Lotion Bars for Rock Climbers

These lotion bars were designed for climbers and other actives who want to retain the calluses on their hands, while still keeping their skin healed and protected.

It’s my take after studying and trying out a few popular climbing bars (hard salves) on the market.

lotion bars in a rustic pottery bowl on wooden background

Unlike traditional lotion bars, you won’t find butter (shea, mango) in this recipe because butters can soften calluses – and in this case I didn’t want that.

Apricot kernel oil absorbs into skin quickly and is infused with calendula flowers and yarrow to help repair small cuts, cracks, and minor scrapes.

Tamanu oil is a fantastic skin repair oil and vitamin E adds an extra boost of healing.

I lightly scent these with a blend of cedarwood and lavender essential oils since that’s a scent combo my hubby and I both like, but you could leave them unscented or scent differently if you prefer.

Yield: three 0.75-ounce (22 g) lotion bars

Ingredients

  • ¼ cup + 1 ½ tbsp (43 g) beeswax pastilles, packed
  • ¼ cup (49 g) calendula and yarrow infused apricot kernel oil (see 10 Things to Make with Calendula for how to infuse the oil)
  • 1 tsp (4 g) tamanu oil
  • 1 vitamin E gel capsule, or 0.5 g vitamin E oil
  • 25 drops lavender essential oil, optional
  • 30 drops cedarwood Himalayan essential oil, optional

Directions to Make

  1. In a half-pint (250-ml) jar, combine the beeswax, infused oil, and tamanu oil.
  2. Place the jar in a saucepan containing a few inches of water, forming a makeshift double boiler.
  3. Heat over medium-low heat until the beeswax is melted.
  4. Remove the container from the heat and stir in the contents of the vitamin E capsule, or vitamin E oil.
  5. Let the mixture cool for 5 minutes. Stir in the essential oils, if using.
  6. Pour into silicone or plastic molds. Chill the lotion bars in the refrigerator for 20 to 30 minutes, or until solid.

Store in tins or wide mouth jars.

To use: Rub a bar over your hands at night. It will have a harder and slightly tackier feel than traditional lotion bars and will leave behind a protective layer that sinks into your skin as you sleep.

Tip: Want a harder bar? Melt it down and add a pinch more wax. Want a softer texture? Melt it down and add more oil. Lotion bars are easy to tweak!

Jan
 

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.

  • Seetha.Amit says:

    Hi Jan,
    I have seen tamanu oil in some of your recipes. Can I use Neem oil instead? I am a bit conscious about the unpleasant smell though.

    • Jan says:

      Hi Seetha! Yes, you could use neem instead, though you’re exactly right that the scent often comes through. I would probably use rosehip seed oil or sea buckthorn oil in place of tamanu oil first, or if those aren’t available, then perhaps argan oil, kukui oil, wheat germ oil, or jojoja oil, or any special luxury oil that you might have on hand. Or, you could just use more infused oil too. :)

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