Homemade Lotion Bars

by Daisy on 11/23/2008

Thank you for visiting Little House in the Suburbs. If you like what you see, please SUBSCRIBE.

What is a lotion bar? It is a soap-hard manifestation of moisturizer you can make yourself that doesn’t go bad and doesn’t contain:

. . . and stuff like that.

And lotion bars are child’s play to create. So easy. The only somewhat exotic ingredient is beeswax, and that really isn’t exotic at all. Ask your local beekeeper or find some online or in some craft stores. Vegans can substitute candelilla wax for beeswax.

I have a Cadillac lotion bar recipe, but I will lead with the, um, shall we say Ford Escort of lotion bars.


1 part vegetable shortening
1 part vegetable oil
1 part beeswax

Melt the shortening and beeswax a double boiler or a little pan in a bigger pan of simmering water. Stir in the vegetable oil. Pour into cups/molds and let cool. Pop out of “mold” and it’s ready to use. The beeswax will fragrance the bars with a nice, light honey smell, or you can stir in a little essential oil before you pour it into the molds.

To use: Let the warmth of your hand melt a little of the bar and rub into dry skin–hands, feet, elbows, etc.

Yes, it’s oily at first. It’s REAL. And it does absorb in.

Here’s the Cadillac version:


1 part shea butter
1 part avocado oil
1 part beeswax
1200 IU vitamin E (1 lg. capsule) per every 6-8 oz. other oils
essential oil (optional)

Melt shea butter and beeswax in a double boiler or small pan in larger pan of water on the low heat setting of the stove. Stir in avocado oil and vitamin E and essential oil (optional). Pour into mold(s) and allow to cool. Pop out of mold if desired or leave it in a dish and scrape off a little as needed.

Note: Shea butter can occasionally become grainy. To avoid this, use just enough heat to get your ingredients to melt. Once your ingredients are blended, cool your mixture quickly by pouring into shallow container(s) in a cool room or popping it into the fridge to cool (not the freezer).

P.S.: A little light reading about that stuff in lotions and other bath and body care products:

{ 28 comments… read them below or add one }

Daisy August 28, 2013 at 4:49 pm

Rebecca–Maybe a little more beeswax, then put them in containers such as tins in which they can “safely” melt a bit without leaking out. They probably won’t melt inside in the shade, anyway.

Rebecca August 28, 2013 at 5:24 pm

Thank you! 🙂

Laurie October 1, 2013 at 2:39 pm

Hello! I LOVE this recipe for the lotion bars, and just made it for a second time. I’m wondering what the best way to get the dried up wax mixture off everything is? Do I just let it harden and scrape it off the best I can? TIA!!!

Daisy October 2, 2013 at 5:09 am

Laurie–I try and wipe as much as I can while it is still warm, then wash in hot soapy water. Keep the wash water and toss outside rather than letting it go down the drain to harden.

Bee October 28, 2013 at 12:56 pm

For the every man’s lotion bar could I use coconut oil instead of vegeyable shortening?

Daisy October 28, 2013 at 1:55 pm

Bee–Try it in a small sample. I’d love to know the results if you do it.

Patty November 8, 2013 at 7:08 am

Where do I buy bees wax?

Daisy November 8, 2013 at 8:04 am

Patty–You can buy it online from soaping suppliers and beekeeping equipment suppliers, local beekeepers (find a jar of local honey and see if there’s a phone number or website on the label), and also at hobby stores like Hobby Lobby or Michael’s (in the US). Take your coupon! If ease of use is important, online soaping stores have “prills” or “beads” which are pourable and don’t require chipping away at a block with a knife.

Lorie Bischel November 13, 2013 at 11:51 pm

Do you have a recipe for a whipped body butter? I find I want something softer than the lotion bar.

Annabel December 25, 2013 at 11:03 am

I’ll definitely be giving these a go. My tip for getting rid of beeswax is to use lemon juice. I got beeswax all over my stainless hob which I usually clean with half a Lennon skin. It seemed to just dissolve the beeswax.

sherig March 25, 2014 at 9:03 pm

yea thanks for the recipe that doesn’t use coconut oil. I am allergic to coconut. Do you know where else I can get avocado oil I looked on amazon the shipping was almost the same price as the oil?

Daisy March 25, 2014 at 9:19 pm

sherig–Well, I get mine from soaping suppliers like Brambleberry and Essential Wholesale or Camden Gray, usually as part of a larger order. You can substitute any other kind of liquid oil, olive oil works great.

Karen January 30, 2015 at 9:51 am

If anyone is still looking for avocado oil, I buy mine at Costco.

Suzanne April 12, 2015 at 1:58 am

Could I subscribe to your blog via my email please?
Many thanks.

Daisy April 12, 2015 at 2:43 pm

Hi Suzanne–Thank you for asking about subscribing! Just below the comment box at the end of any of our posts are two check boxes. Check the second of the two, “Notify me of new posts by email.” It’s a little inconspicuous so you have to scroll down to find it. Let me know if you have any issues with the subscription sign up. Thanks! Daisy

tiff April 20, 2015 at 2:48 pm

I’m so excited about this recipe! Is it equal parts by volume or weight?

Thank you!

Daisy April 20, 2015 at 4:45 pm

tiff–Best by weight, a close second would be nicely packed volume measurements. Enjoy!

Kathi May 26, 2015 at 8:21 am

very nice! Thanks!

Marilyn Groneng July 4, 2015 at 9:20 am

LOVE your website! I am making the lotion bars for Father’s Day gifts for the men at church. It is so hard to find something useful that doesn’t cost a fortune!

Daisy July 4, 2015 at 9:40 pm

Marilyn Groneng–Thank you! We love our readers! I just made a bunch of these myself–I used cocoa butter this time for the solid oil and it smells just like chocolate. It’s all I can do to keep from eating them.

Teresa Templeton October 29, 2015 at 9:20 am

Love your lotion bar recipes and gift ideas for girls.
Thank you for sharing! Checked the second box to notify
me of new posts by email. Thanks Teresa

Daisy October 29, 2015 at 2:58 pm

Teresa Templeton–Thanks Teresa! Be seeing you around the blog!

Sandy December 12, 2015 at 8:44 pm

Love your blog!

LaTasha May 13, 2016 at 10:20 am

I’d love to try your “Cadillac” lotion bar recipe. Unfortunately, I’m allergic to avocados. Are there any alternatives to using the avocado oil?

Daisy May 13, 2016 at 10:43 am

LaTasha–Yes, you can use just about any “solid-at-room-temperature oil” you prefer. Something like olive or hemp oil or almond oil–whatever you like and know is non-allergenic for you.

Michelle May 30, 2016 at 3:59 am

Can you substitute soy wax for the beeswax and if so, how much? I hate the smell of the beeswax and want the base of the lotion bar to be as neutral in smell as possible. Thanks!!!!

Daisy May 30, 2016 at 7:19 am

Michelle–Yes, you can sub soy wax, same amount of soy as beeswax. You can also try candelilla wax, although it isn’t unscented either, but you may prefer its scent to that of the beeswax. I hope you enjoy your bars.

sandra June 5, 2016 at 8:14 am

Has anyone tried it with coconut oil? I love coconut oil and would love to use it in this recipe…

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: