6 Lotion Bar Recipes

Six Ways to Make Homemade Lotion Bars

At our house, we love lotion bars. In fact, I rarely use regular lotion anymore since lotion bars are so much easier to make and so much more nourishing. They are also mess-free so the kids can use them too.

If you are new to lotion bars, they are a nourishing skin bars that are used on dry skin (not in the shower! This makes a mess!)

Over the last few years, I’ve found ways to make a lot of variations of homemade lotion bars. These are our favorites:

1. Basic Lotion Bars

Basic Lotion bars combine coconut oil, natural shea or cocoa butter and beeswax for a simple but nourishing recipe. This is my kids’ favorite and we add favorite essential oils for scent.

Here is the recipe for basic lotion bars.

2. Sensitive Skin Lotion Bars

These lotion bars use an unconventional ingredient in place of coconut oil for those with an allergy or aversion to coconut oil. These are especially helpful for those with eczema or skin dryness and they are equally simple to make.

Click here for the sensitive skin lotion bar recipe.

3. Bronzing Lotion Bars

Being of Irish descent, I have naturally fair skin. I’ve actually darkened naturally quite a bit since changing my diet, but in the winter especially, I often feel very fair skinned. These lotion bars were my solution. They infuse coffee and cocoa for a (great smelling) and lightly bronzing lotion bar.

Here is the recipe.

4. Pain Relief Lotion Bars

When our family started taking martial arts, these bars came in handy. They use natural ingredients like arnica, menthol and mint to help sooth sore muscles (just not while pregnant or nursing!). They are a natural cool/heat bar that helps ease muscle stiffness and pain.

Here is the recipe.

5. Bug Off Lotion Bars

We don’t have nearly enough bats in our area for the number of mosquitos we have. In the summer months, mosquitos are really bad at our house, especially since we have so much shade around our house. These lotion bars have been a huge help! They protect the skin with natural oils and moisturize at the same time.

Here are the directions for bug repellent lotion bars.

6. Sunscreen Bars

We don’t use sunscreen often (back to the diet for skin heath and avoiding sunburn) but when we will be outside for longer than usual, these are a great natural solution. They use zinc oxide with the basic lotion bar recipe ingredients for a low SPF lotion bar.

Details here.

Don’t Want To Make Them?

If you want to use lotion bars but don’t have the time/ingredients to make them yourself, I found a great small business, Made On, that makes all kinds of lotion bars, soaps, natural baby products and hair products that are up to my standards. Their website is HardLotion.com and they have agreed to give Wellness Mama readers a 15% discount on all orders with the code “wellnessmama” at this link. (Note: Affiliate link… the price is discounted for you and I get a small commission to support my blog!)

Have you ever made lotion bars? What is your favorite herb or add-in? Thought of a variation I missed? Share it below in the comments!

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Reader Comments

  1. My Favorite herb is either rosemary or basil because not only can you use them season foods and deserts but you can also make yummy teas out of them :)

  2. How can I pick a favorite herb??  I use basil, thyme, cilantro, and rosemary the most when I cook, but I use lavender for all kinds of body-care and cleaning solutions.  I love drinking raspberry leaf tea. . . I love them all!  I would love to know more about natural healing from herbs.   I am subscribed to your mailing list and to mountain Rose Herb’s newsletter.

  3. My favorite herb is Rosemary!! Its my daughters middle name :) I have i t planted all over the yard! I just love love love it!

  4. I love lavender! I use it when making my cleaning products and all my bath products have lavender in them. I also love, love, love rose.

  5.  I recently discovered both you and Crunchy Betty via Pinterest.  I have always enjoyed lavender and I’m very interested in making my own products. Since both of you highly recommend Mountain Rose Herbs this would be an excellent opportunity for me to get started using their products and your recipes. Thanks for sharing!!

  6. I can’t wait to try nettle.  I remember being terrified of it when my friend first told me about it as a kid.  But now, I am excited to try it.  

  7. My favorite herb is Lavender! I LOVE the smell and all its medicinal benefits.  I have subscribed to both mailing lists.

  8. I’m just learning about herbs for health really, so I’m not sure I have a favorite!  I have been using Maca Powder and trying lots of different herb blends in teas.  Now that I’m getting your newsletter I hope to learn more!

  9. I am very excited to try making your bug spray, so I got a variety of essential oils for that.  I’m looking forward to buying the natural hair coloring herbs as well.  Thanks for changing my outlook on so many things!


  10. My Favorite herb/oil is LAVENDER it works on everything and smells sooo good!!! Its feminine and strong enough to heal almost everything… two things I strive to achieve in my own life!

  11. Not sure how to pick just one herb… probably lavender. Lavender peach jam in the mornings, lavender sachets to keep the moths away from my wool yarn, watching the bees work the lavender plants.

  12. Love coconut oil and can’t even list all of it advantages. The main thing I’m currently using it for is to sooth my daughters eczema.

  13. Right now I think I will say that my favorite  herbs I am excited to use are those that keep bugs off my baby!   Citronella, Eucalyptus, Cedarwood, Lemongrass, Lavendar, and Tea tree!  Can’t wait to try a bug spray! 

  14. I am horrible at picking favorites.  One herb I want to use more of is chamomile.  Planted some seeds this spring!

  15. My favorite herb is…oh, this is so hard!  At the moment, I think it’s crampbark.  I cook the most with basil (I know…boring, but delicious!)

  16. I have been so fortunate to stumble onto your recipes for natural, homemade skin and household products.  Thank you!

  17. I make my own lotion just for fun and can’t keep up with the demand from my teenage daughter’s friends.  I would love to have the supplies to make lotion bars for everyone!

  18. I love cooking with fresh herbs, but don’t really use herbs in other ways.  I’m thinking about trying the raspberry leaf that you mentioned in a recent post!

  19. My favorite herb is lavender. I love to use it in cooking (extra yummy when paired with something tart like lemon or cranberry), body care products, and even first aid — it’s the best for burns, especially sunburn!

  20. My favorite herbal product (at the moment) is a tincture from Wise Woman Herbals called lactaflow that supports breastfeeding.  Super important for a full-time working mama and it really works! 

  21. I love herbs, and cook with a variety of them. My fave herbal product from MRH is the Moon Ease Tea. It’s very soothing for that time of the month. :)

  22. I love lavender!  I use it neat on burns I get in the kitchen, put it in my homemade bug spray, a dot on pillows when the kids have trouble sleeping, I use it in just about everything!!!!

  23. My favorite is Henna & hibiscus for coloring hair red, but would like to try hibiscus as an herbal drink. I also love lavender for cosmatic but would like to try it in cooking or making drinks with it.

  24. My Favorite herb is peppermint. I add the oil to baking soda and castle soap when cleaning the bathrooms and to my steamer when I steam the kitchen floor. It’s just something about the smell that makes me feel clean.

  25. My favorite is lavender as well.  I love it in all forms from essential oils in lotions, candles and deodorant to cooking with it!

  26. I want to try the lotion bars on my 2 yr old daughter since she has bad eczema on her arms and legs.  I have tried a variety of lotions but nothing works for her :( i’m hoping this will help clear her skin up some!

  27. I love rose in all forms!  I use the essential oil on my wrists and spray rose water on my body.  I also mix it into coconut oil and use it on my body as a moisturizer.  Rose opens the heart and is has a soothing, calming scent.  

  28. My favorite herbal product is always lavender in the bath. Epsom Salt and Lavender is a must have!

  29. Does coconut oil count as an herbal product? I use it on my skin and hair, plus its in my toothpaste (your recipe!), and cook with it daily.

  30. I have no “favorite” right now, as I am trying many different things.  I will be making the Elderberry syrup this week for my family.

  31. I love love lavender… boring I know, but I can use it almost everywhere, for everything & on everyone!  It is just so very versatile!  Now, if I could keep the plants alive for more than a month! I do so love your site & Mountain Rose Herbs! I’ve pinned both of you on Pinterest too!

  32. My favorite herb is red raspberry leaf. It has been a Godsend especially near the end of pregnancy.

  33. I just placed my first order a few weeks ago but I can’t wait to try more of your products. I’m planning on trying the arrowroot and raspberry leaves.

  34. I love essential oils, they always make me feel better and they’re worth every penny to create smells that are non-toxic!

  35. I think lavender has to be my favorite. We have two giant bushes of it growing beside our house, and I love going out there to admire it. And the bees love it too, so bonus!

  36. Right now my favorite is oregano.  
    I would love to make your lotion bars and have all I need to make it from Mountain Rose Herbs!!

  37. My favorite herb right now is chamomile and lavender. I would love to stock up on  the essential oils. For my next order I really want to get the chia seeds and raspberry leaf after reading all the nutritional values that you have discussed in the past. I have been obsessed with tea and now that its summer I’ve already started brewing lots of sun tea:)

  38. I really enjoy the many uses I have for the organic lavender essential oil.  It has made my life splendid!

  39. My favorite product is elderberries for making syrup to keep the “winter bugs” away. Thanks for the contest!

  40. My favorite herbal products are herbs haha. I love making essential oils, powders, teas, and herb balls.

  41. I’m going to try catnip soon for bug repellant. It will by my first all natural product I’m making myself. :)

  42. I have been drinking a lot of red raspberry leaf tea, at your suggestion, for fertility…and now pregnancy :)

  43. I have many favorites. The mOst fave being lavender! I’m going to make tea right now! I’d like to try nettle & spirulina.

  44. Coconut oil is amazing! I use it to clear up a variety of skin conditions . . . and you can cook with it!

  45. I make this lotion with ylang ylang and it is super yummy. It has quickly become one of our favorite lotions ever.

  46. I just started learning the benefits of herbs and essential oils a few months ago.  I just started an herb garden so I am unsure my favorite, but I want to try many.  Lemon grass, tyme, mint, lavender, jasmine….. are just a few that I have on my wish list.

  47. My favourite is either lavendar or sweet orange essential oil. I love using these in baby wipes and in homemade laundry detergent! : )

  48. Love, love, love lavender!!! I love the essential oil and I grow my own for the beauty and having the fresh herb to use to freshen my home or throw a little but in a chocolate cake 😉

  49. I am sooooo excited that I found your pin on Pinterest!  I am new to the “organic” and nautralist world and I am learning so much and am very excited about it all!   I just recently purchased some Essential Oils to make a natural mosquito spray with.  I would really like to try everything all at once but unfortunately they can be a bit pricey.    I love the peppermint oil that I purchased and am looking for everything I can find to use it in.  Thanks!

  50. I’m pretty new to herbs and am still learning about them.  My favorite so far is raspberry leaf.  We dried a bunch from our garden last summer and I’ve been making tea with it all winter :)  

  51. I’ve been ordering from Mountain Rose Herbs since I discovered them through your website. My favorite herb is the Raspberry Leaf for teas. The difference during that time of the month is amazing. No cramps this last month at all which meant no need for ibuprofen. Yep, I am officially hooked!

  52. Currently, rosemary.   It helped increase circulation to a problematic post-surgery area when I added the essential oil to an externally applied castor oil compress and consumed its tincture.  I use it in shampoo for scalp stimulation and medicinal salves for its healing properties.

  53. My current herbal alley would have to be mother wort… Specifically mother wort tincture. She has so much to offer for women from cramps to hot flashes, as well as an amazing heart tonic, wonderful for people who are battling anxiety… She is truly a wonder herb! I am in love with her!

  54. Coconut oil is my new go-to for EVERYTHING!  I also love lavender oil all the time but this time of year, I’ve been using it to make sunburn relief spray for my fair-skinned family.

  55. I have been meaning to try these lotion bars! I’m also ready to try Nettle Tea from Mountain Rose Herbs for a magnesium boost.

  56. Tonight I went to a local herbal cleanser class.  We learned how to make our own cleansers for around the house.  Although I took in a lot of new information, lavender still seems to steal my heart.  There are so many great qualities about it, but it’s simple beauty is my favorite.

  57. Lavender–so yummy and healing.  Use in beverages, on meat and sweet treats.  Beautiful in my garden and in my kitchen.  Soothing to irritated skin and tired bodies.

  58. As a massage therapist I love and use lavender essential oil ALL the time. I can’t find much that it’s not good for, if anything. :)

  59. OMgoodness I hope I win. I have a MRH catalog and have been coveting many of the products they have. I have referred your website to about 5 of my friends. What is my favorite herb? That’s a hard one! Garlic would be my all time fave, it tastes great and has a plethora of health and TASTE bennies. I have been wanting to get all of the ingredients to make my own “Thieves” blend. I also grow 3 types of mints, a rosemary, basil, oregano, and a couple of aloes. When I return to my home next month I plan on planting Echinacea in my yard and alot of garlic! I love herbs and hope to get into growing and making my own herbal preparations. Food as medicine, what could be better? :0)

  60. I’m still figuring out my favorite herbs, but currently I like mint, so I’m also thinking of trying the chocolate mint plant.  Besides liking the smell and taste, I feel like it alerts me.  I still try to use it on headaches, even though I haven’t had much success.

  61. It’s really hard to name a favorite herb since they are all so useful!!! I’m a big user of essential oils and I have to say peppermint is one of my favorites since it helps with digestion, headaches and so much more! But licorice tea is also nice, and I would love to try more or lavender. I use coconut oil everyday so this would be amazing to win!

  62. I have been reading your blog and I am ordering some rasberry leaf tea, lavender, chamomile, and some dr bonners baby wash. I am interested in using herbs for many reasons. Fertility is one! I have been trying to concieve for the past year so Im hoping with help of all the wonderful things I will be purchasing from Mountain Rose Herbs, and your knowledge in herbal use I can kickstart a healthier life for me and my family. SO MY HERB IS CHAMOMILE. I read on here that it has so many amazing uses! And the smell is great. So thank you for sharing and im keeping my fingers crossed that I win! :)

  63. What’s an herb? (: Just kidding? I just found your website, very cool. Is vanilla an herb? If not, I choose Geranium or Rosemary. I like using fancy natural soaps and products (: and I hope to learn to make my own (:

  64. my favorite is lavender which is a very recent discovery. i never liked the fake perfumey lavender scents but i recently took an aromatherapy class and was exposed to two of the 60 something types of lavender and fell in love! it’s heaven to me now and i use it in all the homemade bath/body products i make (thanks to your inspiration!!)

    i love mountain rose herbs (thank you again for introducing me to them) and think you are an amazing woman! i liked you and mountain rose herbs on facebook, i follow you both on twitter, and i follow you on pinterest too! i also posted this contest on my facebook page!

    thank you!

  65. I feel bad for leaving out rosemary now! After reading other users comments I do have to make mention of my favorite culinary herb, I can never get enough of it’s smell  or flavor and it’s antmicrobial and antiviral properties make it a staple in my herbal first aide kit.
     Keep up the great work, Wellness Mama!

  66. I’d really like to try calendula for my hair, and cat nip and rose hips….oh there’s sooooo many! Do I have to pick just one? :)

  67. favorite herbs would be~cooking~savory, ~healing~lavendar is just one of the tops of many that we use and love.

  68. favorite herb is Lavander because of its calming properties and all the ways you can use it in different things! I use Lavender all the time but never used Mountain Rose.

  69. I love Rosemary…it is a bush in my yard…I used it for tea, baking, and just to make my kitchen smell delicious. I love herbs!!! Hard to choose just one. 
    I was already subscribed to Wellnessmama newsletter, but signed up for Rose Mountain Herbs…I liked both on FaceBook, Twitter, and pinned this giveaway on Pinterest.

  70. I haven’t gotten into using herbs too much yet but I haven fallen in love with coconut oil for cooking and health and beauty!  And essential oils.  I am excited to harvest herbs from my garden and learn to use them!

  71. My favorite herbal product is Rosemary Essential Oil.  It speaks to my soul.
    I have subscribed to both newsletters.
    I have shared the contest on both Facebook.
    I have pinned the contest link on Pinterest.
    I have “liked” both Wellness Mama and Mountain Rose Herb’s Facebook pages.
    Thank you for my entries.

  72. my favorite items are lavender and sweet orange essential oils. they make the perfect addition to an all purpose cleanser and face wash.

  73. My favorite herb is Lavender. It smells great and I’m learning lots of ways to use it. I put it in the dried herb bug spray I tried from one of your other posts. :)  

  74. I love all herbs.  I simply have such a hard time deciding which one!!!  But, if I had to choose I would pick LAVENDER.  I use it in everything, from my homemade lotions to my shortbread cookies.  Not to mention straight-up in my oil diffuser :)

  75. Oh, I forgot to mention that  I signed up for both newsletters, liked both Facebook pages, and shared the link for the giveaway! :)

  76. Gosh, hard to pick just one…

    Rosemary because of the smell and benefits.

    I was subscribed to WM, subscribed to MRH.
    I already liked WM on FB, liked MRH on FB.
    I followed WM and MRH on twitter.
    Pinned this to pinterest.
    Shared giveaway on FB.

  77. My favorite herb is lavender!!! The smell is so relaxing!! I shared the giveaway, pinterest-ed (it’s a word ;)) the giveaway and had already liked you both on FB!! WOOHOO!! 

  78. My favorite herb, right now, is calendula.  I love making lip balm, infused almond oil and lotion  with it.  I’m subscribed to both newsletters.  Thanks!

  79. My favorite herb for cooking is Thyme  :) I use lavendar and tea tree oil a lot too for medicinal purposes. I’ve been wanting to try that raspberry leaf tea though!

  80. I am VERY new to all of this, just got my first shipment the other day and have already made your baby wipes, lotion and all-purpose cleaner! So my favorite herb is limited… It would have to be chamomillle because I have very high anxiety, but drinking it in tea has helped TREMENDOUSLY!

  81. my favorite is coconut oil,  I use it in a number of ways but especially to moisturize my hair and skin

  82. my new favorite is calendula! just had a baby and starting making all the natural baby products with calendula

  83. I like the elderberries…to make they elderberry syrup.  I love all their products.  They are fanastic!

  84. Oops, I didnt finish my comment ….i love using rosemary, oregano and basil in all my cooking. I have added mint, lemon balm, bee balm, dill and thyme to my herb garden this year. I would LOVE to try the red raspberry leaf!!

  85. My favorite herb is oil of oregano which when placed under the tongue boosts the immune system and has keep me free from many viruses, etc. through the years!

  86. I love your site, and how informative all of your stuff is. You aren’t just one of those bloggers who posts things and then can’t answer questions about it–you seem to REALLY know what you’re talking about, and I love it! I am now a follower, and am glad to be one! Thanks for your all of your great information.

  87. My favorite herbs are rosemary and lavender.  Just the smells alone are heavenly!! Subscribed to both newsletters!

  88. i love way too many herb and oils, etc. .  favorites are basil and oregano. wanting to learn how to make my own lotions and serums, etc.

  89. I use basil and oregano pretty often. Also drink herbal teas every day. I feel so much better after drinking herbal tea. I am on both mailing lists

  90. Hmmm my favorite herb? I love chamomile. I learned about it from you, actually, and it’s been amazing. I also love lavender oil! 

  91. My favorite herbal product is homemade bug spray. I learned how to make it a year ago and have loved sharing it with friends and family. It also makes a great body spray :) I already receive your newsletter and subscibed to Mountain Rose Herb’s newsletter.

  92. After all the talking up you’ve done of the raspberry leaf tea I’ve gotta try it!
    I gave up perfume awhile ago but miss really miss it. I haven’t been able to successfully make my own. MRH’s Aroma Oils look promising….. Any thoughts of trying perfume or body spray ideas on our end (hint hint)? 😉

  93. My favorite product is tea tree oil… I love the smell and use it for cleaning products a lot.

    • Forgot to add the why – I love using lavender because of the smell and relaxation properties.  It is a beautiful plant, and my daughter’s middle name (probably the best reason to love it!)

  94. I love lavender and eucalyptus. Can’t wait to try making some of my own beauty products with their stuff!

  95. What an exciting giveaway, I love your site & Mountain Rose Herbs has the best selection around. Love anything floral scented, wish there was a way to bottle orange blossoms, that has to be my all-time favorite scent. I’ve liked both on facebook, Pinned you on pinkest, told all my friends…:)Thank you for the opportunity to win!

  96. I made your sunscreen bars and the family loved them.  I made some for my 2 yr. old grandson from Seattle and they worked wonderfully for him here in FL.  As pale as he was he got a bit tan and no burn.  Thank you and I also make the moisture bars.  

  97. With super dry skin, and kids that don’t like spray near their eyes, this looks like a great option to keeping the bugs away. As far as herbs, my fav is mint…any kind.

  98. I love the lotion bars! I invited my sisters and nieces over for a make-it-yourself lotion bar and sugar scrub party! I wanted to spread the money savings ideas I get from your site! Lavender is always good, but I also like the clary sage & rosemary!
    Thank you!

  99. Could one make a magnesium lotion bar? I am not sure how to adjust the recipe from your magnesium body butter recipe to make it into a bar, or if it would even work. Thank you so much for your helpful recipes!

  100. We also only use lotion bars in our home. I always make sure to use shea butter in the recipe since it seems to help my son’s eczema the most.

  101. I was wondering if this could be done utilizing magnesium a la the magnesium lotion/body butter? My father is in great health distress due to a deficiency and is suffering from gastroparesis, so he is not absorbing much through food or supplements right now. Any thoughts?

  102. i ordered some really cute molds but they haven’t arrived yet and i can’t wait any longer. can i use a regular cupcake pan? if yes, do i need to line it in some way? thanks for any tips!

  103. Love the lotion bar recipes! Can goat milk successfully be added to any of the recipes? The only ones I’ve found use lye- ideas??

  104. I plan to make these this weekend! Do they get your hands messy as you are rubbing on the rest of your body? What do you think of using a deodorant container?

  105. Love the lotion bars, really easy to make and great to use, we are going to use Lime Essential oil next time, I adore Coconut Lime, my absolute favourite.

    I have had a lot of problems using ‘conventional’ cosmetics etc, my face has been burned more times than I care to mention, using these natural recipes has done absolute wonders for my skin, thanks very much Katie :-)

  106. If I wanted to ship these, given the current temp, would it be safe to freeze them maybe in double wrapped and then ship or would the condensation be a problem? I’m just afraid of them getting too soft and damaged in shipment.

  107. I am getting all the supplies to make lotion bars and I have a question. The one I purchased used rosemary seed extract towards the end. I have researched and cannot find “seed” extract. What is the best source of rosemary to add in, how much, when do you add it, and I have seen this is used as a preservative. Also, will it change the scent of the lotion bars? Thank you in advance 😉

  108. Hi Katie,

    I have MS and make a a recipe for nerve pain in y feet, do you think these would be best stored in the frig until use and in an enclosed container for the one in use for essential oil potency to remain? I am hoping there would be better longevity with out mold in a solid bar am I correct?

  109. How can I substitute beeswax if I am sensitive to honey? I have extremely sensitive skin and cannot use any store brand. I would love some ideas for alternatives. Thank you.

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