Making homemade all natural lotion bars is a fun project. I found this DIY recipe for lotion bars on Wellness Mama. Instead of squeezing liquid lotion out of a bottle, you simply rub the lotion bar onto your skin.
I made heart shaped lotion bars for Valentine's day, but you could make them in any shape for any occasion. They would make super cute party favors, but make sure to label them, so people know not to eat them!
A Natural Alternative
These all natural lotion bars are a natural alternative to lotions containing artificial fragrances, artificial colors, and other synthetic ingredients. Artificial fragrances are some of the most toxic and irritating beauty product ingredients. And to protect their trade secrets, companies can merely include "fragrance" on the label, without telling you exactly what is in the fragrance.
Store bought liquid body lotion is also likely to contain parabens. Parabens are preservatives that wreak havoc on our bodies by acting as hormone disruptors.
Honey Cocoa Scented All Natural Lotion Bars
If you use unrefined beeswax, the lotion bars will have a wonderful natural honey scent. Unrefined cocoa butter also adds a delicious chocolaty scent. The bars naturally smell divine!
- 1 Cup Coconut Oil
- 1 Cup Beeswax Pastilles
- 1/2 Cup Cocoa Butter Wafers
- 1/2 Cup Mango Butter
This DIY recipe makes 24 mini-muffin-sized natural lotion bars or 12 regular-muffin-sized lotion bars. Mini bars are good for applying to hands. Regular cupcake-sized lotion bars are better for body lotion, to apply all over.
- 1 quart glass mason jar with lid
- Small pan
- Muffin pan or other mold. I used a Petite Heart Muffin Pan and the recipe made 24 mini hearts.
- Add all the ingredients to the glass mason jar and attach the lid.
- Add 1 inch of water to a small pan and bring it to a gentle boil.
- Set the glass jar in the pan of boiling water.
- Wearing an oven mitt, occasionally pick up the jar and swirl the contents to mix.
- Once all ingredients are completely melted, remove the jar from the pan. USE CAUTION: the glass jar and contents will be very hot!
- Pour melted ingredients into cavities in muffin pan, or another mold.
- Allow to dry and harden at least overnight.
- To make the bars easier to remove from the mold, dip the bottom of the tray in hot water for a few seconds. Then flip the tray over onto a cutting board covered in wax paper. Update 7/6/13: Dipping the bottom of the tray in hot water works well with a simple mold on a cold day. If you are using an intricate mold on a hot summer day, a better method is to place the tray of lotion bars in the freezer for at least 10 minutes before flipping the tray and popping out the bars.
Since these natural lotion bars do not contain preservatives, it is best to use them within one year.
Spring or Summer Lotion Bars
Update 7/6/2013: As a fun summer time project, I taught three of my nieces (ages 7, 8, and 10) how to make lotion bars. This time we made larger bars, that are better for using all-over your body. We chose cute spring / summer time designs of flowers and bugs. We used the Nordic Ware Pro Cast Floral Cupcake Pan and the Nordic Ware Platinum Backyard Bugs Pan to create these shapes.
My favorite shape for these honey cocoa scented lotion bars is the bumble bee, since it goes with the beeswax color and scent.
Where to Buy Lotion Bar Ingredients
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For ordering dry ingredients, 1 cup is approximately 4 ounces.
Side Note: Both the beeswax and organic cocoa butter had Prop 65 warnings on them. The explanation from Mountain Rose Herbs seems to be that there may be naturally occurring toxins that cause cancer or reproductive harm in some of their products. However, if they get sued, they do not want to shoulder the cost of proving that such toxins are "naturally occurring" and therefore exempt from Prop 65 labeling requirements. So, to protect against potential litigation, they stick Prop 65 warnings on all products they ship to California. If you want to learn more about Prop 65, you can read these FAQs.
I considered ordering beeswax on Amazon, but some of the reviews said that it smelled terrible. I am so glad that I got the beeswax from Mountain Rose Herbs. It smelled divine as soon as I opened the package! The beeswax in pastilles form is super easy to work with. It comes in little pebbles, which makes it much easier to measure and separate than if it were in one big block.
I also ordered the cocoa butter in wafers, which made it easy to work with. They smelled SO good! I wanted to eat them.
The mango butter was the only refined ingredient, and it did not have much of a mango smell. The mango butter was the softest and could be scooped out of the tub.
It's worth it to get good quality ingredients, so the lotion bars turn out smelling decadently wonderful!
Have you tried making natural lotion bars? What ingredients do you use?