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Lotion Bar Recipe {Handcrafted Gifts}

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This three-ingredient Lotion Bar Recipe is the best non-greasy formula for dry to normal skin. They are easy to make and can be prepared in only 10 minutes!

homemade lotion bars with a bee design sitting on piece of burlap on a wooden background

I cook a lot. And with cooking mostly from scratch comes approximately 4,398 hours worth of dishes per week. (I’m not good at math…let’s call that an approximate.) My hands are looking busted of late, and I’ve actually contemplated getting dishwashing gloves to prevent further knuckle crackage.

This homemade lotion bar recipe is a godsend.  It totally heals my hands after just a few applications.  I wake up feeling like someone has rubbed tiny baby butts all over my mitts.

What Are Hard Lotion Bars?

Ohhh, my friend, you haven’t lived until you have used a hard lotion bar. It looks like a bar of soap but contains ingredients that are nourishing and moisturizing to your skin.

It is not soap so you wouldn’t bring it into the shower or bath, but you can put it on right after showering.

How Do You Use a Hard Lotion Bar?

The best part is how easy they are to use and store! You simply rub the lotion bar between your hands (or on other places on your skin) until the heat from your skin warms the bar up and releases the moisturizer into your skin.

Another wonderful thing about these lotion bars is that they have pretty much healed a few little patches of eczema that my son Jack had near his mouth and behind ears.

How Do You Store Lotion Bars?

Anything air-tight will work. Old mint tins, squat mason jars, or even a ziploc bag will work.  Coconut oil is liquid at 76 degrees F or above, so keep them out of direct sunlight and in a cool dry place for best results.

How Long Do Lotion Bars Last?

If stored properly (see above) they should last for five-plus years. The lotion bar may develop a harder coating from the wax but they are still perfectly safe to use.

Helpful Lotion Bar Recipe Supply List

ingredients for a lotion bar recipe - coconut oil, sweet almond oil, and a bar of beeswax

How to Make This Lotion Bar Recipe – Step by Step

  1.  Place 2 cups of water in a medium-sized pan fitted with a double boiler. Place beeswax in the double boiler and allow it to fully melt,
  2. Add the coconut oil and sweet almond oil, and stir gently (with a spoon dedicated solely to beeswax crafts) until the coconut oil is melted.
  3. Using an oven mitt, remove the double boiler from the pan and wipe the water off of the bottom of the boiler. Pour the melted mixture into your molds, and allow to set for a few hours, or overnight.

Pro Tips/Recipe Notes

  • Having a double-boiled dedicated to just wax crafts means you don’t have to spend a ton of time cleaning it in-between recipes. You could also use a mason jar in a pot of simmering water.
  • Vegans can use carnauba wax in lieu of beeswax.
  • If you have a coconut allergy you can sub in shea butter.
  • If you have a nut allergy you can sub in olive or avocado oil for the sweet almond.
  • Using an empty deodorant tube makes it super easy to apply this lotion bar recipe and makes it kid-friendly for them to apply themselves.


Want a scented lotion bar? Add 10-15 drops of your favorite essential oils in step 2 with the sweet almond oil. Please note, I don’t sell essential oils or anything but I do use them myself around the house.

These bars smell so clean and natural even without essential oils, and they work amazingly well. They have become one of my most requested holiday gifts from friends and family.

Apparently, everyone wants skin that feels like baby butts. I just make lotion bars. I’m not here to judge.

homemade hard lotion bar with a bee design sitting on burlap on a wooden background

More Recipes Like This

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Making this recipe or others?

Post a photo on my Facebook page, share it on Instagram, or save it to Pinterest with the tag #sustainablecooks. I can't wait to see your take on it!

lotion bars
5 from 47 votes
Lotion Bar Recipe {Handcrafted Gifts}
Cook Time
10 mins
Total Time
10 mins

This three-ingredient Lotion Bar Recipe is the best non-greasy formula for dry to normal skin. They are easy to make and can be prepared in only 10 minutes!

Course: DIY
  1. Note: by "equal parts" for the ingredients, it would mean you use the same measurements of all the ingredients. Let's say you want to use 1/3 cup of beeswax, you'd then want to use 1/3 cup of the almond oil and the coconut oil. This allows you to use scale the recipe up to your preferred amount for your molds.

  2. Place 2 cups of water in a medium-sized pan fitted with a double boiler. Place beeswax in the double boiler and allow it to fully melt.

  3. Add the coconut oil and sweet almond oil, and stir gently (with a spoon dedicated solely to beeswax crafts) until the coconut oil is melted.

  4. Using an oven mitt, remove the double boiler from the pan and wipe the water off of the bottom of the boiler. Pour the melted mixture into your molds, and allow to set for a few hours, or overnight.

Recipe Notes

Vegans can use carnauba wax in lieu of beeswax.


If you have a coconut allergy you can sub in shea butter.


Using an empty deodorant tube makes it super easy to apply this lotion bar recipe and makes it kid-friendly for them to apply themselves.

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281 comments on “Lotion Bar Recipe {Handcrafted Gifts}”

  1. So sorry if this is a repeat question. Somewhere around here I have a block of paraffin wax.I’ve had it for years as I used to have a warmer to dip py hands you think I could use use that was instead of beeswax?

    • I honestly don’t know if it is the same, but since you aren’t using the wax now, and haven’t for a while, give it a shot and see what happens! ;-D

  2. Hi Sarah. I found a 2 pound block of beeswax for$10.50 at the local farmer’s market. I made the bars with the beeswax, coconut oil and olive oil. Wow! They are awesome! My hands are so soft! My daughter also uses them as chapstick. For my lips I just melted coconut oil into tiny containers but I believe I will be making your recipe for chapstick too. Thank you for a lovely natural skin treat!

  3. I have a really dumb question. What do you use a ‘lotion’ bar for? Can it be used in the shower, or is it just to apply lotion like you would deodorant?

    • I wouldn’t use it in the shower.

      You simply rub it on your (dry) skin like you would a bar of soap. The heat from your skin warms the bar and a little bit of the lotion will be transferred to your skin. You can rub it in after that.

  4. For us vegans, beeswax is a no-no. Any ideas for substitutes?

  5. I just made my first batch of these… I added 20 drops of lavendar oil for a light scent. Can’t wait until morning when I can pop them out and check out the final product! I think I’ll try some rose essential oil next time!

  6. I found this through Pinterest and I was really excited to make these! Me and my sister suffer sverely dry skin so these were great. I used olive oil instead of almond oil, just because i already had it on hand. Beeswax was a bit tricky to find- when I finally found it, the 1lb block was $20, but the candles were $5. So i bought a candle and melted it down (the string was easy to remove). They cooled very fast, but I left them for about 5 minutes (Fast, right?!). They’re great- thanks for the recipe!

  7. This recipe is awesome! I’ve made it several times using the same silicon tray from Joann’s that I already had, and am now getting ready to use some apple shaped silicon ice cube trays I found in the Target dollar section. I have really dry skin that is constantly cracking and splitting and have never found anything that works as well as this lotion, love it!

  8. Hello! Can’t wait to make these for myself and my three daughters!
    Can you please address how to store these lotion bars AND how long do they keep? Thanks so very much!

  9. I’m so excited to try these as gifts for the teachers. What do you recommend for coloring the lotion bars?

  10. Hi! lovely recipe. any tips on how this bar can be saved between uses – (in a pretty container or something)? and also what is the best way to store a batch of bars?

  11. Pls forgive if this was already answered i didnt have time to read thru all the comments. Im wondering how much of, approx, of each ingredient ( i get u used a 1:1 ratio of all three ingredients) to make the 24 bars shown? if these are approx 1 oz bars then you would have had to use abt a cup of each ingredient, right? I just cant tell from the pic the size of the bars! Ty! Ty! Ty!

  12. Question…if you were gifting these how would YOU package it…I’m thinking this and your lip balm would be a great present for my peeps. BTW, just found your site…LOVE, LOVE, LOVE!! You are one funny chick!!

    • I am the worst wrapper in the world, so I’d probably put them in a ziploc or a mason jar with a ribbon. Seriously, wrapping is my least favorite thing in the whole world!

      In fact, I hate wrapping so much that I made cloth gift bags for Christmas last year, just so that I could shove presents in a bag:

  13. This is awesome! Can’t wait to try this, off to find some beeswax!

  14. Put some lavender essential oil in your mixture after taking it off the heat, let it solidify, and you’ve got a deodorant too! Mmmmmmm.

  15. Hello! I hope this comment doesn’t get lost in the world of cyber space. Our daughter has really bad peanut allergy and we need to avoid all nuts. What can I use instead of almond oil? Thanks!

  16. Just wanted to start off saying I LOVE your blog–I found the Vicks shower discs on Pinterest (like so many others!) and then couldn’t stop reading. I’ve been meaning to try some of your “hippy shit” for a while now, and finally got the motivation to work on some homemade Christmas gifts. The shower discs turned out wonderfully and were so easy! 🙂 But I need a little help with these lotion bars!! Mine smell like wax… 🙁 maybe they’re supposed to, or maybe I used too much wax and not enough oils? Any suggestions?? I was expecting it to smell more coconut-y and more almond-y.

    • Oh well, thank you!

      First question, where did you get your wax? My lotion bars smell like honey because of the wax…not a strong waxy smell.

    • I got all my supplies at Whole Foods, so I thought they would be safe! I think I’m going to try melting them down again and maybe adding a little essential oil. I’ll let you know how it turns out!

  17. This is wonderful ! I am making these for my aunts. Gonna add some sprinkles to it to!

  18. Sarah, getting ready to try this. When you say, “One Part” of each of the ingredients, does that mean by weight or by liquid measure? The beeswax, 1/5 of a pound — does that mean 1/5 pound of each oil?

  19. This comment has been removed by the author.

  20. Hi! I made some of these the other day using beeswax, sweet almond oil and coconut oil but have noticed that they’re a bit greasy and don’t seem to absorb well. I also added a bit of shea butter to the last bit of my melted wax-concoction, but had the same problem. Any suggestions on how to fix that? And thanks for the simple recipe!

    • I made some before Christmas and had the same problem. I re-melted them and added more beeswax. Firmed the right up! The shea butter is essentially adding more oil to them, which would only increase the grease factor.

  21. I’ve arrive straight from pinterest.

    thanks.SO.much. for this post!

  22. I have a bee in my bonnet to try these in lip balm tubes for portability.

  23. So I found this post in Pinterest yesterday when I was out of town and wanted to try it so bad. So when I got back home tonight I ran to the closest store and bought some overpriced beeswax and almond oil. It was a bit of an impulse buy but I just had to make them and see if they actually worked! I just finished and used one of my cupcake silicone.molds so it’s a big larger of a bar but I used the little droplets of the mixture that dropped in the pan on my hands and they are already so much softer! I took one out after about 2 hours because I was two impatient but it turned out beautiful! Thank you so so so so so much for posting this!! Next up is the vapor disks for my sinuses and allergies! 🙂

  24. Sarah, how do you package them for gifts? Do they melt too easily? (I would like to make them for gifts, but I am in CA so it is warm even in December sometimes).

    • I put them in little ziplocs (from JoAnn fabrics) and they do not melt quickly. They need the heat from hands to even be used, and I’ve left them in my purse for months, and they’re a-ok!

  25. This looked like such a cool item to make for Christmas gifts, so I had bookmarked the page. Over the past weekend I scored 2.5 pounds of raw beeswax from a local beekeeper, so I just had to try the lotion bars. I used beeswax, olive oil, coconut oil, and a little lavender essential oil. I’m so NOT Martha Stewart, so all I have are disposable aluminum muffin tins and cupcake papers. The bars turned out great and the ridges from the cupcake papers make them look a little fancy. LOL I clean house professionally on a part time basis, and I am so going to be keeping one of these in my bag for my hands, not to mention that a whole bunch of my friends are getting some for Christmas. 🙂

  26. I get that you use equal parts of each mixture

    1 cup/part beeswax
    1 cup/part almond oil
    1 cup/part coconut oil

    but is that 1 cup/part melted (liquid) wax or 1 cup/part soild wax
    because 1 cup of solid wax does NOT melt into 1 cup of liquid wax.

    Or could you just use a 1/4 wax, and once you melt it use the amount of wax liquid to determine how much of every other part to use? Because it seems to me that measuring 1 cup of solid wax would be difficult to get exact in a measuring cup.

    Sorry for being so technical I am just trying to figure out how many oz. solid wax does it take to make 1 cup ( 8 fluid oz.) of melted wax so that I could determine the yield of bars per 1 solid pound of wax.


    • I have just been making lotion bars for the first time, and going by instructions found on many various blogs (lotion bars sure are popular DIY items!) I weighed ingredients unmelted.

      I am using a small inexpensive kitchen scale with glass ramekins to weigh each part of the recipe. Put the glass dish on the scale, zero it, and start adding your ingredients. So long as each category of ingredient weighs the same, it should work out.

      If you were to use 2 oz. of wax, then weigh another dish with a total of 2 oz. of butters, and another dish with 2 oz. of oils. I’m combining different waxes and butters, but keeping the ratio of 1-1-1 for the wax-oil-butter.

      You will find that if you use soy wax instead of beeswax, you have softer bars, so you might use harder butters (cocoa or shorea) or more coconut oil (solid at room temp) than other oils that stay liquid.

      What you choose to use will affect the softness/hardness and meltability of your bars. I’ve used soy wax so far, because I had that already, and it’s lovely, but be aware that it’s much softer. You could almost just pour the melted ingredients into containers and call it balm! I will definitely get beeswax to use once my soy wax is used up. I’m not sure that softer bars will be a good idea here in the south, where they might just melt being in a purse or pocket.

      Hope that helps!

  27. I am like you, I am on a budget, but I enjoy crafts. I am going to make these tomorrow, I can’t wait. Thanks,

    Happy Thanksgiving,

  28. I have made these twice before. I find they keep best if kept in the fridge. The last batch I made I added a little peppermint essential oil and absolutely loved it even more! I am going to prepare some as part of gift baskets this Christmas for the gals I work with and my kid’s teachers!

  29. Made these beauties today…absolutely love it!! My husband has terrible psoriasis- he is about to be my case study!!
    Thank you for sharing, I will be attempting a few of your recipes as soon as my essential oils come in!
    Ps- Hobby Lobby has a 1 lb beeswax bar for $10.99, today I was able to use a 50% off coupon from their website!!! I found the bar very difficult to cut though.

  30. Can I use a mason jar instead of a double boiler, I’m worried about the cleanup of the beeswax from the pots, I don’t want to ruin anything. Or is cleanup not as bad as it sounds?

    • I don’t see why not! Mason jars are so cheap and if it doesn’t work out, you’re out less than $1. I now have a dedicated double boiler just for wax crafts, but a mason jar would be great.

  31. Ok, call me stupid, but, these are basically blocks of lotion…do you just rub the “block” over the areas you want moisturized?? like a bar of soap??

    • That’s exactly correct stupid (sorry, you told me to!). It’s a hard lotion bar and the heat from your skin will release a bit of the lotion where needed.

  32. I know this is a stupid question, but is candle wax you buy in blocks the same as beeswax. I have some left over from making candles and would like to use it up. Or there is a different grade/quality for making lotion bars?

  33. Just wondering – why limit yourself to what you can find in stores? Especially in small town/stores things cost more (less bulk-buying abilities by small businesses) – you can get anything you’re looking for on the internet, and you can comparison shop for the best deals right from your couch. If being frugal is that important….

  34. I have been making these for years, and love them. Basically the rule is 1:1:1 beeswax, hard oil, soft oil.

    But my real reason for commenting is re: cleanup.
    After I scrape everything out of the pot I give it a quick swipe with a paper towel to remove the residual oils and wax then wash as usual.

    I have not tried using baking powder but I might try it for fun–and because I would use the baking powder/oil mix in my next shower and use it as a body scrub.

  35. Could I substitute an oil I have on hand, such as grapeseed or olive, for the almond?

    • The almond is a really soft nourishing oil, so yes you can substitute it, but I’d maybe go a little “lighter” on it in terms of amount.

  36. For my hands, I have been using the Beeswax Butter Balm (from Made from Earth). I absolutely LOVE this stuff! Everything I’ve ever tried from Made from Earth is amazing. Its a balm, and works really well on my extremely dry hands, winters are bad here in Michigan and this does the trick.

    All of their products use high quality ingredients and real essential oils, and I have been using the Beeswax Butter Balm both on my hands and on my lips. So addicted

  37. My fiance is allergic to beeswax. Is there any alternative I can use.

  38. Is this suitable for daily facial use or is it too heavy/will it clog pores?

  39. I’ve been looking for activities to do with my Guide troop, this is now on my list. Just need to work out what to put the lotion in for them to take home while it’s still liquid.

    • If you have access to a fridge, pop them in for 20-30 minutes! The lotion bars. Not the kids. 🙂

      • No fridge unfortunately but the hallway outside the room we meet in is pretty cold, they could put them out there while they [watch me] tidy up.

      • If you’re doing a basic silicone mold like the one I linked in the post, that would work just fine. Anything more intricate (like the bee one in my pictures) would need to be fully cooled before removing.

  40. I like your bee mold!

  41. I’ve recently seen a whole bunch of ads/buzz for shampoo bars (less plastic used, they still foam up). Do you make those too?

  42. I’m excited to make these tonight!!
    How should I store them? Wax paper? scrap piece of fabric? have you ever had one of these melt in your purse on a hot day? Or are these an ‘at home only’ kinda thing?


  43. Did I spark this post? 😊lol! This will be my Christmas present staple. I’m thinking of stacking them in a hand decorated mason jar and tying a nice ribbon on it. Merry Christmas! 

    • LOL, I’m in your brain Sherrie!

      Actually, I have been working on updating the post for a while now and whenever I put a lot of work into something old, I republish it. Or in Troy’s case, I marry it!

      I think lotion bars in a little jar would be so pretty!

  44. Love love love this post. Laughed my soft baby butt off!
    Putting in a “friends and family” request for this as a gift. 😁

  45. Be sure to warn any husbands/brothers/men in your life that it’s best to keep lotion bars away from the more “sensitive” area if they contain peppermint essential oil. My husband learned the hard way it can really tingle and not in a good way! I really like this recipe and plan on making a batch for my gifts. Thank you! 

  46. I’m back into making these lotion bars! Love the additional instructions to add essential oils to the bars! These will be my Christmas gifts for most people this year! I’ve also decided that I no longer need to buy hand lotion when I can make an easy moisturizing lotion bar!!!!

  47. Pingback: 15 Handmade Bath and Body Christmas Gifts -

  48. I made these as gifts for Christmas using lavender oil as a scent. Friends are reporting improved nails, better sleep and the wish for more!  I am having to cost them as they insist on buying them from me. Love them. I made a little fabric pouch for gifting and I keep mine in a little tin. 

  49. Hi! Can’t wait to try this! Where did you find the sweet honeycomb mold?