shea butter

Shea Butter

Shea butter is a gentle, ultra-moisturizing ingredient that works well on just about any type of skin. It’s soothing for dry skin, but also helps treat skin conditions like eczema. This rich butter is an ingredient in many baby-friendly DIY products.

grapeseed oil

Grapeseed oil

Grapeseed oil is another all-natural moisturizer that soothes and helps heal skin. It’s often used as the base for massage oils, and that property works well in this solid lotion bar recipe. This oil also has almost no scent. If you can’t find or don’t want to use grapeseed oil, you could substitute an equal amount of apricot kernel oil or avocado oil in this recipe.

ingredients for solid lotion

1. Gather your equipment and ingredients.

Kitchen scale
Medium saucepan
Silicone or other heat-resistant spatula
Molds (any silicone molds will do, or line a muffin tin with aluminum foil)

Candelilla or other plant-derived wax
Pure Shea butter
Grapeseed oil

You’ll be using equal parts of each ingredient, so you can make as small or as large a batch as you want. This is a great recipe for making a few small lotion bars for your family to use, or to make in a giant batch for holiday gifts. The solid lotion bars are shelf stable for several months, so you can even make your family a year’s worth of bars in one batch, if you prefer.

This batch uses just 1 ounce of each of the three ingredients to make four 0.25 ounce bars, which are perfect for use on babies. Older children even like to use the lotion bars by themselves, so making a bar that fits into a tiny palm is a bonus.

melting solid lotion ingredients

2. Melt and mix.

Combine all three ingredients in your saucepan over medium-low heat. If you’d like, you can use a glass bowl or quart-sized Mason jar as a double boiler. Stir with a heat-resistant, non-reactive spoon or spatula (like a silicone one) every few minutes, watching closely until all the ingredients are melted together. When the mixture is completely liquefied and clear, remove the saucepan from the heat. Give it a gentle stir or two to make sure everything is completely mixed together.

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solid lotion setting up in molds

3. Give it shape.

Allow to cool just slightly and then pour slowly into your chosen molds. Silicone muffin or candy molds work well, but any heat-resistant container of your desired size and shape is fine. Set aside and cool until lotion bars are solid and room temperature. (You may want to cover loosely with a towel to protect from dust.)

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4. Massage into clean skin.

Remove gently from molds and place in storage container of your choice. To use, you can rub the lotion bar directly on the skin or melt a little in your hands and then massage in with your fingers. The warmth from your body will melt off just the right amount. Gently rub it in for a perfect layer of moisture and protection! The lotion may feel a tiny bit oily when you first apply it because it takes a little longer for skin to absorb the oil in the lotion bar.

This rich, gently moisturizing bar is a great addition to your post-bath bedtime routine. It works well to combat dry winter skin and can be used on people of all ages, from newborns to Mom and Dad.

Lead image via Shutterstock, others by Cat DiStasio for Inhabitots.