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A Treat for Your Feet

I’m getting ready to each a foot-care workshop today, and I thought I’d share with you the recipe for the sweet little lotion bars I’ll be giving out to the participants. At a foot workshop we do stretches and exercises and talk about habits and how we use our feet, but we also learn foot massage techniques. Some massage without lotion, and some with these bars. 

Finished mini bars

They’re astoundingly simply to make, and if you’re at all inclined to be a DIY-er these are a great place to start. I make pretty much all of the self-care products I use (I don’t use many) and these rank up at the top of my list of favorites.

You do need something to use as a mold. The simplest would be to use little paper cups as a disposable option, but if you’ll do this repeatedly then it’s worth getting a silicone mold. They’re not too expensive and I’ve been using the same ones for over 10 years. If you order ingredients from an online store that has everything (hello amazon) then you can get a mold at the same time.

Ingredients for lotion bar

So, brace yourself. Here is the tricky recipe:

1 part beeswax

1 part coconut oil

1 part shea butter OR cocoa butter (or mango butter, but I’ve never tried it) or some of each.

Melt them all together and pour into molds. DONE.

Was that too easy? Did I lose you?

equal parts beeswax, shea butter and coconut oil


Here’s more detail: I put mine into a recycled glass jar (this one came full of honey). 1 cup of each ingredient fills this quart jar 3/4 full. You could also use 1/2 cup of each, or 1/4 cup, in a smaller jar. You can also melt directly in a pot, and I honestly don’t see a problem using one of your regular cooking pots- all of these ingredients are edible and you can wash them out, but it does require really hot water and some work. And you might not want to wash any beeswax down the drain, in case it hardens somewhere down the line and creates a blockage. You’ve been warned.

put the jar into a pot of water and heat gently

Then put the jar into a pot of water, and heat the water gently until everything is melted. I stirred it occasionally with an old chopstick. (Try to avoid looking at the stovetop that needs cleaning.)

melted lotion bar ingredients

Once it looks completely melted, remove from heat and carefully remove the jar from the hot water. I let it cool just a bit, then add the oils.

Essential oils for smell and health

I like a blend of clove, lemon, eucalyptus, cinnamon and rosemary. How much you add depends on how strong you want the smell. For my 3-cup recipe, I added about 50 drops, but you can use quite a bit less. Choose your oils based on health benefits or just what you like. I would lay odds that you know someone somewhere who’d LOVE to tell you all about what oils to use…

(One of my favorite recipes is to use the cocoa butter instead of shea butter and peppermint oil. It smells like mint chocolate. Label these carefully because they look and smell good enough to eat!)

lotion bars cooling in the molds

Pour the mixture into your molds. I put the molds onto a baking sheet with a silicone liner on it because it makes spills really easy to clean up. You could also put them on some waxed paper or aluminum foil, or just be really careful with your pouring.

lotion bars setting up

Once they’ve set up, I’ll pop them in the refrigerator to make sure they get quite hard. In Texas, much of the year my kitchen is warm enough that the bars would stay pretty soft, and I’d prefer to have them very firm when taking them out of the molds and moving them into containers for storage.

At home I keep mine in glass jars, either in the refrigerator (because Texas) or in the room where they get used the most. For my students I packaged them up pretty. But don’t leave these in your car on a warm day, or on your dresser in a ray of sunlight. They will melt. They’d still be completely useful, just messy.

Once you have a few bars stashed away, treat yourself to a foot massage! Your feet are your foundation and I’ll bet they could use a little love. It doesn’t really matter what techniques you use, just move your foot all around, spread your toes, dig in to your arch… whatever feels good. And it doesn’t just FEEL good, it is DOING good for your body. This isn’t self-indulgence, it’s health care! (For that matter, don’t wait until you’ve made these bars to work on your feet. Grab some plain olive or coconut oil and start. Or go without oil. It’s all good!)

For some loving service to your family, give a foot rub to your partner or child or parent. You’ll both benefit!

Go forth and massage. The world will be better for it.

finished packages




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