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I have a confession to make. I’m addicted to LUSH products, especially their massage bars! If you don’t know LUSH, it is a fresh, handmade cosmetic company that has stores all over the world. Their products are original and smell amazing… but they are also pretty expensive. Now don’t get me wrong, I think they are worth every penny. Most of their products are organic, contain little or no synthetic chemicals and are completely cruelty free.
My mother first introduced me to LUSH about 20 years ago (oh wow, now I feel old!). Over the years and two different continents, it’s always been my go-to when I want to treat myself (or top of my birthday wish list!). But being on a limited budget I can’t justify the expensive of LUSH products that often.
So what is a massage bar I hear you ask? Massage bars are solid bars that look like soap but are actually made of skin-loving body butters and essential oils. They melt with the heat of the skin and leave a slight oil trail behind when rubbed on the skin. Basically you just slide one over any area on your body and then you’re ready for a nice massage!
Massage bars are slightly different to lotion bars, as they are designed for the oil to sit on the surface of the skin long enough to have a relaxing massage! Although these can be used as lotion bars, you have to be prepared to wait a few minutes for the oils to sink into your skin.
All you need is a willing volunteer to rub the massage bar all over your back and help you relax! Or if you are lacking a volunteer you can use it to massage yourself – think sore legs after a tough workout. You can also use them to help soothe a fussy toddler or child. My children love a very gentle massage when they can’t sleep. Just be careful about the ingredients (especially the essential oils) you pick if you plan to use it on a toddler or child.
A while ago my daughter asked me if we could make some bath bombs. I knew they were relatively easy to make, so we did a quick online search and found some great recipes – many claiming to be the same as LUSH bath bombs. While searching I also found instructions on how to make DIY massage bars. It was a complete EUREKA moment for me! I’m not sure why I hadn’t considered making my own massage bars before. The ingredients are easy to get hold of, don’t cost much and they can be highly customized to suit your needs. And best of all it can all be done in about 5 minutes!
These massage bars use just 3 ingredients – Cocoa Butter, Shea Butter and Lavender Essential Oil. I’m mildly obsessed with lavender oil, so that’s why I chose it. You can pick whichever oil you prefer or have on hand.
A quick note about the body butters. Cocoa butter does have a smell that some people don’t like and it can over power the essential oil. I like to use it because it is excellent for the skin and fading stretch marks (ahem!). It also is solid at room temperature. I live in Florida, so my house is often on the warmer side and other butters tend to be too soft. So that’s why I chose to use mainly cocoa butter. I also picked shea butter because… well… it’s shea butter and it’s wonderful for all types of skin issues. You can pretty much use any body butters you like – try mango butter, avocado butter or kokum butter if you prefer.
Anyway, back to the recipe. First you want to break your cocoa butter and shea butter into small pieces to make it quicker to melt. I just used a knife but you can use a grater if you prefer.
Using a double boiler (or a bowl in a saucepan of hot water like I did) you need to gently heat the oils, stirring occasionally, until they are completely melted. You can also do this in the microwave by using a microwave safe bowl and heating them in 30 seconds bursts until completely melted.
Next you will add your lavnder essential oil to the melted butters. I added about 20-30 drops, but really just add enough to get the strength of scent that you want. Gently stir it all together.
Now you are ready to pour the mixture into your molds. Please be very very careful doing this! The melted butters are hot and your bowl will be hot too! You can melt the butters in a glass measuring jug in the microwave to make things a little easier if you want. I used a soap making mold, but you can use anything you like, as long as it will hold up to the temperature – candy making molds are good for this if you want cute shapes. I like to use regular soap sized molds because the bars can be slippery and the larger bars are easier to hold.
Once you have poured your mixture into the molds you have to leave them to cool. You can either leave them overnight or if your impatient (like me!) you can put them in the refrigerator for 4-5 hours. The outside will harden before the middle, so try to avoid poking the bars or else you will end up with a nice finger sized indent in your bar (yes, I know this from experience!).
After the bars have completely hardened they should easily come out of the molds. You are now ready for a lovely relaxing massage! The bars will stay solid at room temperature, but try not to expose them to too much heat. Store them in a closed container and they should last 6-12 months (depending on the essential oils and butters you used).
I think you’ll really enjoy making and using these massage bars. They are great for your skin and will help you relax. They also make great gifts! Taking time with a loved one to pamper each other is even more important when our lives are busy and hectic. And nothing is better than a nice romantic massage.
5 Minute DIY Massage Bar
A DIY massage bar made from just 3 ingredients that takes only 5 minutes to make. Your skin will thank you!
This recipe contains affiliate links, which cost you nothing, but do help to support this site’s maintenance and fees.
- 1/2 Cup Cocoa Butter
- 1/4 Cup Shea Butter
- 20-30 drops Lavender Essential Oil
Add lavender essential oil to the melted butters. Add as much or as little are you want depending on your needs. Stir together carefully.
Carefully remove from heat and pour into a soap mold.
Leave overnight or put in refrigerator for 3-4 hours until the bars have completely hardened.
Remove from mold and enjoy!
The type of mold you use is up to you. I like to use this soap mold as I find they are the right size and shape for the massage bars. The bars are slippery, so you want them large enough that you can get a good hold on them!