Making Your Own Lotion Bars – Easy DIY Salve for Winter

006 046 050 056 081 086 It’s been the perfect winter, has it not, to make a good hand salve?  The truth is, if you use your hands much at all (any gardeners amongst us?), a good hand salve is a year-round affair.

But it takes on an even more prominent place this time of year, and especially this year, with this winter being so tenacious. Skin throughout the land is taking more of a hit than usual, and it strikes me as a perfect time for making lotion bars.

So I made lotions bars, using this recipe, delightful as it was in its simplicity:  equal parts beeswax, coconut oil, and almond oil.  I chose it because of this straightforwardness, and because all ingredients were in stock at home.

There’s a difference between easy, and easy for me, and I’m here to tell you I managed to encounter complication even in all this simplicity.  Although the instructions clearly feature the use of a silicone mold to pop out the lotion bars (and I have these molds), I thought it would be nice to have them into tins and jars, so that’s what I poured the mixture into.   They looked so pretty in them too.  But once they were cooled, the lotion was hard (ergo the lotion bars part), and were difficult to get out of the jars and use.  Essentially they are lotions bars, as mentioned in the instructions, and not a cream.

So I was back to the drawing board, and re-melted the lotion in my makeshift double boiler.  (I ruined my carefully saved tins in the process).  But I did find some silicone molds, and poured out my bars.  I forgot about the most appropriate shape I had, of hearts, and used instead the shapes of puzzle pieces and one meant create shot glasses made of ice (I only discovered this intended purpose after I made the lotion bars; I used the reverse to get little bullet-shaped bars).

In the end, we ended up with a decent lot of lotion bars.  (And I say “we” because I had some helpers.) They do moisturize both the hands and face well, the children have enjoyed them, and we gifted a few during a playdate.  As it turns out, puzzle-shaped lotion bars appeal to kids, and my adult friend said that she loved them and that her hands have never been so moisturized.  Also, if one of your kids decides to eat one, you’ll know he’ll be fine because there’s nothing in there that will hurt him.

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There’s something to be said for stumbling through the bumps of being a beginner.  It’s uncomfortable, but if you come out the other end, you’ve something to show for it, not least of which is a notch of perseverance on your belt.  Next up I’d like to try a recipe that really does produce a cream, or at least a softer salve, which probably means it would contain less beeswax.

I suspect doing this and other easy DIY projects gave me the confidence to venture into the world of cold-pressed soapmaking, which I’ll write about here next week.  Happy DIY-ing!

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