A brief explanation:
Older Brother and I both struggle with irritable skin, rashes, eczema, etc. Last year I struggled with a persistent rash on both hands, but especially on my left hand.
The worst spot centered around my ring finger, which left me unable to wear my wedding rings for months on end.
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!”).
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.
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.
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.
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.
Where to find the ingredients:
Beeswax & Shea Butter:
- Once again, you can order a DIY kit from Renee at MadeOn.
- 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.
- 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.
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.
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.
- 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.
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:
- 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.
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.