Transferring the power of dandelions in a natural and easy to make lotion bars is a smart way to alleviate dry cracked or chapped hands from heavy gardening or other manual labour.
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I made them for my aunt who is a passionate gardener and suffers from dry hands and eczema since childhood (she is now ever 70 years old). It gets worse in the current situation when she has to wash her hands frequently. When I came to visit I brought her these dandelion lotion bars. She thought it is a soap but I explained to her that she can use it instead of lotion to moisturize and soothe her hands. Later I have gotten a letter from her that it is the best gift I could have given to her. Right now she said this hard dandelion lotion bar is the only thing giving her relief.
Why does it work so well?
This lotion bar doesn’t contain any chemicals and preservatives like ordinary liquid lotion. Making liquid lotion require emulsifiers to make a homogenous emulsion with water dispersed in oil. When you use water in the lotion you need to use preservatives to extend its shelf life and sometimes use thickeners as well. Whereas a lotion bar doesn’t contain any water and is purely made of natural moisturizers that soothe and regenerate the skin.
What is a lotion bar?
As the name suggests it is a liquid lotion in a solid bar at room temperature. When applied to the skin the bar softens, slightly melts and absorbs into the skin leaving a highly moisturizing thin layer on a surface.
Ingredient to make a homemade lotion bars with dandelions
Produced by bee workers that use it to store the honey, beeswax creates a protective layer and helps the skin stay hydrated. Beeswax has a high melting point and makes the lotion bar harder. Its ability to seal in the other ingredients makes the lotion bar last longer.
Extracted from nuts of the shea tree, shea butter is high in fatty acids and vitamins which make it an ideal ingredient for softening the skin. It’s anti-inflammatory, healing (1), as well as emollient properties, make it a very popular ingredient in the cosmetic industry.
Made by infusion of dried dandelion blossoms in coconut oil, dandelion oil speeds up healing, calms down the irritated skin and is also a great moisturizer. I use it to make salves or sunscreens however it is also a very effective ingredient in lotion bars making.
How to make dandelion lotion bars
Start with the dandelion oil where you need to collect dandelion blossom, (check how to identify and forage dandelions here) and let them macerate in coconut oil to release their medicinal properties.
In order to speed up the process, you can use a double boiler method where you heat the oil with dandelions to a temperature of 30-40 degrees Celsius. This method is basically done in a water bath and it is much faster than infusion. Heat the oil with dandelion blossoms for a longer simmer time of 5-6 hours. By this gradual maceration, you will be able to obtain high-quality dandelion infused oil.
Fill a medium pot with about two inches of water and bring to a boil. Place a smaller heat-proof stainless steel bowl inside the larger pot to create a double boiler and put beeswax in to melt.
Once melted remove it from the heat and add shea butter and dandelion oil. If needed place the mixture back in the pan allowing the simmering water to melt the rest of the shea butter.
Mix it well, remove from the heat and add a few drops of orange essential oil.
Pour the mixture into silicone molds or ice cubes trays
Let it cool down for 2 hours, remove it from the mold and store it in a glass conteiner.
How to use dandelion lotion bars?
- To moisturize and soothe your dried hands - just simply rub the lotion bar into your hands and warm it up till it melts a little bit and then apply it on your dried and chapped hands.
- Alternatively, you can use the lotion bar to moisturize dried patches on your body like heels, elbows, feet or knees. Apply only a thin layer of the lotion bar to the dry area, wait a while and reapply if needed. The skin needs some time to absorb the lotion bar.
- It could be a good idea to apply the lotion bar before one goes to sleep to allow sufficient time for the moisture to penetrate the skin. Also if you apply it to your heels or feet, wear socks that warm your feet and allow better absorption.
It means that the ratio of shea butter, dandelion oil and beeswax wasn’t correct so you need to remelt them and add more beeswax to the mixture.
That means that the portion of dandelion oil is higher, increase the amount of shea butter and decrease dandelion oil accordingly.
In that case the shea butter portion is higher than it should be so again you need to remelt it and add more dandelion oil into the mixture and pour it again to mold.
Dandelion lotion bars are made of oils, butter and beeswax that have a higher melting point so you can store your lotion bars at room temperature in a glass jar or metal tin. They can last up to one year.
If you wish to use the lotion bar in shower you want to try these exfoliating rose sugar scrub bars that make wonders for rough and dry skin
Dandelion Lotion bar as a gift
As I already mentioned earlier lotion bars make a wonderful gift so don’t hesitate to make somebody happy. You can try with other infusion oils to make different variations. Calendula oil or rose oil have so many benefits for the skin. Adding zinc oxide to the lotion bars will make diaper rash bars that any natural-minded mom will appreciate. Alternatively, adding some cocoa powder to the mixture makes an irresistible bronze bar!