Good Enough to Eat
I'm often asked, if and when or why don't I have my own line of scented body products. My answer to this 3-part question is that I would love to create an original line of my very own beautifully scented natural body care. Which means, I would like to have my very own formulations rather than take some existing bases and add a scent to them. This is not advisable from technical point of view, not to mention marketing wise: each scent has a different chemical make up, therefore it is hard to predict how it will interact with a given base or the other. Often times, when a fragrance is added to, say, an existing unscented body lotion "base" - the lotion simply breaks down. Not a pretty site, but also not something you would want to put on your skin.
There are many technical difficulties, challenges and problems when developing a new skin care line: the texture, fragrance and performance of the product (i.e.: how does it make your skin feel after), not to mention packaging. Unlike my existing products, which I assume most of my customers use when their hands are clean and fairly dry - one could not expect such handling of a body products that will be most likely stored and used in the bathroom - or even the bathtub or shower! I won't bore you with the details of what it takes to develop the line from start to finish, but I will let you in on some of my recent experiments of very simple body care products that are all natural, free of preservatives, that will make your skin feel good and smell fantastic.
I've already begun my adventure with the bath salts for Mother's Day which require a very simple procedure of blending essential oils with a salt-mix. The next step for me was to figure out a formula for a sugar scrub that will be as fun to use as some of my favourite body products. I love sugar scrubs, and especially the more luxurious ones, because they do two tasks at once: the exfoliate my skin while leaving it gently moisturized. A good sugar scrub, in my opinion, needn't be followed by a body lotion or a cream. It should be the kind that will emulsify with the bathing water and leave the skin soft and smooth...
A while back, I created a body-butter consistency sugar scrub. The challenge with that was that it left the skin a little too greasy, plus the butters and some of the oils (i.e.: coconut oil) harden too much in cooler weather. So my task today was to make a sugar scrub that will look pretty much the same in most room temperature ranges.
My first trial was one based on Guilt perfume, which I've been meaning to make for a loooong time. The concept was to use ground up cacao nibs as an additional exfolliant besides the sugar. Although I was tempted to use cacao butter, I decided to opt for something more stable: shea oil, which is liquid rather than solid in room temperature. Along with vegetable glycerine, fractionated coconut oil and vitamin E it's bound to leave behind a silky-smooth skin. The ground cacao nibs add a nice texture and an earthy, irresistible yummy chocolate smell, which I only enforced with very little bit of cacao and vanilla absolute. It also has sweet orange and wild orange oils, and of course - orange flower absolute. Using the scrub in the bath was a real treat: it's like playing with mud but not really getting dirty beacuse it is so easy to wash off (it would have been a totally different story if I put cacao powder instead of the nibs!). And it makes the skin look all dark and tan or for the duration of the scrubbing ceremony, which I thoroughly enjoy myself. Yet the nicest surprise was that the orange blossom lingered on the skin for about an hour after bathing!