Saturday, December 1, 2012

A DIY Christmas: Lotion Bar

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Looking for a frugal or practical DIY gift?  I love these homemade lotion bars, and the best part is they're completely natural and are easy on sensitive skin.

Some tips:  it costs a little more to buy the beeswax already in small pellet form, but it will save you a LOT of time and aggravation.  Don't ask me how I know...  I found that Amazon had the best prices for beeswax and cocoa butter, but you may also be able to find the materials needed at your local craft store (use a coupon if you can!).

A word about lotion bars... these things are awesome.  They are pretty firm most of the time (thanks to the beeswax), but melt slightly from the warmth of your body temperature (thanks to the oil) so you can rub the lotion in.

This works really well for moisturizing rough winter hands, knees, elbows, or dry heels.  It does take a few minutes for the lotion to sink in, so just massage into the skin for a minute and don't worry if it feels slightly tacky for a little bit as it absorbs into your skin. You just may not want to put on those fuzzy lined gloves right away.

Let's talk molds here for a minute.  You can go and spend money on specialty soap molds, or you can use silicon muffin cups or (in my case), a re-purposed candy tin (altoids tins work really well!). If you're using a candy tin, make sure you wash and dry it thoroughly first, then line it with a piece of waxed paper so you can pop the bar in and out of the tin later.

The number of finished lotion bars you end up with depends on the size of your molds.  Roughly speaking, if you make approximately 2 oz bars (muffin tin size), you'd end up with about 6 bars.


Homemade Lotion Bar


  • 4 oz coconut oil (I recommend refined - it's more cost effective) or olive oil
  • 4 oz cocoa butter
  • 4 oz beeswax, in pellet form (or grated)
  • essential oils for fragrance, optional
  • small slow cooker
  • kitchen scale
  • rubber spatula
  • molds


Set out your molds (or line your candy tins).  Make sure they are on a level surface.  Turn your empty slow cooker on high to "preheat" as you weigh your ingredients.

I recommend weighing the oil, cocoa butter and beeswax using a small kitchen scale for the most accurate results.

Turn the slow cooker down to the low setting.  Add the coconut oil, cocoa butter and beeswax to the slow cooker and cover until contents are melted. This may take up to an hour, depending on the size of your slow cooker.

Once the oil, cocoa butter and beeswax are melted, stir in fragrance (if using). I personally prefer to skip the fragrance as it's more cost effective that way, but I have used lavender and lemongrass essential oils in the past and have been pleased with the results.  Peppermint would be great for the season!

Pour the mixture into your prepared molds quickly, scraping as much as you can from the inside of the slow cooker. If your room is warm, or you're in a hurry, transfer the molds to the refrigerator and chill until the bars harden.  DO NOT PUT THE LOTION BARS IN THE FREEZER.  It totally kills the texture.

Store hardened bars in a cool place (drawer, etc), or in the refrigerator.


I found it was easiest to heat the slow cooker back up with water in it until it was really hot, then scrub it really well.  I did this 2 or 3 times to make sure all the wax residue had come off. I would assume the same principle would work for molds.


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