Saturday, December 10, 2016

It's that time of year again! DIY presents - lotion bars

Christmas and Hannukah are almost here, and if you're looking to make some awesome gifts for your loved ones, join me over the next week for loads of ideas.

You can get the ingredients for these little lovelies at your local health food store if you can't get to a supplier or get things mailed to you in time. Melt equal parts one solid butter, one liquid oil, and beeswax, add a titch of fragrance or essential oil, and you're done!

33% solid butter, like shea butter, mango butter, or cocoa butter
33% liquid oil of any sort
33% beeswax
1% fragrance or essential oil

Melt all the ingredients except the fragrance or essential oil in a double boiler until liquid. Remove from the heat and pour into molds - chocolate molds or silicone ice cube trays are awesome for these lotion bars - or into lip balm tubs, tubes, or deodorant containers (like above). Let cool on the counter or in the fridge until hardened. Don't roll up the lip balm tubes until the next day to make completely sure they're solid.

Make only 100 grams of this product the first time you make it as you might want the bar to be softer, harder, less greasy, more greasy, and so on. 100 grams is a nice sized batch!

Learn more about our oils and butters in the emollients section of the blog!

You can't use coconut oil as the main butter here as it melts around 24˚C or 76˚F, so it'll melt in your car, purse, or other warm space. You could use it as part of the liquid oil, if you wished. Or you could use fractionated coconut oil (the liquid stuff) as the liquid and the solid coconut oil as part of the butter, as long as you have a solid butter in there, like mango or cocoa butter.

As a note, this goes for babassu oil as it has a very low melting point.

33% liquid oil of choice - fractionated coconut oil would be awesome here
20% cocoa butter
13% regular or virgin coconut oil
33% beeswax
1% fragrance or essential oil

Follow the instructions above.

If you're vegan or trying to avoid animal products, you can make a variation on this recipe using carnauba wax or candelilla wax. These are harder than beeswax, so make sure you're using less.

43% liquid oils
40% hard butter
16% carnauba wax or candelilla wax
1% fragrance or essential oil

Follow the instructions above. The wax will take longer to melt than the beeswax, so be patient with it.

You can't really use soy wax as it's very soft, but you can try it at 50% of the recipe with 30% hard butter, 19% liquid oil, and 1% fragrance or essential oil.

A quick note before I leave you for the day: The shelf life of your lotion bar is the shelf life of your shortest lived oil. Most butters have a shelf life of two years or more, so it's really about your liquid oils. Unrefined oils have a shorter shelf life - generally 3 months - while oils like olive oil or soy bean oil can last a year. Check out the emollients section of the blog to see the shelf life to make sure you're making a good choice.

Related posts and more recipes:
Newbie Tuesday: Formulating lotion bars - many many more recipes there
Visual tutorial on making lotion bars (SnapGuide)

Join me tomorrow for more formulating fun making whipped butters!


Tonya said...

Hi Susan. Thank you again for your wonderful blog. I've read countless others and really appriciate your factual truthful approach. I am experimenting with lotion bars and have a question about tapioca but greasiness- I guess would be the the actual question.

My most recent mix of ingredients includes these variations. My question is how do I get the tapioca starch to fully melt? In bars I made before and am still using I'm finding a slight bit of grittiness over time and I suspect the tapioca as I had a hard time getting it to mix but I also used safflower oil in that attempt instead of coconut.

Recipe 1
30grams soy wax (nautural soy 444 wax from candlewic on amazon)
20 grams coco butter unrefined
20 grams virgin cocnut oil (costco)
1 gram tapioca starch (Bobs Red Mill)
1 gram vitaman e (natures gate with carthamus tinctorious safflower seed oil,vitis vinifer grape seed oil, calendula officinalis flower extract.)

Recipe 2
Same but sub 50% of oil for almond oil so 10grams almond and 10 grams virgin coconut

I made these into little ice cube mold hearts for my nieces. They smell like a candybar and have the perfect consistancy to melt just enough in little hands.

The first batch I added the tapioca after removing from heat and slightly cooled to 122°F just before vitamin e. There was powder in the bottom end as I poured so I mixed the last bit and poured the final row of hearts and could not tell the difference between the ones at the beginning when they solidified. The next batch I tried mixing the tapioca after everything was melted but still in the hot water bath. The same thing happened.

I dont know yet if these will get gritty as only a week has passed and so far they are good. I added the tapioca to dry the bars out as my prior attempts left my skin to greasy/oily feeling even 2 hours after application. Even if they dont get gritty I want the ingredients to distribute evenly.

I like using ingredients that dont contain animal products. I do use beeswax in my products but I like the soy wax for these as it is softer and the extra 50% seems to work well for me as a consistancy. Maybe there is a better option or recipe you could suggest than tapioca?

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Tonya! I've given you some suggestions in today's Weekend Wonderings. Hope this helps!