White DIY lotion bars on a wooden plate sitting on a bathroom counter next to lavender flowers.

11 Best Essential Oils for Lotion Bars: Natural DIYs at Home

Creating homemade lotion bars is a simple and satisfying way to keep your skin moisturized and healthy using natural ingredients. These bars are convenient, mess-free, and easy to apply, making them an excellent choice for your daily skincare routine.

Table Of Contents
  1. The Basics of Lotion Bar Composition
  2. 11 Best Essential Oils to Use in Lotion Bars
  3. Creating Your Own Lotion Bars
  4. DIY Lotion Bar Recipes for Dry and Sensitive Skin
  5. Best Practices for Using Essential Oils
  6. Benefits of Using Lotion Bars
  7. Creative Additions and Gift Ideas
  8. Advanced Tips and Techniques
  9. Best Essential Oils for Lotion Bars FAQs

You can craft a variety that fits your skin type and preferences with a basic combination of beeswax, plant butter like shea or cocoa, and carrier oils as the most basic ingredients. But essential oils are the heart of DIY lotion bars, adding not just a fragrance but also benefiting your skin with their therapeutic properties.

When choosing essential oils for lotion bars, consider ones that align with your skin care goals, whether it’s soothing, moisturizing, or repairing. Popular choices include lavender for its calming properties, peppermint for a refreshing scent, and tea tree or palmarosa for its soothing properties.

The beauty of making your own lotion bars lies in the customization.

  • You can select essential oils that suit your skin’s needs and your olfactory preferences.
  • Experiment with different combinations or focus on a single oil to target specific skin concerns.
  • Remember to use essential oils sparingly and responsibly, especially if you haven’t used them before.

Essential oils are concentrated, and a little goes a long way in providing your desired benefits. We love essential oils, so choosing 11 was pretty difficult. Let’s dive into lotion bars and see which ones made it onto our list.

The Basics of Lotion Bar Composition

Creating effective and pleasant lotion bars involves understanding the properties and roles of essential oils, carrier oils, plant butters, and additional ingredients. Each component contributes to the final product’s moisturizing capability, scent profile, and skin-nourishing benefits.

Understanding Essential Oils

Essential oils are the concentrated aromatic compounds extracted from plants, which provide distinct scents and therapeutic properties to lotion bars.

For example, Lavender essential oil is popular for its relaxing aroma and skin-soothing qualities. Citrus oils, including orange essential oils, offer a refreshing and uplifting scent. When selecting an essential oil blend for your lotion bars, consider both the fragrance and the potential skin benefits, but be mindful not to go overboard to avoid skin irritation.

Carrier Oils and Butters

The moisturizing foundation of lotion bars is formed by carrier oils and plant butters (tallow works well for lotion bars too). These ingredients nourish the skin, carry the essential oils, and help solidify the bar.

  • Carrier Oils: Often rich in essential fatty acids, oils like olive oil, coconut oil, jojoba oil, and avocado oil provide a smooth consistency and skin-penetrating moisture.
  • Butters: Cocoa butter and unrefined shea butter are excellent for their emollient properties. Mango butter is also a popular choice for its light texture and moisturizing capabilities.

Additional Ingredients

To enhance the nourishing qualities and durability of lotion bars, consider incorporating additional natural ingredients:

  • Beeswax: Acts as a binding agent, giving structure to your lotion bars and forming a protective barrier on the skin.
  • Vitamin E Oil: An antioxidant that helps to prolong the shelf life of your homemade lotion bars and offers additional skin benefits.

Remember, the key to successful natural moisturizing lotion bars is the balance and synergy between these components. Experiment with various combinations to achieve the consistency and skin benefits you desire.

Now, as for additional ingredients, dive into our wonderful list of essential oils you should try using in your own lotion bar creations.

11 Best Essential Oils to Use in Lotion Bars

Here’s a list of the 11 best essential oils to use in your homemade lotion bars, each with its own unique benefits and aromatic properties.

1. Lavender

Lavender essential oil is a classic choice for skin care due to its calming scent and gentle nature. It’s perfect for a relaxing bedtime lotion bar.

2. Peppermint

Peppermint essential oil has a cooling effect and invigorating scent, making it ideal for a refreshing lotion bar to help you feel awake and energized.

3. Tea Tree

Tea Tree essential oil is known for its cleansing properties, and it’s a great addition to lotion bars for those looking for a clean, fresh feel. Patchouli pairs very well with tea tree EO.

4. Geranium

Geranium essential oil has a floral scent and is often used for its balancing effect on the skin, making it a fantastic choice for a daily moisturizer.

5. Frankincense

Frankincense essential oil is revered for its ability to promote the appearance of healthy-looking skin and is perfect for lotion bars aimed at nourishing mature skin. Feel free to blend in some myrrh as well. These two scents are amazing when paired together.

6. Sweet Orange

Sweet Orange essential oil adds a bright, citrus scent to lotion bars and is loved for its cheerful and uplifting aroma. When we use any citrus essential oil, we almost always like to add a flora note, like jasmine. Or, we like to add a woodsy note, like sandalwood.

7. Lemon

Lemon essential oil provides a clean and zesty scent, adding a refreshing touch to your lotion bar while also giving it a purifying feel. Rose and lemon pair very well together.

8. Rosemary

Rosemary essential oil has an herbal fragrance and is often included in skin care for its rejuvenating and revitalizing properties. Plus, rosemary is a natural preservative. Rosemary pairs really well with lemongrass, too, both of which are highly beneficial to the scalp.

9. Eucalyptus

Eucalyptus essential oil has a crisp, clean aroma and can help to provide a sense of clear breathing, making it a great addition to lotion bars for use after a workout.

10. Ylang Ylang

Ylang Ylang essential oil has a rich, floral scent and is perfect for those who want a luxurious and exotic aroma in their lotion bar. We love using warmer scents with ylang-ylang. Myrrh, frankincense, spikenard, or other warm scents pair very well with this.

11. Chamomile

Chamomile essential oil has a light, soothing scent and is excellent for creating a lotion bar that’s gentle enough for sensitive skin. When we use chamomile, we don’t like to use any other oils that might overpower it. Instead, we keep it simple with this one because nothing smells quite as delicate as chamomile.

Creating Your Own Lotion Bars

Creating lotion bars at home allows you to customize ingredients according to your skin’s needs. By assembling the right materials and following a pretty simple process overall, you can produce quality lotion bars without much effort.

Assembling Your Materials

To start, gather your ingredients and tools.

You’ll need the following:

  • Carrier Oils: Choose oils that are suitable for your skin type, such as jojoba or argan oil, which quickly penetrates the skin, or heavier oils, like cocoa or shea butter, for lasting moisture.
  • Beeswax: This serves as a binder and helps harden your bars to the desired consistency.
  • Essential Oils: Add scent and therapeutic properties to your bars. Lavender and chamomile are excellent for a calming effect.
  • Molds: Silicone molds or soap molds come in various shapes and sizes for your lotion bars.
  • A Glass Jar: Use this for melting your ingredients.
  • Double Boiler: If you don’t have one, set a glass jar in a pot with a couple of inches of water for a makeshift version.

Avoid Water-Based Ingredients

Do not mix water-based ingredients (like aloe) in with your lotion bars, or you’ll have issues with them binding to the oils.

Lotion bars are anhydrous, meaning they don’t contain any water. To mix something like aloe or honey, you’d also need an emulsifier to bind the fat and water ingredients together. You would also need ingredients to preserve that kind of mixture and prevent spoilage. So, stick to oil-based ingredients when making lotion bars.

The Melting Process

Take the following steps to melt and combine your ingredients safely and effectively:

  1. Set Up: Fill the bottom pot of your double boiler with a few inches of water and start heating it on a low-medium setting.
  2. Combine Ingredients: In the glass jar or upper section of the double boiler, combine your oils and beeswax. Stir occasionally to ensure even melting.
  3. Temperature Monitoring: Keep an eye on the temperature to prevent burning. Everything should melt into a uniform, liquid mixture.
  4. Add Essential Oils: Once melted, remove from heat and stir in your chosen essential oils.

Molding and Setting

After you’ve finished the melt:

  1. Pour: Carefully pour the melted mixture into your molds. Be mindful of hot liquids.
  2. Cool: Let your lotion bars cool at room temperature. This might take a couple of hours, depending on size and thickness.
  3. Remove from Molds: Once set, gently pop the bars out of the mold.
  4. Storage: Store your bars in a cool place away from direct sunlight to maintain their shelf life.

DIY Lotion Bar Recipes for Dry and Sensitive Skin

Creating DIY lotion bars tailored to specific skin needs; how much better can it get than that? By choosing the right essential oils and base ingredients, you can craft a bar that targets your unique skin concerns, from sensitivity to extreme dryness.

Chamomile and Lavender Lotion Bar for Sensitive Skin

If your skin tends to react to various ingredients, start with mild essential oils like chamomile or lavender which are known for their soothing properties. A simple base of cocoa butter, coconut oil, and beeswax forms a gentle and hydrating foundation. Try this gentle blend:

  • 1 cup cocoa butter
  • 1 cup coconut oil
  • 1 cup beeswax
  • 15 drops chamomile or lavender essential oil

Optional: Add a few drops of myrrh for a warmer and more spicy scent.

Sandalwood Lotion Bar for Dry Skin

Combat dry skin by focusing on intensely moisturizing oils such as shea butter and almond oil, which offer deep hydration. Essential oils like sandalwood or geranium smell amazing and also nourish the skin.

  • 1 cup shea butter
  • 1 cup almond oil
  • 1 cup beeswax
  • 15 drops sandalwood essential oil
  • 5 Drops of geranium essential oil

For Chapped Hands

Chapped hands need a heavy barrier to protect them and ingredients to repair them. Beeswax provides a protective layer, while shea butter works as an emollient, locking in your skin’s moisture. Essential oils like peppermint can refresh and soothe the skin.

  • 1 cup beeswax
  • ½ cup coconut oil
  • ½ cup shea butter
  • 10-15 drops peppermint essential oil

By selecting your favorite ingredients with these skin concerns in mind, you can handcraft homemade gifts or personal care items with a thoughtful touch.

We kept the above recipes simple but varied enough for different skin types. Feel free to customize as needed.

Best Practices for Using Essential Oils

Choosing Quality Oils

When selecting essential oils of choice for your lotion bars, prioritize purity and quality. Look for oils that are labeled as “100% pure essential oil” and check for the botanical name to confirm its authenticity. Quality oils carry a higher therapeutic value and tend to be less likely to cause skin irritation. If you can get them USDA-certified organic, we recommend that as well.

Lastly, we avoid buying essential oil blends. Instead, we buy 100% pure essential oils and blend them.

The number of drops of essential oil added to your lotion bar will vary depending on the oil’s potency and your personal scent preference. Start with fewer drops; you can always add more to achieve the desired strength.

Essential Oil Safety

As we mentioned a few times, essential oils are highly concentrated and can cause skin irritation if not used properly.

To minimize the risk, always dilute essential oils with carrier oils. Conduct a patch test before applying the lotion bar to larger areas of your body, particularly if you’re experimenting with a different essential oil you haven’t used before.

Here’s a quick guide on essential oil safety:

  1. Always dilute: Essential oils should make up only 1-2% of your total lotion bar recipe.
  2. Sun sensitivity: Be cautious with citrus oils like lemon essential oil, as they can increase sun sensitivity.
  3. Storage: Store essential oils in dark, cool places to preserve their integrity.
  4. Skin type: Consider your skin type when using essential oils. If you’re often prone to skin irritation when trying new products, create a basic lotion bar without essential oils first, see how you respond, then start with just one essential oil. If no irritation occurs, you can continue to try others at that point.
  5. Ask a healthcare professional about using essential oils if you’re pregnant or breastfeeding.

Benefits of Using Lotion Bars

Discover the unique advantages of switching to lotion bars. These solid moisturizers offer focused care for dry skin, combining convenience without sacrificing efficacy.

Intense Moisturization

Lotion bars deliver a concentrated form of hydration, often exceeding the moisturizing qualities of regular lotions. Unlike average moisturizers that may contain water, lotion bars are typically crafted from natural oils and butters, providing a protective layer that intensely nourishes your skin.

With that in mind, we recommend using them right after showering or bathing, locking in your skin’s moisture. This effect is especially beneficial to dry winter skin, requiring extra care.

Convenience and Portability

Their solid form means you can carry them in your bag without worrying about spills or fluid ounce limits at airport security.

They’re also great for on-the-go application; you simply need to warm them with your body heat and apply them, avoiding the need for a paper towel or cleanup.

Longevity and Cost-Effectiveness

Natural lotion bars tend to last longer than traditional lotions because you use less product per application.

This cost-effectiveness means you get more use out of every bar without the extra costs of store-bought products. DIY is always so much cheaper than store-bought options, plus you get to control exactly what ends up in your product.

Creative Additions and Gift Ideas

Embrace the art of personalization and presentation when making your own lotion bars. With the right essential oil blend and an eye for design, you can transform simple ingredients into luxurious, tailor-made gifts. We suggest making them a few times for personal use first, though, so you have a chance to perfect a few recipes.

Customizing Scents and Textures

To customize the scent of your lotion bars, start with a neutral carrier oil like coconut or shea butter.

  • These oils will serve as the base for your essential oil blend.
  • Consider the properties you want—lavender for relaxation or citrus for an energizing effect.
  • Add beeswax to adjust the bar’s hardness and texture, ensuring a smooth application that meets your preference.

Decorative Molding and Packaging

Make your bars visually appealing by choosing the right mold.

  • Although lotion bar molds are available, don’t hesitate to repurpose soap molds or even muffin tins for unique shapes.
  • After your bars have set and hardened, wrap them in parchment paper or place them in decorative tins.
  • This protects the bars and makes them look quite attractive, making them ideal for displays.

Making Lotion Bars as Gifts

Lotion bars are great gifts, especially during the holiday season.

  • When giving them homemade gifts, include a tag listing the natural ingredients and the potential benefits of the essential oils used.
  • You can also pair them with other homemade body products, like bath bombs or lip balms, to create a full personal care gift set.
  • Wrap them nicely in parchment tied on with some hemp string or bows. Feel free to go overboard with the presentation and decorative flare as much as you want. People love personalized gifts.

Advanced Tips and Techniques

As you make more and more DIY skincare products at home, you’ll realize that you can get things down to a science pretty quickly. You’ll begin to make decisions about exact quantities and perhaps even scale up how many products you’re making. With that in mind, there are a number of tools that can make the process easier.

Measuring Ingredients Precisely

To ensure consistency and accuracy in your lotion bar creation, invest in a high-quality kitchen scale. Measuring by weight rather than volume is a more precise method, especially for hard-to-measure substances such as beeswax.

Consistently using exact quantities and weights will lead to reliable results every time you make your lotion bars.

Enhancing the Formula for Varied Skincare Benefits

Explore the various properties of essential oils and other ingredients to tailor your lotion bars to specific skincare needs.

For example, adding oils high in lauric acid, like coconut oil, can offer added moisturization benefits. To cater to different preferences and benefits, adjust the ratios of butters and oils.

This level of customization is when things really get interesting, and you begin to realize the options are endless, but in a good way.

Proper Storage for Extended Use

Once you’ve crafted your perfect lotion bars, store them in glass jars to maintain their freshness and extend shelf life.

Keep the containers in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight—this prevents the oils from going rancid and maintains their texture. Effective storage is as crucial as the making process itself, ensuring your handmade bars remain fresh and potent for as long as possible.

Best Essential Oils for Lotion Bars FAQs

In this section, we’ll address common inquiries about crafting lotion bars using essential oils, focusing on recipes suitable for sensitive skin, achieving ideal consistency, selecting non-greasy components, and more.

What essential oils are recommended for making lotion bars that are suitable for sensitive skin, such as eczema?

For sensitive skin types, it’s important to start with essential oils that are known for their soothing properties. Oils such as chamomile and lavender are typically recommended for their anti-inflammatory and calming effects that can benefit conditions like eczema.

That said, we deal with eczema in our family. One truth about eczema is that something it seems like almost anything can cause a flare-up, even if it has never caused one before. Eczema is very finicky. Use ingredients that don’t cause irritation. If you begin to notice irritation, cease use. Down the road, you may find those very same ingredients no longer cause irritation.

During times of irritation, stick to entirely neutral ingredients until the flare-up goes away.

We’ve experienced this with a lot of ingredients. For example, colloidal oatmeal is known to be amazing for eczema, and we’d recommend it for flare-ups. But it’s actually caused irritation for a family member in the past and, to our amazement, doesn’t anymore at all.

How can one create a lotion bar recipe that ensures the bars remain firm and not too soft?

Achieving a firm lotion bar requires a balance of ingredients. Beeswax is integral for firmness. A basic lotion bar formula typically includes a one-to-one ratio of beeswax, butter (like cocoa or shea butter), and oil. Altering the ratio with more beeswax can result in a firmer bar. Modify any of the recipes in our post above, as needed, to your liking.

What is a good non-greasy lotion bar recipe, and what ingredients make it effective?

A non-greasy lotion bar recipe maintains moisture without leaving a heavy residue. Using ingredients such as cocoa butter or shea butter in combination with beeswax and a lightweight carrier oil (like jojoba or almond oil) can create a bar that quickly absorbs and nourishes the skin.

How many drops of essential oil should be added to a lotion bar to ensure a balanced fragrance and benefits?

The amount of essential oil in a lotion bar should be balanced to ensure it’s not overpowering. Typically, for a standard lotion bar batch, adding 15-30 drops of essential oils will provide a pleasant scent and therapeutic benefits without being too strong. Each essential oil is different though, so use this as a general rule of thumb. You may need to adjust a bit.

Can you suggest some essential oil blends that complement cocoa butter in lotion bars?

Cocoa butter pairs well with a variety of essential oils. For a pleasant blend, consider adding sweet orange for a citrus aroma or peppermint for a refreshing scent.

Combinations like geranium, frankincense, and lavender also complement cocoa butter’s rich profile.

What are the best practices for using molds when making homemade lotion bars?

When using molds for lotion bars, ensure they are clean and dry before use. Silicone molds are often preferred as they allow for easy removal of the solidified bars.

After pouring the mixture, let it cool completely before attempting to pop out the lotion bars to maintain their shape.

What is the shelf life of DIY lotion bars?

The shelf life of DIY lotion bars can vary depending on the ingredients used, but most bars can last up to a year if stored properly, perhaps even longer. Keeping the bars in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight will help preserve their quality and extend their usability.

If you want to make a large batch and need to preserve a lot of lotion bars, simply add 1-2 teaspoons of vitamin E per cup of finished product to your recipes. Additionally, rosemary essential oil is a fantastic preservative and smells great. Add 5-10 drops per cup of finished product.

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