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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. Hi, ventured back to this post (found on Pinterest, and have been back everyday!) My daughter and I made these this past Monday. They are awesome. Its like a little mani/pedi when you rub into your cuticles! We used beeswax, coconut oil, and cocoa butter, one lb each and it made ALOT. We filled a silicone gingerbreadman shaped mold 3x! Thats like 68 little men! I also filled 12 1oz twist up containers to gift. Im using one of my little guys as a lip moisturizer also. Thanks for the inspiration!

    • The gingerbread men sound adorable! So glad you guys liked them! I just got some cocoa butter with my last Azure Standard order just for this purpose!

  2. Is soy wax an equiv. to bees wax?

  3. What was the measurements (estimtaed) that you used to fill the cute silicon tray?

  4. Hi,
    This might be a dumb question, but it looks like they come out of the mold hard, like a bar of soap, am I supossed to heat/melt each one as I use it?

    • Rub them all over your hands. The warmth from your hands will make them soft enough to “release” some of the lotion. It’s exactly like rubbing a bar of soap on your hands.

  5. I have a nut allergy, so can’t use the almond oil. Do you think the avocado oil would work (I happen to have some on hand, due to my allergies to other nutty oils)? Or another oil you recommend? Thanks for the great idea!

  6. I tried using some beeswax candles that someone gave me and it took forever to melt them and they didn;t even melt all the way. They felt very waxy so I’m not sure if they were 100% BW. My concotion was chunky but I hope that It will fuse together nicely. I only made a small amount because I didn’t want to waste the Coconut oil and almond oil

  7. I’m sitting at home for the second day because of Hurricane Sandy. Since I have electricity I decided to work on Christmas presents. I made these this morning (already have lip balm and body scrub done). They turned out great. Though they’re are still setting, I did try some and my hands feel great–soft, not greasy. I have been cleaning up water since yesterday afternoon, so my hands were feeling really dry. They feel great now. Thanks!

  8. I had never made anything like this before today. But I found this on pinterest last night and HAD to give it a whirl! I found some molds at a local thrift store and the almond oil and beeswax at a health food store nearby. (already had the coconut oil) I am VERY impatiently waiting to be able to pop the little suckers out and try them!! I was motivated to this for my friend’s birthday..she just moved and her hands took a wicked beating from all the boxes!! I SO hope this worked!!! Thank you for sharing!!! Making this kinda thing could become a new addiction!! Have you had any luck adding an essential oil to give it a different smell? (not that I don’t like the way they smell..I’m just curious?)

    • You can add essential oils, just wait until the mixed oils have cooled a bit and then add; some essential oils will break down at high heats & you will lose the scent.

  9. I had to redo them as i added too much oil by mistake. I reordered my coconut oil last week and it came. I got such an awesome deal 54oz for only $20. I had a $10 coupon so it was only $15 Shipped! I think I’m addicited to making these. If your intrested you can use the same $10 coupon using this link:

  10. My boyfriend has had an on/off problem with eczema. What kind of oil and other ingredients can I add in these to help with that? (Thinking this would make kind of a thoughtful side Christmas present :p)

  11. Sara,

    Can you tell me what the what the consistency is once you rub these on your hands? Mine isnt tacky but seem like a thick coat on my hands. after a while my hands are soft, but i was just curious.

  12. Oh hell yeah! Stuff I can buy in a shop I actually frequent, no silly searching high and low for all kinds of fancy cr@p and a recipe I can follow without consulting the science department of the nearest university. I love you. Think it’d go down well if I used my Halloween skull ice cube moulds for this? Seeing as I just found the perfect stocking fillers for all kinds of people, they should be grateful… right? *cough*
    Off to find some more easy recipes, you seem to be just my kinda gal!

  13. question: have you ever tried to add a scent or fragrence to yours?? if not, do you think you could?

  14. could soy wax be substituted for beeswax?

  15. Abour how many pounds of Beeswax makes one batch? (one of your pans?)

  16. Hey sorry but can you confirm what weight of beeswax and coconut oil you would use per ml of almond oil? Im not familiar with cup.measurements (maybe it’s a British thing?!) but I’d LOVE to make these- what an awesome post!

  17. I love this idea and really want to make some. My son seems to get eczema behind his ears and while I found a great all-natural lotion for it, making my own would be way cheaper. I love the idea of pouring the mixture into an old deodorant or glue stick container, but wouldn’t the hot liquid affect the plastic? I’m trying to reduce the amount of plastic in my house so while reusing the containers is great, I don’t want phthalates or anything to leech into the lotion bars. Any idea if that would happen?

  18. I just made these with my kids and plan to give some as stocking stuffers. Well, maybe! I love them. Your recipe and directions were so easy to follow. Thank you so much. I did change and used grapeseed oil but only to cut the cost about $10. I just need to find somewhere to purchase more molds. I could only find one, its a gingerbread. Although it fits the occasion I would still like to make different ones for the rest of the seasons. Next batch I am going to try some essential oils just to spice things up a little. Even with all the oil it doesn’t make my skin greasy and my daughter absolutely love them. I think this will be our new obssesion! Lol! Thank you for sharing!

  19. I’ve made these, but I used a microwave safe bowl and the microwave instead of a double boiler. I don’t nuke it but for 15 seconds or so at a time. And just until melted and stir, stir, stir!

  20. Made these yesterday and they worked great. I love the way they make my hands feel. They did not really have a smell so I re-melted them today and added some spearmint essential oil. Now they have just a hint of spearmint which is perfect. Thanks for a great idea! love it!

  21. Thanks for sharing this, I love how easy and simple it is! ๐Ÿ™‚

  22. Hey Sarah I can not wait to make them but I was wondering if you add any scents? Do beeswax candles work the same as beeswax?!

  23. Hi Michele, it sounds like your beeswax ratio to oil was a bit high. You might want to try remelting them, and adding a bit more oil. I’ve done that before and added a splash of olive oil and they turned out great.

  24. I have made several batches of the lotion bars, and they have turned out great! I used a kitchen scale and measured 4 ounces of each ingredient. This worked well and was the perfect amount for the mold I used, which was the same one Sarah used. These are going to be wonderful gifts for friends!

  25. My 1st attempt at making these, I poured it into plastic (not silcone) molds. I moved them around after they setup (maybe 15 min), they r cracking. Is it because I moved them around too soon? or do I need to get silcone molds? Thanks for any suggestion.

    • I’ve only used my silicone mold, so I can’t speak to how they’d do it other molds. I know I moved mine a little after pouring them, and they didn’t crack. I’ve found silicone molds at Goodwill for $1, so it might be worth the investment to try those.

  26. First of all…thank you Sarah for the great recipe and for so patiently answering the same questions again and again. ๐Ÿ™‚

    I have made these bars both with beeswax for myself and with a couple of different beeswax alternatives for my vegan girlfriend. We used Candelilla wax first but had to change it to half a part wax to 1 part of each oil because the wax is much harder. It worked out ok but wasnt nearly as nice as the soy wax which we did one part each just like with beeswax.

    The soy wax ones are almost identical to the beeswax ones! We also used the same recipe mixed with beet juice to make a tinted lip chap and it turned out great!

    • Thank you for the information about the soy wax, I am severely allergic to beeswax and was hoping someone had tried an alternative ๐Ÿ™‚

  27. Thanks for the recipe. My wee one and I suffer from eczema. My mom got us a lotion bar like this a year ago and the seller hasn’t come back around. I can’t wait to make these.

  28. Any replacement for the coconut oil? I’m severely allergic.


    • I can’t speak to how these will turn out, but you could try shea butter. I know if you’re working with shea, it has to be melted for at least 20 minutes, or it will be very grainy.

  29. Do you recall approximately how much of each ingredient you used to fill one set of the silicon molds. I just purchased the same mold at Joann’s and want to try this out but am afraid of making too much

    • I’m so sorry, but I don’t!

      The good news is that these can firm up very quickly, so if you make too much, keep it simmering on the stove until the bars are firm, and make another batch.

  30. I love your blog! your sarcasm is a lot like mine. I made these for xmas presents this year and I had to steal one for myself. I didn’t have almond oil so I used castor oil, glycerine, and a chunk of cocoa butter. enough to make up for the one part almond oil and it was lovely. Plus I added a few drops of peppermint oil and it smells like mint hot chocolate. thank you. oh and since I don’t have little molds I just filled the bottoms of my silicone muffin cups. worked great.

  31. I made some of these tonight, adding clove oil for a festive touch. They’re destined to be little stocking fillers for my family at Christmas time. ๐Ÿ™‚

  32. anyone try making these in plastic soap molds??

  33. I’ve been reading all posts & I don’t have silicon molds….want to pour into mini muffin tins….worried about not being able to get them out once hardened. Has anyone used anything like this & did u have success? Please help asap, have to get these xmas gifts going!!!! AHHH ๐Ÿ™‚ MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ALL & HAPPY HOLIDAYS!!!

  34. I saw someone comment on your shower disc post how beeswax can be bad for your pipes. Would the minimal amount from washing be a problem if you were to make these often?

    • I’m not a plumber, but I wouldn’t think so. One bar lasts me months, so the amount that is being transferred to your skin is negligible.

    • Sorry I should have specified. I meant washing the dishes after making them. I used a bowl and transferred to a measuring cup so I could have a spout to pour with.

  35. My son has a severe tree nut allergy so the almond oils and coconut oils are a no-no for us! Can these be made with other oils? Both of my boys have eczema and i would love to make them something like this! thanks for any comments/help!

    • Sure! Jojoba or olive oil would work. I have no idea what kind of plant shea butter comes from, but you might want to try that. Shea butter has to be heated for 20 min at least or it becomes grainy.

      I’d up the beeswax a bit if you sub out oils.

  36. OK. I just made these and they’re awesome!!! And so easy! Cleanup wasn’t so easy as I let the wax harden on the bowl before getting around to cleaning it, but lesson learned. I used coconut and jojoba oils and wasn’t crazy about the smell of the jojoba. So for round 2 I added some Lavender oil which made them even more awesome! All ladies in my life are getting these in their stockings!! Thanks for the great idea! Caroline

  37. I have never posted a comment ever on anything but couldn’t hold back on this… I have been wanting to make “bath bombs” for Christmas presents and have struggled for the past month trying to find one ingredient, came across this on pinterest. I wanted to share my experience because this is SUPER EASY! And materials are SUPER EASY to find. My research for cheapest would be through amazon, but if you want to run out and get this RIGHT now, I found all I needed at Wally Mart. (I think everyone has one nearby in North America anyway…). I used coconut oil, sunflower oil, unscented beeswax candles. I did spice it up by picking up a few other things – fragrance oil from their candle dept (the stuff you put in those burner things), vitamin E oil from the pharamacy area and I also tried soap coloring from craft store (which didn’t work). I’ll have to try the crayons next time. I just popped some in the freezer to see if that would speed up the set up process. I know freezing candles will speed up the process as well as ease the mold extraction. I also wanted to double cheriths comment and thank you for posting this, as well as showing extreme patience by answering the same questions over and over again. You rock! I haven’t had a chance to browse the rest of your blog, but I’m sure I’ll be back again. Thanks so much for sharing this SUPER DUPER EASY GREAT PROJECT/gift idea! You’re a lifesaver!

  38. I made these tonight and didn’t have a mold to put them in, but used the aluminum foil baking cups (like used for cupcakes). After they’ve completely set up, I’m going to put cellophane around them and tie at the top with a bow. Then they can be kept in the aluminum foil cup.

  39. Could you use orange oil? Does such a thing exist? My bf needs something like this but hates regular lotion. He loves the smell of orange, and this would be perfect!!

    • I don’t know if there is such thing as orange oil but can share what I’ve used. Most of the oils I have used have no fragrance, except the coconut oil/waxy stuff kind of has a little. I’ve used safflower, sunflower, almond, sweet almond, apricot [I found at health store as massage oil) and grapeseed. What I have added is an ounce of fragrance or even tried extracts and it does give it a scent. Extracts from grocery store, McCormick has everything – peppermint, orange, strawberry, rootbeer, etc. I just add it with a little bit of sweet almond oil (which I found at ACMoore in a two oz btl) mix it the extract/fragrance with the almond oil and then add it as a last step when it is not on heat. I’ve used this same recipe and gave it as lip balms when using an extract. Today I am trying Duncan Hines frosting creations flavor mix (found in grocery store with frosting). I’m mixing the flavor with a tablespoon of oil and adding in last step. We’ll see how it goes. It is also adding color to the lip balm. I feel like a scientist! LOL! Merry Christmas!

  40. I just made these lotion bars by smacking off a piece of the beeswax from the brick and using that as my guide to measure the other oils. So, 2.8 oz of beeswax, macadamia nut oil and coconut oil. I popped one out after about 30 min and oh baby are they nice.
    I have hot hands all the time so I will have to be careful to use them more quickly at one go. Next time I think I may try Argan oil they say it is good for the skin and hair.

    Fantastic recipe Sarah, my entire family will want some.

  41. I make lip blam using coconut oil, beeswax, grapeseed oil and sweet orange essential oil…. I purchased tubes online but I’ve seen people use the small Altoid containers too. I also use it to rub on cuticles to soften and works great for that too ๐Ÿ™‚ sometimes those silicone molds are pricey but always check the day after any holiday as they’re usually at least half price for the holiday related ones if your local thrift store doesn’t have any.

  42. I am going downstairs and make these now. Thanks

  43. My cousin is always sending me links to amazing sites, that make homemaking simpler. This is no exception, I love the idea of making my own soaps and lotions. Plus it makes it so much nicer for holidays and birthdays to give handmade gifts! thank you so much for the ideas!

  44. These are amazing!! I make them, but I get the solo condiment cups with lids at the local restaurant supply so you can put the lid on them and throw them back in your purse or pocket!

  45. Me, dancing around the house singing “I just made lotion bars, I just made lotion bars.” Total joy

  46. Any ideas on how to make this a tinted facial lotion? Excited to try this.

  47. I made these last night (grapeseed oil instead of almond) & handed them out to my knitting group. Boy was I popular! I made a second batch just for myself & used lanolin instead coconut oil. It’s really nice! I also added extract to a few to experiment. Thank you, thank you, thank you for this recipe!!

  48. Thank you for teaching me how to make these Sarah! I love them. I just blogged about it on my own blog, of course crediting you and linking to this.
    I WAS thinking about adding a pretty scented essential oil to it, but the beeswax itself smells so amazing that I’m not even going to bother!

  49. Ok….I have a silly question…..Once you have made these lotion bars, how exactly do you apply them? They are solid, not a cream, right?

    • Just rub them between your hands like you would a bar of soap. As your hands warm the wax, the bar will “release” a bit of the product. You can then rub it in to your skin.

    • 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!

  50. Thanks for the recipe. Just made them as V-Day gifts for teachers in heart shape mold. I think next time I will add some essential oils to make them smell nice. I didn’t have any issues cleaning double boiler, just poured the boiling water I used into the bowl and poured it out along with the little bit of oils and such that were left over in the bowl.