How to Make Lotion Bars

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Lotion bars are an easy do-it-yourself gift that will work for almost anyone on your Christmas list. Today, I’m going to show you how quick and easy they are to make.

Lotion bars are probably one of the easiest Christmas gift ideas out there and they work for almost anyone. Men, women, teachers, friends, and family members all tend to get dry skin during the winter. Even children seem to love them.

These lotion bars are very moisturizing and are perfect for anyone who spends a lot of time outdoors. They are a more natural alternative to store-bought lotions.

I keep a supply of these all over my house because they have worked wonders on my dry, cracked winter skin.

diy homemade lotion bars
These lotion bars were made and packaged for Christmas gifts.

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What Is A Lotion Bar?

If you aren’t familiar with a lotion bar, it is a solid bar of oils and waxes that helps condition even the roughest of hands. Most homemade lotion bars use natural ingredients, unlike traditional lotion.

They are a great way to soothe dry winter skin in a portable bar that won’t leak in your bag. (They almost look like a bar of soap.)

Lotion bars are super simple to make and only require three ingredients: coconut oil, beeswax, and shea butter or cocoa butter. The shea butter (or cocoa butter) and coconut oil condition your skin and the beeswax provides a protective barrier to keep your skin from drying out.

Lotion bars have a long shelf life. They don’t need any preservatives since they contain only oils and no water.

You can make them fancier by adding essential oils and customizing the scent to fit the recipient. My favorite combo for Christmas is chocolate peppermint, but I’ll give you several scent combinations to try out.

This recipe makes about 6 1.5 oz bars if using cupcake liners and filling them about half full. However, your results will vary depending on the size of the mold you use.

For your molds, you can use silicone muffin liners or a ziplock plastic container. I find the silicone molds the easiest to use.

You can find round ones on Amazon or these would make beautiful lotion bars. Here is a muffin pan similar to the one I use which is shown in the pictures below.

Ingredients To Make Lotion Bars

Ingredients:

Tools:

Directions:

I have no problems whatsoever using my normal kitchen equipment to make the lotion bars since the products are natural and edible. The only thing I would suggest purchasing special for this project is the molds.

Occasionally the essential oils may linger in the silicone or plastic and could end up affecting other items later. If you truly don’t want to purchase any special equipment, you could use old yogurt cups for the molds.

To make the bars you will need equal amounts of all three ingredients. 

Weigh out 3 oz. beeswax, 3 oz. coconut oil, and 3 oz. shea or cocoa butter and place in a pyrex container. Alternatively, if you don’t have a scale, measure out 1/3 cup beeswax, 1/3 cup coconut oil, and 1/3 cup shea butter. 

Add about 2″ water to a saucepan and place the pyrex container in the saucepan. Be sure that the water will not splash into the pyrex container.

Set this make-shift double boiler over medium heat. As the mixture melts, stir occasionally. The coconut oil will be the first to melt and the beeswax will be the last.

When all the ingredients are almost melted, remove the saucepan from the heat and continue to stir to melt the remaining beeswax pellets.

Then add the essential oils if using, and stir one last time. I use a little less than half a teaspoon (about 30-50 drops) of my essential oil.

Immediately pour the melted mixture into your molds. The bars will set up pretty fast so try to work quickly.

If the mixture hardens before you are finished pouring, set it back in the saucepan on the stove and stir until it melts again.

Let harden about an hour and pop out of the molds. If they aren’t coming out easily, place them in the freezer for 10 minutes and try again.

Your lotion bars are done!

How To Clean Up Your Tools

It is easiest to clean up the pyrex and your spoon while everything is still warm. Using a paper towel, wipe out the pyrex measuring cup and spoon and then wash in warm soapy water or you can wash them in the dishwasher.

How To Wrap Lotion Bars For Gifts

To give homemade lotion bars as gifts, I like to wrap each bar individually in tissue paper and tie it with a piece of ribbon. I also like to include the following instructions on how to use the bars.

How to use a lotion bar: Allow the bar to soften slightly in your hands. Rub over dry skin.

I used round Avery labels # 22817 and their free design software to make the labels shown in the picture. You could also just write the instructions on a decorative piece of paper and give it with the lotion bar.

One year I found cute little glass bowls in the Dollar Tree that I placed the lotion bars in. You can also find storage tins on Amazon or give them in silicone muffin liners.

A Few Notes On Making Lotion Bars

This recipe is very scalable. If you only want a couple of bars, you can use 1 oz. of each ingredient, using only 10-12 drops of essential oil.

Here are some scent combinations you might like to try:

  • Chocolate Peppermint-use cocoa butter instead of shea butter and use peppermint essential oil
  • Coconut Lime-use unrefined coconut oil (will smell like coconuts) instead of refined coconut oil and use lime essential oil
  • Lavender-use lavender essential oil
  • Orange spice-use 20 drops orange essential oil, 8 drops cinnamon leaf essential oil, and 4 drops clove essential oil.
essential oils opt in box

Other Gift Ideas Using Essential Oils

My DIY lip balm recipe and this homemade whipped body butter are both popular gifts for family and friends. You can also use essential oils to scent homemade candles and melt and pour soap.

Have you ever tried a lotion bar before? Leave a comment and let me know what your favorite scent combo was.

4 from 2 votes
diy homemade lotion bars
How to Make Lotion Bars
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
10 mins
 

Homemade lotion bars are easy to make and are a great way to soothe dry, winter skin.

Course: DIY
Cuisine: DIY
Ingredients
  • 3 oz. beeswax
  • 3 oz. coconut oil
  • 3 oz. shea butter or cooca butter
Instructions
  1. Weigh out 3 oz. beeswax, 3 oz. coconut oil, and 3 oz. shea or cocoa butter and place in a pyrex container. Alternatively, if you don't have a scale, measure out 1/3 cup beeswax, 1/3 cup coconut oil, and 1/3 cup shea butter. 

  2. Add about 2" water to a saucepan and place the pyrex container in the saucepan. Be sure that the water will not splash into the pyrex container. Set this make-shift double boiler over medium heat. As the mixture melts, stir occasionally. The coconut oil will be the first to melt and the beeswax will be the last.

  3. When all the ingredients are almost melted, remove the saucepan and pyrex container from the heat and continue to stir to melt the remaining beeswax pellets. Then add your essential oils and stir one last time. I use a little less than half a teaspoon (about 30-50 drops) of my essential oil.

  4. Immediately pour the melted mixture into your molds. The bars will set up pretty fast so try to work quickly. If the mixture hardens before you are finished pouring, set it back in the saucepan on the stove and stir until it melts again.

  5. Let harden about an hour and pop out of the molds. If they aren't coming out easily, place in the freezer for 10 minutes and try again.

    Your lotion bars are done!

Recipe Notes

It is easiest to clean up the pyrex and your spoon while everything is still warm. Using a paper towel, wipe out the pyrex measuring cup and spoon and then wash in warm soapy water or you can wash them in the dishwasher.

This recipe is very scalable. If you only want a couple of bars, you can use 1 oz. of each ingredient, using only 10-12 drops of essential oil.

Here are some scent combinations you might like to try:

  • Chocolate Peppermint-use cocoa butter instead of shea butter and use peppermint essential oil
  • Coconut Lime-use unrefined coconut oil (It will smell like coconuts.) instead of refined coconut oil and use lime essential oil
  • Lavender-use lavender essential oil
  • Orange spice-use 20 drops of orange essential oil, 8 drops of cinnamon leaf essential oil, and 4 drops of clove essential oil.
lotion bars are great to soothe dry, cracked skin

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5 thoughts on “How to Make Lotion Bars”

    • I use Better Shea Butter that you can purchase on Amazon. There is a link to it above. As for coloring the lotion bars with dye, I feel that anything you try would likely stain. I think it is best to leave them a natural color.

      Reply
  1. This sounds like so much fun to make and to give! I have all the ingredients except the silicone molds, so I will need to pick one of those up:) About how long or for how many uses do these last?

    Reply

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