Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Lotion/Masage bars

I read about making lotion bars at home here and it seemed pretty do-able. I had already collected all the ingredients when I made the body butter. That I didn't have to buy any ingredients to make these made me all the more excited to try out the bars!

Before you embark off to try your own let me tell you that unless you're using the exact same ingredients, don't be surprised if you've to do them again and again to get the right texture! The recipe on the link above didn't work for me maybe because of the butters and oils I chose.

Also, start small - I can't stress it enough. I didn't realize this till I'd to re-do them and then all I could do was add more to the quantity. I started with 6 oz all together and then I realized I needed to add more butter and oil and soon I'd lotion bars for my whole neighborhood!

The good thing is if you find that the bars are too hard/soft for you, you can melt them and add the relevant ingredients. Then solidify it. That's exactly what I did. My batch one was too hard to use. So I melted it and added some oil. Batch two was good enough but I figured a little butter would make it better. Melted it and added some butter. Batch three was perfect.

Enough of my teachings! Onto the recipe. Oh before I do that I want to thank my phone - you see it was thanks to my phone I could take photos of all these different steps. I would be too lazy with a camera!

2 oz beeswax
4 oz Sweet Almond oil
4 oz unrefined shea butter
~ 1.5 tsp essential oil (I used 1 tsp lemongrass and 0.5 tsp sweet orange) - unrefined shea butter has a strong aroma which I wanted to suppress. If you're using refined shea butter or any other butter that doesn't have a strong aroma you could use less.

1. Setup a double boiler. All that means is, fill a pan half or one-thirds with water and put another pan on top it. Put this apparatus on heat. The heat from the boiling water heats the upper pan and melts the butters. Direct heat is too much for the butters and will burn them.

2. Add the beeswax to the upper pan. Once it's almost done, add shea butter. Shea butter melts much faster than beeswax that's why we add it later. Once everything's melted add the almond oil to the mix. Then add the essential oils.

3. If you have some molds then feel free to use them. I didn't have any so I used my muffin pan! I lined it with cupcake liners and then filled them each.

4. Put it in the fridge for 10-15 minutes or as long as it takes to set. This is how it looks once it sets.

5. Yummy lotion bars are ready! Seriously don't then look delicious?!?!

Project cost: 

  • Beeswax: $1.875 for 2oz
  • Sweet Almond Oil: $2.5 for 4 oz
  • Shea butter: $4.50 for 4oz
  • Essential oils: ~$2
  • Total: $11 for 10 oz of lotion bars (compare to $10 for 2.5 oz at Lush
  • The joy of making your own lotion bar - priceless!
  • Beeswax is what adds the hardness. So if your bar is too soft you would want to add more beeswax.
  • If your bar is too hard, you need more oil for sure. You can add more butter too - like I did.
  • I would encourage you to buy Fair Trade shea butter if possible. I've linked above my source of fair trade shea butter.
  • I do *not* get any commision for any of the linked products. Just wanted to share my sources.
  • I found a local store, VitaminLife (could be a chain, I don't know), which has all the oils (carrier oils and essential oils) at a very reasonable price.