Homemade Lotion Bars

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:

Leave a Reply

  1. 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.

  2. 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!!!

  3. 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.

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

  5. 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.

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

  7. 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.

  8. 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?

  9. 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.