DIY Lotion Bars

By Heather Steiner

As the unrelenting cold days set in, so does the occasional dry skin in our household.  I’ve never liked putting lotion on myself or my kids.  There’s something unappealing about the sort of slimy, strangely smooth feeling it leaves on my skin, not to mention the list of ingredients on the bottle I can’t pronounce.  Coconut oil and beeswax, however, feel lovely and are recognizable ingredients.

lotion bars
Photo by Heather Steiner Photography

We’ve all heard about the wonders of coconut oil.  It’s said to do this, that and the other.  While I don’t know if any of this, that or the other is true, it’s an oil, and so it’s moisturizing because it adds back the oil that’s naturally stripped from our skin this time of year by the cold weather and extra hand washing.

Beeswax simply acts as a barrier by holding the moisture to your skin, and keeping the lotion bar from feeling greasy.

I use both lavender and tea tree (melaleuca alternifolia) for their long histories of use for the skin, and because I love how they smell together.  It is a scent enjoyed by all the members of my family, including the guys.

Lotion Bars Ingredient List:

  • ½ cup organic coconut oil (should be solid at room temperature)
  • ¼ cup beeswax pellets
  • 10 drops Young Living Lavender essential oil
  • 10 drops Young Living Tea Trea (Melaleuca Alternifolia) essential oil

Add the coconut oil and beeswax to a small glass bowl.  Make a double boiler by setting the glass bowl over a pan of barely simmering water and slowly mix until everything has melted.  Be patient, beeswax takes a few minutes to melt.

I recommend setting aside a glass bowl or measuring cup for projects such as these.  Beeswax has a high melting point, and can be difficult to completely clean off.  Alternatively, after cleaning as well as possible, you can pour boiling water in your bowl, empty it into the sink and quickly wipe it out with a towel to remove any remaining beeswax.

When the oil and beeswax are melted and combined, remove the bowl from the pan, and stir the mixture to speed cooling.  Once the mixture has cooled enough that you can touch it, but it is still melted (test this by holding the side of the bowl, not by putting your finger into the mixture) add the essential oils and stir to combine.  Quickly pour the mixture into the mold of your choice (I recommend a muffin tin) and allow to cool to room temperature.  You can speed up this process by placing the filled molds in the refrigerator until firm.

To “unmold” your lotion bars, fill a large cake pan with very hot water, dip the underside of the muffin tin in the hot water until you can spin the lotion bars in the muffin tin.  Quickly invert the muffin tin onto the countertop to release the bars.  Repeat, if needed, to release the remaining lotion bars.

Lotion bars are best applied after bathing and your skin is still damp and warm.  If you have cold hands or it is an especially cold day, hold the bar between your hands for a few moments until it softens slightly, making it easier to apply.

Looking for more recipes?  Visit our recipes page for more DIY ideas!

For more information or to order the Young Living products mentioned in this recipe please contact the Scentsible Oiler who referred you to this page or contact our team using the form below: 

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My Baby’s First 4 Weeks With Essential Oils

Written by Pam Paulick, MN

Both of my children are “oiler babies”.  Essential oils were not entirely new to either of them at birth since I use oils as part of my daily routine, including throughout my pregnancy.

Interestingly, I’ve taken a different approach with my son than I did with my daughter (now 3 years old).  As I’ve continued to share essential oils with more and more people, I’m frequently approached by moms who are new to oils, and nervous about using certain oils on their infants.  While I comfortably and successfully used the traditional oils like Thieves, DiGize, RC and Peppermint (all diluted at least 30:1 to start) early on with my daughter, I wanted to explore some of the other less known options so that I could share my experiences with those too.  What I’ve discovered is that there are other equally effective options that don’t contain oils like peppermint and eucalyptus, which some experts have raised concerns about.  (Click the link to visit our Safety & Precautions page for more information about that.)

The first oil my son experienced within hours of birth was Frankincense.  Frankincense with ResinI took a drop in my hands, and put some on his head, spine and feet, as Frankincense is supportive to the immune system.  We also put a drop on his umbilical cord a couple times per day with diaper changes, since it’s also supportive for the skin. I used Valor oil on my abdomen for that oh-so-fun cramping that comes with nursing, so he received some of that oil by inhalation as well, before we ever left the hospital.  Valor is also emotionally balancing and confidence boosting – ideal when you’re new to the world, or dealing with the normal post-partum ups and downs from those crazy hormones.  The nurses and staff said we had the best smelling room in the building.

Just like most new babies, getting used to the new physical feelings that came along with normal digestion in the outside world caused my son to get a little fussy now and then.  I made a mix of one drop each of Copaiba, Lavender and DiGize with about 30 drops of olive oil (for storing these “baby blends”, I ordered these tiny glass bottles).  I’d rub a drop from this mixture on his tummy, and another drop on the bottoms of his feet as needed.

Sleep is a precious thing, for both new babies and moms and essential oils can support restful sleep for both!  I’ve been diffusing oils on my nightstand for a couple years, but when we brought the new baby in I started by just putting a single drop of lavender into the diffuser so it wouldn’t be overwhelming.

I think most new babies experience occasional stuffy noses from all the new things they are breathing in, like laundry detergents or the fuzz from all those wonderfully soft blankets.  This becomes especially challenging at night when they are laying down and trying to sleep.  My favorite oils for applying to Reece’s chest and feet were Idaho Blue Spruce or Myrtle.  I would also add a drop of either of those, or a drop of RC to the diffuser.  I would often add another drop to the diffuser in the middle of the night during one of his feedings, as well as reapplying oils to his chest and feet.

Regular baths with KidScents shampoo has provided a gentle way to keep him clean, and TenderTush or Animal Scents Ointment has been helpful in maintaining healthy skin under his diaper.

As a brand new mom, the health and safety of that tiny bundle of joy is top priority.  As careful as we are about what we put on and in our pregnant bodies, there’s a certain level of protection that has disappeared once our babies are on the outside.  I’m relieved to have a safe, natural, toxin-free alternative that I can start using from birth.

For more information or to order the products mentioned in this post, please contact the person who referred you to this page or contact Pam at pampaulick@yahoo.com.  

Citrus Fresh for Waking Up…And Going to Sleep?

Written by Heather Steiner, MN

This time of year I have to practically drag my four kids out of bed in the morning.  It’s cold, it’s dark, and frankly, I feel the same way about getting  up on days like that!  But, I recently tried beginning the day with Citrus Fresh in the diffuser and it’s made a real difference.

I usually get up about an hour before my kids so that I can pack their lunches, begin breakfast and just have a few uninterrupted minutes before the chaos ensues.  So, I started running the diffuser on my kitchen counter with three drops of Citrus Fresh and then going about my day.  I’ve found that I perk-up faster on these days, even when I haven’t had my usual cup of tea.

Best of all, if I open my kids’ door a few minutes before waking them, and let the scent permeate their rooms, they are MUCH easier to get out of bed, and the breakfast table is a happier place too!

3481279576_54f10d7411_zMy kids love to go through my oils.  They love to take them each out of a case I keep on the kitchen counter, smelling them one by one, and comment on how each of them makes them feel.  I love to take note of how spot on my five-year-old, who can’t read yet, often is in his assessment of each oil.  So imagine my surprise when he pulled out Citrus Fresh and promptly pronounced that made him feel ” sleepy”.  I told him he was being silly and he moved on.

But later that evening, before bed, he came back to me asking for Citrus Fresh to help him sleep.  I thought he was crazy!  “I can’t give you something like that.  It’s going to keep you awake!  How about some lavender?” But he didn’t want anything to do with it, and I sent him off to bed disappointed.

Out of curiosity, I decided to take a look at the information for Citrus Fresh.  It seems strange to think of using a blend that contains both citrus  oils and spearmint, which I tend to find invigorating, when it’s time to sleep. Sure enough, it’s description on the Young Living website said “Citrus Fresh™ is a relaxing, calming blend loved by children and adults alike”.   Citrus fresh could prove to be a great alternative to Lavender, Peace and Calming or Cedarwood for some kids.

The lights weren’t out in my son’s room yet, so I went in and gave him a drop of Citrus Fresh. He rubbed it all over his wrists, neck and chest, smiled at me and asked why I was giving it to him.  I told him that I had looked it up and he was right –  it could be a great oil for bedtime.  He just smiled at me, closed his eyes, and said, ” I told you so”.

After School Stress

Written by Heather Steiner, MN

Peace & Calming BlogI have four children, aged 5, 8, 9 and 10, so when I say that using Peace and Calming during the school/home transition time changed my life, I mean it.

I have always been a very orderly person. I like schedules, routines and rules. And my children understand what is expected of them.  But that after school transition time was the bane of my existence.  I wanted them to come home, put away their things, and start on their homework with minimal complaints while I washed their lunch dishes and started dinner, but that rarely happened.  Instead, they came in the door whining, threw their backpacks on the kitchen floor (where I would proceed to trip over them while making dinner) and very begrudgingly begin their homework amidst tears and cries of “why do I have to?” It was not a good start to the evening.

I tried putting Peace and Calming in the diffuser one afternoon about 15 minutes before my kids were due home and I just let it run until the homework hour was over.  I thought it was a fluke.  The kids came in and immediately asked what the smell was.  After I explained to them, and my eight-year-old stuck his face right over the diffuser and breathed a huge sigh of relief, they calmly put away their backpacks, emptied their lunch boxes and began their homework.  I continued this routine for the remainder of the school year, and the few times that I forgot to put in the Peace and Calming, things were difficult.

I’m not sure if the Peace and Calming was keeping me calm so that I could be a more effective parent or if it was keeping my children calm so that they could be good listeners.  I suspect it was a little bit of both.  Either way, I know we’ll be starting the school year with Peace and Calming in our diffuser.