01 of 06
Making Cocoa Butter Massage Bars
It's a little bit lotion, a little bit massage oil—closely related to the candle—but in a class all by itself...the massage bar. With ingredients you probably already have on your shelf (especially if you're a candle or soap maker), you can make these easy massage bars at home.
They are great for use as solid massage-oil bars or applied as a lotion on your legs and arms right after a shower or bath. Just be sure to wait a few minutes for the oil to soak in, since they are almost pure oil. Your skin will love you for it!Continue to 2 of 6 below.
02 of 06
Gather the Ingredients
These massage bars follow a basic recipe that you can customize to your liking:
- One part beeswax
- One part butter—cocoa, shea, or other nut butter
- One part oil—any oil that is soft at room temperature
- Fragrance (as desired)
To make the bars, you will also need heating equipment and soap making molds. This recipe works well for molds with messages, but any hand-soap-size mold will do.
The goal in creating the recipe is to have a bar that melts at skin temperature. The beeswax melts at about 160 F, the cocoa butter at about 120 F, and the oils are soft at room temperature, so the combination creates a nicely melting bar.
The butter you use may necessitate adjustments to the ratio. For example, cocoa butter has a higher melting point than shea butter, so if you make these bars with shea, you will need to decrease the amount of liquid oil.Continue to 3 of 6 below.
03 of 06
Melt the Wax and Add the Oils and Fragrance
Melt the beeswax first because it has the highest melt point. Once it's completely melted, take it off the heat and add the cocoa butter. The cocoa butter will mostly melt with no additional heat. Put the mixture back on the heat briefly to melt the rest of the cocoa butter. Once the cocoa butter is completely melted, add your liquid oils and fragrance, and stir well.Continue to 4 of 6 below.
04 of 06
Pour Into the Molds
Slowly pour the liquid wax and oils into the molds and set them aside to cool. As they cool, depending on your combination of wax and oils, you may get small sinkholes. If desired, pour a bit more of the melted mixture into the sinkhole after it has cooled, just as you would fill a sinkhole in a candle.Continue to 5 of 6 below.
05 of 06
Release and Store the Bars
Once the bars have completely cooled, gently pop them out of the molds. Since they are formulated to melt at skin temperature, be sure to keep them in a cool place like a cupboard or the refrigerator.Continue to 6 of 6 below.
06 of 06
Try a Lotion Tube
As a variation, instead of pouring the mixture into regular soap molds, pour it into push-up lotion bar tubes. This option is easy and neat (if somewhat less romantic). Lotion tubes are great if you're using the balm as a handy body butter, bug-off balm, or solid perfume.