RECIPE: Homemade Kitchen Soap


I love the Honest Company Dish Soap we use at home but it’s still a luxury. It’s concentrated and little goes a long way, but I like the squeaky clean finish so much that I end up using more liquid soap than I really should. This results in an empty bottle every week or so, which is way too much, especially at about $6 for 16 fl. oz.

I didn’t want to walk away from my Dish Soap – I love it way too much – so I needed to come up with a creative way to stretch the cost. I tried diluting the liquid soap by adding water but I ended up using double the amount. I thought about alternating it with a less expensive kind but I don’t like the heavy artificial scent and the filmy residue that many supermarket brands leave behind.


I never entertained the idea of making homemade kitchen soaps but after doing some research online, I found that it’s a pretty common thing. I found lots of great ideas for which oils to use, particularly from this cute Japanese soap-making blog. Necessity is the mother of all invention, that’s for sure!

I created a recipe that used mostly Palm Oil (to create firm bars) and Coconut Oil (to provide a nice lather), and threw in some Olive and Castor Oils as a good measure, to provide a little bit of moisture for the hands.


Homemade Kitchen Soap
1200 gram batch — makes about 14 bars, at 4 oz each.

kitchen soap ingredients

I’m only sharing the recipe / ingredients and not the instruction. Please refer to soap making books or online resources for a proper and safe soap-making process.


I’ve been using these soaps for a week and I love it! Here are some thoughts:

  • The bar holds its shape well, thanks to Palm Oil.  I put the soap in a little bowl and the water doesn’t drain completely after each use but it’s still nice and firm. 
  • The lather is perfect!  I’m not into big bubbles so the finer suds this soap produce are just right. 
  • The scent is refreshing without being too artificial. I’m happy with the Cucumber Melon Fragrance Oil from Bramble Berry, especially because I got it as a free sample! 
  • I feel like the dishes don’t get as squeaky as Honest Company’s, but you still get the nice clean feel. You can definitely hear the squeak when you rub the dish after a nice wash.
  • The suds wash off the sponge faster than the liquid kind so you might need to reapply more frequently. 
  • I was pleasantly surprised to see that the soap doesn’t leave a streak on glass and stainless steel pots! 

I’m so satisfied with the homemade version, I may not need to go back to the Dish Soap for a while! 

Enjoy! smile

Hello Kitty Massage Bar

IMG_7812 IMG_7813

I posted this massage bar recipe before but I thought I’ll share it again.  This time, I made the Hello Kitty version of the Lush-inspired solid lotion, using the silicon mold I purchased on Etsy.  I used the White Tea and Ginger fragrance oil, along with lavender and Tea Tree Essential Oils.  They smell incredible and they’re a great remedy for dry skin.

Handmade Massage Bar (aka solid lotion)
Makes 4 bars (only three are shown above because I’m already using one!)

Add 2 oz each of the following:  Sweet almond oil, bees wax, and shea butter.  Add 1 tsp of Jojoba oil.  Melt everything in a microwave (about three minutes, stirring every minute).  Add your favorite Essential or Fragrance Oils, stir well, and pour into silicone mold.  Let it sit for a few hours until hardened.


Handmade Beeswax Candle


The jam is very lovely, but I’m pretty sure I’m not the only person who buys Bonne Maman because of the pretty jar. wink Forget McDonald’s and Coca Cola – this red gingham check is one of the most recognizable designs in the history of food packaging! It’s timeless and very French country!

A good way to keep the jar around the house is to transform it into a handmade candle!


I used about 2 cups of beeswax pellets.  I melted them in a double boiler.  You can use a microwave too, which is significantly quicker.


Prepare the jar by gluing a wick at the bottom center of the jar.  You can use one of those metal wick holders but I didn’t have one handy, so I used a glue from a hot glue gun to secure the wick.  Wrap the top of the wick to a chopstick or a straw to keep it straight (I used two chopsticks because it’s bad luck in Japan to use just one, but you don’t need two to keep the wick in place).

Pour the melted beeswax into the jar and let it cool for about a few hours.  The wax hardens very quickly but it’s important to leave it cooled long enough until  the center hardened completely as well.


I really like the scent of beeswax.  Some people don’t like it and I can see why.  It can be little overwhelming but that’s what I like about it.  It’s warm, sweet, and playfully nutty.

By the way, removing the hardened beeswax off of the measure cup and utensils that you used it tough. It’s pretty awful, but luckily, I found  Aunt Peaches‘ blog for some great tips!  As instructed, I poured a super hot water and let the wax float to the top.  I also used the trusty Magic Eraser to scrub the wax off.  Nonetheless, it was a real pain! evil


How to Develope Your Own Soap Recipe


I think my love for soap making elevated to the next level when I learned how to concoct my own, original recipe. I was intimidated at first but once I learned the basics, coming up with a unique recipe made the process 10 times more fun!  You can whip up a soap in any color, scent, size, and effectiveness you want.  (You want to make a peppermint-scented moisturizing soap with oatmeal bits for exfoliation?  No problem!)  There’s nothing more gratifying and pampering than lathering up a soap that you created, just for your enjoyment.  razz

I summarized the basic steps in how to create your own, one-of-a-kind soap recipe here!  The post is a bit lengthy and some parts may appear a little technical, especially around the water and lye calculations, but everything is straightforward.  Please don’t be discouraged — you’ll be reaping your reward in no time!

Just a disclaimer before we proceed.  This post is intended to show new soap makers who are interested in concocting their own original formula the basics of creating their own suds.  It is not intended to provide expert advice on the usage of lye (sodium hydroxide), essential oils, and other complex properties.  I encourage you to browse through books and the Internet to learn the more technical aspects of soap making!  Afterall, soap making is not just an art but also science and it should be treated as such.  Also, the use of lye can make soap making potentially dangerous, so please proceed with caution.

With that said, let’s get started!

pink line
The Formula Spreadsheet
pink line

What you see here below is a sample Excel spreadsheet that I use when I’m developing a new recipe, to calculate the oil, water, and lye amounts.  Don’t worry if these numbers make absolutely no sense to you at the moment.  You’ll be an expert by the time you finish reading this post.

I’ll use this Avocado Soap spreadsheet throughout this post to explain each step.

avocado 3

Figure 1:  Avocado soap recipe spreadsheet sample

pink line
Step 1: Determine the Batch Size
pink line

milk carton

The first step is to decide how big your batch is going to be. It’s an equivalent of knitters deciding on the project pattern.  I typically use a one quart milk carton, which holds about 600 grams of fats (which are oils and / or butters). I make two of those milk cartons at a time, and thus my recipe is for 1200 grams.

Note:  The carton you see here is for one, 600 g batch.  If you want to make just one carton worth of soap, and not two as the recipe indicates, simply divide the amount of all ingredients in half.

pink line
Step 2: Select Your Ingredients
pink line


This is my favorite part of the soap-making process. It’s very similar to crafters deciding on what fabric or yarn to use for the next project. It allows you to be creative!

The best part about making a soap at home is that you can customized it to however you want, depending on your current need. If you are suffering from dry skin, you can incorporate oils and butters that have the moisturizing properties.  If you want a soap that smells like refreshing fruits when lathered in the shower, add citrus essential or fragrance oil.

Note:  I usually purchase oils and other soap-making supplies from Bramble Berry, CibariaFrom Nature with Love, and Mountain Rose Herbs.  They are all wonderful.  I buy oils in bulk but you can find olive oil, coconut oil, and other lovely oils and fats in smaller portions at places like Whole Foods Market and Sprouts Farmers Market.

pink line
Step 3: Determine the Amount of Fats Needed
pink line

Steps 3 (Determining the Amount of Fat Needed), 4 (Determining the Amount of Water Needed), 5 (Determining the Amount of Lye Needed), and 6 (Determine the Lye Discount) require you to do a little math, but don’t worry if you haven’t done any number crunching beyond balancing a checkbook since high school.  lol  The calculations are pretty simple.

Let’s begin by deciding how you want to allocate your selected fats (column C).

soap percentage

Figure 2:  Fat allocation percentages

By the way, when I say “fats,” I’m referring to any oils and / or butters used in this recipe.  In the case of this Avocado Soap, I wanted to make a gentle soap with moisturizing power, so I allocated 40% of my fat to be avocado oil (column C, row 4), 30% olive oil (column C, row 3), 10% shea butter (column C, row 5), 10% palm oil (column C, row 6), and 10% coconut oi (column C, row 7). They should all add up to 100%.

Now, convert the fat percentage into an actual weight in gram (Column B).

soap oil

Figure 3:  Avocado oil amount needed

Let’s use the avocado oil for example. To calculate 40% of 1200 gram:

1200 g x 0.4 = 480 g

This means that I would need 480 g of avocado oil (column B, row 4) for this recipe. Do the calculation for the rest of the oil and dd them all up.  The total should add up to 1200 g.

pink line
Step 4: Determine the Amount of Water Needed
pink line

Now, it’s time to figure the amount of water needed.

soap water

Figure 4:  Amount of water needed, in gram

For this recipe, I used the ratio of 72 (fat) to 28 (water).  This means that 72% of the entire weight will be fat, and 28% water.  To calculate 28% of 1200 g:

1200 x 28 / 72 = 466.67

In this case, the amount of water needed is 466.76 g (column B, row 8).  You can certainly round the number off to 467 g.

Note:  You can substitute part of water with other liquid to create a more complex soap.  I like to use aloe vera juice and yogurt in my soaps.  However, some substitutes such as milk can produce a strange odor (it luckily disappears once the soap is cured) and others may change color.

pink line
Step 5: Determine the Amount of Lye Needed
pink line

Let’s calculate the amount of lye needed, shall we? This one’s a little tricky but stay with me.

You can figure this out two ways – manually or by using an online lye calculator. Many soap-making Websites, such as Bramble Berry, has an online calculator where you simply plug in the weight (gram or ounce) or the percentage of fats and it figures out the lye amount for you. This is probably the easiest and the best way to do this.

If you want to figure it out manually, need something called Saponification Chart that shows Saponification Numbers. It’s overly technical for me to explain this properly  eek but in layman’s term, these numbers allow us to figure out the amount of lye needed to convert one gram of fat into soap.

soap lye 3

Figure 5:  Saponification Value

The amount of lye needed differs by oil. For example, the amount of lye needed to convert avocado oil into soap (0.14) is not the same as, say, shea butter (0.13).

soap lye

Figure 6:  Amount of lye needed to convert avocado oil into soap

Let’s take a look at avocado oil for this example. The lye needed to turn one gram of avocado oil into soap is 0.14 g (column D, row 4). Since there’s 480 g of avocado oil (column B, row 4), you need to calculate this by multiplying the lye weight (column D, row 4) by the total fat weight (column B, row 4).

480 g x 0.14 g = 65.76 g

You need 65.76 g of lye to convert avocado oil in this recipe to soap (column F, row 4).

You need to calculate the lye weight for all the fats used. After you figure them out, add them together. The total is the amount you need for the entire batch.

soap lye 2

Figure 7:  Total amount of lye needed to convert all fats into soap

Take a look at column F. When you add rows 3 (olive oil), 4 (avocado oil), 5 (shea butter), 6 (palm oil), and 7 (coconut oil), you get 170.16 g (column F, row 7). That’s the amount you need to convert all the fats used in this recipe into soap.

pink line
Step 6:  Determine the Lyle Discount (optional)
pink line

Now, let me throw you a curve ball and talk about something called a “lye discount.”  In a nutshell, lye discount is the amount of lye you’re doing to reduce from the total amount to create a milder soap.  This step is completely optional but I usually discount in my soap creations.

soap lye 3

Figure 8:  Total amount of lye needed to convert all fats into soap, after discount

For this recipe, I wanted to reduce the lye amount by 15%, thus making lye discount at 85% (100% – 15% = 85%).  To determine the lye discount, take the total lye amount and multiple it by the percentage:

170.16 g x 0.85 = 144.64 g

I rounded up the total to 145 g (column B, row 9).  This is the final lye amount used for this recipe (reduced from original 170 g to 145 g).  YAY — you’re done with math now!  lol

pink lineStep 7: Determine the Additives (optional)
pink line

You can enhance your soap with lovely aroma, color, and texture by adding special embellishments.


lotion making 2

Essential oils are great for adding both scents and healing properties.  My absolute favorite is lavender, and I use it in every soap I make.  The scent relaxes me and uplifts my mood and spirit!

Fragrance oils are another great way to add a special scent to your soap, but unlike the essential oils that are extracted from plants and are natural, they are synthetic (how else can you explain scents like Sugar Plum and Bubble Gum? lol).  I think it’s completely up to you to decide which route you want take.  My soaps are mostly all natural, but once in a blue moon, I enjoy making playful, Lush-like suds loaded with fun and crazy scents.

Dry Additives:


Dry herbs are great for many reasons.  It gives your soap a unique look, while working as a great exfoliate.  You can use grounded oatmeal, lavender, chamomile, peppermint leaves, etc.

soap additives

Take a look at how dry herbs can give a different feel to each soap.



Handmade soaps tend to lose its color pretty quickly so adding a colorant can help maintain the lovely hue for a longer period of time.  It’s great for creating colorful designs too.  Here’s my first attempt at creating tri-color layered soaps, using madder root power (for pink) and comfrey root powder (for green).  I’m dying to try carrot soap, with a nice orange shade soon!

pink line
pink line

Thank you for reading this long post!  I hope this piqued your interest in creating your own, special soap!  Please also check out my handmade soap tutorial by clicking here!

I think we’ve all hear of this phrase:

Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime. 

I feel like that when it comes to soap making.  I can rely on other people’s recipes to make soaps and limit myself, or I can learn how to create my own and open up the endless possibilities.  It’s empowering, and I love to know that I’m creating something that’s truly one of a kind. 

I hope to continue to learn more about this fascinating world of soap making, and take the Lavender and OliVE soap business to the next level.  I’m still in the development stage but I’m hoping to start spreading my handmade soaps to the masses, via Etsy and local craft fairs very shortly!  Pleas stay tuned!   biggrin


Handmade Summertime Soaps


Summer is an ideal time to make handmade soaps. The hot temperature allows the soap to reach trace (when all the ingredients “marry” and become thick and velvety) in no time and makes the entire process quicker than if I were making it in the chilly winter months.

Three batches of soap that I made last month are now ready for use!  biggrin

pink line
Aloe Vera Soap (all natural)
pink line


Ingredients: Olive oil, avocado oil, sweet almond oil, hazelnut oil, palm oil, coconut oil, distilled water, lye (85% discount), fresh aloe vera juice, essential oils (lavender, lemon, bergamot, and spearmint).

The aloe vera leaves used were from my backyard. I love its healing properties. The refreshing citrus and spearmint scents make these perfect soaps for hot summer days, and after a sweaty workout!

pink line
Moisturizing Soap (all natural)
pink line


Ingredients: Olive oil, shea butter, macadamia nut oil, palm oil, coconut oil, distilled water, lye, and essential oils (lavender, bergamot, and rosemary)

It was over 100 degrees outside when I made these soaps, and they only took one hour until they ready to be pour into a mold!  These soaps are seriously beautiful and are now one of my favorites to make and use.  They’re perfect to moisturize the sun-kissed skin after spending a day at the beach.

pink line
Sweet Summer Soap
pink line


Ingredients: Olive oil, avocado oil, shea butter, palm oil, coconut oil, distilled water, lye (85% discount), colorants (madder root powder for pink, comfrey leaf powder for green), essential oils (lavender and spearmint) and fragrance oil (Sugar Plum).

I wanted to make something fun for my third batch, so I used the Sugar Plum fragrance oil to add a bit of playfulness to these three-layer soaps.  These soaps were inspired by Ayumi’s Summer Peppermint soap, but they didn’t come out quiet as lovely as her version.  cry

The last few days were very pleasant here but I know that scorching days are just right around the corner!

Bubble-licious …

I went into our bedroom to pick up something, and had the sudden urge to take pictures of my soap rack.

Looking at these little handmade soaps that I made from scratch in our kitchen, I realized how much I miss making them. Summer is such a perfect time for soap making because the curing process quickens in the warm weather, so I think I’m going to dust off my olive oil tub and essential oils to make a batch or two in the next weeks.

I love the fact that my next soap is only a quick step away in the bedroom, and not to the nearest shopping mall.

Oh, and did you know that soaps are like wine (and women) … and they get better with age? I used my first generation soap the other day and it was one of the best I’ve ever lathered! It was lusciously bubbly, and although the scents are barely there now, the experience made me fall in love with handmade soaps all over again.

Skincare Superhero: Yogurt Soap

I’m really looking forward to the holiday season this year. I know that I’m getting a little ahead of myself to start thinking about a Christmas tree and holiday cookies (it hasn’t even gotten cold here yet), but I know how December sneaks up on me so quickly every year eek that I can’t be over-prepared. My goal is to finish my holiday crafting by the time we cook up the Thanksgiving feast. It’s going to be a pretty busy next few weeks for me craft-wise but I’m super excited.

I’m planning to give away my handmade soaps as gifts this year again, and I already have a few batches ready to go. I made three batches of soap last month and they’re now ready to be packaged and sent off to my soap-loving friends and family.

One batch that I’m particularly excited about is the Yogurt Soap that I made using my homemade yogurt.  It was inspired by the bowl of yogurt with fresh peach I enjoyed in the summertime when the juicy fruit was in season!

The health benefits of yogurt are widely known but did you know that it can also be great for your skin? It’s great for acne treatment (due to high concentration of zinc), and serves as a much-needed moisturizer during the upcoming chilly weather (due to high fat content). I’m sure you’ve seen girls smother dollops of yogurt on their face during their home spa session on a slumber party, along with other all-natural super skin heros like cucumbers, avocadoes, bananas, and honey. I tried my first bar in the shower this week and I absolutely love the way it makes my skin feel. It lathered incredibly well, with frothy white foam, and the subtle but sweet scents of peach fragrance oil and sweet orange essential oil made my skin smell like wonderful summer days.

Giveaway!  If you’re interested in trying this yogurt soap, leave me a comment here!  I will be happy to share them with first three people to comment on this post!biggrin   

Updated on October 21, 2011:  Thank you to Trisha, Lenna, Va, and Erin, for commenting! You will each receive the homemade Yogurt Peach Soap from Lavender and Olive (which is my Etsy shop). Please kindly email me your mailing address to and I’ll get the soaps out to you! Again, thanks for your participation!

Yogurt Peach Soap: Olive oil, avocado oil, sweet almond oil, castor oil, palm kernel oil, palm oil, homemade yogurt (2% fat), distilled water, lye, peach fragrance oil, sweet orange essential oil, lavender essential oil.

It’s 67 days until Christmas!

Lavender and Olive’s Original Shampoo Bar Recipe

Ever since Agree-brand hair products disappeared from the drugstore shelves many, many years ago (Do you remember them? They were wonderful!), I have never found a shampoo and conditioner that I can fall in love with. Then, about five years ago, I discovered Basin, a Lush-like shop that sells natural soaps, and its shampoo bars and I was back in love again. I like the shampoo bars more than the mainstream ones for several reasons. One, because it cuts down the plastic consumption to, well, zero, because the soap comes in a solid form. Also, because it leaves my hair clean but conditioned, even without using a conditioner. And last but not least, they last forever! It is wonderful to travel with it too since you can toss it in your carry-on luggage without having a TSA agent come running after you.

The only downside about the shampoo bars is that they are a little pricey. For a 65 gram bar, it costs $8, plus shipping since I get mine online. It’s much cheaper than  other bottle shampoos but still, that’s a lot of money. So, I’ve been looking to formulate my own recipe for the best shampoo bars that I can make at home.

After trying many, many, many recipes – some that I found in books and online, as well as my original concoction – I finally found the one that I absolutely fell in love with. I made a small test batch a few months ago, and I finally took the bar out for a test run last week … and I was amazed at how shiny and healthy my hair really got. I’m not kidding! After using this shampoo bar on my hair every day for the last five days, my hair has never felt or looked better. I think it’s the castor oil and molasses that work so well for my dark mane.

It’s a little embarrassing to plaster my face here, but here’s a picture of my hair. Before this shampoo bar, I had to use gel to control my hair before blow drying it but not any more! I didn’t have to use any hair products and my hair behaved just fine!

Here’s the recipe. Please follow the basic cold-process soap-making instruction before proceeding.

Lavender and Olive’s Original Shampoo Bars (for Dark Hair)

A little disclaimer here.  A kind blog reader informed me that she tried this recipe and found that the batch was too soft to remove from the mold, even after a week of curing.  I’m not sure what caused this but I’m determined to get to the bottom of this, so I’m making this batch again to troubleshoot what went wrong!  Stay tuned!  And thanks, Waterlily, for taking the time to bring this up! 

This is for 650 gram which is like a size of a regular milk carton. It makes about 7 x 4 oz bars.  FYI, Lavender and Olive is my Etsy shop name. 🙂

130 g Castor Oil (20%)
130 g Macadamia Nuts Oil (20%)
65 g Hazelnut Oil (10%)
65 g Avocado Oil (10%)
65 g Olive Oil (10%)
65 g Shea Butter (10%)
65 g Palm Oil (10%)
65 g Coconut Oil (10%)
253 g Distilled water
78 g Lye (85% discount)

Mix them in right before you pour the mixture in to the mold

¼ cup Molasses
30 drops Lavender Essential Oil
30 drops Rosemary Essential Oil
20 drops Bergamot Essential Oil

Just a quick disclaimer here. Please consult with your physician if you have special conditions or are not sure if you have any allergies to any of the listed ingredients here. While the ingredients used are often suitable for babies and young children, I found that it really hurts when the soap gets in the eyes. It is probably best not to use the bar to wash their hair. Also, please feel free to double check the lye content with Lye Calculator.

If you use this recipe to create shampoo bars at home, I would love to hear your feedback. I hope you love them as much I do!

Oh, and I don’t use regular conditioner after I wash my hair with the shampoo bar.  I usually rinse my hair with a vinegar and glycerin mixture.  I know, you might be thinking … eeeew, vinegar!?$?@?  But trust me, with a little dash of your favorite Essential or Fragrance Oils, it doesn’t smell bad at all.  More on the hair rinse talk next time.

The Royal Wedding and New Soaps

My body is a little out of whack at the moment. I stayed up all night, with billions of people around the world, to watch the live coverage of the Royal Wedding, which started super early Friday morning  (it really sucked to be on the Pacific Time Zone).

When the sun came up, I decided to push through and start working.  It seemed like a good idea at the time. At around 4:00 p.m. this afternoon (I had been up for 30 hours straight at this point), my body finally gave up and I completely fell asleep on the couch, only to be awakened by my fiancé’s phone call at 9:00 p.m. Now, at 2:00 in the morning, I can’t go back to sleep.  I really need to go to sleep pretty soon, or else I’ll be messed up for the next few days! Yikes.

Well, speaking of the Royal Wedding, I am obsessed with Kate Middleton, now Duchess of Cambridge, the wife of Prince William, the future Queen of England, and the most beautiful woman in the world. I have a major girl crush on her. I thought she was absolutely breathtaking in the lacy, sophisticated yet modern wedding dress designed by Sarah Burton of Alexander McQueen. She was the perfect example that you can be super sex without showing too much skin. What a classy princess!

I wish the lovely couple the lifetime of happiness and a fairy tale life of happily ever after.

Well, now that I’m wide awake, I’ve decided to share pictures of my latest soap creations! This was my first time making soaps in a very long time (first time this year, actually) but like riding a bike, I picked up where I left off.

I am madly in love with soaps with little bits of earthly goodness in them, like oatmeal bits, lavender buds, chamomile flowers, and peppermint leaves. I love the way the soaps look and they add a wonderful grainy texture perfect for light scrubbing. The two new batches I made have loads of these wonderful dried leaves in them.

The lighter-color soaps are all-natural Lavender soaps, using my ultimate favorite recipes with olive oil, castor oil, sweet almond oil, avocado oil, and other wonderfully moisturizing oils. This recipe is my original and it is my absolute favorite.

The darker ones are all-natural Peppermint soaps and I love the rich dark hue! I’ve had requests from guy friends that they’d like to see a darker, more “manly” looking soaps (instead of the cutesy pink ones) so these are perfect for the dudes.  They’ll both be ready in my Etsy shop, Lavender and Olive,  in the summer.

Anyway, I guess I better wrap up soon and go to bed. I am having breakfast with my fiancé and I want to make sure that I am up on time so it will not turn into a dinner date!

Homemade Massage Bar to Fight Blue Monday

Some British study dubs the last Monday of January to be the “most depressing day of the year.” I guess there is even a formula that calculates it, by taking in factors like weather, time since Christmas, time since failing on new year’s resolutions, low motivational level, and a feeling of need to take action. I’m not too sure about the whole formula thing (and today’s not even that day), but the lack of motivation is definitely in the air here in my apartment.

I haven’t had the energy to do anything much since the holidays, except to shop online – which can be trouble. I spent hours stalking shops like Sephora and Lush last night, putting everything I want in the shopping carts. When the total hit triple digit, I knew that I had to walk away from the computer slowly, with both hands in the air, so that I won’t accidentally push “proceed to checkout.” My shopping urges were around cosmetics and body care products so I knew that I had to go in the kitchen and make my own, before I make a serious dent in my wallet.

I found this great recipe for Massage Bar online. I actually didn’t know what Massage Bar was for a long time until I found out that it’s a solid form of a lotion, where one can rub the bar on any dry areas of a body and use it to moisturize and massage (Duh). I decided to give this recipe a whirl, to tame my uncontrollable shopping urges!

Massage Bar
Adapted from a post by elle110 on iVillage Garden Web
It makes about 4 cupcake-size bars

Note: I doubled the recipe from the original and eliminated the Cocoa Butter and substitute it with more Shea Butter (I am not a fan of the Cocoa Butter smell).

You can get most of the ingredients at a supermarket or a health food store, like Whole Foods. I got all my ingredients from Brambleberry.

2 oz. Sweet Almond Oil
2 oz. Bees Wax
2 oz. Shea Butter
1 teaspoon Jojoba Oil
Fragrance Oil or Essential Oil of your choice (I used about 1/4 teaspoon of Yuzu FO)


1. Melt all the ingredients together (except for Fragrance or Essential Oils) in a double boiler. Make sure to stir as they are melting. Once everything melts, remove from the double boiler.

2. Add Fragrance or Essential Oils of your choice. Stir well.

3. Pour the mixture in a muffin tin lined with baking cups. I used Sili-Cups, cups made out of sillicone.

4. Let the bar cool for a few hours (quicker if you pop them in a refrigerator). Peel off the cup and it’s ready for use. Rub it on your legs, arms, stomach, or anywhere on your body for silky moisture! Store in a cool place.

It turned out that this is an amazing bar! I am so in love it! It’s not too greasy or too hard – with just a perfect consistency. I am afraid that the bar will melt during the hot summer months but since it’s still relatively cold outside, I’ll have no problem storing it in my bathroom or even a bedroom. If you are suffering from dry skin this winter, this can be your answer to a silky, moisture skin! And these bars go for about $10 for one 2 once bar at Lush, so it’s a bargain to make them at home. Maybe with the money you save, you can save yourself from Blue Monday!

Happy pampering!