Super Easy Hard Lotion Bar Recipe

Super Easy Hard Lotion Bar Recipe - Just Three Ingredients @ Common Sense Homesteading

These have been wonderful for my winter dry skin.  I used to coat my hands at night with petroleum jelly, because it was the only thing that helped with the dryness.  Normal lotion didn’t help much at all, plus I don’t like the fragrance of most lotions, and many have questionable ingredients.  Since I do a lot of dishes and wash my hands frequently, these bars have been a godsend.  No more dry skin for me!  My only regret is that I didn’t try them sooner, since they are so easy to make.  The smell is light and pleasant, and they absorb fairly quickly.

Most homemade lotion recipes involve quite a few ingredients, blenders and more mess than I’d prefer to clean up.  In contrast, all you need for these these bars is three ingredients, one pot, and molds – that’s it!

I used a recipe from Jo’s Health Corner, a site that I highly recommend.  Jo has tons of neat ideas for natural health products.

Hard Lotion Bar Recipe

Ingredients

1 part each, by weight

Melt all ingredients together, pour in molds, let set until hard, unmold, and you’re done!

I used plantain infused olive oil, almond oil would probably work nicely as well.  I made one batch with cocoa butter and one with shea butter, just to compare.  For the wax, I originally used granules from Frontier, but will probably switch to some sort of unrefined beeswax in the future because it is more therapeutic.

bcart Update: Mountain Rose Herbs sells unrefined beeswax tabs for those who need it.  I was able to purchase a five pound block of beeswax from a local apiary and have been using that.

Here’s a shot of all the ingredients as they begin to melt.  In this batch, I used two ounces by weight or volume of each ingredient.  I weighed the wax and cocoa butter, and used a liquid measure for the oil.

hard lotion ingredients

When everything has melted completely, pour the liquid into molds of your choice. I had molds available that I used for melt and pour soap making. You could also use muffin tins or some other small container. 6 ounces of product filled two molds completely and one partial mold.

Hard lotion in liquid form

After several hours, the lotion will be firm and hard and should release easily from the mold.

Hard lotion done

My mold set has a lot of fun shapes.  I’m rather fond of the basic oval bars, but the boys like the stars and moons better.  I bought these years ago at a local craft store, but there are some super cute molds available now like this fish, frog and turtle mold.

hard lotion bars

Shea Butter Lotion Bars

Both the shea butter and cocoa butter work well for moisturizing.  I find the shea butter bars to be a little tackier and take longer to absorb into the skin.  They also smell a bit “planty”, not bad, just not as good (to me) as the cocoa butter.

The cocoa butter bars smell good enough to eat!  My younger son loved the smell so much I caught him rubbing the bar all over himself after he got out of the shower – even in his armpits.  I had been using the bars as a lip balm, too…oops…  The next time I made a batch, I poured some into smaller containers to use as lip balm, and made my son his own special bar.

Hard Lotion Bar

If you make several bars and don’t use them right away, keep the extra bars in a sealed container or bag.  This will help preserve the lovely chocolate smell or any essential oils you may choose to add.

I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we do.  This one’s a keeper in our house!  Please pass the post along if you find it helpful, and leave a comment if you have any questions or ideas.

Update: – You can find these ingredients (and containers and molds) at Mountain Rose Herbs, amazon.com (linked within the post), soaperschoice.com, and many other sites around the web.  I do have affiliate accounts with Mountain Rose, Amazon and MadeOn, so I get a small payment if you purchase through my site.  (Thank you!)  Keep in mind that two ounces of each ingredient made three bars, so a bulk purchase would make a LOT of bars.

Want to “cheat” a little and have someone else make the bars for you?  Check out MadeOn Hard Lotion Bars.  They also have complete DIY kits for making lotion and lip balm, which include a copy of the “My Buttered Life” e-book with five skin care recipes.

This post has been added to  Simple Lives Thursday.

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Comments

  1. kathy says

    These are so pretty! Now where would I purchase something like this? Locally- if so what type of store or On-Line?

  2. says

    I’m interested, Laurie! I’d love you point in the right direction as to which butters are best to buy and where. :)
    Loved the armpit – lip balm. Totally something that would happen at my house.

  3. says

    Thanks everyone for your comments, and thank you for letting me know the links aren’t working. I’ve added some additional links at the bottom of the post to ingredient sources.

  4. says

    Oh wow, this looks GREAt…and definitely easy enough for me to make at home!!!! Thanks for the easy project recipe!!!! I’ll write this on my list of stuff to do this month…err,…this month in February :) :) Love and hugs from the ocean shores of California, Heather :)

  5. Carolyn says

    Made a bar today and I love it! I used beeswax from my farmers market, sweet almond oil, and drugstore cocoa butter. Thanks for sharing this great tip for my super-dry winter hands. :)

  6. Deborah says

    I have a one ingredient solid lotion recipe I keep in the fridge in a mason jar. Grassfed beef tallow! It smells a little meaty when you first put it on, but it soaks right in and soothes my hands like nothing else in the world. I rendered it myself from fat I bought from a local rancher who I trust. Seriously, I don’t think you could beat it with anything.

  7. says

    Heather – quickest lotion ever – except maybe Deborah’s beef tallow.

    Carolyn – I keep a bar on my desk and a bar on my nightstand. Love it!

    Jo – these are great! Have you made them with coconut oil?

    Deborah – I remember how soft my hands were after we rendered tallow, but I admit, I’m a sucker for the chocolate smell of the cocoa butter. :-)

  8. says

    This would be easy to make as I have all the ingredients. We have bees, partner likes to make chocolates, and we have olive oil from the farmers’ market. Thanks!

  9. Michelle @ Changed By The Maker says

    I’m going to pin this recipe. Looks so easy! I suppose I have to devote a pan to this process?? I like the clean look of your blog too. THANKS!

    • says

      Michelle – as long as you’re using everything edible (well, you could eat the wax, but it wouldn’t be tasty), I don’t see a reason why you couldn’t use a regular kitchen pot. If you start adding essential oils they might leave an “off” flavor, but with stainless steel pots and therapeutic grade oils, even that should be okay. My goal is to get everything I put on my skin to be safe enough to eat. :-)

      Thanks for the kind words about the blog. I’m still learning WordPress, so it’ll keep changing slowly, but I want to keep it easy to use.

  10. MontanaMommy says

    I love this recipe and I love affiliate programs if I am going to buy something why not help out another in the process. That said I do not see the links for MountainRoseHerbs

  11. Sarah says

    I’m sorry, I guess I don’t understand fully what the lotion bars are for. Do you put it on your wet skin? I’ve never heard of this before! Thanks for any answers!

    • says

      No problem, Sarah. You use them like you would a normal lotion or cream for dry skin. While the bars are firm at normal room temps (for most people – low to mid 70′s or cooler), they soften at body temperature. To use a lotion bar, you simply rub it over the area of dry skin you want to apply it to, or rub the bar with your hands to coat your hands, and then use your hands to apply to the desired area. The warmth of your body softens the bar. The natural oils absorb within minutes, leaving the skin soft and supple, and the wax protects the skin and firms up the bar. Good quality ingredients also nourish the skin and promote healing, as opposed to many synthetic formulas that clog the pores and/or make your skin more dependent on the product. One of my goals this year is to try and keep everything I put on my skin safe enough to eat, as the skin is very absorbent (think trans-dermal medications).

      • Sarah says

        Thank you for your answers! I completely agree about the funny ingredients in lotions. I have been looking into things I can make myself so I’m not spending a fortune! Much of what I have found comes from the kitchen. Sunflower and coconut oil etc. I have enough skin issues especially in the winter without adding alcohol type ingredients. Some of them are preservatives so it doesn’t go bad but they make dryness and irritation worse. I am probably preaching to the choir on this!

        • says

          lol – maybe we can sing in the choir together. ;-)

          I’ve been using coconut oil to clean my face, and it’s smoother and softer than it has been in years. So nice to find simple solutions. :-)

  12. T says

    Hi there,

    I really want to try these. Do these require the use of a double boiler pan as I have seen in other recipes for hard lotion bars?

  13. Wren says

    I am totally going to try this, but I need to buy some cocoa or shea butter first. :) I imagine it might be similar to what I do when my skin gets super industrial dried out – I have a tin of burt’s bees lip balm and instead of putting it on my lips, I put it on my hands. It feels great!

  14. says

    I had to tell you that I made these and they are *awesome*. My son developed a really strange rash-like dry scaly skin on his hands. It turned out to be a virus so it had to run its course but these lotion bars helped relieve the burning and itching he was experiencing. Thank you for that.

  15. Dee says

    Both shea and cocoa butter will block my pores. Is there a non-comedogenic version of this?? Thanks!!

    • says

      You really need some sort of fat that is solid at room temp to make the bars hard. Plain coconut oil will work as a moisturizer, and I do use that over larger areas that are less dry.

    • Carol says

      I use cold-pressed coconut oil directly on my face after washing it. It has antibacterial properties and it never clogs my pores. I use Made-On hard lotion on my hands, elbows, feet, etc. Just like the recipe above.

  16. Anna T says

    I recently bought lotion bars while traveling and love them they are made by Habersham Candle Company. The oil in these is soy bean. They don’t sell directly to the public so I will have to find another retail location or learn how to make my own. A couple of guys my husband works with are bee keepers and supply me with the most wonderful raw honey. My husband is considering joining them. I wonder if I could get some wax from them and what I would have to do to “clean” it?

  17. Nata says

    Hello,
    I just came across your blog and this wonderful idea of making your own lotion bars. I made the recipe and used the bar last night. While I liked the way my skin felt, by the morning it was smelling of rancid oil. I used extra virgin cold pressed olive oil, coconut butter and beeswax, and I did heat the mixture very gently in a double boiler. What went wrong? Thank you. Nata

  18. Jenn says

    I made this today, thank you for the easy to follow instructions. I did a very small batch to test it out and it came out great! Cannot wait to make it again, what a great idea for gifts.

  19. zeliasgrand says

    Can these be tinted? I do melt and pour soap crafting and am making soaps for favors for a baby shower. I would like to make these lotion bars as part of the favors but would like to tint them to “match” the soaps. Could I do that or would that leave a residue of color on the user? Let me know what you think, please, or if anyone else has tried it, how did it work out?

    • says

      zeliasgrand – Do you have time to do a small test batch? That would probably be the best way to tell if you get the effect you want. I haven’t tried it, but I think it would work and not tint as long as you didn’t use too much coloring.

  20. Sarah says

    This looks wonderful! I did want to mention.. there are tons of Etsy sellers selling raw beeswax that would be amazing for this project.. and much cheaper than the granules that Frontier sells!
    It’s always nice to buy from an individual :)

  21. Debbie Bailey says

    Hi, just wanted to say thankyou so much for this recipe. I used heart and straberry shaped ice cube trays and made them with sweet almond oil and the results are amazing. My husband has diabeties and gets really dry skin on his feet, we have tried all sorts, but by the end of the day his feet were dry and cracking, however your recipe keeps his feet fine all day. So no more worrying :) . thx again for sharing.

  22. Sindy says

    WOW! I’m excited to try this! I have eczema and it is on my legs and can get on my feet. I think this will work great! All natural! Love it!

  23. Monica says

    I have been using solid lotion bars for around six months now. I use bees wax (I’m very close to an amazing local bee supplier), coconut oil, grapeseed and apricot oils, vitamin E. (vit e is a mild preservative, too)
    I have chronic severe eczema….. And my dermatologist is stunned. Steroid creams, chemicals, oral meds…. All failed to heal my itchy, scaly, bumpy, flaky skin… I always itched. Now I’m growing healthy, pink, pretty skin! I just changed lotions from the expensive chemical laden stuff, to my kitchen magic bar :). And by adding less grapeseed oil, and a bit of castor oil, I made lip balm. LOVE it!
    I’m loving your blog! Thanks for posting such amazing things :)

    • says

      Thanks, Monica, for sharing your story. I’ll bet that part of the “magic” of the lotion bars is that the essential fatty acids in the good quality oils are absorbed by the skin, provided needed nutrients.

  24. maria says

    Hi Laurie. I was reading your blog and wondered if among your many wonderful interests you know about the importance of feeding our kids organic foods and what is going on with our food supply and Monsanto…they are genetically engineering our food and many people don’t know this! Just wondering if you are aware, it just seems like you would be, but just in case!

  25. Ginny says

    Hi! I’ve been making these bars from your recipe and love them! But last night I made a batch and they are too hard. Like too much beeswax but I made them the same way I always do and I measure very carefully. Has this ever happened to you? I’m not sure how to fix it except to fiddle with more oil.
    Thanks!

  26. willowsprite says

    Just made these today, thanks for the recipe. I added some sweet orange essential oil and filled a few empty lip balm tubes. Works great in this chapping dry cold weather!

  27. danielle says

    Hello, I made these lotion bars for Christmas gifts. I used 1 part beeswax, 1 part 100% cacao butter, 1 part coconut oil. My bars are a tad bit sticky when first applied. They do soak in eventually but am wondering if I can do something to avoid the stickiness. Can I melt them down again? Also should I add more beeswax or oil? Or maybe butter? I want them close to perfect, please help? I have used them for only a day and can already feel a difference .I would hate for my family to not use them because there sticky. Cuz they will be missing out. Thanks .

    • says

      Renee from Made On Hard Lotion says “Greasy lotion bars have too much coconut oil and sticky bars have too much shea/cocao butter.” I’d try remelting with a little extra beeswax and/or oil.

  28. Alex says

    I’d like to make these for my sister, but she’s vegan and therefore won’t be able to use them because they contain beeswax. Is there any other ingredient I could use in place of beeswax that would work the same?

  29. says

    Hi, Common Sense Idea!
    I have never been to your delightful and informative blog before! I am going to be bold here, but I would like to ask you to consider linking-up this post next Wednesday (the 9th), because I would like to feature this post. Also, my thinking is that a lot of what you write about is very helpful and would encourage my readers. I need to make these bars for the same reason you did and I will have it right in front of my face in the link-up :) Have a great New Year!!

  30. Catherine Rosenman says

    I made these today and I’m loving them! I added the scrapings from two vanilla beans to mine instead of the essential oils (local store had nothing but tea tree oil – pew) and they smelled fantastic! I’m a long-time eczema sufferer, too, and these really helped with the constant itching! Thanks for sharing!

  31. Barb says

    I pour my “lotion bars” into stick deodorant containers so it’s easier for me to rub on my feet and legs. I also make some and add vitamin E and arrowroot powder (I’m too sensitive to baking soda or I could use that) and use them for deodorant.

  32. sheri says

    Hi. Thanks for sharing your recipe. I would like to try to make this for Christmas gifts year. What do you store them in? Any packaging recommendations?

    • says

      You could wrap them individually in wax paper or plastic wrap and tie with a ribbon. I keep them in a closed container or plastic baggie until I am ready to use them to trap more of the scent.

    • says

      It would really vary dramatically based on the prices of individual ingredients and the size of the bars. I buy everything in bulk, so that keeps the price lower. They aren’t cheap, but they last a really long time. I’ll keep a single bar on my nightstand for several months.

  33. Stacie says

    I make solid lotion bars using only cocoa butter and shea butter. I use organic unrefined cocoa and shea butter. Since the cocoa butter is so hard, if I use it at a much higher rate than the shea butter, the bars stay hard and I’ve made a beautiful lotion bar using only 2 ingredients.

  34. Rhonda says

    I have seen beeswax in large bars, but the beeswax pellets are hard to find. Can I use the bar if I cut it up or grate it?

Trackbacks

  1. [...] as long as I could find it at Target and then through the miracle that is social networking I saw commonsensehome.com’s hard lotion recipe .  Hard lotion is, as the name suggests a solid lotion that warms to the skin and is a great [...]

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