How To Make Lotion Bars (VIDEO)

Heather Dessinger

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Lotion Bar Recipe

“Mama, can I eat this?” <– I’m not sure when my kids first mistook my homemade lotion for a jar of mayo in the fridge, but in this house they know to check before they chew. Sure, the point of making my own personal care products is that they’re safe enough to eat, but so far no one in this house actually wants to . . . and I now label my products to make sure that doesn’t happen.

That’s why when my son asked yesterday if he could eat these, I just laughed. Sure, they look like homemade white chocolate, but they’re actually my secret for all-over skin nourishment.

Homemade lotion bars melt slightly when rubbed against the warmth of your skin, leaving a layer of moisture that softens and protects. They’re perfect both in the dry winter months and as a summertime after-sun soother. Many people find them especially helpful for dry patches on elbows, knees, feet and hands.

Need another reason to love them? I’ll give you two. They’re relatively inexpensive to make and they make a thoughtful gift for teachers, friends and family. I keep one in my purse, another one in a soap dish next to the kitchen sink for after I wash dishes, and a few in my pantry to give away.

Video: How To Make Lotion Bars

What You’ll Need For This Recipe

The round molds in the video above make about ten lotion bars using the recipe in this post. Here’s what you’ll need:

I’ll share some more soap/lotion bar mold and packaging ideas later in this post.

About The Ingredients

Luxurious and silky smooth, this particular blend of cocoa butter, coconut oil and beeswax is one of my favorite lotion bar recipes. You’ll love the way it feels, and you’ll feel good about knowing what you’re putting on your skin, too! Here’s a breakdown of the ingredients:

Coconut Oil

As I mention hereextra virgin coconut oil happens to be very rich in antioxidants that prevent free radical formation. Free radicals cause skin to lose elasticity among other things, so obviously we don’t want them showing up in our skincare. Coconut oil is antibacterial and antifungal as well, which is beneficial for maintaining clear skin. And because its molecular structure is relatively small, these benefits penetrate deep into underlying tissues that most moisturizers can’t reach. Of course, it smells really good too.

Though expeller-pressed coconut oil is not as rich in antioxidants, I still use it often in personal care products because it’s more affordable. It does all the same things as extra virgin coconut oil – just to a lesser degree – and is very effective at helping skin retain moisture.

Cocoa Butter

Cocoa butter is rich in Vitamin E and fatty acids, and according to this study it improves skin tone and elasticity. It is often used to soothe dry skin, rashes, eczema, scars, stretch marks, and psoriasis. Because non-organic cocoa butter is often extracted using harsh solvents like hexane, I recommend using only solvent-free sources like this one.


Beeswax adds a protective barrier to skin that locks in moisture and helps keep the bar firm. I prefer organic versions because chemicals and pesticides sometimes used in conventional beekeeping may collect in the wax.

Vitamin E (Optional)

This anti-oxidant is thought to smooth skin and reduce wrinkles. From a more practical standpoint, it extends the shelf life of lotion bars by preventing oils and butters from becoming rancid prematurely. This is my preferred form of vitamin E because it contains naturally derived mixed-tocopherols rather than an isolated form of vitamin E, and it doesn’t contain soy oil. I don’t know that I would buy it just for use in beauty products, but I keep it on hand as a supplement so it’s what I use for both.

Essential Oil (Optional)

This lotion bar has a natural white chocolate scent thanks to the cocoa butter. However, if you’d like to add additional scents, here are a few of my favorites:

  • White Chocolate Peppermint – Add seventy to eighty-five drops of peppermint essential oil though I’m not typically a fan of peppermint, this is my absolute favorite for lotion bars!
  • Creamsicle – Add seventy-five drops of sweet orange essential oil, and forty drops vanilla blended in jojoba oil.
  • Lavender – Add seventy-five drops of lavender essential oil, or up to ninety if you prefer a stronger scent.

Lotion Bar Packaging Ideas

Here’s what you’ll need:

How To Make Lotion Bars

To make eight of the “100% Handmade” bars above, you’ll need:

Here’s an alternative lotion bar mold that I also love. It’s roughly the same size as the 100% Hand Made soap mold, so you should get the same number of bars per batch.

how to make lotion bars

Lotion Bar Recipe

This recipe makes eight of the 1.5 fluid ounce square lotion bars pictured or ten of the round lotion bars in the video.

Ingredients (By Weight)

If no scale is available, try:


Special Equipment

Silicone mold, muffin tin or other mold (I used this square soap mold that says “100% Handmade”)

How To Make Lotion Bars

Fill a medium pot with about two inches of water and bring to a boil. Place a smaller pot or heat-proof stainless steel bowl inside the larger pot to create a double boiler. Add coconut oil, beeswax and cocoa butter to the bowl/pot. Stir occasionally until it is fully melted, then remove from heat. If you are adding essential oils or vitamin E, allow the mixture to cool a little before mixing them in and pouring the liquid in to your molds. If you are not adding essential oils or vitamin E, pour the liquid directly into your molds. Allow lotion bars to cool fully before unmolding them. If you want to speed things up, pop them into the fridge or freezer for ten to twenty minutes.

How To Use Lotion Bars

Rub lotion bars between your hands or on the desired area (elbows, feet, knees, etc.), then massage into skin as needed.

Shelf Life

Because there is no water in this formula, it is shelf stable for up to a year without the use of preservatives. Store out of direct sunlight and away from heat – it will melt!

FREE Ebook: DIY Body Care Gifts Made Simple

Do you want to give gorgeous, handcrafted gifts for family and friends, without spending a bunch of time on them?

Then I’d love to give you a free copy of DIY Body Care Gifts Made Simple – my step-by-step guide to making gorgeous handcrafted gifts without stressing yourself out – as a gift for signing up for my newsletter. I’ll show you how to make vintage labels, luxurious lotion bars, lip balms, sugar scrubs, body sprays and more like a pro. Sign up for my newsletter and you’ll be redirected to the download page immediately!

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Heather is a holistic health educator, herbalist, DIYer, Lyme and mold warrior. Since founding in 2009, Heather has been taking complicated health research and making it easy to understand. She shares tested natural recipes and herbal remedies with millions of naturally minded mamas around the world.