the past, especially in a lot of hand butters as it sinks in very quickly, and the usual usage rates for emulsified body butters is at 15%. Following the “cheatsheet” for emulsified body butter is great, but I like to toss it out the window when playing in my kitchen. I wanted something with less liquid oils, more butter and more frothy/fluffy than a creamy butter. So I upped it to 20%. But I reduced the liquid oil to 7% from 12%. But that is the fun of making your own stuff! Play with the ratios, but just make sure you know how your emulsification system works and what it can handle.

Look at that nice thick goodness and all those stiff peaks? NICE!!!

I’ve also added in sweet almond oil, Vitamin B5, Vitamin E and aloe vera juice. If you want this butter to have an even faster sink in rate, try switching out the sweet almond oil for hazelnut or apricot oil. For my ewax, I decided to use Emulsifying Wax NF. I really like how this ewax thickens up over 48 hours.  For my scents for this recipe I was torn between using mango fragrance oil or vanilla. I much prefer lighter and softer scents to the WHAMO full on powered scents. So if you prefer the WHAMO scents, check with your manufacturer’s recommended usage rates.   At the end of the day? I went with Mango Fragrance Oil from FNWL it is a really nice one! 

My new 60g glass pots. 

I decided to make 500g as then I’d be able to fill up some of my new glass pots for gifts and still have enough left over for me to play with. When you work with larger sized batches, you need to be aware that your liquid phase might evaporate! Into this size batch, it’s pretty easy to figure out.  Before pouring Beaker A into Beaker B, be sure to weigh it. You should have made notes before about the total weight, so you should be able to see quickly if the numbers work out. Into this recipe I added in 8g of water to make up for 8g of liquid that evaporated. 

This one is for my bathroom

The process for making a butter is basically the same as for making a lotion. You weigh, heat, blend, stir/mix, allow to cool, mix, add in stuff, stir, cool, decant, cap. And that’s about it! Very easy!

So let’s get cooking!

Screen Shot 2017-12-10 at 12.55.10 PM

Prepare your work space by wiping everything down with a 10% Bleach solution. Wipe all your equipment, tools, beakers down with isopropyl alcohol. Don’t forget your immersion blender, countertop AND your scales.

  1. Grab three beakers (or heat resistant pyrex measuring cups, I just really like my beakers), your double broiler, scale, spoons, immersion blender, ingredients, pots, and spatulas.
  2. Into Beaker A: your liquid phase. Weigh out your water, aloe juice, glycerine and silk.
  3. Into Beaker B: your oil phase. Weigh out your butter, oil and ewax.
  4. Into Beaker C: your additives. Weigh out your panthenol, Vitamin E, fragrances (if using), and preservatives.
  5. Place Beaker A and B into a double boiler on a barely there simmer until everything is melted. Give it about twenty minutes.
  6. Remove Beaker A from the double boiler, wipe off the bottom, and slowly pour the contents into Beaker B. Use your immersion blender to blend everything together.
  7. Blend again making sure that you have blended enough, then allow to cool for about twenty minutes, then blend again. Repeat as necessary until your butter has cooled to room temperature. Be aware that your butter may not be as thick as you’d like it to be at room temperature. Do not worry! Some ewax takes a few days to thicken up.
  8. Once your butter has reached room temperature, add the contents of Beaker C to your butter and blend for the final time. Ensure you have blended thoroughly.
  9. Decant into clean pots and enjoy!



The work lights I use in my kitchen are the “warm” coloured lights as they don’t hurt my eyes. So all my lotions come out looking very pretty in photos! 
DIY Advanced, Hands & Feet, Lotions & Butters, MsBarb, The Scrub Me Down Kitchen

DIY: Lemony Lanolin Foot Butter

Last year, I developed some sort of awesome sheaness foot butter that resulted in an almost sponge like texture. It was awesome. Pure awesomeness. It had peppermint essential oil, shea butter and…. yeah you got me there. I have no clue what else was in there. Obviously preservative, maybe some silk? wheatgerm? aloe? water? vitamin e? Who knows for sure! But it was truly awesome. I rubbed it into my feet, put on some socks and shoes and left for work. After about twenty or so minutes, my feet would start to tingle as the peppermint decided to peek it’s pretty little head and I’d sigh in bliss. Hot toes!

As I said. Pure awesomeness.

I went looking for that recipe some time ago and realised that some of my notes were lost in a computer file transfer (see why I strongly suggest notebooks?) and then decided since I couldn’t find the recipe why not create something with more awesomey-packin’-a-bigger-punch for a foot and hand butter?


I work with my hands both at home and at work too. My hands are constantly being washed, while at home usually encased in latex gloves which I personally find drying, I put my hands into scalding steam often, the dishes to wash up… and I work in China so that means tons of dusty environments, children cooties… what I put my hands through really takes its toll on them. And then in winter, I usually suffer from dry cracked knuckles, I probably possess the worst looking cuticles in the history of man-kind. And all this is when I apply butters and lotions and such to my hands on a regular basis. You should see them when I don’t apply anything helpful to try to keep them soft. You’d run screaming into the night sky.

And then there is China. China, is not that pleasant come winter in the north. It’s dry, and then dry some more. And then even more dry. The temps are far enough below zero to take care of the moisture in the air, the wind also is pretty bad, then you have the state heating system that dries out the air even more. So yeah. It’s AWESOME! But it takes a huge toll on your skin.1481503443718_

And I need something stronger than a body butter for my hands… and oh yeah. My feet too. Originally I designed this for a winter foot butter, but it’s quickly becoming more of a hand butter to apply at night. This sits on my night stand and I dig into it each night. It goes on like a dream, and then I put my hands into a pair of cotton socks then go to bed. I wake up with cuticles that are remarkably soft, hands that feel like they’ve been pampered and no dry skin. But it is still “technically” summer, so that is a pretty easy accomplishment.

I’m training my hands to look beautiful for winter.

Take that winter cracked skin! I’m ready to accept your defeat!

The star of this recipe is lanolin. And surprisingly, there is not a lot of solid info that I can find about this awesomeness. Other than a possible history of over 8,000 years. I know it comes from sheep, helps to repel water, but is a superstar at keeping water in, helping resolve the issue of dry cracked skin, and was one of the star ingredients in my favourite balm growing up, Udder Balm which helped tremendously with my cuticles. It’s a superstar ingredient for those with severe cracked skin and a precious ingredient for mountain climbers and cold weather junkies like myself.

1441503443709_.pic copyWe’re also adding in some aloe juice to work as a film former, shea, sweet almond oil, panthenol and silk all amazing ingredients to help dry and cracked skin. I’ve decided to use peppermint essential oil and lemon fragrance oil in this butter to compliment the emulsified foot scrub we made the other day. In that post I mentioned that I don’t regularly use sweet almond oil as I generally go for other oils with a dry finish rather than an oilier finish. But, we’ve had a few people request recipes with easier to obtain ingredients, however; if you are like me and prefer that dry satiny touch finish, swap out the sweet almond oil and replace with some hazelnut oil. Or apricot oil. Both are good choices.

Now with the foot scrub, we used lemon essential oil. In this butter we are not. And the reason is simple. I plan to be wearing this on my hands when I go outside come cold weather. And that means, the sun+citrus essential oil=BURNS. When it comes to adding in fragrance or essential oils, you can choose to change them up so maybe you want cherry blossom or lavender scented hands. The skies the limit! Have some fun with fragrances!

To make this foot butter it is just like making a lotion. There are two major differences though; a butter is scoopable making it easy to decant into pots. And you aren’t able to use a pump or decant into a squeeze tube unless you fancy wrist damage. And, you’ll be using pots for butters.

Let’s get making!

Screen Shot 2017-08-20 at 1.41.13 PM

  1. In a heat resistant Pyrex or beaker (all hail the beaker gods), weigh out your water phase: water, aloe and silk and place into your double boiler on a barely there simmer.
  2. In a second heat resistant Pyrex or beaker, weigh out your ewax, sweet almond oil, shea and lanolin and place into the double boiler.
  3. In another bowl, weigh your panthenol and preservative, and let sit.
  4. After about twenty minutes, remove the ewax, almond oil, shea and lanolin beaker from the water bath.
  5. Remove your water phase from the water bath and wipe the bottom of any water before gently combining your water phase into your oil beaker. You will need to blitz it with an immersion blender to make sure everything emulsifies completely.
  6. Every five to ten minutes come back and blitz for a few seconds, then let it sit for another five to ten minutes to cool down.
  7. Once your lotion has cooled to a temperature below 40C, it is time to include your panthenol and preservative, blend, then add in your fragrances or essential oils using a pipet.
  8. This lotion will be quite thick, so take a sterilised spoon and scoop into a pot. I used a 100g tin pot and a 100g plastic pot for observing. Allow to cool completely with the lid off before capping and labeling.
Can you tell what is on my mind for winter gift sets?