Yes, indeed, friends. I am falling a bit behind. Because life and work and holidays and homeschooling are happening over here, and sometimes even a weekly blog post feels like a lot to keep up with.
Thank you for your patience, and for joining me on this journey to greater sustainability, one small step at a time. What say you instead of calling this a weekly challenge, we call it a bi-monthly to weekly challenge? Please and thank you for your understanding. Now let’s get on with it!
For challenge 7 in One Small Step, I want to get personal, and look at what you use to moisturize your skin. Most of us keep a big plastic pump or squeeze bottle of lotion in the house, plus a thick plastic pot (or two) of rich body cream in the bathroom or bedroom.
This week, I want to offer you a more sustainable alternative to lotions and creams: the humble and often overlooked lotion bar. (Yes, I’ll even share a DIY recipe later in the post!)
What are the benefits of lotion bars over lotions or creams? There are many!
Lotion Bar > Lotion
- Lotion bars can be sold plastic-free: If you mindfully purchase or choose to DIY, lotion bars normally arrive without the disheartening plastic packaging. That’s an easy win in my book. LüSa Organics lotion bar tins are refillable, as, of course, are the bars you make at home.
- Lotion bars are always water-free: When you purchase a lotion your bottle contains more than 50% water! That adds up to a higher carbon footprint, as the product is made, packaged, and shipped. A lotion bar, on the other hand, is water-free. This means they are lighter to ship, require no synthetic preservatives, and are super concentrated and long-lasting. And because cream and lotion are simply an emulsion of water and oil, you can create a similar experience with this water-free product by simply wetting your hands before application. Easy-peasy.
- Lotion bars are preservative-free: Because there’s no water in a lotion bar, they lack a place for mold and bacteria to grow. That means no need for synthetic preservatives! A win for your skin (and for the earth).
- Lotion bars are super concentrated: A tiny amount of lotion bar goes a very long way. That means you can buy or make one small tin, then use it for months. No need for filling your trash bin or recycling bag with lotion bottles week after week.
You can find our very own line of Lotion Bars (that we’ve been making since 1997) here, including my go-to, Unscented Calendula, or four essential oil-scented varieties from uplifting citrus to grounding patchouli, energizing peppermint to relaxing lavender.
Order one or more LüSa Lotion Bars (including our zero-waste refills) this week, and a note of “ONE SMALL STEP” to your order notes. We’ll tuck a free sustainable gift in with your order (a scratch-and-dent, organic bar soap sample–palm oil-free, of course).
Or DIY your own with the simple recipe I created for you. Find it below!
DIY Zero-Waste Lotion Bar Recipe + Tutorial
While I would be most delighted if you purchased Lotion Bars, that’s not in everyone’s budget or lifestyle. So a simple DIY lotion bar recipe follows if you’d like to try to make your own!
Worth noting: the way the lotion bar feels on your skin and how quickly it absorbs after application will vary widely with the types of oils and butters you choose. I’ve listed a few of my favorites below.
Also worth noting, some skin types find coconut oil to be quite drying (counterintuitive, I know), so I have not included it on the list that follows. If you make a lotion bar using coconut oil and do find it to be drying, try again with a more moisturizing oil. Conversely, if your lotion bar is quite oily, it could be on account of your oil choice (using straight olive oil, for example), which does not absorb as readily as other ingredients. Keep experimenting until you find a formula you love.
- 1/4 cup liquid oil of your choice (we love jojoba oil, avocado oil, and sunflower oil best, but you could even try working with the olive oil from your kitchen)
- 1/4 cup moisturizing butter of your choice (try shea butter, cocoa butter, mango butter)
- 1/4 cup grated beeswax
Step 1: Combine all ingredients in a double boiler. Gently warm over simmering water until just melted.
Step 2: Remove from heat, and stir to combine. Pour into an unlined, unoiled muffin tin or small heat-proof dish.
Step 3: Allow your lotion bar to cool overnight. Tip out of the muffin tin. If it won’t release, pop into the freezer for 15 to 20 minutes, then tip out. Store in an upcycled tin or other storage container.
Are you already a lotion bar convert? How do they compare to conventional lotions and creams in your experience?
You can find the entire One Small Step series here, or click through below for individual posts:
- One Small Step: a year of small actions with huge impact
- Swap Plastic Bottles of Soap for Bars (plus a DIY liquid recipe)
- Buy Less Stuff
- Switch to Loose Leaf Tea
- DIY All Purpose Citrus Cleaner
- 50 Ideas for More Sustainable Gifts
- Bring Your Own To-Go Box