How to Make Lotion Bars (A Simple Lotion Bar Recipe)

This post may contain affiliate links which won’t change your price but will share some commission.

I've given lotion bars as gifts for a few years now. They are usually a big hit!

One reason I love to give lotion bars is that they are unique. Most people have not used a lotion bar before. It's a treat to introduce them to something I enjoy using so much.

Lotion bars are excellent moisturizers and are very simple to make.

Once I had the idea to give lotion bars as gifts less than an hour before a large group of people showed up at my house. I was able to whip them up and have a batch of lotion bars ready to go before they arrived! That's how easy it is to prepare them!

The ease of preparing these bars is one reason I included them in my 100 Gifts in an Hour tutorial.

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A basic lotion bar recipe requires three ingredients:

1 part coconut oil
1 part beeswax
1 part shea or cocoa butter

The “1 part” can be whatever you like. 1/2 cup of each, 2 ounces of each, or 1 lb of each (if you are making TONS and TONS of them!). Just use equal parts of each ingredient and you should achieve the right consistency.

I prefer cocoa butter because I love the scent and also like the feel of it on my skin more than Shea. But shea butter is frequently used and well loved by many.

Once these three ingredients have been melted over a double boiler, essential oils can be added (if desired). The mixture is then poured into molds and left to harden.

Place molds into the freezer for 30 minutes (but they can also be left on the counter to cool. They just take a lot longer that way).

What Molds are best for lotion bars?

When it comes to molds for lotion bars, there are quite a few options. I generally use muffin pans to create disc-shaped lotion bars (as pictured), but many soap molds are suitable, especially the silicone soap molds available nowadays.


I recently purchased these and love the way lotion bars turn out in them.

Simple Homemade Lotion Bars



An example of the lotion bar recipe:


(Note: You can buy all of these ingredients in a Do-it-Yourself Lotion and Lip Balm kit from MadeOn.)


Place all ingredients in a double boiler and warm until melted. While melting, lay out the molds and prepare freezer space for the molds.

Once melted, remove from heat and let to cool for a few minutes.

Add any essential oils and stir with a wooden skewer to distribute evenly.

Pour into molds and place in the freezer to cool. Set the timer for 30 minutes.

Once the timer goes off, remove molds from freezer and pop lotion bars out of the molds.

To package

Because I make lotion bars in a muffin tray, they don’t fit easily into a container (although I did find some perfectly sized ones at the craft store and there are some round containers in the food storage section of some grocery stores). To give as a gift I usually place the lotion bar in a small dish (like a ramekin) and tie with cellophane and some raffia.

I will also give them in a cellophane bag. However, when I do so, I must also give instructions for storage.

Instructions for storage:

Keep out of extreme heat (it could melt). Keep lotion bar in a container or ziplock bag as it may stain clothing or other items that it comes into contact with.

Shelf stable for at least 6 months.

 Here is a video of Renee (of MadeOn) demonstrating how to make lotion bars in about 30 minutes:

This is one of my favorite homemade skin care recipes. It's a perfect for beginners and make a wonderful gift. 

I first learned to make lotion bars from the awesome My Buttered Life eBooks from the wonderful Renee of MadeOn Hard Lotion.

All four of the My Buttered Life books are excellent!

My Buttered Life ebooks

I buy most of my ingredients from Mountain Rose Herbs. The beeswaxcocoa butter and coconut oil are all reasonably priced there.

Some ingredients are also available on Their prices on beeswax and cocoa butter are reasonable.

You can also get everything in one convenient kit from MadeOn.


Don't want to make your own?

Click here to buy some made with the same recipe from MadeOn. 


This post may contain affiliate links which won’t change your price but will share some commission.

shg 5This is Day 8 in the 31 Days of Simple, Homemade Gifts Series. 

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    1. Hi Adrienne,

      Oops! Thanks for pointing out that I missed that! I’ve updated the post with the following:

      Instructions for storage:

      Keep out of extreme heat (it could melt). Keep lotion bar in a container or ziplock bag as it may stain clothing or other items that it comes into contact with.

      Shelf stable for at least 6 months.

    1. When you use the wooden spoon to stir in the essential oils, won’t it always smell like that essential oil?

      1. Just rub the lotion bar on your skin or between the palms of your hands. The warmth from your skin melts a little of the bar, allowing it to moisturize your skin. I hope that makes sense 🙂

  1. I’m wanting to make a whipped bodybutter type mixture that would harden after piping onto a cupcake bath fiz. If I whipped the coco butter and coconut oil first, and then added in the melted but cooled beeswax, do you think it would work?

  2. Can you microwave the ingredients instead of using a double boiler? If not, can a stainless steel bowl in a pot work and still be used for food?

    1. Yes, it can. You just need to clean it out really well. You’ll need hot water and paper towels to wipe out the excess. I do this all the time.

  3. Help. I made lotion bars yesterday for the first time. The will not stay firm. They squish when rubbed. What did I do wrong? Any help would be appreciated . Thank you

    1. Hi Robin,

      I’ve never had this problem! Did you use the recipe in this post? The only reason I can think of as to why they would not stay firm is that one of the butters used is a soft butter. Sorry I can’t be more helpful. Let me know what ingredients and amounts you used and I’ll see if I can figure it out.

  4. Hello, I love the simplicity of your recipe. I was wondering, if made in small shapes, can they be added to bath water for a moisturizing effect?

    Thank you

    1. Hi Kellie,

      I have not tried adding lotion bars to the bath. I’m not sure that the bath water would be hot enough to melt the cocoa butter and beeswax. And the beeswax may be an issue for the drain. I’m getting ready to post a recipe for bath melts which would work well for a moisturizing bath. I’ll let you know when it’s posted.

      1. Thank you so much for your response! You’re absolutely right, beeswax would cause an issue in the drain. I look forward to your next post. Please keep creating and sharing.

  5. Thank you for this super easy recipe. I just made my lotion bars for the first time. They are cooling in the frig. 🙂 I hope you have an awesome day!!

    1. Hi Melissa,

      Sorry for this very late reply! I just saw your comment and wanted to say I’m happy you made lotion bars! I hope you have enjoyed using them.