Friday, January 6, 2012

We Scrubbed This Post

I have a very fun project to discuss. One that we spent time imagining, planning, creating and finishing. But, I can’t talk about it yet because we made it for someone. Ha, ha! Teaser! I’ll fill in the details soon. Stay tuned!

In the meantime, we revisited an old project that might be best described as an epic fail. The second try was just shy of epic. Let’s call it an impressive fail. I will henceforth refer to this episode as the “Great Mocha-Spice Scrub Debacle of 2012” from now on.

Before Christmas I chatted with my sister-in-law about homemade sugar scrubs. We swapped recipes, discussed ingredients, planned storage containers.

We spotted a mocha-spice recipe, perfect for someone that we will affectionately call Starbucks-affected (I am not an addict). It was a delicious list of coffee grounds, cocoa powder, cinnamon and ginger. All of that goodness was swirled in sugar and “your favorite carrier oil” because, goodness knows, we all have a favorite carrier oil!

I initially chose olive oil because of its healing properties (ok, it was free in my cabinet). I mixed everything and then set out to have a lovely spa experience. This was a shower project, as I came to discover. Every inch of my tub was coated with oil, coffee grounds and a dark powder.

That was the tub. I was coated with what looked like the Exxon Valdez leftovers. The cocoa and cinnamon got stuck in the oil and didn’t wash off, so I now had an odd, filthy quality. And I had reddish scratches on my arms and legs from the coffee grounds. Darn that barista for grinding it too big!

Also, I may have invented a new Olympic sport-bathtub luging. Apply a thick coat of oil to a bathtub and then try to get out of it. Ha!

30 minutes later I was clean, the tub was clean, my skin was soft, albeit streaked with red, but I smelled oddly like coffee and olives. Not a great combination.

That was what I called the epic failure. I hear my sister-in-law had a similar experience.

This week, I tried to start again with the girls and make it a hand scrub instead. I tweaked the recipe, used a smaller grind of coffee and less cocoa. I also determined that I had changed alliances in the carrier oil of choice department. I moved to grapeseed oil which had less olivey odor.

The girls were very interested. Especially when they saw cocoa powder and heard the word spa. Anything related to a spa draws them like bears to honey. Must be innate since they have never been to a spa. Smart girls. Anyway, they made comments like:

“This smells sooooooo good.”
“Are we eating this?”
“Do we have to add coffee?”

After mixing it all together, it looked like sludge.

Not super-appetizing, but not smelling like olives either. Since I was not going to have us eat this concoction, I figured we were good.

I bit the bullet and decided to go first. I scooped out the scrub, rubbed it on my hands and discovered that the change in coffee grounds and oils had made a slight difference. No more red scratches. No more olivey smell. It felt good on my hands-I’m sure they were getting that healthy exfoliation. Then I looked at the girls.

“I am NOT putting that on my hands!” said the youngest.
“Me either!” said the oldest.
“Are you sure that’s for hands?” said the middle.

I think the visual may have put them off. Here is what the sink looked like:

I think going forward, I will stick with a basic sugar-in-grapeseed-oil scrub and keep my coffee in a mug.

Leave me a note if you have ever made a scrub from scratch that didn’t go haywire. Have a great weekend!

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