As a beekeeper, I tend to have a lot of beeswax on hand. Every time I harvest honey, I render the cappings, but I rarely get around to using them for anything.
Last fall, I used some of my surplus beeswax to make a batch of mini lotion bars to hand out to my colleagues at school. I ended up with way more than I needed, so I stored the leftovers in the freezer. They’ve been a godsend since we started washing our hands approximately nine million times a day to ward off coronavirus.
I realize normal people don’t just have chunks of beeswax lying around, but if you can put your hands on some, you can make your own lotion bars with just a few minutes’ worth of work.
For the basic bars, I used:
1 part beeswax
1 part coconut oil
1 part olive oil
A lot of recipes say to melt your beeswax in a double boiler to reduce the risk of igniting it, but I’ve melted beeswax in the microwave for years and never had any problems. The trick is to use a Pyrex measuring cup; cut the beeswax into thin slivers; and watch it closely, stirring every 30 seconds to prevent hot spots.
(If you ever do have a fire in your microwave, just unplug it and leave the door shut until the fire burns out. It shouldn’t take long, because there’s not much oxygen in there.)
When the beeswax was mostly melted, I added the coconut oil and continued nuking and stirring until it was all melted together. Then I stirred in the olive oil and enough wintergreen and peppermint essential oil to make it smell nice, poured it into silicone molds, and stuck them in the freezer to harden. Once they solidified, I wrapped them in candymaker’s foil and stored them in an old sherbet tub in the freezer.
To use, hold a bar in your hands until it softens up, then rub it over your skin. It takes a while to soak in, but it’s a good overnight moisturizer that doubles as an excellent lip balm.
P.S.: Hat tip to Mom Makes Joy, who posted the recipe I used as the basis for mine.