By Kristen, Contributing Writer
As the weather gets colder, our skin can take a beating. Rare is the person who doesn’t find dry, irritated, or chapped skin a problem once late fall and winter set in!
Of all the areas of our bodies, our hands probably end up in the roughest shape during the cold months. I know mine do! Between hand washing dishes, washing hands over and over with children, and being in dry, heated, indoor air, my hands can really start to suffer from dryness.
One of my very favorite ways to combat that dry winter skin is with a quality hard lotion bar. There are some fantastic varieties on the market, but since they are so easy, I love making my own! Homemade skin care is one of my favorite projects as an herbalist-in-training.
This lotion bar recipe features an herb-infused oil, shea butter, beeswax, and lavender essential oil. Just these few simple ingredients and a small bit of time will leave you with enough lotion bars to get through the winter, and probably with some to spare.
The herbs and essential oil used give the bars a beautiful, mild scent and also make them extremely soothing. Lavender, calendula, and chamomile are wonderful for irritated skin, promoting healing and soothing inflammation. Lavender essential oil is a well-known skin soother, as well.
Lavender, Calendula, & Chamomile Soothing Hard Lotion Bars
- 1/4 cup plus 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 1/4 cup plus 1 teaspoon coconut oil
- 5 grams dried lavender buds (about 2 tablespoons)
- 5 grams dried chamomile flowers (about 3 tablespoons)
- 5 grams dried calendula blossoms (about 3 tablespoons)
- 85 grams/3 ounces/ 1/2 cup unrefined shea butter
- 85 grams/3 ounces/ heaping 1/2 cup beeswax (grated or pellets)
- 20 drops lavender essential oil
1. Place the herbs and oil into an oven-safe dish, then place into a warm oven. My toaster oven has a “warm” setting, which works great for me. Otherwise, preheat an oven to 200, place the bowl in the oven, and turn in off. Let the herbs infuse for 4-6 hours. Set aside until cool enough to handle.
2. Strain the oil out of the herbs through a strainer lined with thick cheesecloth, an old tea towel, or similar cotton fabric. Squeeze out as much oil as possible, then discard the herbs. Add enough extra oil (olive, coconut, or both) to have 1/2 cup oil.
3. Place the infused oil, shea butter, and beeswax in a saucepan and set over low heat. Stir the ingredients until they melt completely.
4. Allow the mixture to cool for about 5 minutes, then stir in the essential oil.
6. Once solid, remove from the pan or mold, then wrap in waxed paper to store.
I typically pour the mixture into silicone mini loaf pans and then cut the lotion bars into smaller sizes once they are solid. They cut easily.
Note: You can find the herbs for this recipe on The Bulk Herb Store!
These lotion bars would also make a lovely Christmas gift! This recipe could easily be doubled or tripled to make lotion bars for a crowd. A cute tag with the ingredients listed would add a nice touch.