DIY Dandelion Lotion Bar Recipe: Soothing and Moisturizing

RusticWise, DIY dandelion lotion bar illustration

If you’re anything like me, you suffer from flaky, dry skin. Or maybe your hands are all chapped from working in the garden or kitchen all day.

Are you looking for a natural solution? Look no further than this DIY dandelion lotion bar recipe. Dandelions are not just pesky weeds in your yard—they have amazing skincare benefits that can help nourish and hydrate your skin. This easy recipe uses 3 core ingredients (shea butter, dandelion-infused oil, beeswax pastilles), and 2 optional ingredients (jojoba oil, and an essential oil of your choice).

Commercial lotions often contain harmful chemicals and preservatives that can irritate sensitive skin. By making your own lotion bars at home, you can control the ingredients and ensure that you’re applying natural substances on your skin.

Check out this step-by-step guide on how to create your own dandelion lotion bars with freshly harvested flowers that will leave your skin feeling soft and supple. Say goodbye to store-bought lotions and give this natural skincare recipe a try!

What is a lotion bar, exactly?

Simply put, a lotion bar is a type of body lotion or cream available in a convenient, solid form.

One benefit of a lotion bar is that it’s easy to lug around. Stash it in your purse. Bring it with you when traveling or camping. Bonus—you won’t ever have to worry about it spilling like liquid lotions.

The other benefit of a DIY lotion bar is that it’s low waste. No need for disposable plastic packaging.

And finally, a homemade lotion bar is made (with love) using natural, skin-loving ingredients. Plus, they make great gifts!

Uses for dandelion lotion bars

With a bit of body heat, these lovely bars melt upon skin contact and are suitable for all skin types, especially those in need of moisturizing properties.

  • Great for eczema
  • Heals dry skin or cracked skin
  • Soothes irritated skin

A closer look at the dandelion plant

Dandelions are one of my favorite so-called weeds. Yes, they can be a nuisance (especially if you’re trying to keep a pristine yard). But, once you learn to use the parts of the plant, I’m sure you’ll fall in love with it too.

This perennial plant is scientifically referred to as Taraxacum officinale and is found growing wild in temperate regions around the world. It’s characterized by its yellow blossom heads which are actually comprised of many tiny florets. Its green jagged leaves inspired its namesake; in French this plant is called dent de lion, which means “lion’s tooth.” The puffball seeds are a telltale sign spring has arrived.

Did you know that virtually all parts of the dandelion plant are edible (except for the milky stems which can be very bitter)? Use dandelion to brighten up your culinary creations. You can gather dandelion petals to make homemade dandelion fritters, or make a pitcher of refreshing blossom iced tea with honey.

The tender, young leaves are packed with vitamins A, C, E, and K as well as minerals like iron and zinc make a tasty addition to fresh salads, while the older dandelion greens can be cooked

And let’s not forget the fleshy brown taproots. Pull these out to make a caffeine-free coffee alternative.

Are dandelion flowers good for skin?

Yes, dandelion blossoms have many benefits for the skin. Packed with antioxidants, the yellow blossoms contain vitamins, minerals, and skin-soothing properties.

Here are a few skin benefits of dandelion blossoms:

  • May protect skin from photoaging: Sun exposure over the years can lead to premature skin aging (or photoaging). A 2015 study looked at dandelion flower, leaf, and root extracts and whether they had protective properties for the skin. Results show that flower and leaf extracts in particular were effective at absorbing UV rays, protecting from UVB damage, and guard against cellular aging. (The root extracts had less protective effects against UV rays.)²
  • Packed with antioxidants: The yellow blossoms are rich in polyphenols, which help fight against free radicals and skin damage.
  • Soothing and moisturizing: Dandelion has anti-inflammatory properties, which provide relief for irritated skin. The natural fatty acids in the plant also help to moisturize and soften dry skin.

Incorporating dandelion into homemade skincare, like this easy lotion bar recipe, allows you to harness the flower’s many benefits for radiant, healthy skin.

RusticWise, diy dandelion lotion bar, dandelion flowers
Freshly picked dandelion flowers from our yard.

How to harvest and dry dandelion flowers

Whether you have easy access to dandelions in your yard (like me), or forage them, please only harvest from areas that have not been sprayed with chemicals. (And please leave a few blossoms behind for the bees and other pollinators!)

  • Harvest: Pick dandelions on a sunny morning. The heads are easy to pluck off with your fingertips. (Harvesting the yellow blooms is a fun way to get little ones involved, too!)
  • Rinse: Once you’ve gathered enough blossoms, give them a quick rinse in cold running water in a colander. Gently pat dry.
  • Dry: Line a baking sheet with several clean dish cloths, or paper towel. Arrange fresh dandelion blooms to dry in a single layer. You can place them outdoors on a warm sunny day to speed up the process, or air-dry them indoors for a few days until they’re completely dried.

Tip: It’s crucial that you don’t skip the drying step as it removes any water or moisture. Water can introduce bacteria and eventually mold in your herbal oil infusions, so you’ll want to work with dried botanicals only.

How to make dandelion infused oil

There are 2 main ways to make an herbal oil infusion: cold (aka room temperature) infusion, which requires a bit of patience; or heat infusion, which speeds up the process (but may slightly reduce the delicate beneficial compounds of the flowers).

To make dandelion oil, you’ll need to first select a carrier oil. I used extra virgin olive oil, but you could also use sweet almond oil, avocado, grapeseed, or safflower oil, which have similar properties.

RusticWise, DIY dandelion lotion bar, infused oil
Use dried dandelion flowers to discourage mold growth.

Cold infusion

You’ll need:

  • Clean mason jar and lid
  • Oil of your choice
  • Dried dandelion blossoms
  • Coffee filter or fine sieve for straining
  1. Loosely pack a clean glass jar with dried dandelion flowers, leaving a bit of room at the top.
  2. Pour oil into the jar ensuring the dried herbs are fully submerged, with the oil level sitting roughly 1 inch above the top of the herbs.
  3. Place on a warm sunny windowsill. The heat of the sun helps to coax out the botanical properties of the flowers.
  4. Remember to occasionally shake and swirl your cold infusion jar. It should be ready in about 4-6 weeks.
  5. Strain the herbal infusion into a clean jar using either a fine sieve or coffee filter. Store the strained oil in a cool, dark place until you’re ready to use it. Don’t forget to label with the name and date!

Quick, hot infusion

Using heat, you can quickly extract the beneficial compounds of the plant. Keep in mind that this quicker method comes at the cost of a (slight) loss in beneficial compounds.

You can do this on the stovetop (if you’re only doing one or two jars), or a slow cooker for a more hands-off approach. In a nutshell, you’ll fill the jars with dried herbs and oil, place the lids on, and slowly heat them for several hours over low heat.

For more details, check out our tutorial on doing oil infusions.

RusticWise_DIY dandelion lotion bar, ingredients
The core ingredients: dandelion oil, shea butter, and beeswax pellets.

DIY dandelion lotion bar recipe

This easy recipe calls for equal parts shea butter, dandelion oil, and beeswax pellets. I added a bit of jojoba oil for extra skin softening properties. You can also use essential oils if you like.

But, the jojoba oil and essential oils are completely optional—feel free to skip these if you’d like.

Making a lotion bar doesn’t require exact precision such as cold process soap, for example. So, you don’t need to weigh the ingredients on a scale, but it definitely helps if you want to perfect your lotion bar game.

Here’s a quick look at the ingredients you’ll use to make homemade dandelion lotion bars:

  • Shea butter: Deeply moisturizing, this luxurious ingredient helps nourish and protect dry, damaged skin and replenish the skin’s natural moisture barrier
  • Dandelion oil: Softens, hydrates, and protects skin.
  • Beeswax: Helps to harden the lotion bar and acts as a humectant, retaining moisture on skin. Plus, it’s antibacterial to boot!
  • Jojoba oil (optional): I added a tablespoon of jojoba as it’s a light oil which contains vitamin E, copper, and zinc—all good things for skin nourishment.
  • Essential oil (optional): A few good skin-soothing options include lavender oil, chamomile oil, clary sage, or rose oil. You can also choose to go scent-free.

Supplies you’ll need

  • Measuring cups and spoons
  • Small bowls
  • Something to stir with, such as a wooden chopstick or spoon
  • A small silicone spatula to scrape out all the goodness
  • Double boiler or saucepan with a glass jar (or a DIY version of one which I’ll cover below)
  • Silicone mold

Recipe and instructions

You’ll need a double boiler to melt the shea butter and beeswax. Don’t have one? No worries, you can make a DIY version using a saucepan and a heat-proof container such as a canning jar, or a Pyrex bowl or Pyrex measuring cup.

I placed canning rings along the bottom of the saucepan to create a barrier between the container and the heat source.

RusticWise, DIY dandelion lotion bar, saucepan
Canning rims.

Feel free to cut this recipe in half to test how you like the lotion bars. It’s also easy to double or triple the recipe if you’re making gifts.

Yield: Makes approximately 5-8 solid lotion bars, depending on the size of your mold. (My first batch made 2 large bars, and 6 smaller ones.)

  • 1 cup shea butter
  • 1 cup dandelion oil
  • 1 cup beeswax pellets
  • 1 tablespoon jojoba oil (optional)
  • 10 drops of essential oil (optional)
RusticWise, DIY dandelion lotion bar, finished bars
Finally finished!

Here’s how to make dandelion lotion bars.

  1. Measure all ingredients.
  2. Fill double-boiler or saucepan with water with a few inches of water. Turn on low heat to warm the water. It’s important not to let the temperature get too hot, or you’ll burn the ingredients.
  3. Melt the beeswax first and stir until smooth. Next, add shea butter and mix until fully melted, then add the dandelion oil. Add jojoba oil (optional).
  4. Remove from heat. Add any essential oils and mix.
  5. Pour the mixture into silicone molds. Let sit at room temperature for at least 2 hours before unmolding to let them solidify. (I was impatient and tried to unmold mine too quickly and ended up ruining a couple!) If your ambient room temperature is very warm, you can stick these in the fridge until hardened.

That’s it! This DIY dandelion lotion bar is truly an easy DIY project that you can tackle in an afternoon (with the exception of infusing the oil with dandelions).

Recipe tweaks

If you’re not a fan of the main ingredients, or don’t have any on hand, here are a few alternatives. Please note, I haven’t tried any of the following substitutions myself, but the alternatives have similar properties (hard oils, soft oils, etc.)

  • Shea butter substitutions: Cocoa butter, coconut oil, mango butter, avocado butter, or cupuacu butter (a rich, but more pricey body butter).
  • Olive oil substitutions: Sweet almond oil, avocado, grapeseed, or safflower oil.
  • Beeswax alternative: Candelilla wax is a plant-based alternative to beeswax. However, it’s harder than beeswax, so add only half the amount. For example, if the recipe calls for 1 cup beeswax, use only ½ cup candelila wax.

How to store DIY lotion bars

To store DIY lotion bars, it’s important to keep them in a cool, dry place to prevent them from melting or becoming too soft. One option is to store them in an airtight container such as a metal tin, glass jar, or Tupperware with a lid, away from direct sunlight or heat sources. You can also wrap them in wax paper or parchment paper to protect them and keep them fresh.

How long do dandelion lotion bars last?

Your lotion bars should last at least 6 months if stored properly. But it really depends on how fresh your oils are. Plus, if you’ve made substitutions with other oils with shorter shelf lives, you may notice your bars go rancid more quickly.

If you’ve, for example, substituted olive oil (which typically has a shelf life of 2 years) with grapeseed oil (which lasts around 1 year), your bars may not last as long.

Shea butter has a longer shelf life of about 2 years.

👉Find more wellbeing topics on nourishing your body and soul with natural food, herbs, plants, and household products.

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References

  1. Mount Sinai, Dandelion, https://www.mountsinai.org/health-library/herb/dandelion. Accessed April 2024.
  2. Yang, Y., & Li, S. (2015). Dandelion Extracts Protect Human Skin Fibroblasts from UVB Damage and Cellular Senescence. Oxidative medicine and cellular longevity, 2015, 619560. https://doi.org/10.1155/2015/619560

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