Solid lotion is a semi-soft bar made of blended wax, butters, and oils. It is used in the treatment of very dry skin. The bar is most often warmed in the hands before use. The user's body heat will soften the wax so that it can be easily applied.
Since solid lotion is a heavy-duty moisturizing bar, it is most often recommended for the treatment of rough patches of skin. Areas that undergo a lot of exposure, such as the heels or the elbows, are optimum places for a solid moisturizer to be used. Some users have also reported success in treating the skin condition eczema with the use of a solid lotion.
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Though solid moisturizers and fragrances have been used since the dawn of cosmetics, they underwent a resurgence in the United States during 2006. At this time, airlines enforced new restrictions on the toiletries that could be carried by passengers in order to speed up pre-flight baggage checks. Liquid lotions were not allowed, but solid lotions were encouraged.
Proponents of solid lotions also use the product because it is less messy in general. There is no chance of a solid lotion spilling or breaking during transport. Some solid lotion is even manufactured in the same kind of container used for solid deodorant and is applied in a similar manner.
Solid lotions are often sold in upscale spas and specialty cosmetics stores. They are touted for their use of entirely natural ingredients during a time when many consumers were concerned about unknown chemicals in their lotions and cosmetics. Solid lotion is also said to be more "green" because it does not require use of a plastic container. But the soap should be wrapped between uses to avoid gathering lint and dust.
It is relatively easy to make solid lotion at home. The wax can be melted over the stove and in the microwave, and small amounts of butter or oils can be added. The wax can then be poured into molds while it is still liquid and allowed to set.
Because of the expense of butters and oils, solid moisturizers are not necessarily cheap to create. But home creation allows for the user to choose their favorite scent or to tailor their choice of butters and oils to their particular skin type. Solid lotion is a good beginner's project for someone looking for a hands-on solution for very dry skin.