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.
- 1/2 cup Coconut Oil
- 1/2 cup Shea Butter (or Cocoa Butter, Mango Butter, etc)- Can use a mixture of any of these
- 2/3 cup beeswax pastilles
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)
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!