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.

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