Wildflower Shower Scrub Bars
Learn how to make a flower filled shower scrub bar to polish and smooth skin.
Today I’m sharing a recipe from my newest print book, The Big Book of Homemade Products for Your Skin, Health & Home!
What’s a shower scrub bar?
A shower scrub bar is like a lotion bar that you use in your shower, only it has scrubby bits to help polish and exfoliate your skin.
These bars also contain a small amount of emulsifying wax, so you’re not left with a thick greasy feel on your skin, just a nice layer of moisturizing softness.
If you don’t have emulsifying wax, you could leave it out, though the bar will leave a heavier layer of butter on your skin and may make the shower floor more slippery.
Baking soda and cream of tartar softens water and adds extra scrubbing power. However, sensitive skin types may find the combination too abrasive, so both of those ingredients can be omitted if you’d like a gentler bar.
You can use any type of dried wildflower such as elder, dandelion, daisies, violets or yarrow. Or you might want to try garden favorites such as lavender, cornflowers or roses.
The type of flowers used is very adaptable!
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- 1/4 cup (45 g) cocoa butter
- 1 1/2 tbsp (5 g) coconut oil, *optionally infused with flowers or herbs
- 1/2 tbsp (4 g) emulsifying wax (optional)
- 3 tbsp (21 g) rolled oats
- 2 tbsp (2 g) dried flowers, or herbs
- 2 tsp (11 g) baking soda (optional)
- 1 tsp (3 g) cream of tartar (optional)
- 1/4 cup plus 2 tbsp (84 g) granulated sugar
- 8 drops lavender essential oil
- 8 drops sweet orange essential oil
* For an example of how to infuse coconut oil with flowers, check out my article on Whipped Dandelion & Coconut Oil Moisturizer.
The mold shown is a “6 Cavity Beehive Silicone Mold” from Bramble Berry.
Directions to Make
Combine the cocoa butter, coconut oil and emulsifying wax in a half-pint (250-ml) canning jar.
Set the jar down into a small saucepan containing 2 to 3 inches (5 to 7.5 cm) of water, then place the pan over a medium-low burner until the butter and wax have melted.
While the butter combination is melting, grind the oats, dried flowers, baking soda (if using) and cream of tartar (if using) together in a coffee grinder to form a fine powder. Combine with the granulated sugar and stir until completely incorporated.
Remove the melted butter mixture from the heat.
Stir in the essential oil and combination of dry ingredients. Mix well.
Pour into small silicone candy molds or ice cube trays to create individual scrub bars, or into larger molds for larger bars.
Place the molds in the refrigerator for 30 to 45 minutes, or until firm. To use, rub a bar over your skin while showering, then rinse with warm water.
Use larger bars up within 1 to 2 weeks after their first use, or make them in smaller single serving sizes that will stay fresh as long as no water is introduced into their storage container.
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Jan could I use beeswax instead of the emulsifying wax in this recipe?
Hi Diane, Great question! In this case, the emulsifying wax is there to help the butters and oils wash off your skin more easily. Beeswax doesn’t have that same ability to emulsify the oils/butters, so it would be better to just leave the emulsifying wax out if you don’t have any. :)
I purchased the Kindle version of this book. I am loving it and very excited to start making a few more of your products.
Hi Jane! Thank you so much for buying the Kindle book! <3 I’m happy to hear you like it & hope you enjoy the projects! :)
Hi Jan, thanks for another recipe that I just have to try! I have a lot of pumice powder and am wondering if you ever use that for scrubs. Maybe a creamy type, like the famous orange stuff?
Hi Jen, That’s a great idea! I use pumice powder in soap, but haven’t really played with it much in scrubs. I need to! :)
Question on the coconut oil. Is it 1 and a half tablespoons? If so, mine weighs more than 5g.
Hi Jen! Yes, that’s 1 1/2 tablespoons – looks like the formatting got messed up in the article, but think I fixed it now. Thank you for letting me know! :) For the batch shown, I used melted dandelion infused coconut oil used a half tablespoon and tablespoon measurement set to measure it out. The cocoa butter & emulsifying wax are easiest to weigh. :)
Could you substitute Shea butter for the cocoa butter? Thanks!
Hi Jen! Yes, you can play with the butters for sure, though in my original experiments with this recipe, I found that shea butter made the bar a bit too soft. You might have better luck with a harder butter like kokum instead. :)
I’ve just bought your book! I love the beehive mould- i don’t suppose you could tell me where I can find it? :-)
Hi Peony! I got that mold from Bramble Berry – I love it too! It’s super thick and sturdy – very high quality. 😊
It looks like it’s out of stock at the moment though, so you might have to write and check with them when they think it will be available again.
What are the purposes of baking soda and cream of tarter? What essentially is it doing when u use it in the scrub bar recipe
Hi Danielle! Baking soda and cream of tartar soften the water and add scrubbing (exfoliant) action to the scrub bar. You can omit those if you’d like!
I see the recipe does call for steric acid a preservative or antioxidants
When would I use these additives and can a body butter scrub bar go without them
Oh and some recipes use bees wax or candillia wax is this necessary or does a soap base basically replace them ?
Hi Danielle! This recipe doesn’t call for stearic acid, but emulsifying wax, which helps the butter mix with the shower water better, so it’s not too hard to wash off.
A preservative can be added if you’re making a large bar, or you can just make small single-use bars and not worry about the preservative. It’s only added in case the bar sits in a puddle of water after use (it could spoil then.)
Some scrub bar recipes may use beeswax or candelilla wax, but I wonder if they will be hard to wash off in the shower without something to help them emulsify with the water? You might be able to successfully use them though, I haven’t tried in this recipe to be sure though. Each shower bar recipe takes a bit of experimenting and several test batches to get right, so when you change up an ingredient, you usually have to make a couple of new test batches to get it feeling/behaving the way you’d like. 😊
Would u use melt and pour soap and wax together in a body scrub bar that comes rains butter and carrier oils?
Hi Danielle! I personally don’t combine wax with scrub cubes/bars made with melt and pour soap, but it’s possible that other crafters have successfully.
Instead, I’d use something like:
about 6 oz soap base
about 2 oz butter
about 2.5 oz carrier oil
about 14 oz sugar
The reason I’m hesitant to use regular wax (like beeswax or candelilla) in a scrub bar is because they don’t melt easily at shower temperatures and won’t mix well with water.
I think it might be kind of like rubbing a candle on your skin in the shower – just not the best use of wax. (BUT, I might be wrong! That’s just a guess off the top of my head.) 😊
On the other hand, something like emulsifying wax or an other emulsifier may do well, since it will combine well with the water.
Since soap is already in a scrub like that though, I would be less likely to add even that kind of wax.
You could definitely experiment with some little test batches and see what you like best! 😊
I see that many of these lotion and moisturizing bars have a short shelf life. What can I do if I want to store these for a little longer?
Hi Brian! The scrub bar itself, before being used, will have a longer shelf life – at least 9 months to a year. It’s only when it’s first introduced to water that the shelf life starts ticking down quickly.
So you could store the unused bars where they won’t get exposed to humidity or dampness in something like a tin or other container & they’ll have a nice long shelf life.
You could also add Phytocide Elderberry to the oils as an extra assurance: https://www.formulatorsampleshop.com/PhytoCide-Elderberry-OS-p/fssm16003.htm
What I normally like to do is make single use scrub bars, that way they’re good until you use them, and shelf life after using isn’t a worry.
The ones shown in the photo are made larger than I normally make, just because I’d gotten that new mold and wanted to try it out! :)
Hi there. I was wondering what metric measurements system you use? American Imperial? You see I’m based in NZ and we use metric and I had a little trouble with this recipe. It didn’t set. So I’m just checking 🤗 Regards Jessie
Hi Jessie, Thanks for letting me know! Sorry to hear that happened!
I used basic grams (weight on a scale) to develop the recipe and also made sure they fit into cups, teaspoons, etc in case someone didn’t own a scale.
My first guess would be the emulsifier type might be different than mine – do you have a link to the kind that you used?
It took quite a few test batches to get this recipe to turn out like I wanted, and the type of emulsifier combined with a hard butter like cocoa were pretty critical to the recipe.
They also must be popped in the fridge (or freezer) to ensure they firm up initially.
Those are my two best guesses, but I’m happy to help troubleshoot further once we see what emulsifier you have! :)
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