How to Make Natural Lotion Bars (Recipe + Variations)

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Easy recipe to make your own natural lotion bars
Wellness Mama » Blog » Beauty » How to Make Natural Lotion Bars (Recipe + Variations)

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.

lotion bar ingredientsThere 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 recipe to make your own natural lotion bars
4.38 from 113 votes

Easy Lotion Bars Recipe

A basic recipe for homemade natural lotion bars; see below for ideas on how to customize them.
Prep Time5 minutes
Active Time19 minutes
Yield: 12 bars
Author: Katie Wells



  • 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.

how to make homemade lotion bars recipe

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.

Here is the recipe.

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.

Here’s 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 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.

Details here.

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).

Here’s the recipe.

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!

Try them here.

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.

Read how to make them here.

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.

Get the details here.

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.

I explain more here.

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!

Lotion bars intensify the moisturizing effects of natural lotion in a convenient and non-messy bar. Make your own with this easy DIY recipe.

Katie Wells Avatar

About Katie Wells

Katie Wells, CTNC, MCHC, Founder of Wellness Mama and Co-founder of Wellnesse, has a background in research, journalism, and nutrition. As a mom of six, she turned to research and took health into her own hands to find answers to her health problems. is the culmination of her thousands of hours of research and all posts are medically reviewed and verified by the Wellness Mama research team. Katie is also the author of the bestselling books The Wellness Mama Cookbook and The Wellness Mama 5-Step Lifestyle Detox.


678 responses to “How to Make Natural Lotion Bars (Recipe + Variations)”

  1. Mei Avatar

    How do you measure by cups? The beeswax and cocoa butter I bought are in bars. Does it need to be grated?

    Do you have the recipe using weight?

  2. Jackie Avatar

    I realize this post has been up for quite a while. I have a question you may have answered somewhere, but I’m not sure. Your recipe uses equal parts by volume of the oils & the beeswax. It would be nice to know the weight conversions as beeswax, cocoa butter & mango butter are very solid at room temperature. This would help the readers who have questions regarding the beeswax chunk vs pellets quantities. It would also ensure a consistent result for the finished lotion bars.
    Thanks for your help.

  3. Marie Avatar

    Hey Katie!

    I’m so happy to have stumbled upon your awesome blog. I’m interested in making a bunch of lotion bars for fun Christmas gifts. How would you recommend a cheap way of transferring the hot content into the molds? I have silicon molds.



  4. Jen Lawrence Avatar
    Jen Lawrence

    Wellness Mama, Would these lotion bars be appropriate for your face? I am pregnant and trying to find a safe facial moisturizer to use. I’m wondering if these bars would be too heavy and cause breakouts? Would you recommend something else you make? I’d love to make my own. Thanks.

    1. Wellness Mama Avatar

      Depending on skin type, they can be used on the face. My skin is naturally oily and I don’t do well with them, but some people use them no problem. If this doesn’t work, I personally really like raw honey as a face wash and a lighter oil like argan oil as a moisturizer.

  5. Daisy Santos Avatar
    Daisy Santos

    Hi, I love your site. I am a professor and do some validations on natural products. My students wanted to make a mosquito repellant lotion using the extract of a local plant. They had the essential oil extracted through hydrodistillation. We used your formula by using 50 ml each of VCO, shea butter and beeswax, added 0.3 ml of the plant essential oil (to make a 0.2% active component), then poured them in mini-silicone cups. They were so beautifully done and so nice on the skin with the subtle scent of the essential oil. We will be testing this for mosquito repellancy. I still have some oil, so I will try making antibacterial and antifungal bars and test them too for my other class. Can’t wait to see the results! Thank you so much for the recipe.
    Dr D

  6. Danna Avatar

    I heard that bee wax irritates the skin and it shouldn’t be use on the skin. Is that true?

    1. Wellness Mama Avatar

      I’ve never had a problem with it, but if it’s a concern, start with small amounts of a small area of your skin to test.

  7. Carol Avatar

    I just made a batch for the first time and they are really greasy. I don’t know if this is similar to the softness some people are experiencing. When I rub it on, it is greasy on my skin as well. Any solutions to this or is just adding more beeswax the cure?

  8. Sara Avatar

    What is the shelf life of these? How long will they last after making a batch?

  9. Tea Davidson Avatar
    Tea Davidson

    1. Any advice on adding lanolin to the recipe?
    2. How much less bees wax can be added, so that it still hardens and stays together, but so less can be used?
    3. Does anyone find the bees wax builds up on their tub and sink from using a bees wax soap?
    4. Advice on the best way to clean the bees wax from the soap off the sink and tub?
    5. Any advice on changing up the recipe with Cacao Butter and/or Apricot Kernel Oil and/or Argan Oil?

    1. Jessica Avatar

      I’m also wondering if argan oil (was just given it as a gift) can be added to the bars or if it is better used on its own?

  10. James Avatar

    My dad is highly allergic to coconut, but i wanna make a small batch for me, my mom, and my dad, is there anything i can use in place of coconut oil? Same with lip balm.

  11. Raegan Avatar

    Loving this site ! I was wondering if there is a way to make this recipe into a cream instead of a bar? I am ordering some more beeswax, some molds and wanted to add whatever i needed to make it creamy and not solid. maybe just not adding the wax?

  12. Yvonne Avatar

    Is the lotion bar the same as a bar of soap? Can it be used as a bar of soap?

  13. Laura Reyland Avatar
    Laura Reyland

    Wow, stumbled across this site last week when i was having a total eczema related meltdown! After sourcing my cocoa butter and wax this week, already had the coconut oil, i have just made my first batch. Think i added slightly more butter and oil than the recipe, so we will see how i get on. Excited to try them!

  14. Mandy Avatar

    I”ve made these twice, once with coconut oil and once with olive oil, with each of the butters. The coconut oil was very soft, and coconut oil melts at a certain temperature, but with the olive oil, my bars stayed solid. As for scent , I add drops until I get the scent I want, but if the oils/butters are slightly cooled and then add scent, you can smell the bars.

  15. Mae Avatar

    And i now just realized that i read the wrong reply, ok… So i need beeswax or no?

  16. Mae Avatar

    I cant find beeswax at my local grocery store and dont really wanna drive everywhere to find it… Can I leave it out? Or is there an easy-to-find substitute?

  17. Andria Avatar

    Tried to read all of the comments to find the answer but I didn’t see it. Can I pour this into a push up deodorant/chapstick tube? Would be wonderful to apply as a stick instead of a bar.

      1. Mae Avatar

        Thank you for answering so quickly!! Im also looking for a lip balm like this, any ideas or links?

  18. Asumi Avatar

    Exciting to try making it but I have exactly the same questions as above: how to storage it and how to put it in face? As the photo, it looked hard like a soap.

    Many thanks! ^ ^

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