Homemade Lotion Bar Recipe: All Natural and Easy to Make

Note from Sarah: Wellness Mama is back with another wonderful post!  Be sure to visit Katie over at her wonderful blog as well!

Lotion bars are one of my favorite natural recipes to make for my own family and for gifts. They are extremely moisturizing and last longer than traditional lotion. They don’t contain any liquid so there is no tricky emulsifying and they are much more nourishing to the skin than traditional lotions.

Lotion bars are also very easy to customize to your own preference and can be used on babies and children. They have a natural SPF of about 5 which makes them ideal for outdoor workouts, hiking, or other activities where you want mild sun protection without the chemicals.

Basic Ingredients:

Optional Additional Ingredients:

  • 1 teaspoon Vitamin E oil
  • Essential Oils of choice (just no citrus oils if you are going to use in the sun)- See my suggestions below

How to Make Lotion Bars:

I used to make this recipe in a double boiler until I realized that I was creating a lot of extra dishes for myself and beeswax is really hard to clean! I finally realized that there was a really easy way to make these without using a bowl or double boiler.

Put coconut oil, shea butter and beeswax in a pint size or larger glass jar. Mason jars work great, as do empty glass jars from pickles, olives, etc.

Pour about 2 inches of water into a medium sized saucepan and place on a burner over medium heat. Place the glass jar into the pan with the water. I put a lid on the jar just to make sure that no water gets in it, as this will ruin the lotion bars.

Let the water get to a simmer and stir the contents of the jar, or shake every 1-2 minutes until all ingredients are melted (this should take less than 10 minutes)

Add any essential oils and stir to incorporate. Quickly pour into the molds you are using. I highly recommend silicon molds because they are easy to clean (this is the one I used). You could also use a regular muffin tin or even small glass jars. This will make six lotion bars with the mold I used or with muffin tins.

Leave the lotion bars in the molds to set for several hours or overnight in a  place where they won’t be disturbed. When they are completely set, carefully pop them out of the molds. I store in metal tins or cellophane bags and tie with twine or burlap for gifts.

How to Use Lotion Bars:

Lotion bars can be used exactly like soap, except on dry skin after showering or for anytime moisturizing. They aren’t designed to get wet, but are a mess-free way to deeply moisturize skin. Some of my favorite uses are:

  • With a little Chamomile infused oil for baby’s skin.
  • During pregnancy to prevent stretch marks
  • As a mild sunscreen
  • After shaving to keep skin smoother longer
  • As a nighttime facial moisturizer
  • To moisturize hands after doing dishes. I keep by the sink to use on dry hands after washing dishes.
  • As an all-over moisturizer after showering.
  • As homemade gifts, especially for pregnant friends, new moms and nurses (they are always washing their hands and often have dry skin)

Customize Them:

The great thing about lotion bars is that you can customize them to your own preference. Here are a few ideas or I’d love to hear yours!

  • Add 20-30 drops of your favorite essential oil for scent. I like lavender or ylang ylang.
  • Add 10 drops of peppermint essential oil and 1/2 tsp of powdered ginger for use on sore muscles after working out.
  • Add 1/2 cup organic arrowroot powder and a tablespoon of baking soda to make a natural deodorant bar that puts most regular deodorants to shame. Leave out the baking soda if you have sensitive skin. You can also add the powder of a couple capsules of shelf-stable probiotics for extra odor protection.
  • Infuse the coconut oil before making with some common kitchen herbs to make a bug-repellent bar that works great without chemicals.
  • Add a couple tablespoons of Zinc Oxide Powder (non-nano) to make sunscreen bars. The powder will settle a little which is normal. Be careful not to inhale the powder.

 Where to Get Ingredients:

You may be able to find most of the ingredients locally from health food stores. Many beekeepers will have beeswax available for sale. I get my ingredients from Mountain Rose Herbs because they are less expensive than the ones I can find locally. This recipe can be easily double or tripled, but to make this basic recipe you will need:

  • 4 ounces of coconut oil
  • 4 ounces of Shea Butter (or other similar butter)
  • 4 ounces of beeswax pastilles
  • essential oils or other ingredients of choice

You will still have a little of each ingredient left over with this recipe, and the leftover ingredients can be used alone or to make lip balm or salves.

Have you ever made your own natural beauty products? What variation of this recipe would you like to try? Share below!

Comments

  1. Emily says

    I recently made these lotion bars for my one-year-old’s eczema. We tried all sorts of prescription creams and ointments with little to no improvement. One week after starting to use this recipe on him, his eczema is almost completely undetectable. I used an old deodorant stick that I cleaned out thoroughly to hold it, and it’s so easy to apply to him. Instead of shea butter, I used illipe butter, and I added some neem oil for antibactierial properties and some lavender oil to help him relax. I think I will make sure to ALWAYS have some of Wellness Mama’s lotion bars around the house!

    • Carol says

      Hi Emily,
      I was SO glad to read about ths soap helping your baby. I’m very glad it helps him. If I may, I need your help. I am 60, just started getting Ecezema about 2 months ago. I’m a C.n.a, I wash my hands all the time. I stay peeling and cracked open. In fact, right now, before bed, I’ve put Neosporin and 6 bandaids on one hand. I have to have relief! So, what I’m asking is, can I please have your exact recipe?, but I would like it without any Oils in it for scents or the “calming” effect. I would really appreciate it if I can get your recipe from you. And God bless you and your baby. You are a good mama for trying “everythng”. Carol D. in Colorado

    • concerned mom says

      Hi just a word of precaution , you might want to read all the benefits and the risks about using neem oil. I was actually shocked to know and learn that they do have some serious side effects. ( I am a lover of neem oil too) esp to children. Although it is safe for some adults it is not really so safe on children. It has an aspirin-like compound that can cause Reye’s syndrome, metabolic acidosis, liver damage etc. Using neem in children, pregnant and breastfeeding mothers are not recommended. Pls feel free to learn and read about neem oil.

  2. JL says

    I make a similar lotion recipe and agree that it’s fantastic! I think the idea of turning this in to a deodorant is great; however, adding a probiotic is not going to aid in odor protection. Most probiotic supplements contain organisms from the Lactobacillus genus. These organisms need an anaerobic environment to live, so will not fare well applied topically on the skin.

  3. Thya says

    I’m confused about these directions, you CAN’T use after showering or anytime moisurizing? “Lotion bars can be used exactly like soap, except on dry skin after showering or for anytime moisturizing.”

    • Su Jin says

      Yes, I am confused as well, since it can be used like soap but aren’t designed to get wet (I wet my soap before using it…have I been doing that wrong forever?) and it can’t be used on dry skin but it can be used on dry skin after washing dishes? I want to try it but I am sorta confused on the how…more directions, please! Thanks! :-)

      • JL says

        I make mine a bit different than this recipe, in that I use less beeswax and more of the oils, but they’re close enough. I use this lotion as I would any other lotion and don’t have a problem at all, meaning I put it on any old time I think my skin is feeling dry. I know it’s better to put it on after the shower to trap in moisture, but I think it works just fine any time you’d want to put on a normal lotion. My only advice would be to use caution with nice clothes. Since this is oil based you could get oil stains on your clothes. I personally wait 5-10 minutes to get dressed after I use this.

      • Carrie says

        You use it like soap…the way you rub it on your skin- but unlike soap, you don’t wet the lotion bar is the point of that statement .
        “Lotion bars can be used exactly like soap, except on dry skin after showering or for anytime moisturizing. They aren’t designed to get wet, but are a mess-free way to deeply moisturize skin.”

    • Jennifer says

      The way the sentence is structured makes it a little confusing. She just means you rub it on your skin and apply it in a similar way to how you might apply or use a bar of soap when you bathe, but it’s not soap. It’s lotion and it’s meant to be used on dry skin. After bathing, after doing dishes, etc. Hope that helps!

    • says

      Sorry that wasn’t more clear. You use them like like soap in that you rub them on your skin to form a skin layer but you use them on dry skin instead of wet. Basically, you use when you would use lotion but you apply as if you were “washing” your skin with the bar of soap. Does that make sense?

  4. Amy B says

    Can’t wait to make these! We raise bees and have lots of fresh wax available- curious if you have a weight conversion for the beeswax pastille amount in grams or ounces? Thanks!

  5. says

    This sounds similar to a recipe I make for myself, although it’s much simpler and doesn’t shape into a pretty bar. I melt 1 cup olive oil, 1/4 cup of beeswax pellets, and add essential oils. It turns into a sort of Vaseline like consistency so I keep it in a Mason jar. Thanks for the tips about heating, as it really is a mess with the beeswax. As well as where to get the beeswax, my Whole Foods won’t have it for a couple of months.

    • Linda says

      Yours sounds interesting. Is that all – olive oil and beeswax? Where do you get your essential oils”
      Is it a good/great conditioner for your hands/body?

  6. delighted says

    Lotion Bar, L O T I O N B A R…. Use in the place of lotion…
    Thanks Wellness Mama for such a lovely lotion recipe…

  7. laura Shullln says

    I just bought me EO and wanted to make something with them…and then I see this post…I’m so excited. I can’t wait to make this…thanks

  8. Jordan says

    Could you pour the lotion bars into round tins and then let them set? just wondering how easy it would be to use from a tin? I’m excited to try this!!!

  9. Melissa says

    What is the best way to store these? I made a bunch for gifts but not sure the best/cheapest way to store them and give as a gift. Thanks!

  10. Pat says

    I’ve been anxious to try this recipe. Finally collected all the ingredients and made a batch yesterday. Wow! So easy and they turned out awesome. They will make great gifts. Thanks so much for sharing.

  11. says

    Thanks for posting this. Went to a craft bazaar today and bought a lotion bar with the same ingredients listed. I suffer from Eczema, and it smelled so amazing I thought I would give it a try. I love it, and now I’m going to attempt to make my own.

  12. Alexis says

    I made a batch and I am so excited. They are not only easy but also super effective and smell delicious. I am giving them away as Christmas presents.
    Melissa: At hobby lobby I got square plastic soap molds and little brown boxes (they are called unfinished paper mache boxes 60 cents each). When I took them out of the mold I wrapped them in wax paper and put them in the boxes. I am storing them in the frig just to be safe. Another thing that my mom suggested was wrapping them in a layer of wax paper and then a layer of brown shipping paper and a twine bow.
    Happy Holidays! :-)

  13. Annie says

    You can remelt them to add more ingredients. I made some today, didn’t have wax pastilles just beeswax bars so had to guess on how much would be 2/3 cup. Well, I guess wrong because they were too greasy. So I added a chunk of wax into the mason jar I had used, got the water simmering, when the wax melted I added back all the bars to the jar and let it all melt together. When it liquified I poured back into the molds, now the bars are perfect. It was big deal and only took a few minutes. This is encouraging because it allows you to play around with your ingredients. If they don’t work out, just remelt and try again with your modifications.

  14. Annie says

    Too, I wanted to say- mine smell strongly of the shea butter and beeswax (I did buy pure beeswax from a bee farm, and the shea butter is raw, unrefined), the coconut oil doesn’t seem to have a smell. Even though I had added lavender oil, I cannot really smell it. I am not sure how to get around this where you can use unscented ingredients therefore being able to add your own scent but I plan to see about soy wax maybe and some butter that has no odor and see what I can come up with. Personally I don’t mind the shea/beeswax smell but some may find it is not the most appealing fragrance.

    • Lisa G. says

      Just wanted to quick reply to you, I use candelilla wax instead of the beeswax and deodorized cocoa butter instead of shea butter for many of my scents (lavender, ginger, etc.) those two make the base pretty much unscented. The only time I use beeswax or regular cocoa butter is if I don’t mind the honey/chocolate base that it gives (which, honestly, works well for some more “food-y” scents, but not so well with anything herbal or light)

  15. Joan Wilson says

    I made a batch of lotion bars last night and after they were solid they were a little greasy. I tried a second batch with more beeswax and it helped a little. When you make these are they greasy to the touch? We were at a festival and that is where I 1st saw lotion bars and their’s weren’t greasy to the touch but when you rubbed them in your hands it felt like you put on lotion.
    Please let me know how your recipe feels when solid. The ones I made would have to be kept in a can or wrapped in something so it didn’t pick up dust or dirt if you had it in your pocket or even layed it down.
    Thanks, Joan

  16. evie pea says

    Finished a batch today. Shredded my beeswax with chess grater and it took nearly forever! The conversion is 2/3 = 5.33 oz. Ran out of almond oil so I mixed with castor and olive oils. Made a huge mess pouring into muffin tins from the widemouthed jar but I plan to use the spills for me and to do better next time. Tomorrow, Lord willing, I’ll wrap each in a coffee filter, label, and put aside for gifts. I am very excited.

    This was extreme fun. Thanks.

  17. evie pea says

    Uh, I really used a *cheese* grater.
    (And next time I think I’ll just smash it with a hammer after putting it into a paper bag. It was a lot of extra work.)

  18. Christi-TX says

    I wonder if you could grate a crayon to give the lotion bars a bit of color & If you don’t have any beeswax can you use paraffin instead?

    • Elizabeth says

      I would not use a crayon. It is not designed for skin. If you really want color, you could try skin safe micas.

      Paraffin is a petroleum product. Great for candles, not so hot for skin.

      Before you make a product, ask yourself how you feel about eating the ingredients. Essentially, that’s what you will be doing with things you put on your skin.

  19. April says

    I wondered if you had another online source for the ingredients. I went to the site you suggested and they are all sold out. I tried amazon.com but was a little disheartened because a lot of the comments stated that most of the mango butter or beeswax was bad and smelled!

  20. C. T says

    I have a bee hive and have harvested my own wax. I want to try your lotion bar recipe but don’t know the equivalent of my wax for your measurement of wax pastilles. Could you tell me in ounces how much wax I need please?

    • jade says

      I use 5 oz of bees wax, 4 oz shea butter, 4 oz sweet almond oil and an essential oil. Depending on the oil it could be 1 tsp or more or less, I just keep putting drops in until I get the scent I want. Its always easier to add later or start with smaller quantities so u dont over power the scent. You can also add vitamin e oil from capsules for additional nourishment. JADE

  21. Andie says

    Is there any way to make these with Eucerin? My friend has a really rare skin disorder called PRP (it has a long scientific name, but i can’t spell it) only 250 people in america have it. Well, her skin disorder flared up and she has to cake Eucerin on her body and especially her feet. She can’t have scents and dyes and i dont even know if she can have certain types of oils. But i hate having to see her take 45 minutes to put on her thick lotion twice a day, and i think it would make a nice gift.

    • Amanda says

      Andie-

      I dont’ know anything about PRP, but typically with skin disorders alcohol and such that is in things like Eucerin can cause irritation or even flare ups. I have Psoriasis, and Lotion bars have done WONDERS for me. Plus the ingredients are much better for you. She may have luck with a recipe like this… it leaves a nice coating on you. I know I use it before bed… and I can still feel it through most of the next day on my skin… even after showering.

  22. shannon says

    I make these and I go to the restaurant supply store and buy the little condiment cups with lids (Solo brand) like you get with take-out food. I pour the melted ingredients in them, pop the lid on, and then when you use them you can just pop the whole bar out, use it, and put it back inside with the lid on!

  23. Brittany says

    I have a few baking tins that are neat shapes, but I am concerned about using them for food after making lotion bars in them. How should you prepare tins/muffin cups (do you spray with cooking spray or anything) & how do you recommend cleaning them after to be safe for food use, whether silicone or metal?

    • Ellsa says

      You can cook with I believe all of the ingredients, besides the beeswax, so I highly doubt you need to worry about ingesting any. Soap, HOT HOT water and a little elbow grease works well for me, cleans them just fine. oh btw the bars should pop out of tins once they’re cooled, so I would DEFINITELY hold off on the *Pam spray…. hope that helps a little. Good Luck in ALL your endeavors!!!!

  24. Nafeeza says

    Tip to clean beeswax, boil water and then pour it on the dirty dishes with beeswax to get the excess off, it will be good as new!!!

  25. alison says

    I have some Golden Soy brand container wax that I purchased a while back when I was into making jar candles. I hate to waste something that I already have, so I would like to know if it is possible to use this wax instead of beeswax when making lotion bars? Thanks for your help!

    • says

      I used soy on mine and I loved it. The soy is just a little softer than beeswax fyi, so if it is too soft for you after it hardens- just remelt it and add more wax.

      You can test it before pouting it in a mold to harden by dipping a spoon in your melted mix, and placing it in the freeer a minute. take it out and touch it, that is pretty much how soft or hard your finished bar will be.

  26. Sunshine says

    I’m a little late to this game, but the website I buy all my lotion making and lotion bar making products is http://www.thesage.com. Excellent customer service, they have a bajillion oils, butters, preservatives, recipes, scents, essential oils and the list goes on. I love, love, love it!

  27. aliciamicha says

    I made these bars with cocoa butter and love them. I want to share one with my mother, but she’s allergic to coconut. Any suggestions as to what could I use instead of coconut oil to make them allergen free for her? Thanks for any input!

    • Rebecca C says

      I would think that you would want something with a similar melting point as coconut oil. you could try cocoa butter which melts with body heat like coconut oil does. or you could try some shea butter with a good oil, maybe olive or almond or almost anything to take the place of coconut oil. make it in a very small batch, and if it’s awful, remelt and try again. worst case you can put it in a jar and use it yourself or moisturizer. i’d just do a little experimenting.

  28. Cheryl says

    Thanks Katie so much for sharing your recipe. My husband brought home a bar that seems very simular that an employee had given him for his rashes. The rashes went away. So I asked for the recipe and they really didn’t want to share them, which is okay, I understood, but was glad to find your recipe.
    We changed to being vegans, are trying to eliminate processed food and refined sugars and last year started making my own cleaning supplies. This year I am working on what I put on my skin and hair, since that is also absorbed by our bodies. Have orderd what I am lacking and am excited to give it a try!
    Also an idea…I use geranium essential oil to help with tick prevention, for both my dogs and for us as well. I put the oil on the dogs collar and I mixed it in a carrier oil (almond or apricot) for us. It seems to really have helped and I am thinking an all over lotion such as this with the geranium oil may be just the ticket!

  29. says

    Love the recipe! I didn’t have a mold for the lotion but was so excited to make this I didn’t wait. When everything was melted I poured it over parchment paper on a cooksheet. It spread out to a really thin layer and I stuck it in the freezer for a few minutes. When it was solid I broke it up into chips then tossed them into a widemouth mason jar; I think a breathmint tin would have worked well too. I guess I’ll just tell everyone they’re “lotion chips”.
    If you don’t mind I’ll be putting a link on my new blog to your site. This is good stuff!

  30. Jiwon says

    I can’t wait to try this!!^^
    How much does 4ounces each make??Does it make more than one??
    Thanks anyway~

  31. Isabel says

    how many exactly? would this make?? And how many grams are half a cup??
    Would grapeseed oil or olive oil work maybe? or should i stick to coconut oil??

  32. says

    Thank you so much for sharing! I used Katie’s original recipe, used 5 ozs. of each ingredient, then added rose geranium essential oil. It is fabulous! It made six large bars of lotion! I can’t wait to share it with my friends! Kiki

  33. says

    Hi there!
    I would love to make these, I’ve developed an allergy to beeswax- is there any substitute? (No soy please-not paleo). Or, if I just omit the wax, will it still form a bar, only softer, and I can keep in the fridge in the summer so it doesn’t melt. Or will it just form an ointment consistency? Maybe I can just leave it in the mason jar and just scoop out as needed?

    Thanks in advance!

  34. Samantha R. says

    You never know if you’ll get it just right when your making it yourself. I never have time and never completely sure if I’m doing it right that’s why I like to buy my natural lotion that’s already made. You never know with some places what kind of harsh chemicals will be in their product that’s why I get mine from http://www.naturalwayorganics.net. Theirs is all natural and still the best for your skin.

  35. Laurel says

    Hmm, no beeswax. IF, big if, you used solid oils such as coconut, cocoa butter, ilipe butter, and shea butter it should form back into a bar after melting. But before I bothered melting them together, I’d just try them straight. If you add a liquid oil, you will end up with a greasy ointment, even greasier than the solid oils by themselves. I know cause I experimented with various concoctions for bug repellent.

  36. Laurel says

    And yes, these will melt in summer heat. So does homemade soap. Alas, found out the hard way by leaving on the seat of the car, luckily in a container.

  37. Mathew says

    Would I need to be worried about covering this after pouring the molds? Would insects disturb it?
    Any essential oil recommendations for a guy? I like Irish Spring scents.

  38. Sheree says

    I like your recipe and will certainly try making some for Christmas presents. What is the shelf life of the lotion bar and what about using the preservative such as Naturagard Ultra™? I think it is important to have preservative in the lotion bar t to prevent spoilage and to extend its shelf life. What do you think?

  39. says

    And it is only once unusual signs stzrt happening that
    folks realize the potential of this toxic substance.
    To help prevent mildew from forming keep the clost clean.
    Shake on any area using a fuhgal allergy.

  40. Cindy says

    I’m a bit frustrated and have been searching the net for over an hour looking at lotion bar recipes. All of them say “oz” but ounces come in liquid and solid – no recipe tells which they are calling out. I grate my own organic cosmetic beeswax and using 2/3C is far too ambiguous to use because some people pack it more than others. One comment said 2/3C = 5.33 oz (thank you) but then went on to say 4 oz of each of the other ingredients not stating if that was liquid or solid measurements of oz. Can someone please clarify weight measurements – that’s the most accurate way to do anything solid or semi-solid. Thank you very much!

  41. mari says

    im having the issue that no matter how much mango extract i use i cant get the lotion bar to smell like like mango (im using the recepie of bees wax,almond oil, and shea butter)can anyone help?

  42. Love says

    Hi love your site! A couple of questions: just discovered the Lush wiccy lotion bars and am addicted! Now I’m trying to recreate them and have run into some issues.

    1. My homemade bars do not melt on the skin the same way as the Lush bars. I’ve even adjusted your recipe to be 1:3:1 beeswax:coconut:olive oil and it still doesn’t melt like the lush bars and are a bit greasy

    2. The organic bees wax smell is so strong it overpowers all other scents. I would be ok with this (my husband hates the smell) but really want to re create the cinnamon scent.

    3: when I use them a lot, I develop a headache (although all my ingredients are organic or extra virgin oil. But no headaches with the Lush bar and I practically inhale them.

    Any advice or suggestions would be appreciate. THANK YOU!

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