Winter weather is always so dry–and all of our skin suffers because of it. That’s why some of these super moisturizing, Simple Homemade Lotion Bars are a great homemade gift for everyone on your list!
I’m sharing this Simple Homemade Lotion Bar tutorial today as part of the Walmart Mom’s program.
Why make lotion in a bar? Well it’s a very convenient and neat way to carry your lotion. Also it is far easier to make then an actual cream type lotion–those require special “emulsifying waxes” that must be purchased specially in order to bind the water and oils together (you know how your oil & vinegar salad dressing separate? Same thing). Now on to the project.
Homemade Lotion Bar Ingredients:
Shea Butter This must be 100% Shea Butter with nothing else added. Make sure you check the ingredient list! I found mine online at Walmart.com through one of the vendors. This Cocoacare 100% Shea Butter is basically the same thing
Coconut Oil Coconut Oil is available at Walmart right near the vegetable oils and shortening.
Bee’s Wax I had a big block of bee’s wax on hand–which was a pain to chop up. I wound up having to attack it with a meat cleaver. It was ugly. Walmart offers Bee’s Wax pellets that would be a heck of a lot easier.
Vitamin E Oil (optional) Vitamin E Oil can be added as a preservative. I purchased Vitamin E Oil Capsules and just pricked them w/a pin to release the oil.
Essential Oil (optional) I used Aura Cacia Lavender oil in some of the bars that I scented, I did a mix of a couple of other essential oils that I had on hand as well. Make sure that whatever you purchase is an ESSENTIAL oil, not a fragrance oil. Do not use the oils they sell to scent potpourri etc. Those are not safe for your skin.
Homemade Lotion Bar Equipment:
Note: Bee’s Wax is notorious for being really hard to get completely off of things, and essential oils are very intense and tend to linger for a long time. This is one of those times when you probably want to use either disposable or dedicated items.
Double Boiler This can be an actual double boiler–like the one I picked up at a thrift shop and am using, a double boiler insert, a metal bowl that fits snugly over the top of your pot, or even just a metal can set inside of a pot of water (as shown in this candle making post at The Lucky Penny. Whatever you use, I wouldn’t use it for food afterwards. Reserve it for any lotion, salve or soap making efforts.
Wooden Stir Sticks/Spoon You should not use anything aluminum when making body products, and you don’t want to mess up your stainless steel utensils, so I would either pick up a super cheap wooden spoon at the dollar store and dedicate it to body product creation, find a nice sturdy stick outside or just use a bunch of Popsicle sticks.
Lotion Bar Mold I chose to purchase a Wilton Silicon Brownie Bite mold just for this project. I also have taken up soap making, so I know it will get used quite a bit for body care products. You can use any silicon baking mold, plastic candy molds, mini muffin pans, even ice cube trays. Anything that will hold the hot melted waxes without melting–so cheapo plastic cups might not work but wax lined paper cups might. Again, I wouldn’t plan on using whatever it is again for food.
Work Area Protector Just a reminder that you should cover your work area to protect it from the wax! I used brown paper bags–I wanted something that the wax wouldn’t go through. Several layers of newspaper would work as well, or an old torn plastic tablecloth reserved for use as a dropcloth.
DIY Simple Homemade Lotion Bar Directions
This recipe is created in the old “simplers” method of proportions rather then specific amounts. Basically you are combining the three major ingredients in equal parts then adding some preservative and scent.
1. In your double boiler over medium heat, melt together your Coconut Oil, Shea Butter and Bee’s Wax in a 1:1:1 proportion. I chose to use 1/2 cup of each (roughly, it’s hard to measure chopped up bees wax)
2. When completely melted remove from heat and if using add Vitamin E oil. This was guesswork but I used about 2 capsules for my total 1 1/2 C of liquid.
3. Either leave your lotion unscented and move to the next step, scent the entire batch with about 40 drops of essential oil, or split the melted oils into a few jars and scent separately.
4. Pour into your molds and allow to harden. With these small sized bars we were able to pop them out in about 20 minutes. The bigger the bar, the longer it will take to harden up.
5. To use your bar just rub between your hands to melt the oil slightly and rub it in!
These lotion bars can be packaged in small tins (maybe a re-purposed Altoids container?), paper boxes or just given in small baggies.
Disclosure: As a participant in the Walmart Moms Program, I’ve received compensation for my time and efforts in creating this post. All thoughts and opinions are my own.