These lotion bars are really easy to make. I like to make a big batch in the fall and store them in the refrigerator until I am putting together a birthday surprise, need a quick hostess gift or have itchy, dry winter skin. Winter, snow and wool sweaters are some of my very favorite things. I know few things as welcoming as a crackling fire in wood stove! Forced air heating and/or wood stoves, while cozy, reduce the humidity in our homes and our skin. So, think of these lotion bars as chap-stick for your hands, elbows, legs and feet!
If you make these lotion bars for gifts, contain them in small window tins (on a bed of corrugated cardboard or other cushioning agent) or organza bags, to keep them looking nice for transport or presentation. Many friends of mine pour the lotion bar recipe into push-up deodorant sticks, which would also be handy for storage or use. I have never made them that way, but I certainly would if I had the containers. This recipe would work well for that, especially if you plan to sell them.
The lotion bars pictured above were poured into Milky Way soap molds. I like them because they are inexpensive, durable and reusable. The downside is, they are difficult to clean once the project is finished. I hold them under hot tap water to soften the residual bee's wax, and use a paper towel to remove as much bee's wax as possible. I then wash them in a sink of hot, soapy water and place them in a dish rack to dry. I store them vertically in a wire basket, to protect them in my Lotions and Potions cupboard. If money is no object, check out the silicone molds available online from different suppliers. The design selection is narrower, but if you find one you like, there is nothing better for this purpose. If you are super creative, you can buy a mold making kit and make your own silicone mold from a design you like. Here are some pics of my favorite molds. They vary in capacity, from 1 1/2 oz. to 4 oz.
One of the nice things about this recipe is you can vary the oils used, depending on what you have on hand, and still end up with a lovely lotion bar! Apricot Kernel Oil, Avocado or Macadamia Oil are all nice substitutes, too. I often use Lavender and Vanilla bean infused oil for this recipe, but that is not mandatory. You can add a few drops of essential oil right before you pour them into the molds, or even use no added scent. The bee's wax scent comes through strongly, adding a rich, earthy scent, either way. I'm giving you two recipes I have used. The first one contains Jojoba and Wheat Germ oils, which makes this recipe more costly, but will add some extra pizazz for your very favorite peeps. The second recipe is very nice also. There are many other lovely skin oils you could add, so get creative with what you have on hand! The main thing is to keep the proportions of solid to oils in the same balance. If using a higher proportion of softer oils, (i.e. Coconut Oil) you'll need to add more Bee's wax. If these recipes are larger than you would like, just cut it in half.
Lay out the molds on a surface where they will not have to be disturbed for an hour or so. If you have a small soup ladle, I consider that the ideal way to transfer salve-like ingredients into molds or jars. Pouring this mixture is difficult, because it builds up on the lip of the pot or measuring cup as you are pouring. Don't go there, especially the first time!
6 oz Jojoba oil
2 oz Wheat Germ oil
4 oz Cocoa Butter
1 1/2 oz Virgin Coconut oil
3 oz Mango butter
1 oz Shea Butter
7 1/2 oz raw Bee's Wax
1 tsp raw Honey
1 tsp essential oil (optional)
Melt oils and fats over low heat or in a small crock pot to 145 degrees. Stir in diced Bee's Wax or pellets. Stay close, stirring often until Bee's Wax is melted. Turn off heat when the Bee's Wax chunks appear somewhat translucent. Allow to cool to 140 degrees, stirring occasionally. Stir in the 1 teaspoon of honey very well. Stir in up to a teaspoon of essential oil. Ladle the hot liquid into the waiting molds as quickly as possible. Then don't touch them for at least an hour or two so they have time to completely solidify.
Ideally, once they are solid, you can turn them upside down and sort of twist and pop them out of their molds onto bubble wrap or some other cushioning surface. If the room is warm, they may not pop out completely, or some of the form may remain in the mold. To prevent that, simply place the whole container in the freezer for about 15-20 minutes. They will almost jump out of the molds when they are frozen. :-) When moving the finished lotion bars, I use a small, silicone turner or use rubber gloves. Even working quickly, the slight warmth of your hands will leave smudges or fingerprints on the finished bars. I layer a storage container with wax paper or parchment to protect the lotion bars for long term storage.
8 oz Almond Oil (infused with herbal scent or properties is lovely!)
4 oz Shea or Mango butter
4 oz Cocoa Butter
6 oz Bee's Wax
1 tsp raw honey (or 1/2 tsp Anhydrous Lanolin or Emu oil, if you don't mind animal fats)
1 tsp Essential Oil
Follow procedure in the first recipe, but be extra careful not to overheat oil combo if using this much Shea Butter, as it can turn granular. If that happens, you'll need to re-melt the entire mixture, then pour into the molds again.
To use, hold the lotion bar in your hand for just a moment. The warmth of your hand will soften it enough to make it easy to apply to dry skin. Enjoy!
Bee Balm, dry skin, Milky Way Molds, solid salve