How to Make Lotion Bar Sticks

How to Make Lotion Bar Stics - amazing moisturizer for skin and easy to useWhat Are Lotion Bars?

Lotion bars are a very moisturizing body lotion in solid form. They look like a bar of soap but are used on dry skin. My original lotion bars recipe is one of my more popular recipes and I’ve shared several variations of the basic recipe:

An Easier Way

The one complaint I’ve gotten about the lotion bars is that they can be hard to apply and store. After I started making my own deodorant in deodorant containers, I realized that those containers would work wonderfully for lotion bars and solve both problems.

Now, I make lotion bars in deodorant tubes to make them easier to store and use. They are also much easier to give as gifts this way and there are so many ways to customize them.

A Word On Ingredients

I typically order most of my ingredients in bulk from Mountain Rose Herbs and for this recipe, I order:

I order in at least 5 pound quantities which makes these ingredients much cheaper, but only about 4 ounces of each is needed for this recipe (I already have coconut oil on hand). If you don’t live close, MRH shipping can be expensive. I’ve found that there are now also good options on Amazon for the ingredients, so for this recipe, I order:

Whatever ingredients you choose, just make sure they are unrefined and organically sourced.

Equipment & Tools Needed for Lotion Bar Sticks

  • A double boiler or a glass mason jar sitting on a wash cloth in the bottom of a small saucepan
  • a plastic or wooden spoon for mixing
  • Plastic deodorant containers  – You can reuse deodorant containers, but some of them are not solid on the bottom and it will leak through so check this before you start. I used these and they worked really well but if I’d seen them, I would have ordered these since they come with cute labels.
  • Paper towels, old newspaper or rags that can be thrown away (to clean out pan/jar- see instructions below recipe)

Lotion Bar Stick Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup Shea Butter, Cocoa Butter or Mango Butter (or a mix)
  • 1/4 cup beeswax pastilles (measured dry)
  • 1/3 cup coconut oil OR 1/4 cup liquid oil like olive, hazelnut or almond
  • Essential oils of choice

Lotion Bar Stick Instructions

Combine the butters, beeswax pastilles and coconut oil in the top of the double boiler or in a mason jar sitting on a wash cloth in a small saucepan.

Put about an inch of water in the bottom of the double boiler or in the saucepan and bring to a boil.

Reduce heat to a simmer and stir the top mixture carefully until all ingredients have melted. NOTE: Be careful not to get any water in to the butters/oil mixture as it can ruin the bars.

Once all ingredients have melted, remove from heat and add essential oils.

Stir essential oils in and quickly and carefully pour in to the plastic deodorant molds. If possible, transfer to the refrigerator to harden or let sit on the counter for 4-6 hours or until completely cooled.

Important Note:

Do not put the pan or jar in the sink as is or attempt to wash as you would regular dishes. Wipe out the double boiler or pan as much as possible with paper towels, old newspaper or rags that can be thrown away and the wash in hot soapy water as soon as possible.

How to Use Lotion Bars

Use lotion bars on dry skin only. They are not meant to be used in the bath or shower. Rub a thin layer over skin as often as needed.

These lotion bars are not sunscreen but they do have a natural SPF of about 5 and are great for mild sun exposure.

The tubes make this easy to apply to children or babies.

Prefer to Purchase Pre-Made Lotion Bars?

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 (Note: Affiliate link… the price is discounted for you and I get a small commission to support my blog!)

Ever made your own lotion bars at home? Ready to give it a try? Share below!

These lotion bar sticks are an easy way to use lotion bars. Shea butter, beeswax and coconut oil make an incredibly moisturizing combination for all skin types.

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Reader Comments

  1. Hi Katie,

    Thanks for your recipe. I’m really interested in making my own moisturising lotion. Is there any way to make this moisturiser in more of a cream form rather than a solid block?

    Thank you.
    Sharan

    • Sharan,
      Try adding Aloe Vera gel. I use twice as much gel as the solid butters/oils in the recipe e.g. if your total oils and butters is 1/2cup, add 1 cup aloe vera gel to the double boiler. Let the whole mixture cool and harden and then whip it. You’ll need jars for storage.

      • Sharan, what brand of aloe gel do you use? Is it unscented? Is it like a gel, rather than the liquid you drink?

  2. This would be perfect for dry cracked feet/ heels. What Essential oils / recipe would you reccomend for that ?

  3. Could you use the deodorant sticks to make suncreen too?

  4. Can I use beeswax in my home made deodorant, too?

    • I have made deodorant using beeswax. It worked quite well.

      • Thanks, Tammy!!

  5. How much essential oil do you put in? I am making it with ginger and/or arnica for sore muscles.
    Thank you

  6. Could you use Grapeseed oil? I use that in my salt scrubs so I already have it on hand

  7. Hello Katie,

    Will these melt if not kept in the frig?

    Thank you,

    Heather

  8. I am trying to avoid plastic containers. Any suggestions for different containers and where to purchase them?

      • hi there I really need to buy some of the empty deodorant tubes but im in the uk and cannot get them. have you any suggestions on what to put them in many thanks paula x

    • I get my favorites from SKS-Bottle.com

  9. If I am having to chop or grate beeswax how much would I use? I have a HUGE wheel of beeswax from a local organic maker. It’s almost too pretty to chop up lol

  10. Hi, I am trying to add arnica/ginger, any suggestion on amount to add? Thank you, love your website!!

    • I have infused my oils with arnica and it seems to work! I have infused the coconut oil as well as grape seed and use them as otherwise directed in several recipes.

  11. HI! How many deoderant bars does your receipe fill?

    • 1 1/2 to 2 deodorant molds

  12. I am a college student on a tight budget trying to get myself, my roommates and my family into watching their own wellness needs. I have looked on Amazon like you suggested, but I was wondering if there are better places to look for GOOD quality things like: essential oils, butters, and other things you mention. I just want to make sure they are coming from a good source and have a reasonable price. Thanks for all the hard work you put into the cite!

    • I’ve used the ones I linked to on Amazon personally but you can sometimes find them at local health food stores

  13. Hi I have a conundrum.
    I made the lotion bars but I’m not enjoying how hard they are to apply and store so I was wondering if it’s possible to melt them down and make them into lotion?

  14. How many deodorant containers does the above recipe fill? I have made the lotion bars in the silicone molds and everyone loves them. Thanks for all you do!

  15. I made the bars but I’m not really enjoying how they apply so I’m wondering if I can remelt them and add to them to make them it to the lotion? I’m worried that I won’t be able to find a use for them and they’ll just sit around or be thrown away.

  16. Hi Katie,

    First off, I love your blog! I am learning so many new things about healthy living! I would love to make some homemade lotion similar to this, but I am having some trouble in figuring out the ratio of ingredients and how much to substitute when I change your recipe a little bit. Here are the ingredients I want to use:
    ~ shea butter
    ~ coconut oil
    ~ jojoba oil
    ~ cocoa butter
    ~ olive oil
    Any help would be appreciated! Thank you! 🙂

    • Just aim for 1/2 butters (cocoa and shea) , 1/4 coconut oil and 1/4 mix of liquid oils

      • Thanks so much!

  17. can I use regular organic beeswax instead of beeswax pastilles if so is it the same amount or different for the lotion bar sticks?

    • You can, I just measure dry so if you have a bar of beeswax, I’d grate it first and then measure

  18. Looks like a nice natural bar! I have started using sal butter in my products and love it! There is quite a bit of evidence that it has both anti inflammatory and antioxidant properties. It seems to be the lesser known body/face butter, but i doubt it will stay that way for long.
    Love the website and health tips!

  19. I have used and made your lotion bars for many months, And all my friends enjoy them. I was just wondering what you would suggest to help the lotion soak in better to my skin. There is often a layer of oil left on top of my skin that tends to get on everything. Any suggestions would be great!

  20. I’m new to making natural products, and I’m looking forward to making your deodorant and lotion bars. Is there a difference between yellow beeswax pastilles and the white? Also, I’ve been doing a lot of cooking and baking with coconut oil so I know there is a definite difference in whether you want to use unrefined or refined when cooking; is there a difference also for making personal care products?

  21. I would like to make creams where water has to be added to the oils i would like to know the ratio of water to use to the amount of oil,s is there a rule of thumb you use, any help would be appreciated

  22. How many drops of essential oils does this recipe need?

  23. Can you put magnesium oil in these lotion bars?

  24. hi Katie,

    I think your site is brilliant, links are great, and you’re providing so much information to people. I tried your coconut oil/baking soda toothpaste recipe and it is incredible. I love it. I never considered making my own deodorant, but that’s a good idea too. I’m now going to try making my own lip tints and lotions as everything I found online is expensive. I’m sick of spending so much money on stuff with ingredients I’m now worried about….I’ve used Mountain Rose herbs in the past and they are great resource. So thanks for all the amazing ideas and keeping people healthy.

  25. Do you also order your essential oils through Mountain Rose??

  26. Hi Katie,
    First if all, thank you so much for your amazing cosmetic recipes!! They’ve helped me so much! I was just wondering if it was normal that the lotion feels slightly sticky on my skin ( I used olive oil instead of coconut oil Btw)…

  27. Hi, I want to make your pain relief lotion bars (except put them in tubes like this recipe calls for) as gifts for my in-laws who I’m planning to visit this summer, but they live in a very hot place and it’ll be close to 100 degrees and humid. I’m worried everything I make will melt. Do you think if I add more of the beeswax relative to the other ingredients that might help? Or would you recommend I just don’t bring these to really hot places? 🙂 Also can I substitute soy wax for beeswax? Thank you! Can’t tell you how much I LOVE your site, you are amazing.

    • To both questions, you can certainly try it… The wax melts at a higher temp than the other ingredients, so using a greater percentage would likely make it more heat-resistant. It still can melt, though. Let me know it it works!

  28. I want to make some bars for a friend that has lichenamyloidosis, an itchy fungal thing that grows on legs. I was thinking i would harvest some aloe from my plants to add to the butters and waxes, but wonder what other oils or botanicals would help to calm the skin, reduce desire to scratch, and have some antiseptic quality. Also, how to make these come out as bars when adding aloe gel from the plant. Appreciate any advice you have.

    • Have you considered Honey? Natural anti bacterial, antifungal. HTH.

  29. Hi Katie, have said many times just am crazy about your blog!! Us oldies are loving this new way of life.
    I have ordered all my products from a reputable online health shop here in Cape Town South Africa, they are tremendous.
    I am loving my lotion bars cannot stop talking about them.
    I have quite severe Rosacea, was using Kez shampoo and a cortisone cream, yuk. Dermatologist said to stop immediately and given me a different kind of anitibiotic jel yuk again.
    He maintains I can use my bars provided I add a preservative ???? What must I use pls??
    Now an added problem it never entered this ol’ ladies brain that she is highly allergic to bees. Now my supplier says I must stay away from every bee product. What can I substitute the bees wax with, and the honey I use in my ACV?? Pls help me I need to make bars asap. Thanks a million for all your advice and help, you need a gold star. Ask one of your little one to put one on your forehead!!!!!!
    lv L
    Do you agree with my supplier not to touch any bee product. When I was stung many many years ago, I needed a tracheotomy to breathe as I was stung in my ear. Why would the products affect me?? Totally confused!

    • If your doc said to avoid the bee products, I definitely would. You can just make a bar out of shea butter and cocoa butter and coconut oil and it will be thick enough as long as it is kept cool. You won’t need a preservative since all of those are shelf stable for long periods of time.

      • I have used soy wax with good results.

  30. Hi K, thanks a million for your speedy advice.
    I do notice though the mail was sent after 22.00hrs! You also need your beauty sleep, I seem to remember you said no exceptions!
    Just teasing, but don’t burn the midnight oil too many times, your precious family needs you too much.
    Love L.

  31. what is the shelf life of the lotion bars?

  32. So glad I stumbled across your blog! I have cleared out all chemical products and I feel better already..
    Have a few things to order from Rose Mountain Herbs; just wanted to ask you about Calendula and Chamomile for my little one.. dried flowers, herbal oil or essential oil!?

    • There are uses for all, but I use the EO and flowers the most.

  33. Hello,
    I have been buying massage bars up to now (LUSH) and found all natural ones but they are quite pricey; so I can’t tell you how excited I’am to try this recipe out. Question…could you pass along a recipe and container option for larger quantities? I love the ones that smell like chocolate or fruity mmmmmm. I could go through a deodorant stick size in a week!
    Much appreciated….
    New member, first recipe, wish me luck 🙂

  34. Hi,
    I just heard a talk where you said you made the coconut oil and Vitamin C lotion bars for pre-swim protection. Can you post the recipe or the amounts/kind of Vitamin C that you use. I want to get the proportions right the first time!
    Thanks!

      • Thanks so much! I appreciate it!

  35. Hi Katie, I’m a new member and I’ve been reading the reviews on Amazon for the beeswax pastilles and a lot are saying that it has a bad smell. Like cigar or chemical smell. Have you had this problem?
    Thanks
    P.S. I bought your cookbook and it’s a delight to read. 🙂

  36. I made the orange honey lotion bars and the bottom of the bars are honey and sticky……how can I get the honey to blend in with the other ingredients? Thanks!.,

  37. I’m really interested in making some diy body products, but recently got a little freaked out about not using preservatives. I read that lotion bars don’t need them, so I want to make them, but I do want to make sure they last and I want to use them for a variety of products. First, can they be used on your face, or is it mostly for body? Second, can they be frozen to keep them for a while? I’m moving to Italy for about a year and want to make enough for most if not all of that trip. Do you think this possible?

    • I bet you could freeze them, but I haven’t tried. And I would generally avoid using on the face because of the high beeswax content (could clog pores), although the pure silk ones can be used on the face.

  38. Michaela, Katie, and all… 🙂

    I have frozen the lotion bars and then used them with no problem. I live in Arizona and LOVE the heat, so don’t use my AC very much, and was concerned about the bars melting… So, I wrapped them individually with wax paper and put them all in a ziploc bag. Worked beautifully!

  39. Hey! I’m a huge fan of your page and I’ve tried making your products at home but for some reason or the other I think I go wrong somewhere. Firstly I live in a very hot and humid place, so whipped body butter and lotion bars get really greasy. Is there a way to reduce that and keep a light moisture? Secondly, even the sugar body scrubs that I tried making with the exact proportions, became too oily to wash to off, so how I can I fix that? Please Please do reply!

    • The temperature can definitely make a difference. Adding more beeswax to lotion bars will cause less to be transferred to skin and make them feel less oily. For the sugar scrubs, they are definitely very moisturizing…. do you use soap after using them? In really hot climates, you may want to try using lotion recipes that contain liquid and emulsifying wax, as these will be less greasy when warm

  40. Love the recipe. I have made something similar, but after pouring into the molds and cooling the product does not move for it seems like the product in stuck at the bottom and will not release. I used the same containers you used. Have you experience this and have any suggestions. Most likely will take everything out and remelt and try again,but wanted to see if you had any suggestions on how to fix this issue.

  41. If you are pouring this hot into plastic will you get nasty chemicals from the plastic container in the lotion?

  42. Im assuming cocoa butter n beeswax lasts forever. I got some cocoa butter a yr ago from amazon and it came in hard chunks. Do i grate it and measure the 1/3c (i think thats what the recipe called for)? Or do i melt it and measure it liquified (an awful extra step to do imo)?
    Thankfully my beeswax is pastilles, from the Bulk Herb Store.
    Thx!

  43. I make a similar stick that i keep in my freezer and, a couple of times during the day, i rub some over my face. It is very refreshing on a hot day. Love it. I use the Shea butter, vitamin E oil, olive oil, wheat germ oil, coco oil and beeswax all melted and mixed. Works great.