Hard Lotion Bars | Yankeehomestead.com

Goodbye To Toxins (Day 5): Hard Lotion Bars (great for winter hands, rashes and more!)

Are your hands dry and cracked?  Do you struggle with itchy rashes?  Could your feet use some serious softening?  What about your elbows?

This hard lotion is amazing!  I’ve been making it for several years now.  We use it mostly on our hands and lips, but you can use it anywhere you’ve got skin.

I highly recommend these hard lotion bars for anyone struggling with dry or irritated skin.  You can make it yourself or buy it online.  Read on for more details…

My Story

Older Brother and I both struggle with irritable skin, rashes, eczema, etc.  My worst complaint is a persistent rash which centers around my ring finger.

At one point it got completely out of control, spreading to each finger on both hands.  It left me unable to wear my wedding rings for months on end, plus I thought I might actually lose my mind from the insane itchiness.

After doctor consults, steroid prescriptions and months of itching, I finally consulted a friend whose daughter suffers from severe eczema.  She gave me a “lotion cube” from a large batch she’d made herself.

After THREE DAYS of using this lotion, my rash was gone.  Needless to say, I immediately bought all the ingredients and whipped up a batch myself!

Note:  Since then, the rash has continued to lurk just below the surface of my skin.  Sometimes it flares up and drives me absolutely bonkers!  Without undergoing expensive testing, the best explanation my doctor and I have come up with is that it’s stress-related.  It’s the last-straw-result of my overloaded immune system.  (In other words, when my immune system can’t take any more, it uses the rash to signal “I’m done!”).

mini muffin hard lotion bars

Mini-muffin size, from two different tins.
(The bar on the right is more tapered; the one on the left is more straight-sided).

It’s beyond the scope of this post to examine the myriad internal factors that can contribute to skin issues like rashes, eczema, acne, etc, but I’m also suspicious that my rash is diet-related.  As some of you may know from first-hand experience, it can be very tricky to pin point the exact contributing factor of a rash.  For me, I think it’s related to dairy and eggs. More on that another time, perhaps….

The main point for the purpose of this particular post is that these lotion bars help keep my skin issues at bay.  My ultimate goal is to remedy the internal situation that causes the rash, but in the meantime, I need a safe and effective way to combat the insane itchiness.

Hard Lotion

Here’s what you need to know:

  • You can buy them from Renee at MadeOn Lotion.  These bars are awesome, and come in three varieties (pictured above).  The Bee Silk Bars should be pretty identical to the ones I make, since I used identical ingredients and followed her instructions.  (And while you’re there, check out her other natural skincare products like this goat milk soap.)
  • Or you can make them yourself:  Scroll down to the 4-minute video tutorial.

Beesilk hard lotion kit contains coconut oil, beeswax and shea butter, pocket size bar, lip balm tubes and medicine dropper.

Choose one of these two options:  

  • Buy Renee’s kit (pictured above).  This is a great option–cheaper than buying the already-made bars and much less work than ordering separate ingredients and supplies.
  • Order your own ingredient & supplies by following my instructions below.  This is definitely the cheapest method.


Use the following three ingredients in a 1:1:1 ratio.

Hard Lotion Bar

Hard Lotion Bar (mini-muffin size in 1/2 oz round tin)

Explanation of ingredients:

The bars are hard because of the beeswax.  The coconut oil and shea butter do the moisturizing and healing, and the beeswax forms a protective layer over the skin to lock in the moisture and prevent further damage from water, etc.

You can experiment with less beeswax if you want a softer bar.  (I did that for one batch that I used for lip balm.  See below).

Disclosure: This page contains affiliate links.  If you make a purchase using a link on this page, I may earn a commission.  (Your cost will not be affected.)  Thank you!  I’m so grateful for your support of this site.


beeswax pastilles

Beeswax pastilles from Mountain Rose Herbs.

 Where to find the ingredients:

Beeswax & Shea Butter:

  • Once again, you can order a DIY kit from Renee at MadeOn Hard Lotion.
  • If you decide to order all of your own ingredients, I recommend Mountain Rose Herbs for the beeswax &  shea butter.
  • Furthermore, I highly recommend ordering the beeswax in the little pastille form….much easier to work with!
  • It’s a long story, but I wound up ordering a 2-lb block of beeswax from a different source and MAN, that stuff is SO HARD to cut up.  I had to use a hammer and chisel and lots of elbow grease.   :-)  Lesson learned!
  • You will NOT need 2 lbs.  I made a HUGE batch, both for our family and to give away as gifts and I still have plenty of ingredients left over.
  • Beeswax and shea butter are also available from Amazon or other online retailers, and at some health food stores.
  • My favorite source is definitely Mt. Rose Herbs for price, quality and convenience.


250 x 250 Gold Label Virgin Coconut Oil ad image

Coconut oil:

  • Coconut Oil can be purchased at most grocery stores, health food stores or online.  Costco even sells it now!
  • The best source I’ve found is Tropical Traditions.
  • Get the best price by waiting for a BOGO and/or free shipping sale.
  • (Sign up on their website to receive notification of sales via email).
  • Order coconut oil from Tropical Traditions.

heart mold

I found this heart mold (and its twin) at a local thrift store. It works perfectly for hard lotion bars!

Molds:  You can use almost anything!

  • The silicone heart molds came from a thrift store; I’m not sure what they were originally intended for.  (Candy?  Ice cubes?)
  • Over time, I’ve stocked up on inexpensive ice cube trays in fun shapes–flowers, apples, etc.
  • The tiny, round bars came from mini-muffin tins.
  • I made some larger, round bars using cheap, plastic measuring cups.
  • I also made some large bars in mini-mini-loaf pans.
  • My friend who gave me the recipe used regular ice cube trays.
  • Note: We’ve found the smallest bars to be the easiest to use on hands and for children.  They’re nice for gifts, too.  For use on adult, female legs  :-) I’ve found the larger size (mini-mini loaves, about the size of a bar of soap) to be easiest to apply.

Mini-Heart in a 1/2 oz round tin


Just follow the steps in Renee’s helpful video tutorial, which is only 4 minutes long
and will explain everything you need to know.

Can’t see the video?  Watch it here.

Procedural Notes:

  • I do not have a double boiler, so I use a large (8 cup) Pyrex measuring cup and hook the handle over the side of a large cooking pot.
  • Use a disposable stir stick (I used a long wooden skewer, the kind you’d use to make shish-ka-bobs on the grill).
  • VERY IMPORTANT: Make sure you wipe out your Pyrex cup (or whatever you use) IMMEDIATELY & THOROUGHLY with a paper towel.  Then wash with hot, soapy water.  Once the beeswax hardens, it is SUPER DIFFICULT to remove.

hard lotion molds

Instructions for use:

  • These bars are not at all like regular liquid lotion and can take some getting used to.
  • They are HARD bars that soften up once body heat (from your hands) is applied.
  • Use them anywhere on your body!  Again, it helps to warm them up first by rubbing in your hands, or you can break off a piece and rub that into the affected area.


My favorite storage container for these little guys is a small, round tin.  I’m sure you can find them at a variety of online and bricks-&-mortar retailers, but these are my favorite sources:

Round Tins: 4 oz, 2 oz and 1/2 oz

Tin sizes:

  • 1/2 oz:  These are pretty tiny.  My small hearts (from the red mold) fit perfectly in these.  I can also fit a very shallow mini muffin bar in this tin.  This size is not easy to find in a large purse!  But it works well for storing in a small space, like a desk drawer, bedside table, for traveling, etc.
  • 1 oz:  I actually do not have any tins in this size, because the Container Store doesn’t carry the 1 oz.  and it was out of stock at MRH when I placed my order.  Without having tried it myself, I would think this size would work great for mini muffin bars.
  • 2 oz:  I’ve never made regular muffin-sized bars, but I think they would fit in this size.  Especially if you keep the bars shallow.
  • 4 oz:  These seem pretty big to me; I think they take up too much space!  But they may be a good option for certain storage situations or mold sizes.

Hard Lotion custom label

Custom Labels

We use this lotion so heavily and give it away so frequently that I had custom, waterproof labels made for our tins.  I love them!

Want to order these exact labels, or design your own?  Get 15% off your entire order (of any labels) with my special Yankee Homestead discount.  Check out the details here: Announcing: Special Deal on Custom Waterproof Lables {for All Your DIY Needs}.

Homemade Hard Lotion Lip Balm

To make lip balm:

  • Follow the same recipe, using less beeswax and/or more coconut oil.
  • Order empty lip balm tubes from MRH
  • (If you fill all your lip balm tubes and have extra lotion leftover, just make more lotion bars!)
  • I used a tiny glass dropper to transfer my hot lotion liquid into each lip balm tube.  The dropper came from an empty bottle of liquid stevia.  I had to throw the dropper away afterwards, as it was impossible to remove the hardened lotion from inside the glass tube.

Have you tried hard lotion?

Did you miss the previous post in this series?  Read it here: Goodbye To Toxins (Day 4): My Favorite Natural Lotions.


Kathleen Henderson is the Yankee behind the Homestead, where she keeps up with Mr. Native Texan, three busy boys, a large dog, an assortment of chickens and an organic garden on three beautiful acres in Northern Virginia. Yankee Homestead is where she organizes her tips, tricks and resources for a healthy life. Favorite topics include real food recipes, gluten-free living, essential oils and home remedies, all things natural and nontoxic, plus mommy musings and homeschooling resources. Find out more on the About page

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I am not a doctor and the statements on this blog have not been evaluated by the FDA. Products mentioned here are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Please do not ask me for medical advice.
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32 thoughts on “Goodbye To Toxins (Day 5): Hard Lotion Bars (great for winter hands, rashes and more!)

  1. Susan

    Tea tree oil (either mixed in a very mild lotion, which I prefer, or a few drops by itself) clears up the very itchy rash I get around my wedding rings in the winter. Might be worth a try. I don’t get the rash anywhere else and have never really asked a doctor about it, I just assumed it was from the metal in my rings or air not penetrating the space.

    1. yankeehomesteaderyankeehomesteader Post author

      Susan, I’m glad you reminded me of this! A while back, I was experimenting with tea tree oil on the rashes on my hands. I definitely think it was helping, but then I ran out. Recently ordered more and just applied some this morning! Glad you’ve had success with it, too. Have you tried DoTerra’s Melaleuca?

      1. Susan

        I am very interested in DoTerra, and really need to talk with someone about it. I am a bit confused by the name Melaleuca…I used to buy products from a company called Melaleuca (where I discovered my tea tree oil…I used their body lotion with tea tree oil in it and have become mosquito free after being eaten alive for so many years). Is this the same company? BTW, saw you in church on Sunday and you looked stunning:)

        1. yankeehomesteaderyankeehomesteader Post author


          I’d be more than happy to talk with you anytime about DT. And I’m researching the “melaleuca” issue right now….will let you know what I find out. (I actually wondered the same thing when I first heard of DT’s Melaleuca oil).

          Stay tuned!

        2. yankeehomesteaderyankeehomesteader Post author

          Here’s what I’m told by one of my “oily experts”:

          “Melaleuca” is the scientific name for the tea tree plant.
          The company Melaleuca uses that oil in most of its products.

          (Melaleuca, the company, is NOT the same as DoTerra).
          Hope that helps!

  2. Paula Steele

    Hi Kathleen,
    this sounds like a great quick recipe. My friends and I have been making lip blams and lotions for, oh maybe 5 years now? We’ve been finding a great response from using infused oils along with the shea butter etc…I made some two days ago with jajoba oil infused with Calendula, St.John’s Wart, Plantain and Comfrey and sometimes I also infuse with purple clover. All of these plants are good for skin rash, burns, irritations. COmbined with aloe and hydrosols the cream is really ,mmmm, mmmm good!
    But then you have to whip it so to avoid the whipping step your method sounds great.
    Maybe, though, your skin would respond to the infused properties of some of these herbs? Have you tried them?

  3. Janet

    What is the recipe? I thought I had seen a recipe at one time, but can not find it. Earlier in the post you said equal amounts… how much? 4oz each?

    1. KathleenKathleen Post author

      Janet–Yes, the ratio is 1:1:1. So you can use any amount, as long as you do equal amounts of each ingredient. It all depends on how many bars you’d like to make. I usually do about 8 ounces if I’m stocking up for my own family, and up to one pound/16 ounces when making tons of bars for essential oil classes and/or gift-giving purposes. I think 4 ounces would be a great amount for your first time. I hope that helps!

  4. Elizabeth

    I started making homemade lotions and bars about two months go and I’ll never go back to the paraben, junk-laden store-bought stuff. In looking for new recipes I stumbled upon this page. When I read about the reasons for your switch to natural products they sounded very similar to mine. In case you haven’t tried it yet, aloe is an absolutely wonderful thing to add to any of your products. I have a rash that came up for the first time about 10 years ago. It’s almost all gone except for two tiny spots that lurk on the bottom of each foot, but if I get really stressed it flares up and spreads all over the soles. This has happened twice, and it takes a year to run it’s course. It’s icky and oh-so itchy. It took a biopsy to find out it was Lichen Planus. NONE of the prescriptions helped at all, but aloe vera gel does…. AND Mountain Rose Herbs sells it in the powder, gel, and leaf.

  5. Tammy

    I am enjoying your site. I am a current Doterra user, and lover of all things natural. I plan to try your hard lotion recipe, but am a bit confused. Can I add EO to the recipe? I read your post top to bottom and didn’t see where it is addressed. i would love to add lavender, OnGuard, etc. THoughts?

    1. KathleenKathleen Post author

      Tammy-You can totally add EO’s. Keep in mind that it’s best not to heat them, though, so try to add them as close to the end as possible. For us, I just keep it simple and unscented. We use the lotion/lip balm all over the body and for a variety of purposes, so I just keep them plain and treat things with oils as necessary. But I’ve always thought it would be fun to experiment with adding oils…keep me posted if you try it! :-)

  6. Emily

    I ordered 1 lb each of Shea and beeswax from MRH. I would like to make lotion bars for Christmas gifts this year. I want to start with a small batch of 4 oz each. What’s the best way to measure the Shea butter? 1/2 cup = 4 oz or do we need a scale?

    1. KathleenKathleen Post author

      Emily–Technically, you should use a scale. Practically speaking, I do not. :-) Yes, I just use about a half cup. If you don’t want to use a scale, you can try your small batch and see how you like the bars. If they’re too soft, melt down again and add more beeswax. If they’re too hard, add more coconut oil or shea butter. I hope that helps! Good luck with your bars! Your gift recipients will love them.

  7. Diana

    Hello, thank you for your information! I want to make the hard lotion and wondering.. instead of having to pour into molds, could i not just pour into the tin containers?

    1. KathleenKathleen Post author

      Hi Diana–Pouring the mixture directly into tins is not recommended unless you want to dig out the hardened lotion with your fingernails. :-) You want your lotion bars to be smaller than the tin, in order to be able to remove the bars for use.

  8. Tulip

    I’m looking to make this work with 4 different essential oils as well. My homemade mix of coconut oil and EOs has a lower melting point now after adding the EOs, so I’m looking for a recipe that will keep it solid. This is an older post I see, do you still recommend using Mt. Rose or would using DoTerra work just the same?

    1. KathleenKathleen Post author

      Hi Tulip, Yes, I still love Mountain Rose Herbs. You definitely don’t want to use doTERRA’s Fractionated Coconut Oil for this, as FCO remains in liquid form. You want regular coconut oil that will solidify in cooler temperatures. Also keep in mind that essential oils should not be heated. To add EOs to hard lotion bars, you’d want to wait until your lotion is cooling in the molds. To make a harder bar, try adding a bit more beeswax. Hope that helps! :-)

    1. KathleenKathleen Post author

      Michelle–The bars are hard until the heat from your hands softens them. We rub them back and forth in our hands until they’re softened, then apply all over our hands (or lips, or wherever). Then rub into the skin. Hope that helps! :-)

  9. Lisa

    I’m totally excited about trying to make your lotion bars! For about a year now, I’ve been experimenting with EO’s in my soaps and lip balmswhich I make in small batches for my family and friends.

    Just recently I recently stared using DoTerra EO’s myself and am learning how to use them in more of my recipes as well as a health aid what really got me excited was your post about the itchy rashes you use these hard lotion bars for. Such a wonderful idea!

    Thank you for such a great sharing blog! Love it!

  10. Lori

    I have a friend who is vegan. Can I substitue soy wax for the beeswax? If so, would it be the same amount? Thank you!

    1. KathleenKathleen Post author

      Lori–I don’t know anything about soy wax, sorry! Good luck, and let us know what you find out…

  11. Lisa

    I put the ingredients together as demonstrated and it hasn’t gotten hard. Any ideas what I can do about that? Should I put it in the fridge? Should I store it in there?

    1. Adrienne

      Sometimes they do take a while to set up, especially if its warm in your home. If I’m in a hurry I’ll stick mine in the freezer for a few minutes until theyre hard. Good luck!


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