by erin stewart sm (53 of 85)

How to Make Herbal Lotion Bars

I have lotion bars all over the place. There’s one in my nightstand, one in my purse, one in the bathroom cabinet with all my other skin and body care products, and probably several in my apothecary closet ready to take the place of the others when I run out of them. I love them because they don’t contain any water-based ingredients so I can make them without using any preservatives and they have a pretty long shelf life. This also makes them a great option for DIY gift giving!

I’ve found that lotion bars are best used when you’re fresh out of the shower or when you’ve just washed your hands. Something about massaging oil-based products into freshly washed skin makes it feel so nourished and moisturized. When applied to completely dry skin, I’ve found that oil-based products can tend to feel a bit greasy, like I have a layer of oil sitting on top of my skin. Try it for yourself – apply some carrier oil to your skin right now. See how it leaves a bit of oiliness behind? Now go try washing your hands (pat dry) and immediately massage some carrier oil into your skin. Keep massaging until the oil sets in nicely. See the difference?

I love oil-based products like these in the wintertime because my skin tends to feel a bit dry in the cooler months. When I use these lotion bars consistently, I don’t have any of the dry-skin-cracked-knuckles problems that I normally would this time of year. They also make wonderful stocking stuffers! Ready to make some of your own?

Ingredients and Supplies

  • 4 ounces of organic sunflower seed oil infused with vanilla beans or vanilla oleoresin
    Tip: Add calendula flower heads, roses, and selfheal to the infusion to add some extra skin-nourishing therapeutic effects to the overall recipe.
  • 1 ounce of organic, unrefined cocoa butter
  • 1 ounce of pure beeswax
  • 30 drops of organic sweet orange essential oil
  • 30 drops of organic lavender (angustifolia) essential oil
  • A silicon mold of your choice (they are readily available in the baking / cake decorating aisles of craft store chains)
  • Tins tall enough to hold your finished bars


  1. Measure out your beeswax and cocoa butter, then place them in a double boiler over low heat to melt. Once they are melted, remove them from the heat and stir in the sunflower seed oil.
  2. Add your essential oils to the mix and stir until they’re thoroughly incorporated.
  3. Pour the entire blend into your silicon mold and allow to remain still until they have completely cooled and solidified.
  4. Remove from the mold and package up in pretty tins.
  5. Your lotion bars are now ready for gifting!

I hope you’ll enjoy these! They smell a bit like orange creamsicles, which I think makes them delightful. If you decide to make some, leave a comment below to let me know how it goes or share a photo on Instagram and use the hashtag #floranellarecipe so I can find it. =)

Much love,

Join Our Insiders Group


Erin Stewart is an herbalist, NAHA certified aromatherapist, organic gardener and urban homesteader. She grows over 150 kinds of aromatic and medicinal plants for her own apothecary and distills essential oils and hydrosols in her PNW garden. Erin is the founder of Floranella and of AromaCulture’s herbalism + aromatherapy magazine.

Want to learn more about herbalism and aromatherapy?

AromaCulture Magazine is filled with educational articles, case studies and recipes written by practicing herbalists and certified aromatherapists. New issues are published each month and issues are available individually or via subscription. Visit for more information.

Join Our Insiders Group

Share this post

Share on facebook
Share on google
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on pinterest
Share on print
Share on email

14 thoughts on “How to Make Herbal Lotion Bars”

    1. Erin Stewart

      No, there are no water-based ingredients in this recipe, so a preservative is unnecessary. You can add an antioxidant if you’d like to lengthen the shelf life by helping to prevent oxidation of the carrier oils.

    1. Erin Stewart

      By weight. You’ll need to cut or shave off pieces in order to weight them.

  1. Hey erin thank you for sharing these, does it have to be sunflower oil or could you substitute with something else?

    1. Erin Stewart

      You can use any kind of carrier oil. I just prefer the feel of sunflower seed oil on the skin. =)

  2. Just made these 🙂 very nice recipe. For anyone who’s interested in the recipe output, this made 18 cavities of the wilton candy mold in the rose shape. Cavities measure about 1.5″ across by about 3/8″ deep at the lowest point.

  3. Iam really new to all of this… but very interested to learn, so far your posts are my source of learning, thanks. My question is if i dont have a double boiler what is the other option to make balms and lotion bars etc.

    1. Erin Stewart

      You can use a regular sauce pan with either a stainless steel bowl or a heat safe glass bowl like a Pyrex bowl/measuring vessel as the double boiler.

  4. I made these and They melt instantly. Not as firm as I thought they would be.

    1. Erin Stewart

      Hi Jane,

      It sounds like they had possibly either not set up enough before using them or that you had left out some of the beeswax in the recipe. As the recipe is written, they should set up to a solid that melts slowly when massaged into the skin so they are easy to apply. Either way, you can always make lotion bars more firm by adding extra beeswax to them (and more soft by using less beeswax than the recipe calls for). You can also re-melt already made batches to add the beeswax and re-pour them so you don’t waste any ingredients. Hope that helps!

Comments are closed.

Scroll to Top