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As Promised … More Lotion Bar Recipes!+−
- 1. Sensitive Skin Lotion Bars
- 2. Bronzing 3-in-1 Lotion Bars
- 3. Moroccan Bronzing Bars
- 4. Pain Relief Lotion Bars
- 5. Bug-Off Lotion Bars
- 6. Sunscreen Lotion Bars
- 7. Winter Bliss Lotion Bars
- 8. Gold, Frankincense, and Myrrh Lotion Bars
- 9. Lotion Bar Sticks
- 10. Eczema Relief Lotion Bars
- 11. Deep Moisture Shea Butter Lotion Bars
- 12. Coconut Oil Lotion Bars
- 13. Hypoallergenic Lotion Bars
- Don’t Want to Make Them?
At our house, we love lotion bars. In fact, we rarely use regular lotion anymore since these lotion bars are so much easier to make and work so much better. They are also mess-free, even when the kids use them!
Even though I could buy lotion bars at the store, making beauty products and toiletries by hand is a hobby I enjoy and feel good about doing. I love that I’m not putting any chemicals on my family’s skin and I know exactly what is in each product. (Ever tried to read labels on beauty products? What a headache!)
Did I already mention it is super easy?!
What Is a Lotion Bar?
I’ve made lotion in the past, but was excited to stumble on this great variation, which is solid at room temperature and looks like a bar of soap. It is also even easier to make than lotion because it doesn’t require any emulsifying with water, which is the tough step. These are solid at room temperature like a bar of soap, but when rubbed on the skin, a tiny amount melts and is transferred to the skin, leaving a highly moisturizing and very thin layer.
There are endless ways to adapt this lotion bar recipe too. Here are just a few of the ways to customize a lotion bar:
- Mix and match essential oils for various scents or skin benefits (we love lavender and lemon)
- Add zinc oxide to make a natural diaper rash bar
- Mix in menthol and arnica for a pain-relieving sore muscle or wound treatment
- Add odor-fighting Probiotics for a homemade deodorant stick
- Add argan oil for stretch marks
- Toss in some cocoa powder and natural mineral makeup powder for a bronzing bar!
- And the list keeps going!
Lotion Bars Make a Natural Gift!
These lotion bars make fun and easy presents that are sure to please. Make a gender neutral or more masculine scent for the men in your life in a simple mason jar or stick, or fancy it up with floral essential oils with a decorative glass jar and label. Gift them for baby shower gifts, birthdays, Christmas, or mothers-to-be!
Sometimes I use these empty plastic deodorant sticks when shipping a gift. I’ve even found them at the dollar store. For a more personalized look, just cut some burlap to size and glue around the stick.
Easy Lotion Bars Recipe
- 1 cup coconut oil
- 1 cup shea butter (or cocoa butter or mango butter)
- 1 cup beeswax pellets
- essential oils (optional)
- 1 tsp vitamin E oil (optional)
- Combine all ingredients except essential oils and vitamin E in a quart-size glass mason jar.
- Place the jar in a small saucepan of water and heat over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the ingredients are melted.
- Remove from heat and let cool slightly.
- Stir in any desired essential oils and/or vitamin E.
- Carefully pour the mixture into molds or whatever you will be allowing the lotion bars to harden in (ideas below).
- Allow the lotion bars to cool completely before attempting to pop out of molds.
- This recipe can be adjusted to make any quantity that you'd like. I use equal 1 cup measurements as specified in the recipe which makes 12 lotion bars with my molds. For a small batch, this recipe could be cut in half or even one fourth.
- Make in different shaped molds for different holiday gifts (hearts for Valentine's Day, flowers for Mother's Day, etc.) or made in a square baking pan and then cut into actual bars.
As Promised … More Lotion Bar Recipes!
I’ve been experimenting with and making lotion bars for a long time, and I’ve built up quite the collection of recipes for different needs over the years. That’s the beauty of it — make what you need, when you need it!
1. 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.
2. Bronzing 3-in-1 Lotion Bars
These 3-in-1 lotion bars are the perfect summer trifecta: bronzer, sunscreen, and bug repellent in one! Coffee-infused coconut oil makes this a great smelling and lightly bronzing lotion bar. One caution: the sun protection factor is low since I like to absorb some of the benefits of sun.
3. Moroccan Bronzing 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. This bar is how I compensate and get a little glow going any time of year. The optional essential oils give this bar an exotic scent.
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.
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 Lotion Bars
We don’t use sunscreen often, 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.
7. Winter Bliss Lotion Bars
This recipe uses my base for lotion bars with the addition of wintergreen, peppermint, lavender, and orange essential oils for a perfect invigorating wintery blend. The gender-neutral scent makes this one a perfect Christmas gift for anyone on your list (kids and pregnant moms excluded … see the post for more).
8. Gold, Frankincense, and Myrrh Lotion Bars
This recipe really does include gold (mica powder), frankincense, and myrrh and is a great way to celebrate the meaning of the Christmas season. Again, makes a great gift!
9. Lotion Bar Sticks
Although I don’t find lotion bars particularly messy (unless one of the kids mistakes one for soap and uses it in the shower … (I don’t recommend it!), it is possible to make lotion in stick form in an empty deodorant container. I use this version when I travel or when I want to ship gifts and need lightweight packaging.
Get the recipe as well as where to find the containers here.
10. Eczema Relief Lotion Bars
Allergic to coconut oil, or just have reactive skin in general? This eczema-friendly version uses cod liver oil for skin-soothing soluble fat vitamins and omega-3s. They are also gentle enough to use on baby.
11. Deep Moisture Shea Butter Lotion Bars
I use this recipe in the winter months as it has an extra dose of shea butter to protect and nourish chapped, dry skin in need of extra care.
12. Coconut Oil Lotion Bars
Don’t have mango, shea, or cocoa butter around? This recipe uses just coconut oil, beeswax, and a few drops of essential oil!
This super easy recipe is here.
13. Hypoallergenic Lotion Bars
On the flip side, if you’re allergic to coconut oil, try this allergy-friendly version with skin-soothing CLA and beneficial fats from tallow.
Don’t Want to Make Them?
If you want to use lotion bars but don’t have the time or 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. If you use the code WELLNESSMAMA, you’ll get a 15% discount off your order!
Do you use lotion bars? Ready to make your own? Share below in the comments, and let me know any variations I missed!
Discussion (671 Comments)
Oh, and I made them in our silicone muffin tin…they popped out really easily after hardening.
Mine are melting at room temperature what did I do wrong?
More of your mix needs to be “solid at room temperature” – so I think more shea, mango, cocobutter and less coconut oil & liquid oils. At least nothing is wasted – you can just melt em down, add more hard butters, and ^_^
Mine came out really greasy… how do you measure the coconut oil? Solid packed or liquid 8 ounces ? How should I store these?
Mine came out really greasy… how do you measure the coconut oil? Solid packed or liquid 8 ounces ?
Usually measure liquid, but this recipe is more dense/oily than many lotions
There are a lot of oils in this recipe. This makes your hands greasy true, but it also prevents mold. A water based lotion is less greasy, but has the tendency to become moldy, especially if you leave it in your house on warm summer days. I prefer the greasy lotion. I put it on right before slipping rubber gloves on for washing dishes, or if I’m just going to sit an watch TV for a half hour or so. Gives time for the oils to soak in and I don’t have to touch anything.
Have been making your recipe for YEARS! I just wanted to thank you for sharing it. My custom mix is to blend in some calendula essential oil towards the end and sometimes calendula petals as well. 🙂
If I wanna use goat milk soap in them too how would I adjust the recipe?
Thank you for the recipe!
Do you think storing these in the freezer is best for long term use? I made them just for me and it’ll take me some time to use them all!
I’ve frozen mine up to 1.5 years (well sealed) no problems!
I make this same recipe and gave them as teacher’s gifts this past Christmas. They were a big hit! Excited to read about your homemade makeup adventures, haven’t tried that yet.
What an awesome idea. I use straight coconut oil right now, which is similarly solid that turns to liquid on skin, but I might try this in order to encorporate scents.
And I can’t wait to hear about the cosmetics. I’ve been wanting to make lipgloss.
So excited to make these and can’t wait to hear how you make the deodorant and neosporin bar!
Im down for the deodorant lesson as well!
I love lotion bars! I order my handmade toiletries from LUSH online, but it can be spendy, and since my income is limited, I cannot order as often as I like, so- I believe I will give it a go once I have all of the ingredients. Where would one go to get the beeswax pastilles?? I live in St. George, UT. It is a small and “narrow” town. Though it is not as “narrow” as it once was…
It is good to know I can make these now all on my own! Thank you! Sugar scrub recipe?
Sugar scrub recipe: https://wellnessmama.com/3628/sugar-scrub/ and I get my beeswax from https://wellnessmama.com/go/mountain-rose-herbs/
Amazon, they have every thing and they bring it to you!
Amazon has everything
THANK YOU! I am so excited to make these. I have a question: while I use tropical traditions coconut oil to cook with/internally, would it be ok to use less expensive (expeller pressed) oil for things like lotion?
Yep… either one works fine
I love lotion bars…can’t wait to make these! Very excited to see your sunscreen bar recipe too!
I most definately will make these. A great idea for that little gift you want to give to someone when you have no money !!!! 🙂
Love this! My girls (5 & 2) love to put on lotion, but it’s always such a mess! This would be great for them without having lotion “pumped” out all over my bathroom. I also bought some princess & wand shaped chocolate molds today on clearance. What a cute gift to give a little girl her own set of princess & wand shaped lotion. THANKS!
Those will be so cute! If youhappen to take a picture, I’d love to see them!
I followed the recipe to the t and ended up with what can only be compared to cold bacon grease. I do not recommend this recipe.
If you live in a warmer climate or have a warmer home you may need to use more beeswax to firm the bars.
I made these this winter, and I LOVE them. The hardest part for me was waiting for the beeswax to melt (took forever, it seemed) and then finding something to pour them into. I love the way this feels on my skin…
In a pinch you can pour them into a cardboard box lined with wax paper and then just cut when they are done
It would seem fantastic to make these but i don’t know how much to put in because the recipe says 1 part beeswax 1 part that 1 part this. I don’t know how much 1 part is. Can you please change the recipe to show all of us how much?
Katie - Wellness Mama
It can be whatever amount you want. In other words, if you only want to make a few, 1 part can be 1/2 cup and you use 1/2 cup of each. For bigger quantities, you’d use bigger amounts.
is the bees wax measured grated or solid. i’m wondering if i used a scale to measure weights if that would be most accurate? i usually grate the beeswax my when i make face cream so it melts faster, but grated less beeswax takes up more room…
I made a batch with shea butter, coconut oil, jojoba oil and beeswax and it seems like there are wax flakes in the cream. Is there any way to salvage?
Can i use this lotion on a 10 month old
Hi, I recently made these bars. Thank you for this treat! For those inclined- I got carried away with my essential oils & poured bar size portions into a little measuring jug so I could mix different oils into each bar. Much stronger fragrance, divine. Beware yummy cocoa butter because it steals the fragrance. But cocoa by itself is delicious too isn’t it. Thank you wellnessmama legend! Xx
Hi, can I add almond oil?
I made these and have three questions. First, I made it unscented and used 1/2 cup each coconut oil, Shea butter and beeswax. I poured into cupcake liners. Some of the finished ones have this pattern of white disks beneath surface and some don’t. What is that and why? On a second batch I reused one of the finished ones and melted it again and added proper amounts of additional ingredients including mango butter, in the end equaling 1/3 cup of each of the three ingredient categories. Then I added 20 drops of grapefruit essence oil. After they were done there was no scent at all. I remelted all of it and added an additional 40 drops. Very little scent. (And yes it’s good oil.)
So three questions: 1. What are the white imperfections I see in some of the finished product? 2. How do I know how much essence oil to add? 3. Does it do anything to the product if I have remelted it, with or without essence oil that may already be in it?
I had the exact same problem! I thought I added a lot of essence but can smell anything and I don’t like the raw Shea smell ?
I have not tried this recipe yet, but based on my experience, usually it is 1% of essential oil.
I’m going to try and make the lotion bars. Can anyone give me any suggestions about a good essential fragrance and how much to add!!!!!
Just FYI, years later for whoever happens to read this, citrus essential oils (EOs) generally have a low flashpoint, and the temperature of the base has to be below the flashpoint of the EO when you mix it in or the EO will burn off, so to speak, and leave you with little to no discernible scent. A professional supplier will provide the flashpoint of its oils (and IFRA usage rates). If that’s not the issue, keep in mind that citrus oils (such as grapefruit) are often used as top notes because they usually dissipate quickly and have to be grounded with middle and/or base notes (e.g., violet or ginger), which may also serve to complement or mask the scent of the base oil (or butter, wax, etc.) somewhat, esp. if the EO is naturally strong or “skin-friendly” (i.e., has a high usage rate), but choosing a complementary scent is the best option, I think (barring refined or deodorized bases).
Hi…..usually when all is done, I take my mixer and whip the lotion, of course, I have never added Beeswax before, maybe a person can’t whip with the Beewax. The whipping would take care of any imperfections. In any case, I’m going to try your lotion bars…..sounds like fun. Do you have an easy soap recipe you could show us on “YouTube?”
Thank you for sharing.
1 Tbs Essential oil
Help! How do I clean up all the wax leftover in the mason jar and spoon? And now my entire sink…
I got these strong smelling fragrences and I dont want them too overwhelming in svent, how much should I used if im doing the 1cup each recipe?
I find that the beeswax masks a LOT of the fragrance until you actually rub it on your skin and the oils are all disturbed, even then, I use 12-15 drops of essential oils and the smell is very light.
Amy suggestions on getting them a little less mushy? I have just wasted a ton of money making these because they’re too soft to come out of the molds. They’ve now crumbled and they’re stuck in the molds.
I just made them this morning, and had the same problem. I’m hoping to put it all back in the jar, re-melt, and add more beeswax. Let me know if you have any success!
Try remelting them and then adding more beeswax.
You could melt them down and add a bit more beeswax. That would make them a little more solid. Don’t add too much though, just a little should help.
Coconut oil will be liquid during the summer in many climates. So I would suggest looking up the melting temperatures of the oils you decide to put in to make sure that you have enough substance that doesn’t melt at the temperature you plan to store these bars at.
I live in the South and my lotion bars are a little on the soft side here. Try melting more beeswax over very low heat (if you have added EOs to your first mix) and then adding your bars to the melted beeswax one at a time until they are remelted. Then repour.
I also store my lotion bars in the fridge. Just be sure to make their container well as they sometimes look good enough to eat!
For warmer climates I use all natural Palm wax. It may give a crystalized look to your lotion bars depending on how much you use. For the 1 cup, 1 cup, 1 cup recipe, I would start with 1/8 a cup of Palm wax and 7/8 cup of beeswax for your 1 cup wax . ( I haven’t made massage bars yet, this is my experience with making candles.)
There is also a natural wax called Carnauba wax that is suppose to be a “harder” wax for warmer climates, but I haven’t worked with it yet.
I hope this helps keep your bars formed, but also allows them to melt on the skin as intended. Let me know if anyone has tried either of these waxes, and did not have good results with the bars melting on skin contact. Thank you.
Add more beeswax. Can’t say how much, just experiment. Warm up original batch that is too soft, add beeswax, let it cool in pan. Feel the end product, if to soft again, heat again and add more. Once desired thickness is achieved, reheat and then pour into whatever molds you desire.
I have just made these and added orange essential oil to them and then poured them into pudding trays! Guess I need to buy a new tray but it seemed like a good idea at the time. The bars are great thanks
I just made these and I love them! I’ve noticed a lot of people asking whether or not to use them as a facial moisturizer and I would have to caution against it if you have any acne at all. Coconut oil is highly comedogenic, which means it clogs your pores. I’ve found this site extremely helpful when deciding which oils to use:
Thank you for this wonderful recipe 🙂
WOW I have had acne since I was 9 years old and my skin only got better now since using Coconut oil on it. Now the beeswax is what I would be concerned with possibly clogging pores.
That’s awesome that it works for you, but I don’t seem to have much luck with it. I was also concerned about the beeswax, but didn’t have any issues there. With the help of Wellness Mama I’ve found the best thing for my acne-prone skin is oil cleansing followed by pure hemp oil. My skin has never looked better! The dark spots from past acne scars are disappearing and my skin has a healthy glow. The best part is that I don’t feel like I need makeup anymore, and that is very exciting to me! I’m glad this works for you 🙂 We all have different skin with different needs. There is no one-size-fits-all for skin care, is there?
Actually coconut oil is very good for the skin. It has healing compounds. Just be careful with certain essential oils though if pregnant. And you if are able to add probiotic then that would be great for the face as well
Blanche J Spruill
I’m not going to say I am old just have” mature” skin ( closer 80 then 79) haha but by probiotic would you just add like yogurt? I have put plain cocont oil on my skin as a night moisturizer.
I realize ur question is quite past tense – but I would like to address it for you. I think she was referring to probios taken internally for helping skin externally. We now know that there can be a real connection to our overall health through our gut “biome” of beneficial bacterias. (They are even finding links to anxiety with internal probio imbalances. Its an interesting google topic.) Although the benefits of lactic acids in milk products has been an age old beauty trick to try. I’m not sure how you would do a facial mask for it but I know there are references out there to it. Perhaps plain homemade yogurt applied to facial skin would be a good mask, idk. Something to research. Regardless I’d only use homemade yogurt bc unless you can be sure the product is absolutely organic – then for sure its inferior. There are a ton of fillers in store bought unorganic yogurts. I was surprised what I found when I researched that topic!
Pure virgin organic coconut oil does NIT clog pores. It is a myth, and an unreliable one. Please do research.
Agreed. I’ve been using coconut oil on my face for a year and haven’t had a single blemish since. It does AMAZING things for my skin! Strangely enough, my face hates jojoba oil which is supposed to act the most like sebum. I’ll never stop using coconut oil on my face!
Agreed, pure organic virgin coconut oil will help acne, age spots, moisturize etc., and if you have essential oils for acne or geranium for added moisture that would be great to add! I’ve got to get some pure shea and beeswax to try this!!
next time either get the pastille or beads saves so much time i hated the idea of getting a block.
i got to 1 lb bags for 16 off amazon.
My husband keeps bees. We have lots of beeswax….can I use it exactly like I would use the pastilles?
Yes, you can. I wish I knew someone nearby who kept bees. you can Google filtering beeswax at home to see how to get out the impurities. HTH…
Hi Janet, look up search for your local beekeeping club and you can get not only pure beeswax but raw honey (not heat treated) and that supports your local community too.
I agree. I bought a 1 lb block of beeswax and cutting/shaving/chopping/grumbling at it is the pits. BUT, it works. Unfortunately I have plenty left.
Also, this recipe is great, I’ve been using it for a couple of days on my hands and have not needed to moisturize until after rinsing my hands a couple of times. Usually, I’d wash and moisturize immediately. FWIW I used just shea butter (smells funky, will buy cocoa butter next round) and tea tree oil.
Just a tip for the beeswax: I get the big blocks and then melt it down into a giant glass measuring cup. Then I pour it in small drips and bits onto silicone mats and wait until they harden. It’s my own way of making the pastilles since the blocks are cheaper and my local honey store really just cuts off a hunk and I use that. I actually broke a knife trying to cut off bits and it was something I was starting to dread. The house also smells great that day!
Awesome idea! I HATE shaving the block of beeswax and I have a silicone mold so I will try that! Thank you!
Looking for suggestions as to where to buy cocoa butter. Have any? Thanks so much!
Katie - Wellness Mama
I order it here https://wellnessmama.com/go/cocoabutter/
When I make any sundries…soap, lotion, etc. I measure on a scale and not in a measuring cup line. This is especially true for beeswax for 2 reasons. 1) how beeswax is packaged in solid blocks or pastilles. 2) I have learned you need to consider the density of the material I am working with. Not all 8 oz of volume by measuring cup will weigh the same on a scale. Water weighs much less than phosphoric acid and ethanol weighs less than water by volume. I typically weigh by grams. This gives me the smallest increments for the most accurate measurement.
Shredding the beeswax helped speed up the melting process for me.
I just made my first batch today, and made them from 100% pure cocoa butter, since I love the fragrance of chocolate so much! I used a silicone mold of pretty shapes and they came out beautifully. I even took a pic and posted on FaceBook, giving credit to wellnessmama.com, of course ~
could you tell me, does using 100% cocoa butter mean you only used cocoa butter instead of using all ingredients or you used 100% pure cocoa butter with other ingredients?
trying to make vegan lotion bars and beeswax isn’t vegan hence the question.
You can substitute candela or carnauba wax for th bewax, they are vegan. But their hardness differs from beeswax so you may have to play around to get the proportions right.
Can vitamin e oil be replaced with olive oil?
I was thinking why couldn’t one melt the bee’s wax in a little hands melter thing. Throw it on melt the night before on low .I see these melter all the time at yard sales and Thrift store’s