Lotion Bars

The first week in December I went to a craft fair and tried lotion bars.  Perhaps I’m behind the times because I’ve never seen them before — they look like a bar of soap that you rub on your hands for hand lotion, or body lotion . . .

So a couple days ago when I was at the Sticky Wick-It they had lotion bars and I asked the owner about them.  She said they’re very easy to make, basically 1/3 each of beeswax, oil (like sweet almond oil) and butter (cocoa or shea).   Then you tweak them to get things just right for your chosen ingredients.

So here’s a recipe in the making.  We’re going to start with 1/3 of each ingredient and pour them, let them cool and see how that works!

The trouble with me and recipes is that I’m always changing them.  I don’t know why I just can’t do exactly what someone else says.  Really!  No sooner did I tell you that we were going to go exactly thirds, and I change it . . .

Pour 1/2 cup almond oil in a 2 cup measure.  (There is still the potential for exact thirds, just 1/2 and 1/2 and 1/2  . . . ).

Add 1/2 cup cocoa butter (about 1/4 lb) by chopping it and dropping it into the oil until the oil level measures 1 cup total for oil and butter combined. Microwave for 60 seconds, stir and then in 30 second increments as needed.  Or melt in double boiler over medium heat.

Add in 1 tablespoon honey, about 8 drops of vanilla oil (essential oil) and a drop of nutmeg oil for a light fragrance.

Now because I added the honey, I’m going to add a bit more beeswax to keep everything on solid ground . . . so I’m off my measurements!   The beeswax will bring the volume up to 1 3/4 cup.  Beeswax is hard to cut, so use a large knife and a rocking back and forth motion.

Melt in 30 second increments and stir  until beeswax is all melted.

Now it looks like it’s ready to pour, right?  But as you stir it, you’ll probably see little bubbles of oil that don’t want to incorporate yet, so stir and let it cool a little, and come back and stir it until everything starts to thicken up . . .

As the lotion bar starts to thicken, it will become opaque.  Continue stirring until it starts to clump, and then pour!

Kind of looks like penuche or maple syrup candy . . .

We’ll cool this in the fridge and see if it’s hard enough to keep its shape at room temp, and then adjust as necessary.  Too soft — remelt and add more beeswax.  Too hard, add more oil or cocoa butter . . . In the meantime, try a little on your hands.

Looks like success!  See the first photo in this post for the finished product.  Store wrapped in cellophane or plastic wrap.  A great winter gift for thirsty hands . . . Just luscious . . .

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