DIY Lotion Bar Recipe [Video]

67 April 25, 2017 - DIY, Essential Oils, How to Use Essential Oils, Personal Care, Skin care, Videos

Give your skin some much-deserved love! Not your average moisturizer, this DIY lotion bar uses the warmth of your body to melt natural emollients and essential oils into the skin to smooth, moisturize and hydrate dry hands, heels, elbows, and more.

With a rich base of coconut oil, beeswax, and shea butter, this homemade lotion bar recipe has a smooth and rich consistency. We honestly can’t get enough of the clean and fresh lavender-lemon combo we tried, but feel free to get inspired and create your own essential oil blend!

Bonus Tip: If you want to create an exfoliating texture, we recommend adding in some citrus zest, oatmeal, or dried lavender. Have fun experimenting!


  • ½ cup extra-virgin coconut oil
  • ½ cup beeswax
  • ¼ cup shea butter
  • ¼ cup cocoa butter
  • 15–20 drops essential oil of your choice (we recommend 10 drops of Lavender essential oil and 10 drops of Lemon essential oil)
  • Optional: dried lavender and lemon zest for exfoliation


  • 16-ounce measuring cup
  • Medium-sized saucepan
  • Silicone molds or muffin tin


  1. Combine coconut oil, beeswax, shea butter, and cocoa butter in a 16-ounce glass measuring cup.
  2. Place in a pot with water that rises to halfway up the measuring cup
  3. Bring water to a boil, stirring frequently until ingredients are completely melted.
  4. Remove measuring cup from the pot.
  5. Add dried lavender and lemon zest, if desired.
  6. Add essential oils and stir until completely combined.
  7. Immediately pour into molds.
  8. Let sit overnight.
  9. Once cooled, remove the lotion from the molds.
  10. Store in a cool, dry place.

What combination of essential oils are you excited to try? Tell us in the comments below!

  • Nina Bonita

    Can beeswax be substituted for something else?

    • Hi Nina, we have not tested the efficacy of the recipe with something other than beeswax. You are welcome to try to substitute and let us know how it works. Thanks for stopping by!

  • Marie-Eve

    How long is it possible to store this bar? Will it be expired after a month or does it last longer? Thank you 🙂

    • Hello Marie-Eve. It should last you that long at least. It also just depends on how often you use the lotion bars once you have made it. However, be sure to store the bars in a place where it won’t get too hot. The bars melt with the touch of the skin, so if they are left in sunlight, etc. then they will melt. Thanks for stopping by with your question.

      • Marie-Eve

        Thank you 😀
        I’ll try this asap!!

  • Fran Gourdet

    I make a Rosemary Lavender hair rinse that enjoy. Would love to make a matching bar of soap. Will try this recipe for sure. Thank you.

  • The Oily Rose

    I love this idea!

  • Colleen

    I don’t have cocoa butter, can I sub something else?

    • Hello Colleen. One of the commentators on this post used mango butter and had a lot of success. I recommend trying that out or using another cocoa butter substitute. Thanks for stopping by!

      • Colleen

        Thank you ..may just add a little more coconut or shea and beeswax.

  • Kim Pike

    Could this be made and put into a deodorant type container and have a stick type ?lotion

    • Hello Kim. We have not tested your idea, but I think it should work. Let us know if you end up deciding to try your idea out and how it goes. Thanks for stopping by!

  • Kirby L Schumacher

    Wintergreen and pan away to help support my hands at the end of the work day.

    • Jennifer Annis

      What a wonderful idea!

  • Janeé

    What should I store these in?

    • Hello Janee. I suggest storing them in an area that will be cool and dry because they melt at the touch of warm skin, so they can likewise melt in heat. You can store them in the same places you would store a bar of nice soap. Some people have put them in plastic containers and others have even put them in the fridge in a plastic bag. Feel free to explore the best option for you and let us know what way you find successful. Thanks!

  • Whitney Bush

    Love this!! Lemon and Cedarwood or Orange, Ginger, and Cedarwood for an uplifting aroma sure to give you a boost anytime of the day!

  • Victoria ‘Persky’ Smith

    how do you store these or bring them along with you. I love how they feel but they tend to breakdown or get stuck to the ziplock bag I use to carry them in my purse and its just a mess. What is the best way to bring them along.

    • Hi Victoria, We find a travel soap case works great for taking along with you. You can also put the case inside of the plastic bag for extra protection. Thanks for stopping by!

    • Meghan

      I’ve found using an old altoid tin works pretty well and you can even use that as a mold, if you want. If you don’t use altoids, they sell similar containers at craft stores for a relatively good price.

  • Aline Heck

    So I just got here & new to all this and I am now on a Mission to find all these items Thank you

    • Whitney Bush

      Amazon has great deals but so does Bramble Berry!

  • Valerie Richardson

    I made these using mango butter, I felt the smell of the shea butter overpowered my oils, I’ve used Orange and Jasmine Oils, I absolutely love them. Can’t keep them around, everyone wants one when I make them. So easy to make!

    • J.L.

      Okay so I’m new here, and have to ask a dumb question. How do you use these? Are they soap? or just wet them and rub them on your body?? Just asking.

      • Hey! The lotion bar will melt from the heat of your skin. Just rub the bar on your skin and it will be absorbed. Think of it as a solid lotion . Thanks for your question!

  • Rosie’s Mom

    I want to try this recipe — How many bars of soap does it make?

  • Sherry Pinkston

    Where do you get the dried lavender and lemon zest? Can I use the zest of a fresh lemon?

    • Hello Sherry. We just got the lemon zest from a fresh lemon and the dried lavender you can get online or at some local superstores or craft stores. Hope that helps and thanks for commenting on our blog!

  • Barbara

    I made this last night…really love it.

    Couple of questions:

    1. I used Fractionated Coconut oil – is that the correct type of Coconut Oil?

    2. The cocoa butter (which smells great) seems to overpower the essential oils. I used Organic Raw Cocoa Butter….is that the correct type?

    I would also recommend not using the dried lavender…it just makes a mess when you rub the bar on your body.


    • Hey Barbara. Thanks so much for your questions and suggestions! Fractionated coconut oil and organic raw cocoa butter would have been perfect and worked great for this recipe. Great to know that some people may want to add some more essential oil drops to their bars, if they want less of a cocoa butter smell. Thanks so much for stopping by and for your input! We love it!

    • Doreen Stobbe

      How do you add color to these bars?…..with food coloring !!!!!

  • Marty Monk

    Do you have a DIY recipe for a LIQUID hand soap? Thank you!

    • Hey Marty. We do not because we already have our own Thieves brand soaps that we love. It is foaming hand soap, so I don’t know if that would interest you. Maybe check out online for some DIY liquid soap recipes and if you need suggestions on oils to add, please let us know. Excited to see what you discover. Thanks for stopping by!

  • Susan

    I made my first batch of lotion bars yesterday! They are awesome! I love Young Living!

  • Mireya

    Marilyn be careful with citrus oils and juice, they increase the sun sensitivity and may produce sunburn s

    • Gwen

      Joni, I must be sensitive to carrot seed oil around or near my eyes. I plan to make the
      recipe eliminating the carrot seed. I will let you know how it turns out. I may even add
      a favorite EO in its place.

  • mickey kimata

    Will these harden properly without the cocoa butter? I really can’t stand the smell but know this is the hardest butter.

    • Hey Mickey. We never tried it without the cocoa butter, so we are not sure. Sorry we can’t be of more help, but if you experiment with the butters or other hardening agents, let us know what you did and how they turned out. Thanks for stopping by!

      • You may always substitute shea butter for cocoa butter. Also Mango Butter is nice also but more expensive

      • pam haakonson

        there is unscented cocoa butter that is very nice

    • Diana

      Anytime your DIY products don’t get as firm as you’d like them to, you can simply add more or less beeswax to adjust how firm or soft your end product is. You simply remelt and add melted beeswax. I dip a spoon in the mixture, then put it in the fridge for a minute. Then take the spoon out of the fridge and see how it set up.

      • Diana, thanks so much for your brilliant suggestion!

  • If I make them what would I put them in to travel on a plane? Just wondering how fast they would melt?

  • Suze

    I made my first ever batch of lotion bars. I followed the recipe, my only concern is the cocoa butter will over power the lavender and lemon oils. There was enough to fill 4 out of the six silicone molds. I am very excited to try more and experiment using other essential oils!

    • Awesome Suze! Let us know what you find as you experiment. Hopefully, they turned out how you wanted. Thanks for stopping by!

    • You may always sub shea butter or mango butter for cocoa butter.

  • Teresa

    i love lemon and lavender together. Would putting the lemon in make your skin photosensitive though? Just wondering, with summer coming up. Thanks!

    • Young Living

      Hello Teresa, Lemon Essential Oil does have a photosensitivity warning.If contact with skin occurs, avoid direct sunlight or UV rays for up to 12 hours. Have a wonderful summer and thanks for stopping by!

  • Shannon

    I am allergic to Shea and Cocoa butter. What can I use in place of those?

    • Hello Shannon. We have never experimented with the recipe to see what other ingredients could be used to create a similar product. Feel free to look online for other recipes for lotion bars that do not contain these ingredients. Let us know if you find anything, so we can be sure to share it with others that may be allergic. Hope that helps and thanks for stopping by on the blog!

      • Danita

        Hazel nut oil has similar wellness properties to Shea butter I wonder if that would work. The nice thing is that if it doesn’t set up you can put it back in the measuring cup or double boiler melt it again. and add more wax. If you try it I would really like to know how it worked.

  • Lucy Rosenberg

    They make it look so easy but mine looks yellow and still very soft… what do I do to get them out of mold?

    thank you

    • Hello Lucy! We used silicone molds, so it was easy to slip them out. It depends on what molds you used, but I suggest that you make sure the bars are solid before trying to remove them. It would help to even put them into the fridge or a cold area so they solidify. Then it should be easier to remove the bars from the mold without ruining the shape of the bars. Hope that helps!

      • Rene Houk

        Hello Lucy – some of my recipes using beeswax did not turn out because I was using inferior beeswax. I suggest it be yellow and smell like honey. Also it is best if you leave it in the molds for three days. Hope that helps. Blessings!

        • Lucy Rosenberg


          they turned out and smells great but used the wrong type mold.. I now have silicone molds… I actually ended up putting them in freezer for easier removal…
          I want to know what made their product white and mine is yellow…
          thank you

  • Katie

    I have made lotion bars with a very similar recipe – i love rubbing them on my feet at night before getting into bed…i leave one on my bedside table!!

  • Cheryl Wolfe

    After it boils and you remove from heat do you have to let it cool a bit before adding the essential oils? I’ve been reading on when you apply oils to things that are to hot to soon it will break down the oils, is this true?

    • Young Living

      Hello Cheryl, We recommend following the directions to achieve the desired finished product. If the contents of the measuring cup are allowed to cool too much, the mixture will begin to solidify. Adding the essential oils right before the mixture is added to the molds should allow it enough time to cool thus ensuring that the oils are not exposed to extreme heat. Thanks for stopping by!

  • Laurie

    So this is a lotion? Not a soap?
    How cool!

  • Jof

    One bar is for one-time use?

    • Hey Jof. Honestly, the bar can last a while depending on how large you make them, or how often you use them. If you store them in a cool environment (fridge, cool cabinet, or air conditioned area) you will be able to keep the lotion bars for as long as you choose to use it. Hope that helps and thanks for stopping by!

  • Lucy Rosenberg

    I can’t wait to try this…. Do you have a soap recipe?

  • Carol Penno

    I’m very interested in making the lotion bars. I have to purchase a few ingredients though. How much do you put in each muffin cup?

    • Hey Carol. How much of the mixture you put into the molds depend entirely on what mold you use. Some people use large molds (the ones we used were on the larger side, making only three bars) and other people may choose to use ice trays for their molds. The recipe allows you to easily double it and experiment with it. I hope that helps and let us know how it goes!

  • Loretta

    Love the mold pattern. Where did you buy these?

    • Hey Loretta. We got them online. You can find similar items online or at your local craft stores. Have fun experimenting and let us know how it goes!

  • Amanda Schissler

    Any suggestions on what I can use besides Coconut Oil? I am allergic but this sounds amazing!

    • Hey Amanda! We recommend that you try increasing the cocoa and/or shea butters and adding in a little jojoba oil to soften it. We have only tried this recipe but please feel free to experiment with your own ideas and let us know how it goes. Hope that helps!

  • Mer

    Just be careful of the photosensitivity of your skin if you are using citrus or any other oils that may cause it if you will be using these regularly with summer on the horizon! It would so be me to forget…lol

  • Karan A Silverstein

    I haven’t tried this yet. I question the size of the measuring cup. 2 half cups and 2 quarter cups would equal 1.5 cup. Do these actually fit in a 16 ounce cup? I’d rather start with the right size at the beginning. Also is the cocoa butter shaved?

    • Hello Karen. The amount of mixture that fits depends on the size of the mold. You can use large molds (we used three molds for one recipe) or use molds as small as ice trays for convenience. You can easily double or triple the recipes, but in the end this will be a bit of an experiment depending on the molds you choose. The cocoa butter was pure and in cubes. Hope that helps and thanks for stopping by with your questions!

      • Stephanie K Bell

        Karen, it sounds like you’re asking about the measuring cup itself to make the lotion bars, not the molds… If I’m understanding correctly… 1.5 cups should theoretically fit in a 16oz meas. cup, b/c that’s 2 cups, but if you’d like extra room for stirring and such, you could go with a 4-cup measuring cup. I haven’t made these yet, but I’ll be making them this weekend once my supplies come in… I’ll try to remember to come back and let you know how they turned out. 🙂

  • Leslie

    How many bars does the recipe make? I’m looking to give them a party gifts.

    • Hey Leslie. The amount of bars depends entirely on what size mold that you use. We used rather large molds in our video (3 lotion bars in total), but you can use molds as little as ice cube trays. You can also double or triple the recipe very easily. Hope that helps!

  • Flo

    How about storage? What do you suggest? I want to make as a gifts and wanted some suggestions on storage to those I am gifting them.

    • Hey Flo! The lotion bars are designed to melt from the heat of your body as you rub them on your skin. In other words the will melt pretty easily if left in hot conditions. Be sure to keep them in a colder place, whether that be the fridge, a cool cabinet, or air conditioned room. This will help the bars will keep their shape. Hope that helps!

  • Lisa Marie Noble

    these look like a fun project

  • Adrienne Bentley

    I used carrot seed, frankincense, lavender and patchouli. Plan on making them as wedding favors. Thank you for the receipe

    • Sherry Pinkston

      Adrienne Could you tell me how many bars this makes?

  • Melanie Guest

    Can you use Mango butter instead of shea butter?

    • Hey Melanie! We have not tried it, but it should work. However, it may change the consistency of the bar a bit. It is worth a try though and let us know how it goes if you end up experimenting with the mango butter. Thanks!

      • Kimberly Zech

        Melanie, I use mango butter, instead of Shea butter all the time and love it!

  • Cheryl Wood

    Where can I find beeswax and cocoa butter for the above recipe?

    • Hello Cheryl! We have found it at local health stores, online, and also at Walmart. We suggest that you look it up online or call the stores beforehand though to save you a trip in case a store only has it online and not in the actual store. Hope that helps!

      • Karen

        I order my beeswax and shea butter online at I get my order in a few days and always have been satisfied.

    • Cathy Turman has lots of products very reasonably priced

  • Jen

    I want to try lavender and Frankincense since they are both great for skin. I will definitely be making some Joy lotion bars too!

  • Andrea

    How do you use these? Do you just apply it like regular lotion, or do you have to melt it in water… how does this work?

    • Hey Andrea! Once you make the lotion bar, you then just rub and glide it on your skin. The heat of you body will melt the bar into your skin. Lotion bars allow a deep hydration and it’s just a fun way to rejuvenate your skin. Hope that helps!

  • This was my very first DIY project with Young Living! I made several variations from one recipe. One with peppermint for cooling or discomfort, one with lavender for soothing, and one with Joy and Abundance for happiness.

  • Rachel Nelson

    I’m allergic to coconut, anything I could sub to make this?

    • Young Living

      Hello Rachel, Currently we have not tested this recipe without coconut oil, however you are welcome to try a different vegetable carrier oil that has similar texture to coconut oil and let us now how it goes!

  • Erica

    Anything with mint.

  • Deb

    Do you melt the bees wax so you know you have the correct amount?

    • Hello Deb. You can just measure the bees wax before is melted. Then add it to the mixture to melt it. Hope that helps.

  • Dawn

    I have tried Frank and orange. Also, lemongrass. But I use Just Shea butter, ommiting the cocoa butter.
    Great for both kids and adults.

    • Kendra

      Does the orange cause in light sensitivity? I love orange!!! But am always a little cautious or concerned because of the light sensitivity.

  • This sounds soooo inviting!!! I would love to do a peppermint blend! Would love to refresh and revitalize my morning routine!!! Thanks for sharing!

  • Joni

    Just wondering if these would be good for before sun lotion (with carrot seed oil and lavendar)?

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