Several years ago I discovered, and became addicted to, Lush. Lush makes products whose addictive powers I would liken to crack…….but more expensive. 🙂 The first time I tried their stuff I was immediately addicted!! There’s probably a 12 step program, Lush support group, a patch or something to help you break this addiction, but I had to go cold turkey. I just can’t afford it anymore.
One of my favorite products was their massage bar. They felt so good on your skin and smelled like heaven! They were fairly long-lasting and came in several different scents. I recently used up my last one. CRISIS!!!! But hey, who needs Lush, right? We can do this ourselves. They’re so easy it’s almost criminal that you would pay so much for them at retail.
What you’ll need:
Beeswax (can be obtained at craft stores, health food stores, online and from local beekeepers)
Oil (olive, grapeseed, apricot kernel, coconut, etc)
Vegetable Shortening (Crisco….not butter flavor! Or if you don’t mind spending a bit more, use cocoa butter or shea butter instead of vegetable shortening.)
Double Boiler (or 2 saucepans….large and small)
Container for mixing with scents
Molds (You don’t have to rush out and buy specific molds for this. You can use clean, serving size yogurt containers. You can hit the thrift stores and see what they might have. That’s what I did and I found a “rubber” flexible muffin pan that worked great for both soap and lotion bars. I also found that muffin wrappers are ideal for this project. They allow you to make a perfect sized bar and the wrapper allows you to handle them without getting “prints” all over them. Just make sure whatever you use has enough flex to get your bars out.)
If you don’t have a double boiler, don’t rush out and buy one. Just use one large saucepan and one small enough to fit inside the large one. If you need “boost” in the bottom of your large pan, you can place a small glass jelly jar in the bottom to support your smaller pan.
The ratio I use is simply 1 part each of oil, solid and beeswax. I consider shea butter and cocoa butter solids. You would use these in place of shortening. You decide how big a batch you want to make.
Place all of your ingredients into the double boiler and “cook” until all of the shortening and beeswax have melted. My initial thought was that if you grated the beeswax or at least cut it into smaller chunks, it would melt faster. I had only intended to make a “smallish” batch today, but I couldn’t get the beeswax whacked into smaller pieces. I tried cutting, grating, whacking….. I was literally contemplating taking it outside and taking a hatchet to it. About that time Hubby came in and offered to take it out to the saw for me. I decided I’d better just throw the whole thing in before someone lost an appendage. So, my batch was larger than planned, but like I said…..it doesn’t matter. You decide how much or how little you want to make.
Once all of the ingredients are melted, you’re ready to start scenting and molding. Just pour off the amount you wish to scent, add your oils and pour into your mold. I continued to use the same mixing vessel simply scraping it out between scents. I also added whole coffee beans to one of the bars just for fun.