What do boats, painting, cooking and packing have in common? They all abuse your hands! How about something different to make up for some of that abuse? Have you tried solid lotion bars? These are the niftiest trick to keep your hands happy ~ and you can make your own. 🙂
With all the packing, moving, painting and hand washing around here the past months (and I wish there was a boat involved!) my hands have paid the price. A friend shared her lotion bar secret with me, and wow, what a difference! It’s like the softest, creamiest lotion you ever used, but in a solid bar almost like soap. Rub the lotion bar over your hands after washing, and then massage in gently to protect your skin and nails. Happy hands! 🙂
These are simple to make and you can tweak the ingredients and scents to your liking ~ and how cute are these shell shapes? Really one of the quickest, easiest projects I’ve done lately, and now a great bluwatergifty to share with friends.
You need three basic ingredients ~ bees-wax, body butter (shea, coconut, mango, whatever you like) and oil (almond, jojoba, coconut, again, whatever you like) ~ and some essential oil if you want to scent the bars (or of course, you can do unscented.) More details on the how-to below in the post. I made this batch of different sizes and shapes in under 30 minutes! I left them to harden overnight and then popped them out of the molds the next morning.
After they hardened, I used some jars and tins I had around from other projects as containers ~ adding some river pebbles in the containers and a few real shells as decorations. For my first batch I stuck with the basic formula. As I make more I’ll vary some ingredients, scents and proportions to get them just right. More bees-wax makes them harder, more body butter makes them creamier. As a first try, I’m happy with how these turned out, and will definitely be making more. Can’t wait to give these to friends!
I bought my ingredients ~ bees-wax, shea butter, almond oil and scented essential oil ~ at Hobby Lobby and Whole Foods. The basic combination is equal thirds of each ingredient. I bought the smallest amounts of each for my first batch. Using a heat-safe quart size mason jar ~ the measurements on the side of the jar were a big help ~ I started by pouring 3 ounces of the liquid oil in the jar, then adding equal amounts of shea butter and bees wax. Using the jar meant no bowl or double boiler to clean up, and just seal it up afterwards until the next time! Don’t add your essential oil scents yet (if you use them). Wait until after the mixture is off the heat, and just before pouring your molds.
I used a pot deep enough so the water would come up on the jar sides to cover the material that needed to melt. It’s a little hard to see in the photo, but I also had a small heat-safe metal bowl in the bottom of my pot of water ~ and the jar is resting in the bowl, not directly on the bottom of the pot. Once the water in the pot began to warm, I placed the jar in the water and stirred the oil/butter/wax gently with a bamboo skewer while it melted. I kept the water on a medium heat, just below boiling. No need for super hot boiling water, and watch the mixture constantly while it melts ~ 8 to 10 minutes. Common sense rules here ~ be very careful around hot water and hot wax!
After melting is complete, the mixture is very hot, so be CAREFUL! I removed the jar from the water bath and left it to cool 4 to 5 minutes sitting on a pot holder. Once the mixture is removed from the heat, you can add essential oil for scent. I mixed grapefruit and spearmint ~ about 20 drops each, into the jar. Start with about 20 drops total of your scent, and then add until you like the fragrance. The scent is stronger while the mixture is hot, and much more subtle once cooled and hardened.
You should NOT pour the super hot mixture into your plastic molds until it has cooled enough for safe handling. Check the manufacturers information on your molds for specifics. The large shell shapes I used are a soap mold and the smaller shapes are a candy mold ~ both from Hobby Lobby.
After carefully filling the molds with the slightly cooled mixture, they begin to set up quickly ~ especially the small shell shapes. I left the molds on the counter overnight to harden completely, and popped the shapes out the next morning.
The grapefruit/spearmint fragrance is subtle, fresh and clean. I plan to try a lemon or orange scent with eucalyptus next time! Crazy for citrus scents. 🙂
Keep these in a container or dish at the sink, on your night stand or next to your favorite chair. Breathe in your favorite fragrance and rub over your hands for an instant” ahhhhh” moment and happy hands! These are a nice Mother’s Day gifty ~ and also try the kindler, gentler foaming soap mixture that is my latest love! The combo of these lotion bars and the special soap are an awesome gift to share, or just for yourself. Cheers to happy hands y’all ~~~