A beauty DIY for you today in the form of a DIY Bug Repellent Lotion Bar.
I know we are well in the swing with Autumn now, but I wanted to share with you a recipe that I used in summer during my trip to Corfu. A lotion bar to moisturise your skin, as well as using the added properties of bug-repelling essential oils to ward off those pesky mosquitoes and other critters that want to take a nibble.
Check out my video at the bottom, for a video walkthrough of how to make these lotion bars.
Bug Repelling Essential Oils:
Essential oils are derived from plants, with the compounds being extracted and distilled or cold-pressed to create the various oils. Each essential oil has its own characteristics and essence. There are many essential oils out there, and all have various properties that can aid in your health and well-being. Some of these essential oils also have qualities that aid in repelling insects and bugs, apparently. For more information on essential oils, One Essentials Community has some great advice.
In this recipe I have chosen to use the following essential oils:
- Citronella – Best known for repelling mosquitoes. Apparently masks the scents that bugs find attractive (e.g. carbon dioxide).
- Lavender – Versatile oil in repelling all types of bugs.
- Lemongrass – Similar to Citronella, has qualities to repel all types of bugs, including mosquitoes and fleas.
- Rose Geranium – Geranium is known for repelling various insects.
- Peppermint – Insects dislike the scent of peppermint.
- Clary Sage – Repels mosquitoes.
I chose these essential oils, not only for the insect repelling qualities but because I like the scents. I wanted to make sure the DIY bug repellent lotion bar was pleasantly smelling to me.
*Always check whether the essential oils you choose are safe around small children if you intend to use this with them. Also, be mindful that some essential oils can be harmful to your pets, so again, check which ones you can use.*
DIY Bug Repellent Lotion Bar:
So, making a DIY bug repellent lotion bar is really easy. It consists of various kinds of butter and oils that are firm but melt on your skin. These are designed to moisturise your skin, as well as repelling various insects and bugs. This recipe makes approximately 7 – 8 lotion bars, dependent on the size of your moulds.
To make these lotion bars, you will need the following ingredients:
- 1 Cup (approx 220g) of Grated Beeswax.
- 1 Cup (approx 220g) of Coconut Oil.
- 1/2 cup (approx 110g) Shea Butter.
- 1/2 cup (approx 110g) Cocoa Butter.
- 5 drops of each essential oil; Citronella, Lavender, Lemongrass, Rose Geranium, Peppermint and Clary Sage.
Step 1 – Melt the butters and oil together:
Over a pan of hot water, melt together the shea butter, cocoa butter and beeswax. Ensure that they do not burn by stirring the occasionally whilst they melt. When the mixture is nearly melted, add in the coconut oil and continue until all are melted and combined together.
Step 2 – Add in bug repelling essential oils:
Once fully melted, remove the bowl from the heat, and allow to cool slightly. Then begin adding in your chosen bug repelling essential oils. You want to add 5 drops of each to the mixture and then stir to fully combine.
Step 3 – Place into the mould and allow to set:
Before pouring your melted mixture into your chosen mould, make sure they are fully clean, dry and sterilised. Using rubbing alcohol can help sterilise these, and it evaporates so should not leave a wet residue in the mould. I place mine in a spray bottle to do this.
Then gently spoon or pour your mixture into the mould, filling until near the top. You want to be mindful of making sure the worktop is protected as this can be quite messy. Also, make sure they are in an area where they are not going to be moved until they are nearly set.
Allow to set.
Step 4 – Remove from moulds
Once set, you can then remove your DIY lotion bars from their moulds and set them to use. Wrap them in greaseproof paper or use small tins to store them in (like the ones from lush).
You should now have your very own DIY Bug Repellent Lotion Bar ready to use in repelling those pesky mosquitoes and other critters looking for a nibble.
DIY Bug Repellent Lotion Bar – Potential issues:
Now, I don’t know if it was my ratio of oils and butters or whether the UK heatwave played a major part, but the first time around my lotion bars didn’t set too well. They were just too soft. If this happens you can add in an extra cup of beeswax, melting down your newly made lotion bars with this. Re-set these and fingers crossed, you will have well-set DIY bug repellent lotion bars.
I have also read that adding in more of hard butter, like cocoa butter will aid the process in setting harder. Experiment with your ratios, if you are having difficulties in the setting process.
I like to keep my lotion bars in the fridge, especially when using abroad, like in Corfu so that they don’t melt in the higher heat. This will also help in speeding up the setting process too.
Will you be giving this recipe a go? Let me know in the comments below: