There is no need to splash out on overpriced lotion bars when you can create one right from the comfort of your own home. Beautifully moisturising geranium lotion bars will help to keep your skin silky smooth and soft even in the harsh winter months. It’s a fun, and relaxing project, not to mention the availability of inexpensive natural ingredients is what makes these lotion bars even more tempting. All you need are a few simple natural ingredients and the time to whip them up. So let’s look at why they are great for your skin and how you can prepare some of your own.
Why are Lotion Bars Good for Skin?
Lotion bars are super convenient dry skin saviours. They pack simple, natural ingredients like oils and butter into a handy bar. Lotion bars alone can do amazing things for dry skin. They help moisturise dry skin by sealing moisture into the skin and softening the outer layer, leaving it soft and smooth.
Things to Keep in Mind
Lotion bars are anhydrous products, and as such, don’t contain any water. To keep your skin hydrated, use lotion bars right after the shower while your skin is moist, and it will help to lock moisture in.
They are an excellent addition to your handbag, backpack, or even your car. Easy to carry around, you can use them any time your skin feels parched. Work wonders for elbows.
If you want to add essential oils to your bars, make sure that they are pure and of high quality.
Ingredients You’ll Need to Make Geranium Lemongrass Lotion Bars
Beeswax: Beeswax is a natural occlusive that acts as an effective barrier against water loss, making it perfect for dry skin patches.
Cocoa Butter: Abundant in saturated fatty acids and antioxidants, cocoa butter is a popular skincare ingredient with softening, moisturising and regenerating effects on the skin. The protective nature of cocoa butter may also ease itching associated with dry skin.
Mango Butter: Highly emollient and packed with vitamin A, C and E, its softening, soothing, moisturising and protective properties make mango butter a versatile ingredient often sought after by people with dry skin. In addition, its subtle scent makes it a perfect addition to natural body care products.
Sweet almond oil: Abundant in vitamin A, E and omega-6 fatty acids, sweet almond oil is the perfect ingredient for dry skin due to its light texture and softening effect.
Vitamin E: An antioxidant that can help protect the skin from environmental damage and protect the oils from going rancid.
Geranium essential oil: Sweet, soft, and uplifting floral aroma of geranium compliments cocoa’s richness creating an intoxicating fragrance in the final lotion bars. In addition, it improves complexion by nourishing and toning the skin.
Lemongrass essential oil: Lemongrass is a citrus family member, and its fresh, uplifting aroma will revive tired minds and limbs.
Ginger essential oil: The warming properties of ginger works in a beautiful synergy with geranium and lemongrass essential oil. It will not only add depth and warmth to the fragrance, but it will also restore the dull complexion.
How to Make Geranium Lemongrass Lotion Bars
To make a 100g bar, you’ll need:
Cocoa butter 60.00g
Mango butter 20.00g
Sweet almond oil 14.90g
Vitamin E 1.00g
Geranium essential oil0.60g
Lemongrass essential oil 0.30g
Ginger essential oil 0.20g
Step 1: Prepare a hot water bath by bringing 2-3 cm of water to a simmer over medium-low heat in a small saucepan.
Step 2: Weigh beeswax, cocoa and mango butter (phase A ingredients) in a glass beaker, and place them into the hot water bath.
Step 3: When fully melted, remove the mix from the hot water bath and let it cool a bit before adding sweet almond oil (about 55°C).
Step 4: Once the butter/oil mix temperate drops below 40°C, you can blend in vitamin E and essential oils (phase B ingredients). Keep stirring during the cool-down phase to produce a smooth melt with a shiny look and avoid graininess.
Step 5: Now you are ready to pour the mix into a mould of your choice and let it set in the fridge for 12hrs at least, preferably overnight, allowing the bars to firm up nicely.
Step 6: Once firm, remove the bars from the mould and wrap them in greaseproof paper or an aluminium jar to keep them handy in your bag.
Shelf life and storage
Lotion bars are anhydrous products that will keep for four to six months if stored well. Keep them away from direct sunlight in a dry, cool room or a draw. You can also freeze them if you wish to preserve the bars for longer without altering their texture. If your lotion bars change colour, smell or texture, dispose of them and prepare a new batch.
Please remember that swapping the ingredients in the formula will alter the final product. Consider how the ingredient you switch will affect the final product’s scent, consistency, or absorbency when making changes.
Beeswax: You can omit beeswax altogether and replace it with cocoa butter. I have used it because I love the smell, which blends beautifully with cocoa butter and geranium.
Mango butter: There is numerous butter on the market to choose from. You could try cupuaçu butter, a well-balanced and fast-absorbing emollient used as a plant-based alternative to lanolin.
Sweet almond oil: You can replace it with sunflower, jojoba oil, or even apricot kernel oil, for example.
Essential oils: Although they can enhance our well-being, essential oils are potent substances that can cause adverse reactions if not used safely and within recommended dermal limits. If you’d like to swap them for another essential oil safely, check out Essential Oil Safety: A Guide for Health Care Professionals by R Tisserand and R Young. To learn more about essential oils that pair well with cocoa butter click here.
Vitamin E: I wouldn’t recommend replacing vitamin E in this recipe.
What makes lotion bars too sticky?
Too much oil or soft butter in the formula can make lotion bars sticky. To firm them up, you can always remelt them and add more hard butter, such as cocoa butter or some beeswax.
How can I make lotion bars less greasy?
Although lotion bars are incredibly nourishing, they can leave a bit of a sticky, oily film on your skin. One of the most efficient ways to reduce the greasiness of lotion bars that I’ve found is to use oils and butter that absorb quickly to the skin without leaving an oily residue. Jojoba oil, soursop oil and maracuja (aka passionfruit oil) are good examples.