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How to Make Lotion Bars

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Homemade Lotion Bars With Printable Labels

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

How to Make Lotion Bars

What You’ll Need:

A solid oil (shea butter, cocoa butter, vegetable shortening, etc.)
A liquid oil (canola oil, olive oil, coconut oil, etc.)
Essential oil (optional)

What You Do:

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 โ€“ includes band-style labels, wrapping paper and stickers

Printable Lotion Bar Labels - Chevron

Chevron Lotion Bar Labels โ€“ includes band-style labels, wrapping paper and stickers

Printable Medallion Stickers

Medallion stickers to dress up your own wrappers

Many web browsers have their own built-in PDF viewers, but they tend to be buggy. If youโ€™re having trouble printing or editing one of our printables, click here for help.

Other Things You Can Make with These Ingredients:

How to Make Bug Repellent Sticks

How to Make Bug Repellent Sticks

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  1. 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.

    1. 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.

        1. 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. 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.

    1. 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.

    2. 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. 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.

    1. 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.

    1. 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.

    1. 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. 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!

    1. 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 ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. 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

    1. 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 ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. 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.

    1. 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. 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. 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.

    1. Hi Chris, you can buy empty deodorant containers on Amazon, and from just about any soap and candlemaking company. Hope that helps.

  9. I just made your bars for a girls weekend gift – they turned out beautifully! I chose lavender/vanilla, and you can smell the coconut oil too. Can you please share what size paper you used to make the pretty labels? 12×12? 8×10?

    Thank you so much!

    1. Hi Jen, glad the lotion bars turned out well for you. I bet the lavender/vanilla combination smells great. I just use 8.5 x 11 computer paper for my labels. You’ll find the links to the labels in the post.

  10. I recently made the lotion bars with Crisco, canola oil, and beeswax. I’m sold! I have had friends use them and compare with bars made with more costly ingredients.. we’re sticking with the “Ford Escort” version. I plan to make sets for gifts: lotion bar/lotion stick combo.

    1. Ha! The “Ford Escort” version. I like that ๐Ÿ™‚ I give them as teacher’s gifts every year, and we’ve gotten the girls’ art teacher hooked on them. I told her the recipe was on the website, but she told me she doesn’t plan to have to make them until my youngest daughter goes on to the next school. Think that was a not so subtle gift hint ๐Ÿ™‚

  11. Hi Jen – Thank you for sharing this. I’m very new to this, so dumb question, when weighing the beeswax, is it solid or melted? I’m assuming you melt the beeswax, and solid oil, and measure equal parts with liquid? Thanks again

  12. I love lotion bars! I tend to use cocoa butter or shea butter, beeswax, and olive or coconut oil just depending on whom I am making them for. I also use this same mixture for making my own lip balm, and adding a drop or two of essential oil and stirring with a toothpick, it works good enough that I no-longer buy lip balm from stores!

  13. Hi, should I wrap in Saran Wrap like I do glycerine soap or will that warm them to the point of melting, I want to mail them, thank u

    1. Hi Denise, I always wrap mine in plastic wrap, and it’s worked just fine — even when I’ve mailed them.

  14. I am going to make these. I make soap and the only thing missing is homemade natural lotion. Do these go bad at all? I don’t use any preservatives in my soaps, but wasn’t sure for the lotions. Thanks again for sharing your recipe!

    1. Hey Staci, These have oil in them, so I’m sure they’ll go bad eventually, but I’ve found them to have a really long shelf life. I just wrap my extras up after I make them, and they’re still good a year later.

  15. Erin, just found your site and I am hooked, can’t stay out of it. I want to try the recipe for solid lotion. Would like to use coconut oil, but all of the coconut oil that I cook with is in a semi solid form. Is this the way all of it is or is there true coconut oil? Thank you for this site and all the hard work you put in it.

    1. Hi Jeanette,

      Glad you stumbled upon the site ๐Ÿ™‚

      Coconut oil has a really low melting point (around 78 degrees), so if you use it in this lotion bar recipe, you’ll need to use it as your liquid oil, and pick something else as your solid oil.

      I haven’t made a batch with coconut oil yet (I tend to do olive oil, shea butter and beeswax), but I’d suggest using coconut oil for half of your liquid oil and then using olive oil or something else for the other half of your liquid oil. This will ensure that your bars don’t go soft when they’re exposed to temps above 78 and that they aren’t too hard when they’re exposed to lower temps.

      Hopefully that makes sense. COconut oil is a bit of an odd ball in the world of oils.

  16. Hi, Erin,

    Lovely product! For the labeled soaps in the picture at the top of your post, what mold did you use? Thanks so much!

    1. Hi Abbie, I used a plastic mold, that gave the bars a cool, curved top. Unfortunately, it cracked (as plastic molds tend to do), so I don’t have it anymore, or know who made it. This is the mold that I use now: http://amzn.to/2r729Aw

      It doesn’t make the curved tops, but it works brilliantly. The bars are really easy to pop out of the molds, and they’re easy to clean.

  17. I’m wondering if you can make lotion bar without using beeswax and if so what’s recipe for that variety?

    1. You could use another type of wax in place of the beeswax, if you wanted; but I haven’t tested any recipes that don’t include wax. In this recipe, the wax is being used to bind the ingredients together, and to lock the oils into your skin when you apply it.

  18. Hi, im trying to figure out the best wrap for my lotion bars. Should i use wax paper, cling wrap, cellophane bags?? Any other ideas? Thank you. Cindy

  19. Hi Erin, Thank you for the recipe. I can’t wait to try it, however I do not have a double boiler. Any suggestions on what I can do instead? Thank you so much.
    Shay Smith

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