DIY

Lotion Bars For Beginners Ever Made Your Own Natural Skin Care Before?

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18 August 2017

Ever Make Your Own Natural Skin Care?

If you are new to the world of DIY skin care, you’ll love these lotion bars for beginners. This is a 3-ingredient lotion bar, it’s simple and a great place to start.

But first, what is a lotion Bar?

It is a form of lotion that looks similar to a bar of soap (without the bubbles!). Sometimes you see it referred to as hard lotion. You can rub it anywhere your skin feels dry, and the warmth from your skin will melt the surface, leaving behind a thin layer that will moisturize and protect your skin. They are concentrated, long lasting, and can be carried with you anywhere.

Lotion bars are great for healing dry, cracked skin. These 3 simple ingredients can soothe sunburn, eczema, and psoriasis. They will repair your skin after the dry, cold winter months, and help you look great during the summer. (Barefoot in the grass, anyone?)

You may be asking yourself, why not just make lotion? Lotion bars are a better choice for a couple of reasons:

First, they don’t contain water. Any product that has water in it can become a source of bacteria, fungus, and mold (ick!).  So you need a very good preservative. Synthetic preservatives are one of the reasons I left commercial products behind in the first place – too many health risks. And natural preservatives are often not broad spectrum enough to kill all the bad guys. There are solutions out there, but it can take some research to make the best choice. I like simply avoiding water all together, whenever possible.

 

The other challenge in making lotion has to do with combining the oil with the water. Emulsifying the two can take practice and patience to achieve the consistency you’re after. Not to mention the possible mess!

Lotion Bars are much easier!

Here’s what you will need

 Ingredients:

Coconut Oil – Feeds and moisturizes skin. Strengthens underlying tissues. Has some anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties.

Shea Butter – rich in vitamins A, E, and F, provides essential fatty acids and nutrients that aid in the skin’s natural collagen production. Can help with eczema or rosacea. It is said that with long-term use, it can not only soften, but also strengthen skin and aid in wrinkle reduction.

Beeswax – forms a barrier that helps protect skin and holds in moisture, but without suffocating skin like petroleum jelly. Beeswax has antibacterial properties and is a humectant, attracting moisture. It contains Vitamin A, which helps support cell turnover. It is also anti-inflammatory and can soothe itching.

Two optional ingredients:

  • Essential oil in your favorite scent.
  • Vitamin E oil. This will increase the shelf life of your lotion bar, keeping the oils fresher. Even without the vitamin E, your lotion bar should last at least 6 months to a year.

Buying Ingredients

You can find all of these ingredients at your local health food store, or you can buy them online. I like Mountain Rose Herbs. They have a good selection as well as good prices.

One thing worth mentioning: when buying your ingredients, it’s important to buy from a reputable supplier.

There are many ways that oils can be processed. Some include high temperatures and solvents intended to wring out every drop. This gives you a product with fewer active compounds. Look for an oil that is unrefined and cold pressed in order to give your skin the maximum benefit.

Equipment:

  • A double boiler
  • Measuring cups or a scale – A scale is more accurate, but for this, either one is fine.
  • Something for stirring – I like to use something disposable, like a popsicle stick or wooden skewer.
  • Molds –  This is the fun part. You can use an ice cube tray, a muffin tin, candy molds, soap molds. Use your imagination. As long as it’s non-porous. I’ve bought a few molds online from Brambleberry. They are worth checking out.

The Recipe

You will need 2 ounces or 4 tablespoons each of:

  1. Coconut Oil
  2. Shea Butter
  3. Beeswax – if you have a solid block of wax, use a grater to make it easier to measure

Optional: A few drops of essential oil in your favorite scent

                 A few drops of vitamin E oil to keep the oils fresh longer

Get out your double boiler. If you don’t have one, there are a few alternatives, but my favorite is to simply set a mason jar in a saucepan. Fill the saucepan with water half way up the side of the jar.

Bring the water to a very gentle simmer. Add the Coconut Oil, Shea Butter, and Beeswax.  Melt slowly while stirring. After it has melted, take off the heat and let cool for a moment, then add the essential oil and vitamin E, if you want. Pour into molds and let cool.

You can pop the molds in the freezer for a few minutes at the end to make removal easier.

And viola, your done! How easy was that?

If you want, it’s a cinch to adjust this recipe to make more – or less. You can also adjust the texture of your lotion bar. If you prefer your bar to be a bit softer, use a little less beeswax, and if you’d like it to be firmer, add a little more.

Last Thoughts

There are bunches of great variations on this basic recipe. I have versions for bug repellant, one for sore muscles, and one for sun block. Stay tuned.  I’m sure I’ll be sharing those with you soon!

One important thing to remember – lotion bars are solid at room temperature, but if left anywhere too warm – like a hot car, they do melt. If this happens and they lose their lovely shape, never fear! They will still work just fine! Simply place them in the frig until they firm up again.

There are many great ways to use lotion bars. Your skin will absorb the most just after getting out of the shower, when your skin is still warm and damp.  It’s also great on your legs right after shaving, on elbows and heels, and I always keep one around for my hands.

Have you used lotion bars before? What is your favorite way to use them?

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