Green Gold Lotion Bars (+ printable labels)
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 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. (publication)
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!
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Question:. I dried many Plantain leaves from my yard. Do I simmer them in oil to diffuse?
Have an awesome Christmas!
Hi Jody, Thanks for the kind words! :) If you check out #1 in this blog post: https://thenerdyfarmwife.com/10-things-to-make-with-plantain/ I have instructions for infusing plantain leaves in oil. I hope you had a good Christmas & happy new year too! :)
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. :)
Do you use almond oil in place of plantain oil.
Hi Chris! Yes, you could use almond oil in place of plantain oil if you’d like. The plantain infusion just gives an extra boost of skin-healing properties. :)
Thanks for introducing me to a new oil!
Hi Liz! I’m glad you enjoyed the post! Tamanu oil is fantastic – one of my favorites. :)
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. :)
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. :)
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
Hi Terry! We print them out on a full sheet of sticker paper and cut them with scissors. The sticker paper we use has a matte finish, but you might be able to find glossy paper at an office supply store. :)
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.
Hi Anu! I’m happy you enjoyed the recipe! :)
Do you sell these?
Hi Celina! I’m not currently set up to sell products, but I appreciate you asking! If you check Etsy.com there are lots of lovely handmade lotion bars & you may find something similar. :)
I can’t wait to try making these bars! I am curious where you got the tins?
Hi Charlotte! I bought those 2 oz screw cap tins from SpecialtyBottle.com. They have them in gold or silver. :)
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