Creamy Lotion Bars that can be used on wet and dry skin!


Oil Phase (heated)
  • 52.5g Shea Butter
  • 15g Cocoa Butter
  • 22.5g Almond Oil
  • 18g Fractionated Coconut Oil
  • 12g Candelilla Wax (any wax will do!)
  • 22.5g Olivem 1000 Emulsifying Wax (any emulsifying wax will do!)
Cool Down Phase
  • 7.5g Arrowroot Powder
  • 1.5g Optiphen Preservative (INCI: Phenoxyethanol (and) Caprylyl glycol)
  • 1g Vitamin E Oil (Antioxidant)


  1. Measure out your oil phase ingredients: Shea Butter, Cocoa Butter, Almond Oil, Fractionated Coconut Oil, Candelilla Wax and Olivem 1000
  2. Combine the above ingredients in a heat proof bowl and gently melt over a low heat using a double boiler or bain-marie
  3. While the mixture is heating, measure out Arrowroot Powder, this can also be substituted with cornstarch
  4. Once the mixture is molten, remove from the heat and quickly whisk in the arrowroot powder, ensure that it is fully incorporated and no lumps remain
  5. Allow the mixture to cool but remain liquid, whisking frequently to ensure the powder remains suspended in the liquid
  6. Add your remaining cool down ingredients: the preservative and antioxidant and whisk until dispersed throughout. Please note: the body butter’s temperature should be no higher than 60c (140F) when adding in Optiphen, and below 30c (86F) for other preservatives.
  7. Quickly transfer into silicone moulds and refrigerate for a minimum of 12 hours until set
  8. Remove your lotion bars from the mould and enjoy!

This recipe is for 150g and makes roughly 2 -3 Lotion Bars, depending on mould size. To store, wrap bars in parchment paper and place away from sunlight and water. These lotion bars should last approximately 3 months but can last up to a year if not used. Please see the formula calculator to adjust amounts.

What are lotion bars?

Lotion bars are solid emollient bars that are either emulsions or contain emulsifying elements that create creamy emulsions when the bar is mixed with water. They are a convenient alternative to traditional liquid lotions as they’re travel friendly, small in size and can often have a longer shelf life. Although similar to body butter bars there are some key differences.

What’s the difference between lotion bars and body butter bars?

There’s a lot of confusion around this topic as several moisturising bars are often labelled as lotion bars but in reality they’re body butter bars!

Body butter bars are usually simple recipes consisting of butter, wax and oil. They’re typically anhydrous (oil-based) and therefore don’t contain water soluble ingredients for hydration. Body butter bars are intended to use on dry skin, as they often don’t contain preservatives to combat potential bacteria and fungi that are introduced when mixing with water. They are often rich, thick, excellent emollients that absorb slowly into the skin leaving a moisture-sealing glow on the surface.

Lotion bars typically consist of oil and water elements, or are intended to work with water, if used on wet skin. They often have a creamier consistency when compared to body butter bars and can be used on both wet and dry skin. Lotion bars are great moisturisers but are lighter and absorb more readily into the skin, improving their ease of use.

Similar to regular lotion, emulsified lotion bars have hydrating as well as moisturising abilities that prevent dryness throughout the day.

In addition to oils and butters, lotion bars also contain emulsifier and preservatives so they tend to be more advanced than body butter bar formulas.

So whilst similar, lotion bars and body butter bars are not the same!

How to make lotion bars less greasy?

Solid moisturisers like lotion bars will always have a more indulgent and rich feeling on the skin, due being majoritively oil based as opposed to water. But there are still a few tricks you can use to reduce unnecessary “oiliness”.

  • Use lighter oils and emollients: this formula substitutes some of the almond oil allowances with the much lighter fractionated coconut oil. This ensures you still get a nutrient-rich moisturiser, but it absorbs faster into your skin
  • Choose soft, fast absorbing butters over hard butters: cocoa butter has incredible benefits for the skin but it has a slow absorption time and often leaves a visible layer on the skin, instead use majority light and soft butter as your base

  • Add powders! Texturizers such as arrowroot powder, cornstarch and clays are great for absorbing excess oil and cutting down on the greasiness of bar products.

How to preserve lotion bars

A key element to lotion bars is their ability to be used on wet skin! Massaging the bar into damp skin results in a creamy moisturising layer that is able to lock in moisture and absorb faster. As we used an emulsifier, most water-based preservatives should work but I recommend using Phenoxyethanol and Caprylyl glycol. This combination of preservative can handle temperatures up to 60c and works well with emollient based products.

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