What is a lotion bar? FAQs on sustainable personal care products

For any newcomer to low-waste products, it is easy to start by taking a close look at the products on your bathroom shelf. Over the last several years, plastic-free and lower waste alternatives for traditional toothpaste, toothbrushes, deodorant, lip balm, lotion, soap, and much more have started popping up in online and brick-and-mortar stores alike. Decreasing consumer waste is only one aspect of reducing environmental damage over time — but it is an important way to influence more consumer goods companies to reduce their carbon footprint and create more low-waste products.

When we started working with Haitian beekeepers in January 2019, we decided  to create products that not only provided economic opportunities to these farmers, but were also sustainable for American consumers to purchase and use. Thus, we created beeswax products that are both affordable and designed with environmental impact in mind. We launched our compostable Bee Good, Do Good lip balms in June 2019, and soon after released low-waste lotion bars in the fall. Since then, we have received great questions from our customers and supporters about what these beeswax lotion bars are, why we make them, and why they are a low-waste alternative to traditional bottled lotion.


FAQ 1: What is a lotion bar?

A lotion bar is a solid block of lotion, used for moisturizing skin as part of your personal care routine. Lotion bars are typically made with natural ingredients that stay solid at room temperature, but melt a little from body heat, making it easy to apply the lotion bar as needed and store in a reusable  container. Basically, lotion bars take the best of natural skin care — gentle, simple ingredients like shea butter and essential oils — and pack them into a small bar, rather than a large plastic bottle. This eliminates both the plastic waste from the bottle and water added to traditional lotion. Lotion bars pack in all the best moisturizing ingredients, concentrated without excess water or plastic waste.

FAQ 2: How do people use lotion bars? Can you use lotion bars in the shower?

Lotion bars can be used many different ways, depending on skin care needs and personal preferences. We recommend holding the lotion bar in your hands for 1 – 2 minutes before use; the warmth of your hands melts the solid bar, freeing up the lotion ingredients for application to the body. If the bar feels hard or tough to use, keep warming in your hands or start by rubbing on your arms to get the lotion to melt enough to spread easily. 

Many dermatologists and skin care experts recommend using a moisturizer right after showering or bathing, to lock in water left on the body and use it to hydrate skin throughout the day. Like any lotion, lotion bars are also an important go-to skin care product any time skin feels dry, cracked, or irritated.

FAQ 3: Why is a lotion bar better than drug-store bottled lotion?

While local recycling facilities are typically able to recycle lotion bottles, overall plastic recycling rates are shockingly low; in 2019, only 25.8% of U.S. recyclable household waste was actually recycled, the rest was incinerated or dumped in landfills by local recycling facilities due to numerous challenges. Thus, it is better to reduce plastic consumption up front, and rely less on recycling by simply not buying lotion bottled in plastic when possible. Further, many drugstore lotion brands make far-fetched claims about their use and effectiveness, use ingredients unidentifiable to the average consumer, and are watered down to make certain ingredients feel less greasy. Lotion bars may be the right choice for those looking for natural skin care made with simple ingredients and low-waste packaging.


FAQ 4: What are the personal benefits of a lotion bar made with beeswax?

Beeswax has been used for the last two thousand years for human use in food and personal care, due to its many beneficial properties. When used in personal care products, beeswax excels at hydrating and soothing skin without clogging pores, by creating a long-lasting barrier to protect skin from environmental pollutants and harsh weather. We make our lotion bars with beeswax, shea butter, and essential oils to ensure that users enjoy the benefits of beeswax, as well as the moisturizing properties of other natural ingredients.

If you are curious about trying out a lotion bar, check out our online store — we offer three scents of our beeswax lotion bars. Feel free to reach out to our team any time with additional questions, by emailing info@vetiversolutions.org.

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