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Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Rose Lotion Bars

Jan Berry
Hobby Farms Guest Blogger

Rose Lotion Bars - Photo by Jan Berry (HobbyFarms.com)
Photo by Jan Berry/The Nerdy Farm Wife

Lotion bars are a favorite DIY project for beginners and experienced alike. The basic recipe requires only three ingredients, yet can be customized in dozens of creative ways. Besides being simple to whip together, they're fantastic at healing dry, damaged skin and make wonderful gifts.

For this batch, I used a candy mold that I found at my local craft store for $1.99. Other mold options include silicone muffin cups or ice cube trays in fun shapes. A quick look around your house or in your kitchen junk drawer might spark more ideas. One of my favorite molds is a canning lid and ring set, which makes a perfect circular bar.

Rose Lotion Bars - Photo by Jan Berry (HobbyFarms.com)
Photo by Jan Berry/The Nerdy Farm Wife

The following recipe will make 10 mini rose-shaped lotion bars. You can increase or reduce the amounts as you wish, keeping in mind an overall ratio of 1 part butter to 1 part beeswax to 1 part oil.

Ingredients

  • 2 T. shea butter (or mango or cocoa butter)
  • 2 T. beeswax pastilles
  • 2 T. oil (*see options in Step 1)
  • 10 to 12 drops rose or geranium (rose) essential oil (optional, for scent)
  • alkanet root or rose mica (optional, for color)

Step 1
Combine the shea butter, beeswax and oil in a small, heatproof jar or recycled, unlined tin can.

You have a lot of options when it comes to type of oil that you use. Sunflower, jojoba, avocado, peach kernel oil, grapeseed or rosehip seed oil are all good choices. Coconut oil may give a slightly different consistency to the finished bar but can be used, as well.

Step 2
Set the heatproof container down into a saucepan containing a few inches of water to form a makeshift double boiler. Heat the pan over medium-low heat, until the beeswax and butter have melted. Overheated shea butter can become grainy, so keep a close eye as the mixture melts.

Rose Lotion Bars - Photo by Jan Berry (HobbyFarms.com)
Photo by Jan Berry/The Nerdy Farm Wife

Step 3
Once melted, remove the jar or tin can from the water. If you're going to add color, do so at this point. For the batch shown, I stirred in 1/8 teaspoon of lip-safe pink mica.

You could also use alkanet root for a natural tint. For this size batch, stir in 1/16 teaspoon of dried, powdered alkanet root to obtain a peachy pink color. A drawback with using alkanet root is that it can leave small dark speckles in the finished lotion bar. One way around this is to infuse your oil with the alkanet root for several days before making. The speckles will settle to the bottom of the jar or you can strain the oil through cheesecloth before using.

If you choose to add color, be sure to use a light hand so the finished lotion bar won't stain skin or clothes.

Step 4
Once you've added color, if you're going to do so, then next up is scent. For this batch, I used 10 drops of geranium (rose) essential oil and two drops of rose absolute oil. Pure rose essential oil is rather expensive and I have a tiny supply, so I use geranium (rose) and palmarosa essential oils as less costly, but similar-smelling, fillers. Start by adding a few drops of your chosen essential oil, then stir and sniff before adding more.

Because people vary widely in personal preferences, you might find that you want to use less or more essential oils to suit your taste. If you're not a fan of rose, try using another scent that you do like. Lavender, jasmine, ylang-ylang (sparingly) and peppermint are all nice alternatives. Some essential oils aren't recommended for those who are pregnant, nursing or have certain health conditions, so be sure to research before use.

Step 5
Once your color and scent are stirred in, pour the liquid mixture into molds. Let the bars set up until firm enough that they easily pop out when you turn the mold upside down. If they're reluctant to leave the mold, try placing it in the freezer for several minutes. If you find that they're too soft for your taste, remelt everything and add a bit more beeswax.

Rose Lotion Bars - Photo by Jan Berry (HobbyFarms.com)
Photo by Jan Berry/The Nerdy Farm Wife

Store individual lotion bars in small tins for gifting or carrying in your purse, or use a mason jar to store several at a time. Be sure to keep lotion bars away from heat sources and direct sunlight, as they can melt quite easily.

To Use
Rub the lotion bar over your skin wherever it feels dry. Lotion bars are especially helpful for treating rough feet, knees and elbows. The heat of your skin will melt the bar just enough to leave behind a thin moisturizing layer. Use as often as needed.

Jan Berry at The Craft 

Hub
About Jan Berry
Jan is a goat-chasing, soap-making, homeschooling farm wife who loves vintage tea cups, word games and turning weeds into beautiful things. She joins the Craft Hub each month with DIY body care recipes and projects. She can also be found at her blog, The Nerdy Farm Wife.

 

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Rose Lotion Bars

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Reader Comments
Hi Stacee!

To keep lotion bars (and chapsticks & such) from melting so easily, you could try using part carnauba or candelilla wax for some of the beeswax in your recipe. Their higher melting points (Candelilla = 160 degrees F; Carnauba = 180 degrees F; compared to Beeswax @ 140 degrees F)(source: thesage.com) should help your product stay firm longer.

It only takes about half as much carnauba or candelilla as beeswax to firm up oils. So, if you wanted to replace 1/2 ounce of beeswax, you would use somewhere around 1/4 ounce candelilla/carnauba.

For this recipe, which calls for 2 tablespoons of beeswax, you could try instead: 1 tablespoon beeswax + 1/2 tablespoon carnauba/candelilla.

Then test how you like the texture and adjust the amounts to your preference. You may find it too firm or too soft, if so, just remelt and add more oil/wax as needed.

I hope that helps!
Jan, The Nerdy Farm Wife, VA
Posted: 6/10/2014 10:41:44 AM
Hi...I AM Curious, I Make A Lot Of Lotion Bars, And,Creams That Use Shea Butter Ect...I Live In FL. I Keep Lotions And Creams In Cool Dark Places, Although They Always Melt...I Have To Keep In Freeze Or Fridge...Is This Normal, Can I Do Something To Prevent This??? As Gift Giving Would Be Rather Inconvenient For People...Thoughts???
Stacee, Naples, FL
Posted: 6/7/2014 6:22:17 AM
Hi Colleen,
Yes, T. is for tablespoons,
Hobby Farms Editor, Lexington, KY
Posted: 5/21/2014 6:10:17 AM
Looks lovely and easy to make, I presume in your recipe the T. stands for tablespoon.
Colleen, International
Posted: 5/20/2014 3:02:11 AM
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