Lotion Bar


What You’ll Need:

2 oz White Beeswax
4 oz Deodorized Cocoa Butter
2.1 oz Coconut Oil
1.2 oz Apricot Kernel Oil
0.7 oz Jojoba Oil
0.3 oz Evening Primrose Extract
0.3 oz Rose Clay
0.2 oz Tapioca Powder
0.1 oz Sandalwood Vanilla Fragrance Oil
0.1 oz Vitamin E Oil
Microwave Safe Bowl
Mini Mixer

1) Add your beeswax and oils together in a microwaveable safe container. (We like using the easy pour container.) Heat in microwave for 1 minute 30 seconds then stir. Continue heating for 30 second bursts until the beeswax is fully melted.


2) Add in your deodorized cocoa butter and stir until melted. If you still have pieces floating around, put in microwave on 30 second bursts.


3) Once your beeswax, oils & cocoa butter are combined and melted, add your extract, fragrance oil, vitamin e oil, rose clay and tapioca powder. Using the mini mixer works wonderfully in mixing all the ingredients together.




4) Pour into your choice or molds. Spray with rubbing alcohol and let sit until fully solidified.


Because this is a homemade lotion bar that doesn’t have petroleum in it, you will feel a slight ‘greasy’ feeling for about 5-10 minutes. Although some people don’t like the ‘greasy’ feeling, the oils and butters are rich in linoleic and oleic acids. Which is a good thing! Those fatty acids provide our skin with lots of moisture and nutrients.

**If you’re having a hard time getting your lotion bar out of its mold, try sticking it in the freezer for a couple minutes.**



Winter Body Balm

Everyone knows how irritating dry and chapped winter skin is; It’s no fun at all!

We decided to try out the Winter Body Balm from the Soap Queen’s blog. However, we did change a couple of things in the recipe for fun.
If you’d like the original recipe from the Soap Queen herself, follow the link below!

Here are the ingredients you will need:

3 oz Candellila Wax
4 oz Meadowfoam Oil
4 oz Hemp Seed Oil (refined or unrefined works great, just remember that unrefined will have a green tint to it)
5 oz Shea Butter
1 oz Carrot Extract
0.3 oz Fragrance Oil
4  bail jars 4 oz size

Combine the Candellila Wax, Meadowfoam Oil and Hemp Seed Oil in a heat safe bowl. (Our favorite is a Pyrex!) Heat in the microwave for 1 minute 30 seconds. Take out and stir. Repeat until wax is fully melted.

Stir in the Shea Butter until fully melted. (If the mixture gets a little grainy, put it in the microwave for another 20 seconds until its back to a liquid.)

Mix in the extract you are using and the fragrance oil. Stir, then pour into the bail jars.





The finished product is beyond amazing! Think of all the money you can save by making your own luxurious body balm. These also make a perfect holiday gift, especially if you put them into a cute bail jar like we did.

From The Soap Queen Archives: Mango Avocado Balmy Salve

This rich salve, originally posted here on the Soap Queen blog, is perfect for curing those winter elbows, knees, or any other rough patches.  It’s easy to whip up, and has a great non-greasy texture.  It’s one of my favorite recipes, and I always keep a small tin of it in my purse. Remember, you can add any essential or fragrance oil you like, but my preference is just a tiny drop of Jasmine. -Elizabeth

2 Tablespoons Tapioca Powder

Other great skin-loving essential oils that would be incredible in this recipe too: Helischyrum, Frankincense, JasmineRose, Neroli

ONE: This recipe is designed by weight so have your handy dandy scale ready to weigh.  Weigh out the Cocoa Butter and Avocado Butter. Melt in the microwave on 30 second bursts and stir in between bursts. Remember to choose a glass container that is almost all the way full with solid materials because empty glass containers are prone to cracking or exploding in the microwave.
TWO: In a separate, smaller container, weigh out the Tamanu Oil and Jojoba Oil. Heat this oil up in the microwave for 30 seconds. Are the Tamanu Oil grains melted? Stir well. If they’re not fully melted, put the mixture in the microwave for another 30 seconds. And don’t forget the little waxy-like grains at the bottom of your Tamanu Oil bottle. I like to rinse my bottle out with the hot oil to get all the components of the Tamanu Oil.
Tamanu Oil has a very earthy smell and slightly grainy texture. It smells sort of like a nutty, musky dirt. It’s not unpleasant but it is surprising if you’ve never smelled it before.

THREE: Weigh out the Mango Butter. Put this directly into your mixer. Drizzle the melted oils and butters over the solid oil. Immediately turn the mixer onto low (much higher than that and you’ll find yourself with oil splatters all over your kitchen and yourself!). Let the warm oils slowly and gently melt the Mango Butter. This helps with the ‘Mango Butter chunks’ that you sometimes see with balms.
FOUR (optional): I really like a balm that soaks in quickly and doesn’t feel massively oily on my skin. Tapioca Powder is a modified tapioca starch that has been designed to be free-flowing and non-clumping. It is unique because it is aluminum free and because it has been modified with a silicone. It is velvety smooth and imparts a soft after-feel to the skin. Add 2 Tablespoons of Tapioca Powder to your heated warm oils a bit at a time. If you add it too quickly, POOF! Tapioca Powder everywhere!
FIVE: Whip, whip, whip until the butter is turning slightly cloudy (signifying that it is starting to set up). Add the essential oil mixture of your choice. I’ve chosen the ones in this recipe specifically to help me in bouncing back from my labor and stretched-out belly. They are extra skin-loving but you can use any essential oil or fragrance oil you’d like. Just keep the mixture to 3 grams or else it turns into a strong smelling perfume balm!
SIX: Pour into clean containers of your choice. I used Bramble Berry’s Candle Tins and tried a few lotion bar containers (woot! woot! they worked great!). Allow to sit overnight. Mixture takes several hours to harden so don’t panic if it doesn’t seem to be setting up quickly.

Best Face Forward – Part 2: Cream Face Moisturizer

So, now you’ve cleansed your face with an awesome natural soap.  But that dry winter air has sucked all the moisture out of that delicate skin!  What now?

A good facial lotion should be easily absorbed, and not greasy, so you’ll notice we’re not using any butters that can clog pores and feel heavy.  We’ve also left out any fragrance or essential oil, because the skin on your face can be very sensitive to leave-on products, and the last thing we want is any sort of reaction that might cause redness. Instead, we’re using rosewater for a light touch of fragrance, plus all the skin-softening properties of rose.  This thick cream recipe is a great intensive repair for dry, damaged winter skin.

3.8 oz Distilled Water
1.2 oz Aloe Vera Liquid
1.2 oz Rosewater
0.4 oz Rice Bran Oil
0.2 oz Hazelnut Oil or Apricot Kernel Oil
0.3 oz BTMS-50
1 oz Stearic Acid
0.5 mL Optiphen
0.5 ml Vitamin E
0.5 ml Extract (optional)

Stick blender or immersion blender
1 microwaveable container with at least a 16 oz capacity
1 microwaveable container with at least a 4 cup capacity
8 oz jar

Makes 1 8oz jar

About BTMS-50: BTMS-50 is an emulsifier that is also a conditioning agent.  What’s special about the BTMS-50 is that it actually adsorbs to your skin and hair and leaves it soft and silky feeling.  That’s why I prefer using BTMS-50 in my lotions and conditioners over the usual emulsifying wax.  However, some people find it feels a little sticky.  If you don’t love the feel of BTMS-50, replace half of it with the usual emulsifying wax.  That will give you the conditioning property of the BTMS-50, without the texture.

Step 1:
Weigh your rice bran oil, hazelnut oil, BTMS-50 and Stearic acid into your larger container. Pop in the microwave for 30 seconds to melt the BTMS-50 and Stearic acid. Heat for another 30 seconds as needed, but we don’t want it too hot.

Step 2: In a separate container, weigh your water, aloe vera liquid and rosewater. Microwave for 15 seconds to get it up to temperature with your melted oils and waxes.

Step 3: Mix! Use a stickblender or immersion blender to mix it all together. Keep mixing until the mixture has started to thicken and cool down. If in doubt, keep mixing more!

Step 4: Once the mixture has cooled to room temperature, add your optiphen, vitamin e and any extracts you’d like to use. I recommend mallow, oat or calendula for dry or irritated skin, and avocado, evening primrose and carrot for mature skin.

Step 5: Pour into a jar while still liquid, or scoop with a clean spoon if yours thickened quickly. It will thicken up as it cools more overnight.

Step 6: Apply a small amount and lightly massage in to damp skin after cleansing or exfoliating. Enjoy!

P.S. This recipe also doubles as a great hair conditioner!

Did you try this recipe?  We love feedback, so please be sure to leave a comment!

Colorful Classes at Otion

We have been packing our weekends full of fun classes, and the projects have been so bright and cheerful! On Thursday and Friday, April visited us from Illinois and made everything from bath fizzies and lotion to hot process (orange loaf with calendula top featured below!) and tub truffles. On Saturday and Sunday, Kat hosted a cold process bootcamp for three fantastic ladies, and a private class with Suzanne. They were all about the color and quickly became master soap swirlers. In Suzanne’s class, we made bath bomb cupcakes, but with cold process frosting using Erin’s guest blog post as inspiration. And those candles are to die for! We used an advanced soy wax blend and peach candle fragrance. Yum!

Do you want to swirl like a ninja or make your own luscious lip balm? Take a look at our class schedule here! Psst… we just added a new mineral makeup class, perfect for girls’ night out.


Ultra Healing Lotion Bars

These luxurious lotion bars are silky smooth and packed with moisturizing goodness for your dry winter skin. Plus, they’re easy enough to make last-minute and ready to hand out for Christmas tomorrow!


2 oz Beeswax

8 oz Sweet Almond Oil

2 oz Shea Butter

3 oz Mango Butter

3 oz Cocoa Butter

One oz blend of your favorite extracts

16 Push Tubes

0.25 oz Fragrance or Essential Oil


Melt beeswax, sweet almond oil, and cocoa butter first. Then stir the shea and mango butter into the hot oils and wax. Add extracts and fragrance or essential oil. Pour into push tubes, label, and enjoy!

Some recommended extracts:

Oat Extract: Soothing for all types of skin and especially popular in baby skin care products, Oat Extract is also considered moisturizing and mildly anti-aging. This extract is water soluble and suggested for use up to 10% in conditioners, soaps, and lotions.

Carrot Extract: Carrot Extract is high in vitamins A and E and beta carotene. It is an anti-inflammatory, soothing chapped and uncomfortable skin. It is thought to bring balance to the moisture in both skin and hair as a conditioning agent. This water based extract will be beneficial in handmade hair conditioner and skincare recipes, especially for dry winter skin, aging or matured skin. Use at 5 – 10% for conditioners and 1 – 5% for skin care. Extract is yellow in color.

Aloe Extract: Aloe is renowned for it’s ability to heal, moisturize, and sooth irritated, inflamed, or sunburned skin. Our Aloe Extract is water soluble and is fantastic in soaps, lotions and shampoos. Suggested usage rate is 2 – 15%, a natural yellow color.

Chamomile Extract: Chamomile Extract is used as an anti-inflammatory and also as a mild sedative. Use it in sleepy-time cream, night time baths or pulse point formulas. On the skin, it helps to reduce redness and is soothing on inflamed skin.

Evening Primrose Extract: Long known as a natural anti-inflammatory, Evening Primrose extract has traditionally been used in mature skin preparations, but also wonderful to soothe skin dryness, itchiness, and redness. A natural yellow, this extract is water soluble and can be used in handmade haircare and skincare products, including lotions and soaps. Suggested usage rate is 2 – 6%.

Don’t Miss Out!

Jill Heuser, lotion instructor at Soap Weekend Intensive and founder of Northwest Scents in Bellingham, will be doing another lotion class on Friday, June 24th at Otion, just in case you weren’t able to make it to this year’s packed Intensive Weekend event (starting this Friday!). Learn how to design your own luscious lotion recipe, the regulations surrounding labeling, and all about preservatives! The class includes all handouts and materials for you to make two 8 oz bottles of lotion to take home. Sign up online or give us a call at (360) 676-1030.

Lovely Lotion Bars

Lotion bars are unique and make wonderful gifts. Simply package them in a travel candle tin with some tissue paper and your label on the top!

5 oz. Beeswax
8 oz. Sweet Almond Oil
4 oz. Mango or Shea Butter
2 oz. Cocoa Butter

1. You’ll need a microwave safe dish with a handle and spout, a spoon, and molds–my favorites for this project are the little Guest Molds. Try the Guest Sun and Moon, the Guest Mini Dragonfly, or the Guest Bee Soap. Make sure to have a pot holder handy because melting beeswax can get pretty hot! Optional ingredients are color and fragrance (the examples shown are uncolored).

2. Spoon the beeswax into the container and melt in the microwave for 6-8 minutes. I like to do this in couple minute bursts and mix in between to make sure my dish doesn’t overheat to the point of breaking.

3. Add the rest of the ingredients once the wax is melted. Let the heat of the wax melt the butters.

4. Add color and/or fragrance. For the recipe above, use 1/4 oz. fragrance and about 1/4 teaspoon of color per recipe. No food color.

5. Pour the melted mixture into your molds. If you don’t like the results, you can remelt the entire batch and add more color or fragrance.

Tip: If your balm is very hot when you pour, it is more likely to crack on the tops as it cools. If you start getting cracks, pour at a lower temperature. Wait for 1 hour before moving, then cap, label and use. I like to put mine in the freezer for about 10 minutes to help them pop right out of the mold. Try using the Bug-Be-Gone Synergy Blend with an inspect inspired mold. You’ll be a real hit at any outdoor festival or market this summer.

Itching to Make Lotion?

If you can hardly wait until August to learn how to make lotion at Soap Weekend Intensive, we have a class with SWI instructor Jill Heuser coming right up at Otion! Jill is the lotion and soap making artist behind the beautiful and luxurious products of Northwest Scents.

Northwest Scents grew out of one woman’s dream for quality, gentle and unique bath and body products. Jill’s goal is to use the highest quality ingredients available to create the finest selection of bath and body products possible. Using exotic butters, oils and other natural ingredients to nourish and pamper her customers.

Northwest Scents has quickly become a local favorite. She creates products in her “spare time” when she is not wrangling her three energetic kids. Jill has been making bath & body products for 8 years and has taught at Otion for the last 4. With her degree in Biology, she’s a natural at explaining the chemistry behind lotion making.

Her next class will be held at Otion on Saturday March 6th at 3pm. Learn how to design your own luscious lotion recipe, the regulations surrounding labeling, and all about preservatives! Cost is $30 and will include all handouts and materials for you to make two 6 oz bottles of lotion to take home. Feel free to sign up online or call us directly at Otion at (360) 676-1030 to reserve your spot.