There are many types of exfoliants you can add to Melt & Pour soap that add textural and visual interest to your designs. Bramble Berry carries lots of great options like bamboo powder, seeds, pumice, and now almond meal, which you can find on their exfoliants page. You can also try salt, sugar, even sand. Don’t overdo it, though. Once I added coffee grounds which resulted in a bar so scratchy “it could take barnacles off a ship,” my husband observed. Oops.
My favorite exfoliant is jojoba beads. Jojoba beads are awesome because they’re gentle and come in gorgeous colors. They can be a beautiful part of your soap design. In the soap picture above I used yellow beads in a clear bar as part of a set of citrus soaps.
There are 2 challenges to using jojoba beads, though – they can melt or float if you’re not careful. In my Citrus Set, the two other bars also had jojoba beads but they totally melted, making my bars look like solid colors. That was a mistake. I should have waited until my melted soap was between 120-130 degrees before stirring them in.
To avoid floating, you should be very conservative with how much you use. The more you use, the harder it is to get them all incorporated. So start with a pinch and add more until you’re happy, but then wait until the soap starts to thicken, like a thin pudding, before you pour into your molds. Or you can get soap base with a suspension additive which takes all the guesswork out of it. This is a must if you’re adding botanicals like tea leaves which LOVE to float!
You can also use jojoba beads as a garnish for your soaps, instead of stirring them in. Here’s a picture of some Soap Tarts where I sprinkled a mixture of beads onto a pink sheet of soap while it was still hot, which I later cut into frosting shapes (see my Cameo Soap Kit for how to make your own embeds like this). You can also sprinkle them on top of a loaf soap for some cute color.
Next Monday I’ll have a new tutorial featuring Jojoba Beads, so make sure to come back and check it out! Thanks and have fun!