Fiber Fool

Follow the feats and foibles of a fiber fanatic.

Knitter Friendly, Anti-Eczema Lotion Bars

Filed under: Homemade Beauty — Kristi at 5:54 am on Thursday, September 23, 2010

Knitter Friendly, Anti-Eczema Lotion Bar

I’ve been so pleased with the results I’ve gotten from making my own facial care products I thought perhaps the rest of my skin would also benefit from cutting out more chemicals. Going more natural. Knowing 100% for sure what I’m putting on my body. For a very long time now I’ve been plagued with two rather large patches of eczema on my forearms. I don’t know when they first appeared, though I’m pretty sure I did not have them when I lived in Minnesota or North Dakota so I presume it is a result of the drier climate of the Colorado Front Range. Or perhaps my just getting older…

I had recalled reading about blends of essential oils that are purportedly good at calming skin and reducing or even eliminating eczema so I pulled out my aromatherapy book for some guidance and inspiration for concocting my own chemical-free moisturizer. The other inspiration for these lotion bars was one I had purchased at the local farmer’s market a year or two ago. I loved the convenience of the bar lotion, but the bars were too big for me to get through before the oils in them started to go rancid. To be fair, I wasn’t using it as my main moisturizer and not religiously either. But I also thought having a smaller bar that I could perhaps put into a tin and carry with me in my purse or my knitting bag would get used more regularly because it would be readily at hand.

Knitter Friendly, Anti-Eczema Lotion Bar

I did some searching for lotion bar recipes on the Internet, of which there are many. Several claimed to be non-greasy. I took notes and combined those with what I’ve learned about various base oils (unscented or low-scent oils and creams) and essential oils to formulate a version I thought would work well for me. I’ve found the combination of Grapeseed and Jojoba oils work really well at balancing out my skin on my face and never leaves it oily so I used that in place of the often called for Sweet Almond oil (plus, I know I’ll be safe to play with my friend’s children who have nut allergies). For a bar form of lotion some oils that are solid at room temperature were required as well as beeswax. Shea butter is fantastically moisturizing, but can be somewhat soft at room temp but cocoa butter is very solid and also a good moisturizer so I used both of those. I also added a bit of vitamin E oil as it has preservative powers and is extremely good for troubled skin and even helps to prevent scarring. To top it off I used a mix of Ylang Ylang, Lavender and Bergamont essential oils with a very light hand. In fact I don’t think anyone would be able to name the oils used from smelling the bars. I think my hands mostly smell slightly of honey and beeswax.

Knitter Friendly, Anti-Eczema Lotion Bar

I’m quite pleased with the result. The bars moisturize well and have definitely reduced my eczema patches. I suspect if I was a little more diligent about applying it I could possibly clear them up fully. They are still a tad greasy at first application. You have to melt those solid oils and the beeswax base to get it on so that makes sense. It stays greasy as long as you are rubbing it in and creating heat from the friction of rubbing your hands together. But as soon as I stop the rubbing it soaks right in and I’m good to pick up my knitting, or even use the touch screen on my phone. I can feel the effects of an application for hours. Even DH notices when I’ve used it, saying how soft my hands feel!

My First Lotion Bar


  • 2 oz Beeswax, use local if you can
  • 1 oz Shea Butter
  • 1 oz Cocoa Butter
  • 2 T (1 oz) Grapeseed Oil
  • 2 T (1 oz) Jojoba Oil
  • Contents of 3 Vitamin E Capsules
  • 4 drops Ylang Ylang Essential Oil
  • 3 drops Lavender Essential Oil
  • 2 drops Bergamont Essential Oil

In a microwaveable bowl or measuring cup (I use one dedicated to making beauty products), melt the beeswax, shea butter and cocoa butter. Cook in 30 second bursts and stir just until everything is melted. These products like to set-up when cool, so stir with something that has a small surface area as solids will built up on the stirrer. I use BBQ skewers, you could also use a coffee stirrer or chopstick. Once fully melted add the remaining ingredients - the oils. Pour into molds that have been oiled and let sit until fully set, about 1 hour or so.

Lotion Bars Setting Up

For these I used 39 cent fluted tartlet tins from a big box home store and filled 6. They made roughly 1 oz bars. I really like the size. It fits really easily in the hand and if I find a tin to store them in it should travel well too. I put the extras in the freezer to extend their shelf life, wrapping each individually in a bit of plastic wrap then placing them all in a freezer bag. I did run a test on one and left it in for 4 days then thawed it and it seems to perform the same.

As I mentioned previously, the scent is very light. For a batch this size you could certainly double the amounts if you don’t mind a bit of fragrance and it should increase the anti-eczema properties. I’m sure I’ll tweak the recipe as I become more experienced, but I wanted a record of what I’ve done with this batch so I can build upon my past efforts.

Have you ever made your own moisturizers for you or a loved one with troubled skin? What oils did you find worked well?

ETA: I’ve since discovered that not only is it a good idea for me to leave out Sweet Almond Oil, but some people who are allergic to nuts may also be allergic to the shea butter and possibly avocado oil. So if you are making these for people with nut allergies, be certain to do your own research as to what is safe and perhaps try patch tests of the questionable ingredients on the person it is meant for before making the bars.


Comment by Chris

September 23, 2010 @ 7:34 am

Hmm. Does the scent dissipate quickly? So few products with scents (even light scents) that I can use…

Comment by CindyCndy

September 23, 2010 @ 7:44 am

I have made healing salves, but not moisturizers. You’ve peaked my interest, girl!!!

Comment by Amanda

September 23, 2010 @ 8:33 am

This sounds great for the boys! Were you able to buy all the ingredients local? Isaac might even get a kick out of making it himself.

Man…you’re going to have so many goodies to gift this holiday season! I wish I was one of your SILs;-)

Comment by Rebekah

September 23, 2010 @ 8:46 am

Okay I might have to consider actually doing this, my mom has exzema on her face now (which is good they thought it was a patch of skin cancer) she could probably use a natural product instead of the store bought kind.

Comment by Jeanne

September 23, 2010 @ 9:00 am

Looks like a wonderful recipe to try! Here in Colorado we need all the moisturizers we can get. Are the butters and beeswax readily available? Have not bought them before.

Comment by Alison

September 23, 2010 @ 9:12 am

I had to switch to natural products a couple of years ago when my kids started developing the same painful skin cracks on the hands. I’d struggled with the same problem on my own hands for years (after no success with everything dermatologists had given me and everything on the store shelves). I finally switched to natural lotions and soaps and we haven’t had cracked, bleeding hands since! I usually buy mine from a couple of trusted online sources simply because with all my other hobbies, I just don’t have the time to make my own! :-) I do make my own facial toners though, super easy!

Comment by Julia

September 23, 2010 @ 10:01 am

I’ve really been enjoying your experiments with beauty products. I recently discovered the joys of shea butter, and it’s great to see how many options there are for making your own products.

Comment by Nikki

September 23, 2010 @ 12:09 pm

This is great. I’ve had problems with eczema for the longest time, partly because I have a nickel allergy but I also get it in random places. Recently, I tried to use a body wash from Victoria’s Secret that a friend gave me for Christmas, and the results were horrible. I’ll be bookmarking this recipe to see if it helps!

Comment by Carole

September 23, 2010 @ 12:39 pm

Those are so cute and I love this idea! I have to say, though, I’m way too lazy to actually make anything like this for myself.

Comment by Amanda

September 23, 2010 @ 1:27 pm

I just wanted to report back that I found some beeswax at my Whole Foods - it was about $4 for a package of (4) 1 oz bars. I didn’t have time to survey for all the other ingredients yet. But, I suspect that I could have purchased many right there by the lip balm/moisturizer.

Comment by Carrie#K

September 23, 2010 @ 6:20 pm

But how does it taste?

Pingback by Stumbling Over Chaos :: A flood of linkity!

September 24, 2010 @ 12:58 am

[…] Check out Kristi’s recipe for knitter friendly anti-eczema bars. […]

Comment by Kathryn | Alpacamundo

September 27, 2010 @ 7:18 pm

I saw some of the lotion bars at the farmers market too. I agree, I thought they were too big and greasy. But this is very interesting.

Comment by mrspao

October 21, 2010 @ 10:45 pm

What a great idea.

Comment by Cary

October 22, 2010 @ 3:17 pm

Wow - these look wonderful! I have never made my own moisturizers, although I am inspired to after reading your post. I love the bit of knowledge you threw out there without being overwhelming. They look great!

Pingback by Fiber Fool » Ten on Tuesday: 10 Favorite Health and Beauty Products

January 25, 2011 @ 12:16 pm

[…] 9. Lotion Bars - I’m still making them, playing with somewhat different formulations, but they are all based off of that original. It is fantastic for during the day moisturizing applications. I use it mostly for my hands, but I’m finding it super effective for my dry heels at night too! […]

Comment by Rachael

November 24, 2011 @ 2:58 am

Licorice cream and coconut oil work wonders for my son. I imagine you could use coconut oil effectively in this recipe - it’s nice and hard at room temperature.

Comment by Amy

December 1, 2011 @ 5:50 am

I’m curious how the oils in this are different from dragons blood lotion? My MIL swore that was the natural cure-all lotion of eczema, but it flared my 2 year olds eczema even more. Her dermatologist said some oils are too strong for such sensitive skin. We’ve only found one cream that works, but I’d love to find something natural and effective.

Comment by Michelle

April 21, 2012 @ 10:42 pm

Do you sell these bars?

Comment by Willpower

May 4, 2012 @ 10:03 pm

[Edited to remove commercial content.] Thank you for creating and posting to pintrest to find your creation.

Comment by Shannon

May 31, 2012 @ 9:29 pm

I just made these for my 2 yr old son who has had eczema his entire life, nothing has worked for him. We’ve done every lotion, vaseline, cortezone, allergy meds, and an oral steroid. The lotions and creams burn him. I am afraid that I had to skimp on the ylang ylang and bergamot oils as they were about $60 each for 1oz! I substituted them for chamomile tea and oat straw tea which both have calming effects, I steeped them for 20 min over a double boiler in the grapeseed and jojoba oils. I found beeswax (natural- 16oz/14.99), coco butter and shea butter (1oz/2.99 each) at hobby lobby. I also found cute soap moulds for 2.99 there as well. I was only able to make 4 bars but some were bigger than others depending on the depth of the moulds but basically my bars came in at around $5/bar it would have been much higher had I sprung for the very expensive essential oils you suggested. The lavender wasn’t that bad so I did get some of that. It didn’t seem to burn him when I put it on him (YAY) I just hope it helps. He is going to see an allergist in a couple of weeks to determine if he has an allergy to a food or something that is keeping it inflamed.

Comment by Harry Nguyen

July 13, 2012 @ 6:49 pm

Wow! That’s pretty cool to see but it looks like food haha. That’s what I’m talking about making your own home made product instead of getting the steroids or what ever your prescription doctor gives you. It came out really great, you should put that on Amazon and sell it :)

Comment by joyce

December 5, 2012 @ 2:19 pm

Thank you! I have eczema on my fingers, seems to get worse in winter. I also make my own soap bars with same ingredients, but havn’t been using religiously and I haven’t tried those oil blends yet..

I’m curious to see how this has worked with your son now that it’s been a few months.. Please do tell!

Comment by Heather

December 11, 2012 @ 11:40 am

So, how do you use a lotion bar? Like a soap bar? I’ve never heard of these before and I’ve been looking for something to make for my sis that has problems w/ eczema. Thanks for this recipe!

Comment by Mari

December 19, 2012 @ 8:55 pm

Where can you buy the shea butter and essential oils? Our Michael’s doesn’t carry them. Thank you.

Comment by toni b

January 14, 2013 @ 5:16 pm

you’ve peaked my interest; however, i’m allergic to Vit E (would it be feasible to omit it? i realize that finished product might not remain stable as long without it).

Comment by Siew

February 22, 2013 @ 12:00 pm

I’ve subbed coconut oil in equal amounts for the jojoba and grapeseed, and left out the essential oils for a first batch. For anyone who’s asking, you can buy shea butter or cocoa butter on amazon (just in large amounts).

Comment by Kris6571

March 3, 2013 @ 6:21 pm

Bulk Apothacary is a great resource for these items. Initially, you’ll put out more money, but, the cost per ounce is almost nothing compared to what you pay at local stores such as Michael’s and Hobby Lobby.

Pingback by DIY Lotion Bars

April 8, 2013 @ 10:31 pm

[…] I adapted this recipe from this one and this one, but you’ll notice that I scaled them down to only make two bars. I wanted to make sure that I like this recipe (I do!), but I also figured it will take me quite a while to go through the bars. And it definitely will. So unless you’re giving them as gifts, you may want to keep your batch size pretty small. To use, just gently rub the bar on your skin. Your body heat will melt the oils. […]

Comment by Beth

April 29, 2013 @ 6:21 pm

I want to try this recipe. The other one I made was greasy. I have Vitamin E oil in a bottle - can you tell me about how much is in 3 capsules? Why is your recipe not as greasy? thanks

Comment by Sandra Jones

May 2, 2013 @ 5:44 pm

I have been looking for a recipe for a lotion for psoriasis . I wonder if it would be about the same as for eczema ? And I suggest for essential oils , it has a large selection and good prices, and also Bulk Apothecary has a very big selection on oils also.

Comment by Christina

January 18, 2014 @ 10:18 pm

This sounds wonderful as I have the worst alligator skin on earth. My sister also has some psoriasis/eczema problems. I will have to give it a try.

I’m sure by now you have found some tins to put your lotion bars in. I just wanted to suggest a company that has a wonderful assortment of tins (large & small). The company is Lee Valley ( - you won’t be disappointed.

Thank you for all the wonderful information.

Comment by fazila

February 9, 2014 @ 7:10 am

do you sell these? these seem wonderful and would really help my brother. thanks in advance!

Comment by Trina

March 21, 2014 @ 10:25 am

I used to make soap and sell it. I am going to try this moistuirzer. A lot of my friends have eczema and I have bad dry skin especially in the winter.

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a comment

XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong>