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Winter is coming, which means dry hands and split fingers not only from the cold weather but from the frequent hand-washing! As beekeepers, we know the power of honey and beeswax in helping to sooth and heal our skin.
So, around this time of year we always make a batch of honey almond lotion bars to keep on the sink, by the bed, or anywhere we'll remember to use them. We also give them as gifts to family and friends.
While we use our own beeswax and honey to make these bars, you can obtain high quality beeswax (and the other necessary ingredients) quite easily online to make your own version.
We've experimented with a number of versions of this recipe and finally landed on one that we find to be just moist enough without being too oily.
In order to make lotion bars you'll need a few supplies; you may want to use pots and utensils that you designate for this purpose as wax can sometimes be hard to clean up, but I find that cleaning up from these bars is not too hard given the wax is diluted by the oils.
- Double boiler OR a pot with a bowl that can fit over it to melt the ingredients
- Soap mold to form the bars - I use (and this recipe is sized for) this silicone honey bee themed mold that makes 6 bars.
A good quality kitchen scale is also an important tool for making balms and lotions. If you don't have one, you can try to use equivalent measurements but I find that the kitchen scale is far easier and more accurate for this purpose.
When making your own bath and beauty products, including lotion bars, your product is only as good as the ingredients you use to make it. While you can obtain cheap products at a craft store, I highly recommend you do some research and get high quality, organic ingredients. You'll be assured that your final product is safe for you and your family and works effectively.
There are some great sites that cater to making these products, such as Bulk Apothecary and Brambleberry. In addition, with a good baseline of knowledge you can usually find a lot of what you are looking for on Amazon.
When it comes to beeswax, if you are able to procure your own or source it directly from a local beekeeper, that is definitely the option that we prefer, but we'll provide links to online options too.
Same goes for honey. You don't need much for this recipe (too much will make the product too moist and bubbly) but try to use a nice high quality local, raw honey if you can get it. Supermarket honey is often not really pure honey at all, so make sure you read the label.
For this recipe you'll need:
100g beeswax (look for all natural, organic, or cosmetic grade bars or pellets)
100g shea butter
50g sweet almond oil
25g coconut oil (aim for an organic, neutral taste oil instead of one with a coconut flavor)
25g jojoba oil
Making lotion bars is actually a very simple process. Set up your double boiler with about an inch of water in the bottom pot. Set it over medium heat and melt the ingredients in the order they are listed - beeswax first, then add the shea butter, then the oils, and finally the honey. Once all of the ingredients are melted and combined, pour the lotion into your mold.
Allow the mold to rest overnight in a cool place, then pop out your lotion bars and use or package!
I have used both candle tins and plastic to wrap my lotion bars as gifts. Candle tins provide a nice option for storage of the lotion bar. Another option is to package your lotion bar in plastic accompanied by a dish on which it can rest for easy access after hand washing or by a bed.