140 Responses to “How to Make Lotion Bars – The Perfect Gift (Even If It’s For Yourself!)”


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  1. Crunchy Betty

    Oh, and I would just like to point out that this was one of my intentions from earlier this week: http://crunchybetty.com/this-month-you-intend-to

    And you can be danged sure I would’ve put it off and put it off longer if I hadn’t declared that intention. I had to do it, because I told you guys I would. (I’ve been so up to my eyeballs in book editing, I haven’t wanted to do anything else.) So I’m good on lotion bars, GREAT on progress with the book, but I’ve lapsed on the meditation – probably because no one can actually hold me to that one. Dangit.

    How are YOU doing with your intentions?

  2. Lissa

    Perfect timing! The air is finally not soup-like from humidity, but I had to start using some moisturizer after the honey wash this week.

    I love how your lotion bars look! The fishies and trucks are adorable, and I love the way the coffee beans (?) stick out of your grown up ones. :)

  3. AngieS

    I CANNOT WAIT for you to post the tutorial for your Nutty Butt Butter!!!! I absolutely adore the fishies and trucks, too :)

  4. OK, you are going to think I am an idiot, but what is a lotion bar?

    • kylieonwheels

      I was scrolling to the bottom of the comments to ask that exact question :)

    • Beignet05

      Basically it’s lotion in hard form. You take the bar and run it over your skin where it melts a tad with the heat of your skin, then you rub it in. Sort of like the way you use lip balm in a tube.

    • Beignet05

      Forgot to say you are not an idiot!!! These are generally not for sale in stores so how would you know? I didn’t know until I saw them on someone else’s blog and she described how to use it. Have yet to try one myself :)

  5. I am so excited! After making super simple lip balm last week, I thought to myself, “Making lotion bars must be pretty well the same thing.” And it is! This is so great. Thank you. What perfect timing for me.

  6. jeanette

    You can make an excellent salve by following pretty much the same steps, but using less beeswax and by soaking herbs in the oil (over VERY low heat for about an hour or so). Arnica flowers = muscle relaxing and bruise reducing. Lavender = awesomeness. Chamomile = skin soothing. The list goes on…

    And as for intentions… wow, I really screwed mine up. I had every intention of ending a friendship (that is in dire need of being ended) but instead I let myself get sucked back into the drama of it today. Ugh. Looks like I’ll be doing a re-do on that one.

    • Not easy to end friendships–I ended a 20+ year friendship earlier this year, and you know what? It is ok. And I don’t miss the drama.

      Good luck and stay true to yourself.

  7. Genelle

    Is there something to substitute the shea butter with? I avoid it and all nut butters because of allergies, and have been clueless as to what to use besides beeswax.

  8. Lisa

    Great tutorial (as usual). I also am wondering, what is a lotion bar and how do you use it? Do you just rub it like soap and apply to body?

  9. Love it, thank you! If I can ask a question: what’s the best way you’ve found for grating beeswax? I’ve found it sticks to everything I use and is a big pain to get off. Do you just have a grater that you use solely for that purpose?

    • Melissa

      I found that if you put it in the refrigerator for about 15 min. before grating (or shaving with a knife, as I do) it’s not as sticky. It returns to room temp very quickly.

    • Crunchy Betty

      I agree with the refrigerating, but the trick to getting it off is to boil it.

      While I was making these, I started thinking maybe “how to get beeswax and butters off your stuff” might be a necessary post soon. (And now that there’s more than one person asking, I think it is!)

      Here’s how I do it, though. I put all the utensils that have touched the beeswax/butter into a large pot, fill it with water, and then bring it to a boil. After a few minutes, all the wax/butter starts to float to the top. Then you just pull everything out one by one (I use tongs for this) and wipe them down well with an old rag or a paper towel.

      They should be clean at this point. If there’s still beeswax left on one of ’em, just pop it back in the water and repeat.

      As soon as you dump the water out of the pot, you want to wipe it out (while it’s still hot) to get all the remaining wax/butter off the edges and around the sides.

      Hope this helps!

      • If you freeze it, it pops right off.
        You don’t *have* to grate the beeswax. If you’re able to cut it (chop it, really) into chunks, then weigh it and you’re set.

      • kylieonwheels

        Eek and don’t pour the waxy buttery water down your kitchen sink, go and pour it in the garden or on the weeds that pop up between the pavers. It’ll cool and stick in your pipes over time, and no amount of bicarb vinegar volcanoes will clear that out.

  10. Melissa

    Those molds are adorable!!! I might have to get a couple of those for lotion bars for my son. I have some silicone molds (hearts and suns) and have been looking for something that my son won’t think is too “Girlie”! …Ah, the joys of having boys!

  11. Tammy

    Leslie, I hope you know what a life changer you are. Being a newbie, you are teaching me so much and things that I can do, as I am disabled. I love you to pieces . . . REALLY! Every day I look forward to Crunchy Betty arriving in my email! My written project commitments are coming along nicely. To make all of my Christmas presents. I’ve received my vanilla pods and have ordered the bottles for the homemade vanilla extract. I’ve almost completed my first knitted scarf. I have plans to go to the orchard on the 20th to get a bushel of apples and then can them in pretty jars with cinnamon. Your lotion bars have been added to the list and I can’t wait until you share the Nutty Butt Butter Bar with us! Confession . . . I didn’t know what to do with the lotion bars until others asked. Thank you for all that you do! XxxoXoxoX to all of you Crunchies!

  12. Tammy

    Oh! I had another question regarding your recipe for the lotion bars you made in the mold. Using the recipe (1/2 cup version), did that make 4 bars or more? Thanks!

  13. MK

    Yeah, to follow up on Kira’s question above, this is something I’m always struggling with — how do you clean up beesewax in general? Say, from the pot you’ve melted it in, the grater you’ve grated it with, etc?

    That stuff is impossible to get off! Is there a trick?

    • MK, I ran into this too when I made lip balm. Though I don’t like to use paper towels in general, there are times when they are the best thing for a particular job. In this case, get your beeswax-y containers warm again and wipe them out with paper towels really well, then wash normally.

      As for the grater… I’m about ready to just buy the beeswax in pellets from now on! I hope someone here has a great (ha ha) idea about cleaning those!

  14. I’m so glad you made these! I’d been looking at them at the MadeOn site and was thinking that they’d make great Christmas gifts. Great for air travel too (one less liquid product to try and stuff in that plastic bag for security).

    You mentioned using Altoids tins for molds, but there’s a rolled lip on the inside of the tin… the bar won’t pop out. It would make a great container to store a finished bar in though. It would also work great for a lip balm or salve, or anything that stays in the tin as you use it.

    Nutty Butt Butter… I’m already thinking of recipients, gift wrapping, tags, fonts for the tags… :)

    • Angie

      To use an altoid tin, you could pad out the overhang with plasticine (non- air drying modelling clay), then clingfilmthe surface so you don’t get any leaking through and possibly combining with the clay. Then when the bar has set, it should just pop out. The bar would then be the right size for storing in the tin too. Just an idea ;)

      • Daisy

        You could also cut a small piece of parchment paper that’s the width of the tin, leaving enough to hang over the sides. Once the bar has set, you can use the parchment to pop the bar out of the tin.

  15. I can’t wait to try this!!! The car and fish molds are adorable. I smell Christmas gift ideas a-brewing…

  16. LarissaA

    can you use it on your face?

    • Crunchy Betty

      I wouldn’t. Lotion bars are pretty heavy, and they might clog your pores. I’m not sure I’d ever use shea or cocoa butter on my face. But everywhere else, heck yeah.

      • I use it on my face in the summertime when I’m in the pool a lot. (You know that tight, dry feeling you get on your face when you swim?). It’s great for that. Or, you can modify the recipe and make your own facial ointment – heavy on the coconut oil and just a tad of beeswax melted together. Here’s my recipe: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BNTXZ49Juuk


        • Crunchy Betty

          Super interesting. I have really sensitive “cloggy” pores, so I stay away from anything heavy. But you bring up a question for me: Do you ever have anyone complain that coconut oil, used on the face, made them break out? I know it’s comedogenic, and I’ve heard such differing stories about its effectiveness at treating acne. I was just wondering if you’ve gotten some kind of barometer on it as to who it may work for and who it doesn’t.

          For several months now, I’ve just decided it’s safest to say that you shouldn’t use it on your face unless you have really dry or older (i.e., no more acne or frequent breakouts) skin.

          What do you think?

          • I don’t really know. I have combination skin and I wouldn’t use it if I didn’t need it; I only use it when my face feels dry. I haven’t received much feedback on whether it clogs pores or not; it doesn’t appear to on my face – food has a bigger impact on making me break out than using natural oils on my face.

          • Linda

            I use it on my face frequently, but I’m careful not to over do it.  If I use too much, my face feels greasy.

          • Penny

            I use coconut oil on my face (well, my whole body actually. Even my hair to get rid of the frizzies) and I have no problems with clogged pores or acne. (and I do get acne from time to time, but not from the oil.. just from the monthly hormonal fluctuations). I love coconut oil. I need to invest in some shea or cocoa butter and give that a whirl. BTW I just came across your website.. LOVE IT! Thanks for the wonderful recipe ideas. Now I have some new home-made Christmas gift ideas!

          • beazus

             I’ve been using cocoa butter as a nighttime moisturizer for the past several months! Having combo skin, i haven’t noticed any increase in breakouts.. it does require a cleanser in the morning tho since it’s so thick! I used to use mary kay, but got tired of spending all the money! BTW- you’re recipes and tips are OUTSTANDING!! thanks soo much!

      • kylieonwheels

        Regarding shea butter on your face…

        Until OCM I had always been super oily and acneic, but now my acne has gone. I’m living in Canberra, so it’s a cold, dry winter. I put a little shea butter on my face every day, softened slightly with either jojoba or grapeseed oil. I would have thought it was too much for my face too, but it has not caused me a single zit. I even put it on a bit thicker on some mornings where it’s in the negatives (celsius) and I go for a bike ride. Sort of like a wind-burn-protection layer. When I get to work I just smooth off any excess and away I go. Everyone’s skin is different, but I reckon if a recovered acne sufferer can put it on their face, most people should be right :)

      • kylieonwheels

        Crap, sorry I should have read all your comments before replying!

        I sometimes use coconut oil on my face too, for no other reason than it’s nearer to me on the shelf, or I’m at my boyfriend’s house and that’s all I’ve got there. I’ve never noticed a direct link between coconut oil and bumps, but I’ve also never used it daily for a long period.

        The one thing that surprised me was rosehip oil. I have always read that it’s amazing stuff but if you have any sort of blemish you should steer clear, as in, seriously avoid the stuff because it can inflame zits badly. To this day, I have no idea why I tried it anyway (probably once I’d discovered that OCM was curing my acne and I was feeling adventurous!), but I now put it on my face nightly and it causes no problems at all.

        Of course, we’re all different, but I figured I’d chip in because I know you’re trying to discern fact from fiction via all our little bits of evidence :)

  17. Looks absolutely fantastic!
    I started trying out a similar recipe for last christmas, but then a million things happened at once so I never got around to actually making them… Luckily there are always more christmases coming up :)

  18. WOWWW! What an awesome job you did!
    I should hire you! (or you should hire me and teach me to make the nutty butt butter).


  19. Leslie, I hope you know what a life changer you are. Being a newbie, you are teaching me so much and things that I can do, as I am disabled. I love you to pieces . . . REALLY! Every day I look forward to Crunchy Betty arriving in my email! My written project commitments are coming along nicely. To make all of my Christmas presents. I’ve received my vanilla pods and have ordered the bottles for the homemade vanilla extract. I’ve almost completed my first knitted scarf. I have plans to go to the orchard on the 20th to get a bushel of apples and then can them in pretty jars with cinnamon. Your lotion bars have been added to the list and I can’t wait until you share the Nutty Butt Butter Bar with us! Confession . . . I didn’t know what to do with the lotion bars until others asked. Thank you for all that you do! XxxoXoxoX to all of you Crunchies!

  20. Is that a sushi rice mold? Very clever!

  21. KarinSDCA

    I am wondering something…. Is there a benefit of a “lotion bar” over straight up shea butter or cocoa butter or any other spreadable semi-hard, melts with contact type healthy single ingredient?

    Don’t get me wrong. I love to play with raw ingredients and turn them into something new and exciting! I am just wondering. :)

    • The benefits of a lotion bar over solid shea or cocoa butter are that depending on which oils you include they add extra benefits. For example, sweet almond oil is really high in Vitamin E

  22. verity

    I am just wondering, how hot does it have to get before these bars would melt? I mean, if i go travelling in really hot sticky weather(I live in the tropics), will i open my suitcase to find my lotion bar has reverted to just lotion minus a container?

    • Linda

      You might include more beeswax if you know your bars will be in warm conditions.  It has a higher melting point (145 F) whereas cocoa butter would be more like 95-100 and coconut oil is 76 I think.

  23. Christal

    You can use cocoa butter for shea & coconut oil for almond. My ratio is 4.25 oz beeswax, 4.25 oz butter, 5.5 oz oil. Love, love, love them! And the combinations you can use with E.O. are endless.

    • Rachel

      Thanks for the measurements! I was wondering if I could incorporate coconut oil. When I made mine, they were slightly sticky and very hard. Prom too much beeswax, most likely. I have 3 oz of this hard lotion, but it was my first time and I’m still excited that it worked out. :)

    • Aami

      I was wondering
      About your measurements… I used 3.0 oz beeswax 3.0 carrier oil and 2.9 Shea butter because the above measurements said = parts oil and wax and just a little less butter & my bars are kinda hard but feel kinda greasy… How do yours turn out? I noticed then when I washed my hands after applying my hands felt kinda water resistant.. Too much oil??

  24. mamie

    i made lotion bars last valentine’s day with honey and cocoa in them. mine didn’t turn out great because i was trying to eyeball a balance of shea and cocoa butters and i grated my own beeswax from a giant beeswax..wheel..thingy. i poured some into little disposable cups and put some in old heart shaped candy molds. those actually worked out really well but i wanna try your recipe and just choose one butter. it was too confusing :P i was basically just trying to copy the ingredients of a lush bar proportionately which is maybe not the way to go about it..

    • I use both shea butter and cocoa butter in my lotion bars. So instead of 1 oz shea butter, use .5 oz of each. They turn out great! Honey does not always blend in nicely and that could be the source of your problem.

  25. This sounds really fun. A project I’ve never tried. How hard do the bars turn out? I’ve tried some similar commercial products and found that they did not melt all that well on my skin. Do you think these proportions work really well with melting at body temp? I guess I could experiment and reduce the beeswax and up the oil if it’s too hard…
    Wondering too about how they fare in tropical climates. I guess if you’re planning on bringing one to the tropics it’s best to make it higher in beeswax so it has a higher melting temp.

  26. Susan

    Oh my goodness…I have every single one of those ingredients sitting around waiting to be used…even the hard boiled egg molds (but mine are a bunny and a bear). Going to make some tomorrow! FUN!

  27. Amber

    Those molds are egg molds. Why eat an egg when you could have a fish egg?
    Anyways I cannot wait to make some of these! Im running a bit low on beeswak though…

  28. Jaccqui

    Just waiting for my beeswax to arrive so I can make these…they sound great!
    Question…I came across a recipe for a skin cream with the ingredients of beeswax, anhydrous lanolin, baby oil, pure borax, honey and essential oils. Given that baby oil is not ‘natural’ (sorry I haven’t researched a lot but I know that most store bought ones aren’t), can I substitute this for EVOO or any other carrier oil? Thoughts?
    By the way, the recipe came from the book “Honey, Nature’s Golden Healer”, by Gloria Havenhand.

  29. Courtney

    This may sound like a stupid question, but could you use this same technique to make a face cream? I want to make something more solid than the typical oils I use during the Fall and Winter and if this recipe (with a few different ingredients) could translate into something I can pour into a tin and use on my face daily then I would love to give it a try. I plan to try these lotion bars as well, but I REALLY want to experiment with making my own face cream.

    • Jaccqui

      The recipe does actually say for face and body. That’s exactly what I’m going to use it for. I’ve been using EVOO for moisturising my skin but as it’s coming into summer I don’t want to start frying. Let me know if you want the recipe. :)

    • Buffy

      I use my lotion bar for a face moisture.  I am 59 and have been noticing more wrinkles under my eyes … after about a month of using the lotion bar I noticed that the wrinkles aren’t as noticeable.  The most IMPORTANT thing to remember is do NOT use essential oils in a lotion bar that you want to use on your face..near your eyes.

  30. Jaccqui

    Sorry sorry sorry…Courtney, I think you were talking about the lotion bars not my query. Just ignore my raving above if it does not apply to your question. :/

  31. Becky

    I have just started reading your website about a month ago and love it! I particularly enjoy your writing style – you make me laugh!! Anyhoo, I want to try some of the body recipes, such as the lotion bars and the homemade not a secret deod, but I’m not sure what kind of shea butter to buy. There seems to be a lot of different ones available (I’m looking on amazon) and I am now thoroughly confused. Can you help me, please??

    • Beignet05

      You probably want pure, raw shea butter. From Africa. Same with cocoa butter (well, the pure and raw part, not sure where its from).

  32. I’m dreaming of a Crunchy Christmas!

  33. Rachel

    Hello!!! When are you going to publish the Nutty Butt Butter recipe?! I placed my first order to Mountain Rose Herb and am excited to use my products. Hurry up and give us the recipe! :)

  34. Rachel

    Leslie!!! I wanted to run out my front door and shout to my neighbors that I accomplished making my own lotion last night. You are right! It is very very easy! I measured 1 oz of beeswax, sweet almond oil and shea butter and added sweet orange EO. After heating them up, I poured the finished product into the little tins from Mountain Rose Herb. They set up nicely and are soothing on lips and cuticles. But the lotion is pretty hard and slighty sticky. I’m wondering if I incorrectly measured my ingredients? The beeswax smell lingers on my skin and very firm to touch. Any advice how I could make this softer and less beeswaxy smelling? Thank you!

    • To make it softer add more sweet almond oil and less beeswax. Also, your bars could be sticky because of the sweet orange essential oil. I make mine with the exact same ingredients and they are never sticky.

      A heads up on citrus essential oils, many of them are known to be phototoxic and should not be used before going out in the sun.

  35. gigi

    I really want to make some of these but im vegan and dont use beeswax. Is there anything i can use to replace that that is not an animal product? Thanks this looks great by the way!

  36. Debora

    I just decided I would try these today even though I didn’t have any beeswax. I used equal parts coconut oil, cocoa butter, and olive oil since that’s all I had. Without the beeswax they melted very easily, but smelled great and worked well. Cocoa butter gives them a light (faint) chocolate-ey smell almost enough to eat(love chocolate!!). I added some essential oils to some of the molds to experiment. They all smell great and feel awesome!

    My only problem is how do I store them…I didn’t about that before I started…maybe a glass bowl in my bathroom & kitchen. Any other ideas? I don’t have any tins that I can use at the moment. Another quick question…How long do they last? I think they will be used long before they expire but just in case.

    Thanks for the wonderful recipe!!

  37. Hope

    Can’t wait for the butt bar recipe! Love the coffee beans look

  38. Gailmedaris

    I am so excited about this! I am making these for Christmas gifts!! Can you share the nutty butt butter recipe!

  39. I think I’m in love! I’ve just started my own little shop, and I’ve been looking for a way to put a creative spin on lotions. I’d heard of lotion bars before, but it didn’t dawn on me to look for a tutorial. This is downright amazing. I’ll have to source some beeswax locally (not because I’m so environmentally-friendly, but because I’m horribly impatient and I want to do this now). But you better believe that when I do, I’ll be making so many lotion bars my eyeballs will be well moisturized!

    I also love that this was my introduction to Crunchy Betty. I now have a crush on you. Expect to hear a lot more of me here. Thank you!

  40. Jenjen2912

    Please post more recipes soon! My daughter and I ready to start making our Christmas gifts. =)

  41. Melody

    Sooo can’t wait for the nutty butt butter bar recipe!!

  42. I’d really like to know how you reccoment you store them? And how I should wrap them when giving them away for christmas. Will it be enough to just wrap a bit of cellophane around it?
    – Thanks a lot!

  43. echoing Rachel’s comment…when are you going to post the Nutty Butt Butter recipe?!? Very excited about that one!

  44. I tried this recipe, but it didn’t work out very well. It’s like VERY greasy. Would adding a bit more beeswax help? And is it possible to melt the lotion bar again, and then add more beeswax, or should I just say bye-bye to the one I’ve made already?

    • Aami

      I’m having the same problem, I just made them
      And they do feel a bit greasy…
      :( any luck with redoing them? Wondering if I should up the beeswax.. I shall try soon

  45. Andrea

    Any ideas for yummy scents? I’ve never made a lotion bar before …

  46. Karen @ feralturtle.com

    I found you on pinterest.  Thanks for the tip about shea butter!  My batch went grainy and I didn’t know why.  I am your newest follower.  Would love if you popped on by for a visit!  Cheers!

  47. Linda

    Perfect!!!!!  Thanks for the information.

  48. aami

    yesss i wanna learn to make butt butter too!
    i really like the molds you used…are they silicone?

  49. Lynne

    Has anyone ever had a problem when making lotion bars of oil bubbles forming on the bottom of the mold which ends up being the top when unmolded.  I have to remelt and try again and don’t know what causes this.  Seems like the oil would rise to the top if anything.

    • Zzdeog

      Make sure that your molds are dry.  If you rinsed your mold out and it wasn’t completely dry when you poured in the lotion ingredients then it will cause the bubbles/holes in the top.

  50. Courtney Hartmann

    You make it look pretty simple; it’d be a great gift idea! We’d love for you to share recipes at taaz.com – we love DIY and all things beauty.

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