How to: Lotion Bars with Herb-infused Oil

Has it been a while since we've done a how-to around here?


Shall we make something quick and easy that won't break the budget?


How about a soothing, moisturizing lotion bar with hand-crafted herb-infused oil?


Why Lotion Bars?

Lotion bars are often described as 'solid lotion'. They are easy to use; simply rub the bar between hands. The bar will soften slightly and start to melt. The softened lotion is then applied to arms, legs, feet, hands - anywhere you need a moisture boost.

The multi-functionality of a lotion bar makes it great for all climates, seasons, places and purposes. A lotion bar is long-lasting,  compact, and water-free – perfect for popping into your vacation baggage.


This formula can be fancied up or simplified to your hearts (and skins) desire. A very basic lotion bar requires only 4 ingredients

  • 33% oil
  • 33% wax
  • 33% butter
  • 1 % e-vitamin

For these bars, I used beeswax, coffee-infused jojoba, and shea butter.

Get Creative

Don't have shea? Feel free to substitute it with cocoa, kokum, sal, or any other butter you like. You may even want to use a mix of different butters. Harder butters will give you a more solid bar, softer butters will (obviously) result in a softer bar.

You can substitute the beeswax with rice bran wax, soy wax, or any other skin-friendly wax. Using other waxes may require a bit of experimentation to get the consistency to your desire. You may find a combination of waxes works best for you.

The oil does not have to be herb-infused if you don't happen to have any at hand. Any fixed (carrier) oil will do. You can also combine oils to your hearts desire. For a longer lasting bar, choose oils with a longer shelf life.


  • Weigh ingredients and add to beaker or other heatproof container
  • Melt slowly over low heat until thoroughly melted
  • Stir
  • Pour into molds and let set (this process can be speeded up by placing the molds in the fridge
  • Unmold and enjoy!

Tip: Experiment with different ingredient combinations and make very small batches at a time. Remember to keep copious notes so you can recreate your successes.

Extra Tip: Do NOT measure cosmetics ingredients by volume. A 'teaspoon' of wax is not an accurate measurement. Always always measure by weight. It's the only way to be sure of exactly how much of each ingredient is in your product.

Warning: If you do not keep notes, this is going to happen: your very first batch will be the most perfect, luxurious lotion bar on the planet. It will make your skin sing and be pure unadulterated pleasure to use. People will flock to you asking to buy. News will spread and several major cosmetics companies will beg you to let them mass produce and sell your fabulous creation. You will then spend the next 10 years trying to recreate your formula because you were convinced you would be able to remember exactly what you did.

Don't say I didn't warn you.

Do Tell

What is your favorite herb-infused oil? have you ever made lotion bars?

More Stuff on this blog You Might Enjoy

Infusing oil with vanilla 
Infusing oil with Coffee
Infusing oil with juniper berries
Infusing oil with Calendula
Butter Melting Point and Hardness Chart
Tip about cleaning up melted waxes


Anonymous said…
How do you determine the shelf life of lotion bar/ lip balm? Does an infused oil effect the length of time? I am working on some lotion bars at home using Calendula oils I have infused in olive oil. I am not sure how to determine how long they are good or if I gift or sell them do I need to specify a certain date? Can I add a preservative myself that is safe? Thank you!
LisaLise said…
Hey there Anon - The ingredient with the shortest shelf life is an indicator of the shelf life. An infused oil MAY affect the time length - it depends on the oil and herb used. You would have to do a few batches and tests to see. A guesstimate: with calendula in olive oil, I would go by the use by date of the olive oil then subtract a few months. You do not need to add a preservative to an anhydrous product, but you can ad vitamin e to help retard the rancidity of the oil. I have had lotion bars last up to 4 years without issue, but this was me keeping product for observation so it was sitting in my stockroom shelf for years.