Solid Lotion Bars
by Kris | 3 responses | November 7, 2013
My busy hands can always use some moisturizing but I don’t care for a lot of commercial fragrances and I’m increasingly wary of that long list of additives on most products you can buy. So, as I typically do, I found a way to make what I wanted myself. These simple bars are made of beeswax, oil, and the fragrance of your choice (or no fragrance at all!) I used orange oil for my fragrance so they smell sweet and fresh, but not overwhelming. They’re an easy project that you’ll love to have handy for yourself, and they also make fantastic gifts.
- oil(s) (more on this below)
- fragrance suitable for cosmetic use – I used pure orange oil that’s sold for candy making, so my bars are technically edible
- a mold – this silicone ice tray worked like a champ, you can also find lots of soap molds in craft stores these days
- stirring device – popsicle sticks are great for this
- scale or measuring cups
- candle warmer or double boiler
- knife or grater for the beeswax
- waxed paper or other surface covering
The recipe I’ve found I like best is:
1 part beeswax
2 parts oil(s)
I used coconut oil for mine because my skin is really into it. Try to make at least half of the oil be something that is solid at room temperature – coconut, shea butter, and cocoa butter are all good choices. The other half can be anything – more of the same or grapeseed oil, sweet almond, olive oil, etc.
I used 25 grams of beeswax, 50 grams of coconut oil, and 4 drops of orange oil to make the 3 bars shown (about 2 x 2 x .5 inches each.)
SAFETY WARNING: Hot wax and oil can burn you, never leave them unattended. Don’t let the kids play with it. If wax and oil overheat they can cause a flash fire. To reduce your risk, pour your mix into molds as soon as it’s all liquid, then it won’t have a chance to overheat.
Slice bits of beeswax off the block until you have the amount you want. I weighed mine, but tightly packed into a measuring cup would work just as well.
Put the wax in the cup and start it melting. If you don’t have a candle warmer you’ll need a double boiler. Stack two pots on a stove – the lower one should have about an inch of boiling water in it, and the upper should fit securely into the lower pan and is where you’ll melt the wax. You’ll want that upper pan to be crafts-only after you coat it with wax!
Measure out your oils while the wax is melting. Once it melts, mix in the oil and wait for that to melt. It should be a consistent clear liquid before you pour it. Add your fragrance and stir it in just before pouring.
CAREFULLY pour the wax/oil mix into your molds.
Let it set until solid – probably overnight, or pop it in the fridge to expedite it. Remove the bars from the mold and they’re ready to go!
To use the lotion bars just rub them on your skin until they warm up, kind of like lip gloss. The lotion will be oily for a few minutes, then it will soak in and the wax will remain as a layer of protection to hold in the moisture. They will get soft in warm weather – keep any extras somewhere cool until you need them. Using all food-safe ingredients means that you have nothing to worry about if you lick your fingers!