Green Gold Lotion Bars (+ printable labels)

Green Gold Lotion Bar made with Plantain and Tamanu Oil

A few weeks ago, I asked my newsletter subscribers for their input on projects that I can make and share throughout 2018.

This recipe was inspired by Tree Lady Kay’s request for a lotion bar for some hardworking lawn maintenance men whose hands see all kinds of weather conditions, soil, water, concrete and more.

In response, I created these lotion bars that feature plantain, a common leafy green weed that soothes damaged skin, and tamanu, an exceptional oil known for its skin repairing qualities.

Tamanu oil (Calophyllum inophyllum) is sometimes referred to as “green gold”,  and has a beautiful deep color to match, hence the name of these lotion bars.


Notes Before We Begin

To print this recipe, scroll down until you see a green “Print Friendly” button. Don’t miss the printable labels near the bottom too!

Some links on this site are affiliate links. That means if you click on one and make a purchase, I earn a small commission for sending a customer their way. I only recommend products I’ve personally used & like! :)


weigh ingredients for green gold lotion bars

Ingredients for Green Gold Lotion Bars

If you don’t own a scale to weigh the ingredients, try the following ratio instead: 1/4 cup beeswax pastilles (packed), 1/4 cup cocoa butter, 1/4 cup total oils.

  • 1.4 oz (40 g) beeswax
  • 2.5 oz (70 g) cocoa butter
  • 0.5 oz (14 g) tamanu oil
  • 1.3 oz (36 g) plantain-infused oil
  • essential oil (optional, see below)


Oil Choices

See THIS POST for instructions on making plantain-infused oil. Use your favorite oil for the infusion, or one of the selections below.

Sunflower – contains natural vitamin E, slower to absorb, helpful for damaged skin

Rice Bran – natural source of squalene, good for dry weathered skin, absorbs well

Grapeseed – absorbs quickly, feels less oily

Sweet Almond Oil – nourishes and protects skin

Apricot Kernel Oil – light, absorbs quickly, leaves skin feeling smooth

Avocado – extra nourishing, slower to absorb

Hemp – absorbs at a moderate rate, softens skin


Green Gold Lotion Bars

General Notes & Tips

If allergic to cocoa butter, try using kokum, mango, avocado or shea butter instead. You may need to adjust wax and oil amounts, depending on the type of butter used.

Tamanu oil can be found at Mountain Rose Herbs. It’s a pricier oil, but a little bit goes a long way and it has some impressive benefits for a variety of skin ailments. (PubMed 27280931)

Tamanu oil should not be used by those with tree nut allergies. You can replace it with more plantain-infused oil, or another reparative oil such as roseship seed oil.

Lotion bars are super easy to make and very adjustable. If you find that your lotion bars turn out too hard or too soft, just melt them again and add more wax to harden, or more oil to soften.


Essential Oils Notes

Many guys I know prefer unscented lotion bars, but if you’d like to add a scent, keep it on the light side and make sure not to use a photo-toxic essential oil. (Oils that can cause damage to your skin when exposed to sunlight.)

Please read this excellent article over at Using Essential Oils Safely before choosing essential oils for this recipe.

I barely scented these bars with Bergaptene-Free Bergamot Essential Oil, using 0.75 grams which is roughly 1/4 teaspoon of essential oil; feel free to adjust essential oil types/amounts as needed.

Be aware that tamanu oil will also add its own unique nutty scent that will be present in the final product.


Tamanu Oil & Plantain

Directions to Make

Combine the beeswax, cocoa butter, tamanu oil and plantain-infused oil in a heatproof jar or container.

Set the container down into a saucepan containing a few inches of water, to form a makeshift double boiler.

Place the pan over a medium-low burner and heat until the wax and butter are completely melted. Remove from heat, stir in essential oil, if using, and pour into molds.

For the bee design, I used this Milky Way Bee Fancy Soap Mold. The 100% Hand Made molds came from Amazon. The latter are just a smidge too big for the tins, but also soft and adjustable, so I put each mold down in an empty tin while pouring, then gently and carefully tug them out when completely solid, to make them a size that fits.

Yield: about 5 lotion bars, depending on your mold.


Green Gold Lotion Bar Labels

Printing the Labels

Click HERE, on the image of the labels above, to open a full sized pdf file of the labels that you can save to your computer and print.

I buy THIS repositional sticker paper for labels and purchase 2 oz tins from Specialty Bottle.

Print the labels, stick them to the tins and you’re ready to give your lotion bars to family and friends!


Did you enjoy learning how to make these Green Gold Lotion Bars? If so, let’s stay in touch!

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These lotion bars feature plantain, a common leafy green weed that soothes damaged skin, and tamanu, an exceptional oil known for its skin repairing qualities. Tamanu oil (Calophyllum inophyllum) is sometimes referred to as "green gold",  and has a beautiful deep color to match, hence the name of these pretty lotion bars.


Jan Berry is a writer, herbalist, soapmaker, and bestselling author of The Big Book of Homemade Products, Simple & Natural Soapmaking, and Easy Homemade Melt & Pour Soaps. She lives in the Blue Ridge Mountains with her family and a menagerie of animals, where she enjoys brainstorming creative things to make with the flowers and weeds that grow around her.

  • Jody Milby says:

    YOU are an AmAZING woman. Thank you SO MUCH for sharing your knowledge with us.
    Question:. I dried many Plantain leaves from my yard. Do I simmer them in oil to diffuse?
    Have an awesome Christmas!

  • sheri says:

    Another beautiful product! Do you think I could substitute lard for part of the oil? It is the only thing that brings relief to my cracked hands.

    • Hi Sheri, I think you could definitely give that a try! You might not need quite as much beeswax if you use lard in place of some of the oil; but with a little tinkering and remelting if needed, I think you could get a good ratio. :)

  • Chris says:

    Do you use almond oil in place of plantain oil.

  • Liz (Eight Acres) says:

    Thanks for introducing me to a new oil!

  • Carol L says:

    Hi and thank you for this recipe. I was just wondering, and have never had anyone answer this query of mine regarding mango oil: mangoes are related to poison oak, and due to that I have never been able to even try it for fear of getting the allergic reaction to the oil. Have you ever known anyone also allergic to poison oak (horrible blistering oozing rash that lasts for at least a month) who has used mango oil with no reaction? Thanks again for this recipe. I’ll be trying it soon.

    • Hi Carol! There is some risk of cross-reaction, though whether it will happen to you or not is unknown since it’s very individualized. I do know someone very allergic to cashews (also in the same family) plus allergic to poison oak, but still handles mango butter without any problems.
      Since you have such a severe reaction to poison oak, then I would check with an allergist or your doctor and see if there’s a way to run a blood test to test for IgE reaction to mangos. When dealing with a such a strong allergy, then it’s not something you’d want to test on your skin at home.
      If you can’t use mango butter though, there are lots of other options including shea and avocado. :)

  • Alonna says:

    Hello!!! So excited to try this. I’ve been looking for lotions to use on my baby. Would I be able to use the ingredients on kids/babies? I’ve never heard of the tanamu oil for children.

    • Hi Alonna! The ingredients should be kid safe, though tamanu oil is contraindicated for those with tree nut allergies, so if in doubt about allergenic potential, you could double-check with their pediatrician. I first heard of tamanu oil from someone who used it on her toddler, and I used it on my son at around age 2 as well. It has a bit of a nutty scent that some kids might complain about, but mine never minded too much. :)

  • Terry says:

    Hi Jan, Thank you for the recipes and fabulous news letters!!

    On the Green Gold labels, is that a full sheet or are there pre- cut circles ? Are they glossy or flat?
    Thank you, Terry

  • Anu says:

    Incredible!! I wonder hw nature has a perfect recipe for revitalising n rejuvenating our skin inturn a good health embedded in it. Which is unravelled by u so marvellously !! Tq so much for sharing ua grt ideas and being helpful.

  • Celina Williams says:

    Do you sell these?

  • Charlotte says:

    I can’t wait to try making these bars! I am curious where you got the tins?

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