How to Make Lotion Bars

How to Make Lotion Bars

Lotion bars are just the thing for thirsty skin, but you can easily spend $8-$12 a piece for them at the store. Crazy! Fortunately, they’re easy to make, and only require three ingredients.

Homemade Lotion Bars

To make your own lotion bars, you will need:

Lotion Bar Ingredients

Step 1: Measure out equal amounts (by weight) of beeswax, solid oil and liquid oil. Grate or chop the beewax to speed up the melting process later.

Step 2: Heat the three ingredients over a double boiler, until fully melted. (Do not leave the stove unattended while you’re doing this.)

Lotion Bars Poured

Step 3: Pour your melted ingredients into molds. I like to use soap-making molds or small cake tins.

Note: If you’re using plastic soap molds, check the mold for a max pour temp. It’s usually 165 degrees. If your melted ingredients are hotter than this, you’ll need to let them cool before pouring.

Optional: Add five or six drops of essential oil to each bar, and swirl it around with a plastic spoon.

Step 4: Allow the lotion bars to harden for several hours. Then, pop them out of their molds, and they’re ready to use!

To use: Simply rub a bar over your skin whenever it feels dry. These bars are lotion NOT soap, so there’s no need to rinse anything off.

Lotion Bars

The lotion bars on the left were made with beeswax, vegetable shortening and canola oil. The bars on the right were made with beeswax, shea butter and olive oil.

Want to give homemade lotion bars as gifts? Here are some printable labels that you can use to package them:

Printable Lotion Bar Labels - Black and White

Black and White Printable Lotion Bar Labels – includes band-style labels, wrapping paper and stickers

Printable Lotion Bar Labels - Chevron

Chevron Lotion Bar Labels – includes band-style labels, wrapping paper and stickers

Printable Medallion Stickers

Medallion stickers to dress up your own wrappers

Other Things You Can Make with These Ingredients:


  1. Betty G. says

    What is a lotion bar? Is it soap for the shower? I have never heard of that phrase. Sorry for being so obtuse, I really would like to know. Thanks.

    • Erin Huffstetler says

      It’s just lotion in a solid form. I like them because they’re less greasy-feeling than regular lotion and less messy. to put on. I keep a bar on my dresser for whenever my skin feels dry.

        • Erin says

          Yep, and that’s why I love them — I hate the mess that is bottled lotion. And these are really great for kids. I don’t have to worry about my daughters spilling lotion, applying too much, etc.

  2. Denise says

    Erin, have you determined your cost per bar up against a regular retail price? This is a great idea. Also, how long do they keep? I would assume you wrap these in something.

    • Erin Huffstetler says

      Hi Denise,

      I have calculated the cost before, but it’s been a while, so I don’t remember what I came up with. As soon as I get a minute, I’ll run the numbers again and let you know. These keep for a super long time. I’m using one that I made last year, and there hasn’t been any change in it. I keep the ones I’m not using in plastic sandwich bags, and I have a tin that I keep the one I’m currently using in. Works like a charm.

    • Erin Huffstetler says

      Hey Denise,

      I just made another batch, so I ran the math on them. Making 3-oz bars (pretty typical of most soap molds), they cost $1.41 a piece to make based on current Amazon prices. I’ve gotten some of my supplies on sale/from yard sales, so my current price per bar is $.76.

  3. Michelle Trudy Holtz says

    I use the same basic recipe and I love them! I use empty deodorant containers to fill them. raises my costs by at least a dollar each, but it’s easier to handle.

    • Erin Huffstetler says

      Funny you should mention that, Michelle. I’ve been planning to make my next batch that way. It would be great for kids and more portable.

    • Erin Huffstetler says

      Hi Susan,

      I didn’t use anything to color them. This is just their natural color. If you make them with shea butter, you get a nice honey color. If you make them with vegetable shortening, you get an off-white color.

    • Erin Huffstetler says

      Hi Beth,

      Finding a good deal on beeswax can be tricky. I’ve gotten lucky at yard sales a couple times, but your best bet is probably to use a 40% off coupon at Michael’s or Hobby Lobby to buy it. It also wouldn’t hurt to check with local beekeepers.

  4. Gracie says

    Erin – thank you so much for this recipe! I’ve purchased these at boutiques & they are so expensive! These will make great gifts at Christmas!

    • Erin Huffstetler says

      Hi Gracie, You’re certainly welcome. And I agree. These make a great gift. I’ve given them to friends and family members several times, and I’ve always gotten a good response :)

  5. Nicole says

    Hi Erin,
    Great post. Can’t wait to try the recipe this weekend. What did you use for the vegetable shortening? Also, how different do they feel when you put them on? I always think of vegetable shortening as sort of sitting on the skin as opposed to soaking in.
    Have you tried any other ingredients since you made these? Coconut oil or coconut butter perhaps????
    Thanks again

    • Erin Huffstetler says

      Hi Nicole, When I’ve made them with vegetable shortening, I’ve just used Crisco. My preference is to make them with shea butter. You could use coconut oil for the liquid oil in the recipe, but you wouldn’t want to use it for the solid oil — it has too low of a melting point. I haven’t tried coconut butter. If it has a higher melt point that coconut oil, it should work fine. Cocoa butter would be another option to try. Have fun making them :)

  6. penny says

    Can lotion bars be melted and re-molded? My first batch looks good but feels a bit too oily. I want to melt it and add more beeswax & cocoa butter, hoping to cut the oily feeling of the bars.

    • Erin Huffstetler says

      Yep, you can definitely remelt them and tweak the recipe. They’ll be at their oiliest when you first make them, and dry out over time. I usually leave mine unwrapped the first couple days.

  7. Joy says

    My first time on your site. Just what I was looking for! It would be nice to make a fabric envelope style tote… A luscious bar like this deserves something special to carry it around. Thank you, Erin!

  8. says

    I made these for Christmas gifts this past Christmas and got rave reviews. It was funny that many of the women that I gave them to had never heard of lotion bars! I like the idea of using old deodorant containers(because of the portability and ease of use) but was wondering if anyone knows where I might buy similar containers? I don’t have empty containers and I might be concerned with the scent left in the cylinder after cleaning.

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