Lessons in Lotion Bars

When my mind is set on something, I sometimes become obsessed.  Currently, I’m set on perfecting shampoo, soap, and lotion bar recipes because that will get me one step closer to having my own body products business.  This morning was my first attempt at lotion bars.  Since lotions bars do not involve sodium hydroxide, I knew I could eyeball (read: be lazy) measuring the ingredients.  I love eyeballing ingredients.  That’s sort of weird.  That’s also why I stink at making rice.  I once had a mental breakdown over it in front of my then-boyfriend, now-husband.  He actually stayed with me!

I digress… My eyeballed lotion bar recipe was gotten from here.  In reality, my recipe was more like:

1/2ish cup beeswax
1/4ish cup coconut oil
1/3ish cup mango butter
1/3ish cup shea butter
a splash of FO

See?  I eyeballed it.  In the end, my product turned out just fine… Lightly-scented lotion bars.  Here are a few pictures of the solidification process.  I wanted to make a small batch and found that these silicone cupcake cups were perfect for testing out this recipe.

IMG_2432   IMG_2436   IMG_2437   IMG_2459

Even though this was a pretty easy task, I learned A LOT today:

1. Beeswax is a real bugger to work with.  It takes a lot of heat to melt it, so it’s sort of dangerous to melt it in the microwave (there are horror stores of how the glass bowl completely exploded under all the heat).  I suggest using the double boiler method.  Since I do not own a double boiler, I melted the ingredients in a glass jar placed inside a stainless steel pot with boiling water.  It worked beautifully.  I began trying to melt the beeswax in a glass measuring cup in the microwave.  It was messy and, five hours later, I’m still trying to get all the beeswax out of the measuring cup.  I don’t know if I can use this for soapmaking any more (this measuring cup is what holds my lye water)  Note: keep a glass jar solely for making lotion bars.

2. Though the recipe works, I do not like it.  Trial and error, Holly.  Trial and error.  I think I don’t like to coconut oil.  It’s too oily, for lack of a better adjective.  My next attempt will most likely be a recipe made of equal parts beeswax, mango butter, and shea butter.  Eyeballed, of course 🙂