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. Jennifer Avatar

    Are the lotion bars just for the body and not for the face? O wouldn’t think beeswax is good for facial skin, but I don’t really know.

  2. Allison Avatar

    I made the coconut oil, shea butter and beeswax version a year ago or so. Moved them! Perfect for the desert climate I live in and traveling light. I’m finally out and was going to buy new supplies to make more. Then I checked out the MadeOn version and it looks like supplies will cost just about as much as Renee’s bars. So I just order two family sized refills (no tins); that’s 4 oz for $35 (with the wellnessmama promo code). Thanks so much, Katie and Renee!

  3. Nitaya Avatar

    Hi I would like to make your easy basic lotion bar recipe. Could I add emu oil into the most or substitute it in instead of the 1 cup coconut oil ?

    1. Katie Wells Avatar

      you could definitely add it… you’d need to play with the consistency some as it isn’t as hard as coconut oil at room temp, and might need to add more beeswax and less emu oil to get the correct consistency.

  4. Cat Avatar

    Hi! I’ve made a couple of these lotions bars, they’re great but I slight prefer using a lotion, is there a method for transforming them into a lotion?
    Thank you, really enjoy your site 🙂 Cat

  5. Athena Avatar

    While I am going to try your recipe, and I think it sounds very interesting, I want to correct your use of chemicals. We are all made of chemicals. Water is made of a chemical. Everything is a chemical. I think the term you mean are synthetic chemicals, which are not necessarily dangerous just because they are not made by themselves. Arsonic is all-natural, and a lot more dangerous than say synthetic vanilla scent. And no, I am not a scientist, in the pocket of big-chemical, or any other thing someone wants to throw at me. I am just someone who studies science as a passtime.

  6. Beth Tuggy Avatar
    Beth Tuggy

    Does anyone know of a tried and true company that sells shea butter that is tested and guaranteed safe for humans….other than Mountain Rose Herbs?

    I ordered the shea butter from Mountain Rose Herbs and when i got it the seal was broken. It smelled awful like rancid oil. The way very old olive oil smells. When I called customer service to request a refund they gave push back and it was a hassle to return it and wait for them to investigate and then call back two weeks later to find out what they determined. They hadn’t even opened the box yet! It took forever to get my refund….which was only $14. It was ridiculous that they wouldn’t take my word for it. I will not be ordering from that site again!

    I’m looking for a different brand. I’ve read a lot of reviews on Amazon about different brands of shea butter and there are so many mixed reviews. Some people love it while others hate it. I even saw one product review that said there were dead bugs in the container and another had a fidget spinner in the container! I know it is harvested in foreign countries but who monitors it’s safety? I’m hesitant to order just any old product without knowing for sure that it is processed in a safe way.

  7. Gail Avatar

    I have been making lotion bars with your recipes for awhile now. I tried adding frankincense, patchouli and Ylang ylang for a nice meditative feel but no matter how many drops I added (and I added a LOT), the fragrance is barely discernible. Can you tell me why this is and whether or not I can fix it? Thanks so much!

  8. Sarah Avatar

    I love the idea of lotion bars but live in a desert/hot climate and have had them melt at what I consider to be room temp. May I please ask for an appropriate storage temperature range?
    Thank you for your lovely content! :o)

  9. Kim Avatar

    How do you store the lotion bar in case the temp rises a bit and it melts?

  10. Tara Avatar

    Does anyone know of a good modification to make these bars without the beeswax? Thanks!

  11. Melissa Avatar

    Love the lotion bar recipe! However, my lotion bars are to hard. Is it possible to melt them down again and start over? Also, what can I add to the batch (or add more of) to make them glide easier? Thank you!

  12. Dee Avatar

    Thanks for sharing these helpful recipes to make us feel beautiful inside out.

  13. Andrea Avatar

    Very excited to try these! Step 5 says there are ‘ideas below’ for different types of molds but I don’t see them? Thanks for all the great stuff on your website!

  14. Jennifer Avatar

    Any suggested ratios for an ashy skin problem? Also, we live in Phoenix and it’s normally VERY hot so I’m guessing it needs to be on the hard side. I want to make a gift for a friend who spends waaaay too much time exfoliating and moisturizing daily. She would be ecstatic with a portable lotion!

  15. Tracy Avatar

    My bars are too soft and I’m wondering what I can do to make them firmer. I used same amounts of beeswax, shea butter and coconut oil. Thanks for the amazing blog!

  16. Sarah Avatar

    I made these with a few adjustments and less beeswax. I’m planning on traveling to a hot climate. Do these melt in warmer temperatures? I know that adding beeswax will help with them from melting easier.

  17. Haritha Krishnan Avatar
    Haritha Krishnan

    Should v measure beeswax dry or melted for lotion bars. Also how to clean these measuring cups. They become sticky

  18. Halimat Avatar

    I am royally impressed with the detailed DIY steps you provide…Thumbs up to you.
    I cannot access beeswax , what can I use as alternative to that please?

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