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!
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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)
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
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 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, I suggest something like peppermint or sweet orange. In this particular batch shown, I used bergaptene-free bergamot essential oil (which is sun-safe, while the non-bergaptene-free kind is not). Try starting with 0.75 grams of essential oil which is roughly 1/4 teaspoon of essential oil. (That’s a 0.5% dilution rate, so you may wish to double for a stronger scent.)
Be aware that tamanu oil will also add its own unique nutty scent that will be present in the final product.
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.
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!