Well it’s almost Valentine’s Day and I keep thinking about lotion bars. Yeah, I know, that’s a weird connection but hear me out. It just so happens that V-day is in the wintertime, I live in the high desert and it is especially dry this time of year. It’s a drought everywhere including on my skin. I usually make heart shaped cookies for Valentine’s Day but this year I decided to make heart shaped lotion bars instead. My stomach may be sad but my skin is very happy.
I’ve read a lot about lotion bars and the ingredients are the same as most of my other skin concoctions except you need to add a lot more beeswax. That will make it solid at room temperature. I added shea butter which is great for your skin and essential oils for both their fragrance and their skin-boosting benefits. Lavender and geranium EOs are good choices for dry skin and cypress revitalizes skin but you can mix it up with other options like roman chamomile, helichrysum, sandalwood, lemon, frankincense, juniper berry or thyme. I only use therapeutic grade essential oils because they are of the highest purity you can buy. Your skin is the largest organ in your body and what you put on you, you put in you, so whatever brand you use make sure it is pure enough to take internally.
Put the coconut oil, EVOO, shea butter and beeswax in a glass jar (I used a wide-mouth pint mason jar) and place jar in a pan about half-full of water. Heat up water, stirring mixture frequently until everything completely melts. The beeswax will seem like it’s never going to and just when you’re about to give up, Bam!, it’s gone. Carefully lift the jar out of the pan (use oven mitts please, it’s hot!) and place it on a dish towel on your counter.
Immediately add arrowroot powder, by slowly sprinkling it into the oil, stirring vigorously at the same time to prevent clumping. Now you need to let the mixture cool for a few minutes because essential oils lose their medicinal properties in high heat. My rule of thumb is if I can hold my fingers against the jar for ten seconds without screaming, it’s ready to add the vitamin E and the EO’s. Not very scientific I know, but it works. To add the vitamin E, snip the ends of the capsules and squeeze into oil mixture. Add the essential oils and mix thoroughly.
Immediately pour the mixture into molds. You can use muffin tins or ice cube trays or soap molds but my favorite is a silicone baking pan. They come in lots of shapes and sizes so you can really customize your lotion bars. I was so excited that Valentine’s day finally gave me an excuse to use the heart shaped pan that I bought ages ago. Just wrap it up in some cellophane and what a great gift idea for someone special. Did you notice the one on the top left that got messed up? That will make a great gift for me. Mess-ups are a good thing in my world.
I’ve been using my messed up lotion bar (see above) for several days now and I love it. I mostly use it on my hands and feet and have noticed a big difference in how soft my skin is. And when it comes to soft, smooth skin there is nothing messed up about that!
1/4 cup extra-virgin coconut oil
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup beeswax
1/4 cup shea butter
1/2 tsp. vitamin E (or two 1,000 IU capsules)
1/8 tsp. arrowroot powder
15 drops lavender EO
10 drops geranium
10 drops cypress EOInstructions: Combine first 4 ingredients in a glass jar and place in a pot half-filled with water. Bring water to a boil and stir frequently until ingredients are completely melted. Remove jar from pan and place on a dish towel covered counter. Slowly add arrowroot powder, stirring constantly to avoid lumps. Once fully incorporated allow mixture to cool enough that you can touch the jar comfortably for at least 10 seconds. Add vitamin E and essential oils and stir to combine. Immediately pour into desired molds and cover with a piece of paper towel so nothing weird gets in there. Do not disturb for several hours and preferably overnight. Once completely cooled, remove from molds, wrap in wax paper or cellophane and store in a cool dry place.