Modern beekeepers commonly wonder what to do with all the beeswax their hives produce. Thankfully, the possibilities are endless, from holistic and decorative uses to various homemade health and beauty products. Learn how to make beautiful, useful gifts with Petra Ahnert’s book, Beeswax Alchemy (Quarry Books, 2015). This excerpt offers a recipe for a Solid Lotion Bar.
You can purchase this book from the Mother Earth Living store: Beeswax Alchemy.
Solid lotion bars are an anhydrous blend of butters, oils and waxes, not emulsified products that contain a large percentage of water.
This blend yields a bar that can be handled easily without making a mess, but melts on contact to soothe and create an emollient barrier. Although butters such as shea butter and cocoa butter are wonderful for the skin, they do not directly moisturize the skin. The moisture needs to come from other sources, such as the dampness that remains after hand washing. When these butters are paired with the beeswax, however, they work together to create an occlusive barrier that seals in that moisture. Various butters also contain fatty acids that help to nourish the skin.
Solid lotion bar recipe
Makes about three 1-ounce lotion bars.
• 27 grams yellow beeswax (30.20 percent)
• 6 grams virgin coconut oil (6.90 percent)
• 12 grams sweet almond oil (13.80 percent)
• 12 grams jojoba oil (13.80 percent)
• 10 grams shea butter (10.50 percent)
• 12 grams cocoa butter (10.50 percent)
• 5 grams mango butter (5.30 percent)
• 1 gram vitamin E oil (0.10 percent)
• 0.1 gram rosemary extract (0.10 percent)
• 0.9 gram scent (1 percent)
• Double boiler
• Digital scale
• Wooden stir stick
• Clear plastic guest soap molds (They hold about 1 ounce, or 28 grams, of balm each and the cavities are small enough that the resulting balms fit easily into a tin. Muffin tins can also be used by filling 1-inch deep.)
• 2 to 3 ounces (57 to 85 grams) shallow tins (optional, but a nice touch)
1. Melt beeswax, coconut oil, sweet almond oil, and jojoba together in a double boiler on low to medium heat until the beeswax is completely liquefied. Add cocoa butter and mango butter and melt until liquefied, and then remove from heat.
2. Slowly add small pieces of shea butter to the mixture and allow to melt.
3. After the shea butter has melted into the mixture, add vitamin E oil, rosemary extract, and scent, and pour into molds.
4. Put the molds with the lotion into the freezer for about 15 minutes and then invert the mold onto a clean work surface. The solid lotion bars should come out easily with a light tap.
5. Place 1 solid lotion bar in each of the tins.
Find more recipes and information in The Ancient History of Beeswax.
Reprinted with permission from Beeswax Alchemy by Petra Ahnert (Quarry Books, 2015). It may not be reproduced for any other use without permission.