recipe for lotion bars

Easy Recipe for Lotion Bars with Only 3 Ingredients

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Today I’m going to share with you my favorite recipe for lotion bars. These are so good for your skin, are affordable to make, and use only three essential ingredients. Join me as I show you how to craft your own nourishing lotion bars that will leave your skin feeling pampered and refreshed. Perfect if you enjoy homemade beauty products or for gift giving.

recipe for lotion bars

First, what exactly is a lotion bar?

Lotion bars are a luxurious and eco-friendly alternative to traditional liquid lotions. These compact, solid bars are carefully crafted from natural ingredients like nourishing oils and skin-loving beeswax. What sets lotion bars apart is their unique form – they are solid at room temperature but melt upon contact with your warm skin. This transformation allows you to apply just the right amount of moisturizing goodness precisely where you need it.

What’s fantastic about this homemade recipe for lotion bars is that you have complete control over the ingredients used, ensuring they are all-natural and tailored to your preferences. While it’s totally optional, you can add your favorite essential oils to customize each bar. For example, if you want a bar that not only smells great but also has healing properties, consider adding essential oils like tea tree oil, known for its pleasant scent and antibacterial properties.

And here’s the real gem – not only do lotion bars keep your skin beautifully hydrated, but they’re also mess-free and incredibly convenient, especially for those on-the-go moments. Just pop one into an empty Altoids tin and toss it in your purse, ensuring it’s always within reach when you need it.

Lastly, if you’re someone who cares about the environment, lotion bars are an eco-conscious choice. By making or using lotion bars, you contribute to reducing the need for single-use plastic bottles that often end up in landfills. This aligns perfectly with a sustainable and nature-loving lifestyle.

recipe for lotion bars
Recipe for Lotion Bars

Lotion Bar Ingredients

I love that you only need a few simple ingredients for this recipe for lotion bars. You only really require the first three ingredients.  The addition of essential oils is totally optional and if you prefer unscented bars, it’s totally okay to leave this ingredient out. 

  1. Beeswax pellets
  2. Cocoa Butter or Shea Butter
  3. Coconut oil (the kind that becomes solid when the temperature dips below 76 degrees)
  4. *Optional: Essential oils such as lavender, frankincense, or peppermint.

Beeswax, Cocoa Butter, and Coconut Oil in Lotion Bars

When it comes to creating your own skincare products, especially lotion bars, understanding the benefits of each ingredient is key. Beeswax, cocoa butter, and coconut oil are three popular components often celebrated for their exceptional skin-nurturing properties. Here’s how each of them contributes to the health and vitality of your skin.

Beeswax: Nature’s Protector

Beeswax is more than just a thickening agent; it’s a natural skin protector. Rich in vitamin A, beeswax supports cell reconstruction and health. Its anti-inflammatory properties make it beneficial for soothing irritated skin, while its antibacterial qualities help keep skin clean and reduce the risks of contamination in wounds. Beeswax forms a protective barrier on the skin’s surface, locking in moisture without clogging pores. This barrier also shields the skin from environmental irritants and harsh weather conditions.

Cocoa Butter: The Ultimate Moisturizer

Cocoa butter, a fat extracted from cocoa beans, is a powerhouse of fatty acids, making it an incredible moisturizer. It’s particularly effective for dry, sensitive skin, thanks to its high oleic, palmitic, and stearic acid content. These fatty acids nourish the skin deeply, improving its elasticity and creating a natural, healthy glow. The antioxidants present in cocoa butter also help fight off free-radical damage, which can lead to aging signs like wrinkles and skin dullness. Its natural healing properties are excellent for treating skin conditions like eczema or dermatitis.

Coconut Oil: The All-Rounder

Coconut oil, especially the kind that solidifies below 76 degrees Fahrenheit, is a miraculous ingredient for skin care. It’s rich in medium-chain fatty acids, which give it antimicrobial and antifungal properties, helping to protect the skin from harmful bacteria. This oil is also an exceptional moisturizer. Its unique molecular structure allows it to easily penetrate the skin, providing deep hydration and conditioning. Furthermore, coconut oil has anti-inflammatory properties, which can reduce redness and soothe irritated skin. It’s also known for its antioxidant properties, helping to prevent premature aging and protect the skin from environmental stressors.

This recipe for lotion bars incorporates all three of these skin nourishing ingredients and creates a product that not only moisturizes and protects your skin but also harnesses the natural healing powers of these ingredients. 

recipe for lotion bars
Recipe for Lotion Bars

How To Make Lotion Bars

This recipe for lotion bars is easy to follow. Start by collecting your ingredients, measuring equal parts of coconut oil, cocoa butter, and beeswax (for instance, 4 oz of each for six 2-ounce bars).  Start by melting the coconut oil and cocoa butter together in a double boiler or in a bowl set atop simmering water. After these two ingredients have fully melted and blended, incorporate the 4 ounces (0.15 kg) of beeswax, continuing to melt the mixture until it’s completely smooth. 

Once all ingredients are melted and combined, take the mixture off the heat and allow it to cool just a bit. At this stage, if you’re adding essential oils, mix them in now. Next, carefully pour the liquid into your lotion bar mold. You can let the bars set by placing them on the counter, or speed up the process by refrigerating them. Once they’ve solidified, remove your homemade lotion bars from the molds and store them in an airtight container or a metal tin.

recipe for lotion bars
Recipe for Lotion Bars

FAQ & Substitutions for Lotion Bar

Can I customize this Recipe for Lotion bars with different essential oils?

Absolutely! The beauty of this recipe for lotion bars is that it offers endless possibilities for customization with a variety of therapeutic essential oils. 

Lavender essential oil is a personal favorite for its calming aroma and skin-soothing properties, making it perfect for a relaxing skincare routine. Tea tree oil is renowned for its powerful antiseptic qualities, ideal for tackling skin impurities or acne. And frankincense is a gem for its ability to promote a sense of peace and balance, along with its skin rejuvenating effects. 

But the options don’t stop there. There are so many therapeutic essential oils to choose from, each bringing its unique benefits and fragrances, allowing you to create lotion bars that perfectly align with your wellness and skincare needs. Feel free to experiment and explore the vast array of essential oils to find the ones that resonate most with you.

Is there a vegan alternative to beeswax for making hard lotion bars?

Yes, there is! Carnauba wax is a wonderful vegan alternative to beeswax for crafting hard lotion bars. Derived from the leaves of the carnauba palm, this wax is renowned for its durability and glossy finish. It’s excellent for skin care due to its emollient properties, providing a soothing effect and enhancing moisture retention in the skin. Carnauba wax also contributes to a smooth texture in lotion bars, making it a superb choice for those seeking vegan options. You can also try candelilla wax, a slightly softer plant-based wax sometimes used in lotion bars.

What are other substitutions and or additives can you potentially add to this recipe?

Instead of cocoa butter, you can use mango butter, shea butter, or even kokum butter for different textures and skin benefits. Each butter has its unique properties; for example, mango butter is lighter and less greasy than shea butter.

A few drops of vitamin E oil can be a great addition. It acts as a natural preservative and is also known for its skin-healing properties.

You can also add cinnamon powder to your lotion bar recipe. Cinnamon powder is known for its warming properties and its pleasant, spicy scent. It can also stimulate blood flow, which may enhance skin health and give a natural glow (just be careful if you have sensitive skin).

What type of molds do you recommend for making lotion bars?

I personally love using silicone soap or candy molds for my lotion bars. They come in a variety of shapes and sizes, allowing for creative and fun designs. One of my favorites is the honeycomb-shaped mold; it’s not only aesthetically pleasing, but also easy to use and clean. Silicone molds are flexible, which makes unmolding the lotion bars a breeze. Feel free to experiment with different shapes to add a personal touch to your lotion bars.

How To Use Lotion Bars

Using solid lotion bars is a breeze! All you need to do is warm up the bar by rubbing it between your hands, and it’ll start to melt just enough. Then, simply apply it onto your skin as you would with regular lotion. I find these bars especially helpful for those super dry spots like elbows, knees, and heels, especially during the winter when they tend to get extra parched and in need of some extra TLC.

Remember to store your lotion bars away from direct sunlight to keep them from melting prematurely. This way, you’ll have your nourishing skincare handy whenever you need it.

recipe for lotion bars

Easy Recipe for Lotion Bars

Barbi Gardiner
Learn to make homemade lotion bars with just three essential ingredients! This recipe for lotion bars is perfect for natural skincare lovers and also make lovely gifts.
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Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 19 minutes
Servings 6 bars


  • Double Boiler or Heat-Safe Bowl and Pot
  • Silicone Mold Such as Candy or Soap Mold
  • Measuring Cups or Scale
  • Stirring Spoon or Spatula
  • Container or Tin for Storage


  • 1 part Coconut Oil e.g., 4 ounces
  • 1 part Organic Shea Butter or Organic Cocoa Butter e.g., 4 ounces
  • 1 part Pure Beeswax or Carnauba Wax vegan option (e.g., 4 ounces)


  • Gather Ingredients: Get 4 ounces each of coconut oil, shea or cocoa butter, and beeswax or carnauba wax.
  • Melt Together: Use a double boiler or a bowl over a pot of simmering water to melt the coconut oil and cocoa butter together. Once melted, add the beeswax or carnauba wax and melt all together.
  • Cool Slightly: After everything has melted, remove from heat and let it cool for a moment.
  • Add Essential Oils: If using, stir in your choice of essential oils. Around 60-120 drops should be good, depending on how strong you want the scent.
  • Pour into Molds: Carefully pour the mixture into molds of your choice.
  • Let Set: Wait for the bars to cool and harden. This can be done at room temperature or in the fridge for quicker setting.
  • Unmold and Store: Once solid, remove the bars from the molds and store them in a cool, dry place.


Essential Oil Guide for Lotion Bars:
Total Recipe Weight: 12 oz (340g) - using 4 oz each of coconut oil, shea/cocoa butter, beeswax/carnauba wax.
 Essential Oil Amount: Use 1-2% of your recipe's total weight. 1%: ~68 drops 2%: ~136 drops Adjust as Needed: Less for strong oils like peppermint/frankincense, or for sensitive skin.
Tips: Start with fewer drops; you can always add more in your next batch.
Do not use fragrance oils as these are not always safe for skin and are synthetic. Happy Crafting! 🌿💧
Keyword lotion bars
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