Quantcast

Lotion bar recipes ~ feedback needed

SoapMakingForum

Help Support SoapMakingForum:

josianeg

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 10, 2020
Messages
99
Reaction score
162
Location
Montreal
Hi!

After playing around with recipes with different proportions of beeswax, butter and liquid oils, I’m trying to decide which to use for a custom order (a friend of mine fell in love with my realistic macaron shaped lotion bars and wants to gift them for Christmas).

I initially avoided coconut oil in my first recipes because I had read that it would make the lotion bars more “draggy” and wouldn’t penetrate the skin as fast, leaving it oily/sticky.

Also, I think I’ve read that more people have skin sensitivity to coconut oil (true or not)?

My original recipe (#1) was:

34% beeswax
20% cocoa butter
12% mango butter
25.5% jojoba oil
8.5% grapeseed oil

I found the bar were a bit hard to melt, and I was told that maybe I should decrease the beeswax to around 25%.

So I tried this recipe (#2) which I like but I find it a bit too easy to melt:

23.5% beeswax
18% cocoa butter
23.5% mango butter
35% grapeseed oil

Since coconut oil is much cheaper that mango butter, I tried the same recipe with coconut oil instead of mango butter (#3):

23.5% beeswax
18% cocoa butter
23.5% coconut oil
35% grapeseed oil

I tested both #2 and #3 on myself and my boyfriend (right inside forearm #2, left inside forearm #3). I have drier and very sensitive skin ; he doesn’t have much issues with his (except some folliculitis).

I chose the inside forearm because the skin is thin and delicate. This is always the spot where I test cosmetics to see if I will have an allergic reaction.

On application, both #2 and #3 bars melt as fast. 15 minutes after application, the skin looks and feels about the same for both recipes, on me and my bf. At least an hour after application, #2 feels significantly less oily than #3 on my bf’s skin and minimally less oily than #3 on mine.

Neither him nor I had a skin reaction to either recipes, but I’m reluctant to use #3 for bars I will sell because I keep reading that coconut oil sensitivity is common. What do you think?

Finally, I tried another recipe to see if the bars would melt less easily but still easily enough (#4):

30% beeswax
21% cocoa butter
13% mango butter
36% grapeseed oil

As you see, the proportions of each type of ingredient are similar in recipes #1 and #4:

Beeswax: 34% in #1 vs 30% in #4
Butters: 32% in #1 vs 34% in #4
Liquid oils: 34% in #1 vs 36% in #4

My objective was to see if decreasing the beeswax a little would make the #4 bars harder than recipes #2 or #3 (yes), but a bit easier to melt than recipe #1 (yes, significantly).

I hadn’t expected such a big difference in melting speed, after all there is just 4% less beeswax in #4 compared to #1.

Would the jojoba oil explain this? 🧐
 

dixiedragon

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 1, 2013
Messages
6,472
Reaction score
4,891
Location
Birmingham, Alabama, USA
People can be sensitive to anything. If you like your coconut oil recipe, make that. If you are really concerned, you could also make some that are coconut-oil free.

I use the lip balm rules as my starting point:
A simple formula to help guide you in lip balms formulations:
20% Beeswax
25% Butters/Oils that are solid at room temperature. These butters are on the soft side. (shea butter, mango butter)
15% Butters that are hard at room temperature. These butters are on the brittle side. (cocoa butter)
40% Oils that are liquid at room temperature
These percentages should equal 100%.

Now, keep in mind that when making lotion bars, your climate really matters. As a person in the Deep South, (it was 70 degrees yesterday), I make my lotion bars much firmer than a person who is living in say Maine would want to. I think I use something like 15% beeswax and 45% liquid oils. Because for me, I need a lotion bar that is just a smidge softer than a lip balm.
 

TashaBird

Supporting Member
Joined
May 20, 2020
Messages
1,179
Reaction score
2,911
Location
CA
People can be sensitive to anything. If you like your coconut oil recipe, make that. If you are really concerned, you could also make some that are coconut-oil free.

I use the lip balm rules as my starting point:
A simple formula to help guide you in lip balms formulations:
20% Beeswax
25% Butters/Oils that are solid at room temperature. These butters are on the soft side. (shea butter, mango butter)
15% Butters that are hard at room temperature. These butters are on the brittle side. (cocoa butter)
40% Oils that are liquid at room temperature
These percentages should equal 100%.

Now, keep in mind that when making lotion bars, your climate really matters. As a person in the Deep South, (it was 70 degrees yesterday), I make my lotion bars much firmer than a person who is living in say Maine would want to. I think I use something like 15% beeswax and 45% liquid oils. Because for me, I need a lotion bar that is just a smidge softer than a lip balm.
I wish there was a calculator like for soap!
 

lucycat

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 2, 2017
Messages
196
Reaction score
180
My lotion bars are closer to your #4; I like the 30% beeswax and use about 32% hard oils/butter.

How will the user store the lotion bar? If they are going to be in a purse/pocket then they need to be able to hold up to warmer temps. If I were using coconut oil I would probably only use 92 degree coconut. The 76 degree coconut will have a lot of issues in warmer weather.

I like a lotion bar to dry in a minute so my hands aren't sticky. Making sure to use oils that aren't quite so greasy helps. I like mango because of that.

If you want to experiment consider getting a subscription to swiftcraftmonkey. She has a lot of ideas about oils and their specific advantages/disadvantages as well as several recipes.
 

josianeg

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 10, 2020
Messages
99
Reaction score
162
Location
Montreal
My lotion bars are closer to your #4; I like the 30% beeswax and use about 32% hard oils/butter.

How will the user store the lotion bar? If they are going to be in a purse/pocket then they need to be able to hold up to warmer temps. If I were using coconut oil I would probably only use 92 degree coconut. The 76 degree coconut will have a lot of issues in warmer weather.

I like a lotion bar to dry in a minute so my hands aren't sticky. Making sure to use oils that aren't quite so greasy helps. I like mango because of that.

If you want to experiment consider getting a subscription to swiftcraftmonkey. She has a lot of ideas about oils and their specific advantages/disadvantages as well as several recipes.
I decided to go with #4, it’s my favorite and it’s solid enough to be safe to travel with, yet soft enough that you don’t have to rub it on your skin forever for it to melt.

Where do you find 92 degrees coconut oil?
 

Mobjack Bay

Supporting Member
Joined
Apr 19, 2019
Messages
2,868
Reaction score
5,164
Location
Virginia
Now, keep in mind that when making lotion bars, your climate really matters. As a person in the Deep South, (it was 70 degrees yesterday), I make my lotion bars much firmer than a person who is living in say Maine would want to. I think I use something like 15% beeswax and 45% liquid oils. Because for me, I need a lotion bar that is just a smidge softer than a lip balm.
This is a good reminder for me! I made lotion bars last year with my relatives in Arizona in mind. They‘re a bit hard for Virginia, so I’m planning to make two batches this year.
 

Dawni

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 15, 2018
Messages
3,393
Reaction score
5,397
Location
Philippines
Now, keep in mind that when making lotion bars, your climate really matters. As a person in the Deep South, (it was 70 degrees yesterday), I make my lotion bars much firmer than a person who is living in say Maine would want to. I think I use something like 15% beeswax and 45% liquid oils. Because for me, I need a lotion bar that is just a smidge softer than a lip balm.
Yup! My beeswax is at 27%, Cocoa at 23%, other butters at 28% and the rest is liquid oils. And still, they get so soft n messy on very hot & humid days...

Also, I'm one who started with coconut oil but they were too greasy for our weather. I switched to grapeseed oil, which absorbs really fast, and I also add a bit if tapioca starch to combat greasiness.
 

Jillyb

Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Jun 23, 2020
Messages
110
Reaction score
201
Location
Hamilton, NZ
My concern is grapeseed oil.. while lovely oil for this, it has a very short shelf life.. 3 months
 

Dawni

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 15, 2018
Messages
3,393
Reaction score
5,397
Location
Philippines
My concern is grapeseed oil.. while lovely oil for this, it has a very short shelf life.. 3 months
Buy what you know you'll use up. The lotion bars, depending on size and how much you use, won't last that long anyway (at least for me). And my grapeseed oil bottle lives in the fridge. If you have access to ROE that'll extend it somewhat too.
 

Mobjack Bay

Supporting Member
Joined
Apr 19, 2019
Messages
2,868
Reaction score
5,164
Location
Virginia
I made an herbal infusion balm this time last year that was very lightly scented with litsea, lavender and tee tree EOs. The base oil was RBO. It’s not as high in the problematic FAs as grapeseed, but still has quite a bit of linoleic. I also knew the lavender EO might be a problem. To be on the safe side, I added ROE. A year later, with no special attention given to storage, the balm has not gone rancid.
 

TashaBird

Supporting Member
Joined
May 20, 2020
Messages
1,179
Reaction score
2,911
Location
CA
I use avocado oil in my lotion bars, and I like it a lot.
 
Top