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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 1 vote
Lotion Bar Recipe {Handcrafted Gifts}

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. Yay, thanks Sarah. Are you using 1 part each by volume or weight?

  2. KEQ, I went by “eyesight”. There was absolutely no exact measuring. LOL.

    • my daughter in-law gave me a small bar if this and i absolutely love it. i put on hands just before bed. i am 56 and it made my hands look 20 years younger and sooooo just few nights using it. . i now applying to elbows and heel of my feet.. i almost gone so she sent me this page so i off on w/e to buy all the stuff i need. plan on making lot to give to friends as i no they will love it also…. thanks so much ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Where can u purchase beeswax

      • Find a local beekeeper. That’s the best way to get wax. Not all of them keep it for themselves. I am a beekeeper and melt down my own wax for Chapstick and lotion

  3. I make these also (with whatever ingredients I have laying around), but pour them into empty deodorant containers. That way, my 3 year old son can apply it himself. It’s fun for him and helps me keep his eczema at bay. Thanks for posting your idea! The star mold is cute ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. I love the idea of empty deodorant container! Genius!

  5. SO doing this with my son tday. Thanks!!

  6. I made these and they are awesome! Where did you find the almond oil? I looked a few places that didn’t have it and ended up at a health food store where it was REALLY expensive! I’m going to an Amish hardware store today to see if they carry it.

    • So glad to hear you liked them!

      I bought the almond oil that I used on Amazon, but my grocery store carries it as well. It’s usually in the section of the grocery store where the healthier foods are (if your store has that section). If they don’t have that section, you’ll find it closer to the olive oils than you will say vegetable oil. The brand my store carries is Spectrum.

    • Almond oil should either be with spices or with oil… check around, it could be hiding. I get it at some farmer’s market-type stores here in AZ.

    • Try Bulk Apothecary for all the ingredients listed here, and more. I love their products and they have the best prices anywhere!!

  7. I have children that are allergic to nuts. Could I replace the almond oil for some other oil? Thanks Gina

    • Gina absolutely! You’re looking for an oil that would provide lots of moisture. Avocado oil, or cocoa butter might work well. Wait, is cocoa butter from a nut?

      Jojoba oil could work as well. Do you have a Trader Joes nearby? That is hands down the cheapest place I’ve seen jojoba oil.

      Additionally, grapeseed oil (which I wouldn’t eat, but is great for external stuff) or olive oil would be lovely!

    • or shea butter!

    • Grapeseed oil is just fine for eating! It has a high smoke point and no flavor, which makes it great for frying.

    • i make these exact bars and use grapeseed oil – i love it… very calming for my sensitive skin.

  8. I made these for my daughter’s wedding favors, they were a hit! We used grapeseed oil instead of the almond oil. So easy and yet so beneficial!

    • That is awesome! I’ve heard great things about grapeseed oil, but used what I had on hand (almond oil). So glad that they were well received. Thanks so much for letting me know – you made my day!

    • Actually, grapeseed oil is even healthier than olive oil. It has a higher flash point and is great for frying. It is such a light oil that our chicken fried steak isn’t nearly as greasy as when cooked with others oils, such as vegetable oil or Crisco. I hope you’ll give it a try!
      I plan on making lotion bars for gifts this Christmas. Thanks for the idea!

  9. Do you sell these, or maybe a trial size of these? I’d be interested in trying some out before making my own batch.

    • Nope, the idea hadn’t even crossed my mind. I know Burts Bees sells something similar and you could probably try that out prior to making any.

      If it makes you feel confident in these, I know everyone I gifted them too loved them. My boss even texted me over the Christmas break to say how much she loved them!

  10. I’ve made these but with shea butter in place of the almond butter. I might try it next time with either almond oil or grapeseed oil. They work great!

  11. I found your blog via the eucalyptus discs, and and still reading! Your tips and recipes are changing my life! I have spent the last two hours making shower discs (I made some with lavender oil and some almond oil to use as a relaxing and moisturizing bath fizz, and some with grapefruit oil for a morning pick-me-up shower disc), hand soap, lotion bars, and I have so many more plans to make things. I’ll never buy a gift in the near future…everyone I know will LOVE the things on your blog. Keep it up!

    • Awww, that’s so nice of you! I’m so glad that you’ve found some useful things on my blog!

      I have some fun ideas for other gifts coming up, so stay tuned.

    • Me again! I’m still making these and tweaking and using different oils because friends and co-workers can’t get enough! I’ve slowly been building up my collection of essential oils, and plenty of people have told me they’d BUY these from me. I also started experimenting with making colored ones, by dropping bits of broken crayon into the double boiler. Awesome, and doesn’t stain your skin! THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU for this amazing idea. And I still love your whole blog ๐Ÿ™‚

  12. Approx how much do you need of each? “One part” of each kind of confuses me… :-/

  13. I love the hippy shit page. I may or may not have made 4 of these this weekend already. However, I would like to mention that I have found lately that the best place to get beeswax is the thrift store. After all, they always have 100% beeswax candles lying around from little old ladies for pretty much no money at all. Also, I found that most middle eastern/asian stores have large bottles of the oils for much less than anywhere else – especially almond oil since it is used in a number of middle eastern dishes.

    • Such a great tip about thrift stores!!! Darn it all the to heck – I just went to the Asian general store yesterday to stock up and didn’t see this comment in time. I’ll have to check them out next time I’m out of noodles.

  14. O.K. I want to ask something that just might be a dumb question but is the oil liquid or solid. I have some coconut oil that is solid and was wondering if that would work cause I sure need to do something with it. I have seen the liquid one in the grocery part and was just wondering which I am to use. Thanks

    • The coconut oil is solid at temps below 76 degrees. When it gets warmer, it gets “mushier”. Natural coconut oil shouldn’t be liquid; not sure what they added to the stuff you saw to make it like that. Go for the one in the screw top tub!

    • I work at a grocery store. Our trucks are the loaded the day before and sit out over night. During the summer, when it comes in the coconut oil is liquid and does take a while to set back.

  15. Very cool idea. I might have to guy a double boiler. Hubby has very sensitive skin, this sounds like it might be winner for him.
    Found you through pinterest, where I have no idea what I’m doing. I hearted this, so hopefully that means I’ll be able to find it again? I also left you a comment.
    Love to blog, do that alot, enjoying meeting and chatting with other bloggers as well, so this was a bonus!
    Welcome mats always out at any of my blogs, hope to see you soon.

    • I wish I could give you tips on Pintrest, but I have zero clue how it works, but I hope you can find me again!!

    • Hi ,Just pin your interests to your site . Good ideas on pinterest .You can look at them whenever you please , double click on recipes…enjoy. Will try your bars & blog sounds great !

    • Instead of buying a double boiler just place a heatproof bowl (I use a stainless steel one) over a saucepan of simmering water. Make sure the water isn’t touching the bowl. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Great idea for using a stainless steel bowl – will try that!

    • I use a Pyrex bowl because it’s clear and I can keep an eye on the water level in the pan. I used to have a double boiler, but I never used it. This method works great and you don’t need to spend the money or take up extra space in the cupboards.

    • *facepalm* Thank you! I constantly have my pot too full or not full enough when I put my stainless bowls on top. It has never crossed my mind to use my PYREX bowl!

    • I love these! I used a 4 cup Pyrex measuring cup, put the handle over a large pot of simmering water (just make sure the water is below the bottom of the cup). By using the measuring cup, I had a “spout” to pour out of…..made it a LOT easier! ๐Ÿ™‚

  16. One part measurement = how much?

    • Example: 1/4 cup of beeswax, then 1/4 cup of everything else. It all depends on how big your storage containers are, how much you want to make, etc.

      If you were to do 1 cup of beeswax, then you do 1 cup of everything else.

  17. This may sound silly but all I’ve seen are comments about using it on your hands or face… Can it be used all over or does it leave too much of a residue ??


  18. I just tried making this and halfway through realized….is it 1 part beeswax melted, shredded, or pearled? Guess we’ll see if what I eyeballed turns out or not. Thanks

  19. Cute lotion bars. I have also made them with 1 part sunflower oil (from grocery store) and 1 part beeswax.

  20. Just made my first batch… so excited! THEN came the huge mess I made trying to wash the leftover out of the double boiler. All I’ve managed to do it coat the sink with the stuff. Any tricks clean up??

    • Hmmm, my double boiler doesn’t really have anything left in it to make a mess. If you hadn’t already cleaned it up, I’d say to heat it again, and then pour off any excess wax on there?

      Is your double boiler coated? I think mine is, so maybe that is why nothing is leftover?

    • try crockpot liners in the top of the double boiler…if you can’t find them, then perhaps turkey roasting bags…

    • Fantastic tip! I finally found beeswax today and was planning on making these, but I wanted to read the comments first. Sure glad I did! I’ll pick up some turkey roasting bags for easy clean up. Genius!

    • Just pour in boiling water and swish it around and dump it quick.

    • Maybe let it cool in the double boiler and then scrape the majority out in the trash so it doesn’t coat your pipes?

    • scrub with lots of dry baking soda. I make stuff like this all the time.

    • I use a 2 cup glass measuring cup in a pan a water to melt everything. When I finish, I take the measuring cup to with me to use after my shower, scraping out what’s left, not wanting to waste any of it! Then use hot soapy water to wash it out.

    • Would it be ok to use the crock pot liners or turkey roasting bag liners if you are just using the bowl and pot method? I don’t have a double boiler. I love cooking/baking/etc but I hate cleaning up!

    • I always use old metal coffee cans or soup cans, as well has one mason jar that is marked for “wax projects”. This way you don’t have to worry about residue on your bowls and pans.

  21. I do my lotions in mason jars in a pot w/water ( waterline below the top of jar obviously, usually 1/2 way up). I use the same pot to do lotions & stuff but if its too hard to clean out of the mason jar, heat it back up to a liquid, if not pitch the jar and u r done. Works great for me. I can alot so we always have jars around…

  22. If I am finding them too ‘tacky’ and not absorbing into the skin, what did I do wrong? Thank you for any advice!

    • My guess would be a bit too much oil. These things are so forgiving, so throw them back in the double broiler, and add a bit more beeswax to “dry” them out.

      • Opposite- too much wax, add more of the solid coconut oil (the carrier oil, or almond oil will be too greasy)

  23. Do you know how long of a shelf life these may have???

  24. I just saw this, and it’s great, but I’m allergic to coconut, so what would be a good alternative to the coconut oil?

  25. I was wondering about using eucalyptus oil and/or vitamin E oil with the beeswax? I also could only find sweet almond oil, will it be the same?

    • I used grapefruit essential oil and vitamin E for my last batch and it did great.

      I think the sweet almond oil should be fine!

    • I was wondering about tea tree oil or eucalyptus oil also (to help heal eczema and/or ward off insects!). Any thoughts (just a few drops maybe????)?

  26. You totally need a pinterest page! I’ve pinned a few of your things, you have a great blog!!!! I can’t wait to make these and the lip balm for Christmas gifts!

  27. I did this and mine came out with a nasty sour smell to them, how can I fix that? Could I add a few drops of vanilla extract or a scented oil. And once they are melted and hardened up can they be remelted? Thanks for your help.

    • A sour smell? I have no idea why that would happen unless you were maybe using funky oil? Yes, they can be remelted.

    • I’m completely stumped! I’ve made multiple batches of these, and mine just smell like warm beeswax. Was your beeswax local, or from a hobby type store (like Michaels, etc.)? I wonder if something was either up with your beeswax or if the almond oil had gone funky. Coconut oil probably isn’t the culprit.

    • Yeah it is a foul sour type smell, I used almond oil, organic coconut oil because that’s all they had and yellow beeswax equal parts of each, I didn’t think that they would smell because nothing that I used really had a smell but there it was…..I am going to pick up some scented aromatherapy oil and add that and see how it turns out I will let you know if it smells better or gets worse….Thanks for your help.

  28. Sorry if this is a silly question, but how are these lotion if they are hard? Do they melt as you rub them on your skin? Xx

    • As you warm them up by rubbing them between your hands, they’ll give off a little bit of the lotion. You can then rub that in to your hands.

      In recent batches, I’ve added a bit of olive oil a well and that makes it easier to spread, but it also makes it a bit greasier and it takes longer to absorb.

  29. Ok. Dumb question. How do you store these between uses? I obviously can’t just throw one of these lovely little bars into my purse unless it’s in something.

    • I bought a pack of tiny Ziploc bags from Joanns (fabric store), and use that to keep these in my purse. They were also great for wrapping them for Christmas presents, and I used them to give away lavender and smoked salt for the holidays.

      They’re the little bags that you would think of when you think of “drug dealer Ziplocs”. HA!

  30. can u micro wave this ?

  31. Oh, and I almost forgot, a good container for lotion bars is a metal tin. This is how I see them sold most often.

  32. Just made a batch of these and poured them into sea creature shaped cookie cutters for my sister-in-law’s baby shower. I made them as the favor gifts for those who attend. Turned out so darn cute!! I used avacado oil because it was on sale (cheap). And, to give me better control over pouring, I poured the mix into a glass measuring cup. Microwaved the near empty cup to make sure I was able to make use of ALL the mix. Seemed to work great.

  33. I’ve seen them wrapped in waxed paper ( cut with pinking shears) and then in a metal tin in stores. I’m so glad I know how to make these now, Thanks for sharing!

  34. So perfect ! I’m going, if you permit me, to translate your receipe, and share it with the french public ! Of course I will give your link and talk about you… let me know if you agree… MJ

  35. So I came across your blog today via pintrest (the vick shower discs) and I am utterly in love! You just crack me up and I love all the neat things you do! I am so glad I found you!! Lol. Ok, creepy stalker talk over!

  36. couldn’t wait to try these! we just harvested our first honey from our bees, so I got to use some of our beeswax! I had some great olive oil from a ranch about 5 miles from my place and a local store brand organic coconut oil. I put in a couple of drops tea tree oil and a little bit of calendula oil. did a small batch in a coffee cup placed in a small saucepan of water because i didn’t want to scape wax out of mt dbl boiler. i’ll just use that same cup each time. getting lazy in my old age. thanks for sharing, love these!

    • How cool that you get to use wax from your own bees!!!

      I’ve tried olive oil in another batch of these, and it works great, but does make the bars a little bit more oily.

  37. Hi I was wondering where you normally buy the bees wax and if the stuff for making candles would be o.k. for this

    Thank you

    • We love a local bee shop in this neck of the woods, and I get it there. If you click on the “beeswax” up in my original post, there is a hyperlink that will take you to Amazon to buy stuff I’ve used in the past.

      For full disclosure, I’m an Amazon Affiliate which means I earn a small percentage if you order through this site. I only recommend things that I myself use.

  38. Funny! Actually, I only have about 3,826 hours worth of dishes every week! (Again, I’m guesstimating!)

  39. Oh I am going to have to try this!!!!! I was thinking as I read all the comments that empty glue sticks, especially the bigger ones would be a great container for on the go!

  40. Is the Almond Oil in solid or liquid form? Thanks! Love your blog!

  41. found this post on pinterest. i’m looking for christmas gifts i can start making. i started out with liquid hand soap and then i fell upon your easy lotion bars. thank you! i cant wait to try this! i just became your newest follower!

  42. I dont have a double boiler. Can I use a pot and heavy glass bowl? Or something like that?

  43. What a great idea! This looks like something anyone could do at home!

    Thanks for sharing!


  44. I have made my own lip balm twice now and a batch of salve. I was looking for tips on clean up and found this idea. Use baking soda to clean up with. Just rub the surface or container with the left over oil and waxes on it and the baking soda absorbs the mess. Toss the soda out and wash up as normal. I used this on a pyrex measuring cup that I had used as my double boiler and it worked perfectly.

  45. About how much beeswax did you use for one batch? I can buy it in 1 lb blocks, but I don’t want to melt the whole thing if it’s going to make 462 little lotion bars.

  46. Saw your recipe on Pinterest too! Can’t wait to try! Thanks for all the hints and tips!

  47. I saw this on Pintrest also. I am SO going to try this one out as it’s nice and simple ๐Ÿ™‚ Thanks for sharing

  48. 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.

  49. I have been working on an old chicken coop to prepare for chickens coming. Lots of cleaning and some re-construction. I have washed my hands so many times and working with the wood and tools is so drying. I really am going to give this a try, because I am hoping to eventually raise bees and this could be one of my uses for the wax. Thanks for sharing.

  50. Since I didn’t have the almond oil, I tried subbing grapeseed oil. Read somewhere (maybe in a comment here?) that it would work, and I had a 3.5 oz bottle that was just taking up space. Added some grapefruit and tea tree oils (2:1 ratio, since tea tree is so strong) to the mix. They are poured up into plastic racecar Jello Jigglers molds that I forgot I had. Hoping the resulting bars pop out OK. If the break, I can remelt and pour ’em into something else. Thanks for the recipe!