DIY Homemade Lotion – 3 Recipes for 3 Textures

The other day a guy at a skin care kiosk in the mall forced a sample of “moisture day cream” upon me. The first ingredient is “aqua,” a fancy word for water I suppose, the second ingredient is glycerin, and the remaining 15 ingredients are words I’ve never heard of, including caprylic triglyceride, petrolatum, betaine, and isopropyl myristate.

What? Why would I put that on my face? No thanks. I’ll make my own lotion with ingredients I can pronounce.

Before you continue, decide what kind of lotion you’re looking for. Hard, medium, or soft. I prefer the hard one because it’s the least amount of ingredients and lasts the longest ounce per ounce.

Also, this will look intimidating the first time you read through this and try it. But once you get the hang of it, it’s VERY easy!

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Basic Recipe (Instructions Below)

I measured everything with a scale, so this is by weight. You can make as much or as little as you want! If this confuses you, just decide that 1 part = 1 ounce. That’ll give you a manageable amount of lotion to work with.

1. Hard – Easiest (about the consistency of butter in a cold room)

Perfect for face or hand cream, or places where you need intense moisture.

  • 2 parts liquid oil (Olive, sweet almond, avocado, whatever you want)
  • 3 parts liquid (Distilled water, tea, witch hazel, aloe vera juice, rose water, orange blossom water, etc.)
  • 1 part beeswax 
  • 2 parts coconut oil 

2. Medium – Medium Difficulty (about the consistency of softened butter)

  • 3 parts liquid oil (Olive, sweet almond, avocado, whatever you want)
  • 10 parts liquid (Distilled water, tea, witch hazel, aloe vera juice, rose water, orange blossom water, etc.)
  • 1 part beeswax 
  • 3 parts coconut oil 
  • 2 parts cornstarch (Helps bind ingredients together. You can omit, but texture may be different)
  • .5 parts honey (Optional. Helps bind ingredients together. )

3. Soft – Semi-Difficult (about the consistency of most store-bought lotions)

Perfect for arms, legs, or other large areas.

  • 4 parts liquid oil (Olive, sweet almond, avocado, whatever you want)
  • 15 parts liquid (Distilled water, tea, witch hazel, aloe vera juice, rose water, orange blossom water, etc.)
  • 1 part beeswax 
  • 4 parts coconut oil 
  • 4 parts cornstarch (Helps bind ingredients together. You can omit, but texture may be different)
  • .5 parts honey (Optional. Helps bind ingredients together.)
  • For this recipe, I recommend substituting some of the water with aloe vera juice, as it may help bind the ingredients better.

Before You Start

Decide on an essential oil for desired treatment or smell. I personally love the smell of beeswax, so I kept mine pretty plain with just a few drops of marjoram and rosemary.

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Then, decide on what liquid you’d like to use. You can use regular filtered water, witch hazel, rose water, orange blossom water, tea, and many others. I wanted to experiment with brewing witch hazel with tea!

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The best way to keep a consistent product is to measure ingredients by weight. I know that’s a bummer, as many of you don’t have a kitchen scale. I encourage you to get a cheapo kitchen scale. Oh look, here’s one for like 6 bucks! If you really don’t intend on buying a scale, try these recipes with volume instead of weight.

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For all of the recipes, you’ll need to melt the ingredients together (You can use the stove or the microwave for this) EXCEPT for the liquid (water, etc). 

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The Best Way to Do It

1. Melt everything [except the liquid (water, etc.) and the cornstarch] together in a microwave or on the stove.
2. Warm up the liquid (water, etc.) in the microwave until it’s very hot or near boiling.
3. Dump the liquid (water, etc) in the food processor and close the lid, allowing for the hole on the lid.
4. Slowly pour in the melted oil/wax mixture into the water while it’s blending on high.

The Lazy Way that Mostly Works

(Not recommended for the liquidy recipe!)

1. Put all of the ingredients in the food processor.
2. Take out the blade and put it in the microwave till everything is pretty much melted.
3. Blend the heck out of it.

Equipment

I use this food processor and it works like a charm. I tried one batch in a Magic Bullet and it worked…however, it’s not as easy to do because you need to melt the ingredients down and process them AS they cool down. The problem with using a Magic Bullet is that there’s no air flow so it doesn’t cool down as quickly. You can probably also use a blender, especially for the liquidy recipe, but I have not personally tried that yet.

Method

When you first put the ingredients in, the mixture will probably fly into every crack and crevice in the food processor.

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Take the lid off and scrape the lotion into the main container.

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Then scrape off the sides.

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As you go along, you’ll see that the mixture is coming together and solidifying, and less of it will fly up to the top.

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As you can see, after doing this process about 5 times, hardly any is flying to the top. This is when you know it’s just about ready.

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At this stage, take the lid off of the food processor and put the main container in your freezer for a few minutes. Take it out and blend it again. I recommend doing this a few times until you’re sure that the oils and liquids have come together. This is the fastest way of bringing these ingredients together: Blend it, scrape it, freeze it, blend it, scrape it, freeze it.

Note: It will solidify just a little bit after it settles for a few hours. 

This process is generally much easier with the “hard” recipe, and a little more tricky with the soft recipe. So if this intimidates you, I recommend starting with the hard texture, (which is my favorite anyway) and going from there.

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If You Get Stuck

My first attempt at this last year was a DISASTER. But it was only a disaster because I didn’t know that my recipe was in fact salvageable. I read a lot of recipes online that said how crucial it was to get the oil/wax mixture and water at the EXACT same temperature before you even start and slooooowly drizzle the water into the oil. I was told that if you didn’t get it right the first time, just throw it away.

Not this girl! I’m way too stubborn for that.

If you get going and see that the oil and water is separating, don’t panic. Put the lotion back in the microwave and melt it all together again. Blend it, scrape it, freeze it, blend it, scrape it, freeze it. Keep doing that until you see progress. If it separates again, nuke it, blend it, scrape it, freeze it. Leave a comment if you’re REALLY stuck and I’ll see if I can help you.

 

About Ande Truman

Ande has made mistakes in the kitchen since she could reach the countertop. From a restaurant head cook, to cooking meals for friends, to her own solo plate, experimenting & learning drives her. She's also a freelance graphic & web designer, photo/videographer, guitar player and wanderlust-er. In her spare time, she works a full-time 8 to 5 cubicle job. She's the creator of Broke & Healthy.

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Categories: Featured, Home Life, Homemade Cleaning & Care

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68 Comments

Comments for DIY Homemade Lotion – 3 Recipes for 3 Textures are now closed.

  1. Hi –

    Great post and recipes! I’ve started experimenting with creating my own lotions, scrubs etc. I made a DIY eczema cream last night and i’m not sure if I used a little too much honey (or maybe it was the beeswax i added) but the after effect is a tad sticky despite having shea butter, coconut oil, etc. Is there a way to fix this? Maybe melting it back down and adding more shea butter, coconut oil, etc to it? Its not super sticky but sticky enough that it isn’t as great as having that silky finish you normally get from a regular shea butter lotion. Help!

    Thanks in advance,
    Sarah

    • I have made this sometimes to hard sometimes to soft but doesn’t matter I found it all does the same thing. Thankyou I luv these recipes. I make for fundraising😊😊😊😊❤️❤️❤️

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  4. Hello Ande, I would like to know how this recipe feels on your skin, is it oily?
    It

  5. I read and re-read the instructions. When does the corn starch go in? I can only guess I picked the wrong time because I got a gooey mess. I can use it at home it requires warm water to wash off the sticky residue. I am also wondering if I can use arrowroot? Thanks

  6. I am wondering why you say to use a microwave???????. Not only is it much to easy to scorch the ingredients but microwaving destroys all the nutrients, antioxidants etc etc in the oils that your using, not to mention totally annihilates the essential oils. And I am going to make a crazy guess that its a very real possibility that microwaving can cause a reaction/change in proteins , enzymes, phytochemicals you name it , inside fruits and veggies I am sure it can to oils.. Aren’t the nutrients the reason why we make our own??
    Just Sayin

    • I was so concerned to see that you didn’t want to use the deadly stuff in commercial creams but you were using a microwave which destroys everything good in the ingredients you were now condoning using on your skin No worries though just switch to a water bath method or double broiler. Research as it seems that you have done to create the recipes to confirm this. The oils you have listed do have a distinct difference on the skin with some laying on top for a longer time than others and the smell too. There are exotic oils like argon and rosehip that do amazing things for your skin that you can. The water problem combining with the oils can be combated with an palm steric compound which is natural so that it emulsifies and it is cheap.. check ebay. there are also NATURAL emulsifiers that are not vegan that are cheaper. It is a consuming subject and a wonderful alternative to being a slave to commercial cosmetics so much cheaper and better. BUT DO NOT MICROWAVE.

  7. I can’t get the consistency. The consistency that I am getting is pure liquid and turns solid after you leave it for few minutes. I did the exact measurements. Oh and I’m only using three ingredients: water, beeswax, and almond oil. What is going wrong here? Please help!!

  8. Hi! Thanks for the awesome recipe 🙂 I always look for natural and herbal products and this moisturizer recipe is just perfect to try 🙂 By the way, just one question, how long can we store this ? It has to be stored at room temperature or in refrigerator?

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  10. I am having a ball making my own lotions and other spa products using http://www.MakeYourSpa.info – I’m making all sorts of things for friends! It’s great for learning how to make luxurious spa products (especially lotions) at home immediately and it’s easy 🙂 I save a lot of money not going to the spa and the products are exactly the same, if not better. I have used my friends and family to try out the products I’ve made and they have been absolutely delighted! I’m thoroughly enjoying working my way through the recipes and then adjusting them to my own design. I really wish I had started this years ago.

  11. You can avoid all of the chemicals and the doing it yourself with this all natural 2 ingredient Shea butter lotion by Ozone Layer. It has nothing unnecessary in it, just Shea butter and rosemary leaf extract. You can get it at Amazon or their website OzoneLayerProducts.com & http://www.amazon.com/Ingredient-Shea-Butter-Lotion-Fragrance/dp/B01693QXCA/

  12. Great post. I was checking continuously this
    blog and I’m impressed! Extremely useful info specially the remaining section 🙂 I take care of such information much.
    I was seeking this particular info for a very lengthy time.
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  13. My lotion came out too hard. What us the best way to soften it up? Thnx

  14. HELP! Lotion turned into gelatinous mess!! So I used arrowroot powder instead of cornstarch, heated up the water in the microwave and added the arrowroot while everything else was melting- I poured in the arrowroot/water into the oils etc.(I also subbed beeswax for candelila) and used an electronic whisk- It emulsified perfectly but turned into a gelatinous mess that would not absorb into my skin- it looked sort of like mucus. I added a ton more hot water which did work but it’s very watery now and doesn’t do much. Any advice would be appreciated! Where did I go wrong? Your blog is great but I keep messing the recipes up 🙁

  15. Is there any way one of the people who listed what was wrong / could be better regarding the ingredients or the process possibly please post a link (or just comment maybe) for an alternative recipe?
    I liked the look of this recipe but your concerns seem valid, though I admit I don’t know much about cosmetic chemistry. Thanks!

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  17. I cannot thank you enough for making this! I have extremely dry skin in the best of times, and the winter months only make it worse. So I’ve tried so many kinds of lotion for the driest of skin types and they never do a thing.

    This hard recipe feels lovely and actually keeps my face moisturized. No tightness and no flaking, actually soft and comfortable.
    I also think using it for a while (went through my whole jar!) made my skin better overall bc if I got lazy and skipped a day, my skin was still doing better than with regular lotions.

    I’m making some for my family and friends now, and of course more for myself. Looking forward to using different oils.

  18. When do you add the cornstarch for the thin consistency version??

  19. Sorry for posting the same post twice.

  20. On the whole I enjoyed the post (pictures showing your experiments, takes on your experience, use of readily avaliable items) But I have issues with your phobic take on ingredients your not familiar with and the recipe in general. My 4 big gripes about your post are:
    ●LACK OF A PRESERVATIVE: While honey does have antimicrobial properties, it’s inefficient as a preservative. Vitamin E is a great antioxidant that will help elongate oil shelf life, but is not a preservative. Also inadequate preservation PLUS the sugar from the honey is just a breading ground for bacteria. (Refrigeration will not keep this for longer than MAYBE a week.)
    ●THE LACK OF AN EMULSIFIER: Cornstarch is a great thickener, but it won’t keep the oil & water from separating. Neither will Honey or Aloe Vera Juice/Gel. Beeswax can be used to emulsify, but the inclusion of Borax is necessary if you want to use it as one.
    ●THE AMOUNT OF BEESWAX USED: Beeswax at 1-2% is great in a lotion. It gives it some rub off & water resistance. Too much beeswax makes for a heavy waxy skin feel. Good as a balm for super dry areas, bad for generally all-over topical use.
    ●REPETIVELY HEATING & MIXING TO KEEP THE LOTION TOGETHER: No emulsifier means you’ll have to keep mixing every use. If you just tweak your recipe by removing all water containing ingredients (eliminating the need for an emulsifier & preservative), lower the beesewax percentage you’ll have a nice recipe for a Body Butter.
    (I’m sorry for trolling your post, I just have a passion for cosmetic chemistry & wanted to help another diy-er.)

    • I am totally with you on this. I am not a chemist, but I taught lotion/cream/personal care items classes for years as well as soap making classes and I have done a lot of research and have a lot of experience. This would be MUCH MUCH better with some emulsifying wax and you NEED a tiny bit of preservative. I personally dont particularly like the heaviness of a product that has no water in it–most people want a lighter feel today. The products with oil/butters without water do have a place, but not generally on my face.

      Personally, I began with this type of recipe 20+ years ago and then progressed and learned to make creams and lotions that hold their own against any commercial product and have a shelf life of at least a year.

      I commend Ande for what you have here, but there is additional information and some better techniques out there. Sorry. Not trying to be mean, just keep going. You are headed in the right direction.

    • Okay so would using cocoa butter, shea butter and some almond/argon oil work for simple lotion? 75% on the butter 25% oils?

  21. On the whole I enjoyed the post (pictures showing your experiments, takes on your experience, use of readily avaliable items) But I have issues with your phobic take on ingredients your not familiar with and the recipe in general. My 3 big gripes about your post are:
    ●LACK OF A PRESERVATIVE: While honey does have antimicrobial properties, it’s inefficient as a preservative. Vitamin E is a great antioxidant that will help elongate oil shelf life, but is not a preservative. Also inadequate preservation PLUS the sugar from the honey is just a breading ground for bacteria. (Refrigeration will not keep this for longer than MAYBE a week.)
    ●THE LACK OF AN EMULSIFIER: Cornstarch is a great thickener, but it won’t keep the oil & water from separating.Neither will Aloe Vera Juice/Gel or Honey. Beeswax can be used to emulsify, but the inclusion of Borax is necessary if you want to use it as one.
    ●THE AMOUNT OF BEESWAX USED: Beeswax at 1-2% is great in a lotion. It gives it some rub off & water resistance. Too much beeswax makes for a heavy waxy skin feel. Great as a balm for super dry areas, bad for generally all-over topical use.
    ●REPETIVELY HEATING & MIXING TO KEEP THE LOTION TOGETHER: No emulsifier means you’ll have to keep mixing every use. If you just tweak your recipe by removing all water containing ingredients (eliminating the need for an emulsifier & preservative), lower the beesewax percentage & maybe use lighter liquid oils (ex: grapeseed oil), you’ll have a nice recipe for a Body Butter.

    I’m sorry if I’m trolling your blog. I just have a passion for cosmetic chemistry & wanted to comment

    • AMEN!!!!! Totally agree with everything you said. I also formulate personal care products and love it. Those “harmful, “toxic” chemicals that so many people are so afraid of do not scare me because a little real, scientific research takes care of that. 🙂

  22. Hi,I’m just wondering if it is o.k to use corn starch,tapioca starch and arrowroot powder in a face cream to make it less greasy and absorb better? Which one would be the best to use on the face and under the eyes? Thanks 🙂

  23. Wow thsi is interesting. Thanks for the encouragement. I don’t want oti complicate this but what about glycerin as a preservative?

    I’d like to pass this idea along we should all work together create a glycerin preservative method that works:

    We need 60-70% of it to work as a preservative. I was thinking we add an anti-humectant(joboba oil, beeswax, etc.) to cancel the humectant each time if that is possible. This would require us to have only 5% of product in it(60% glycerin & 35% anti-humectant). But glycerin+humectant might be cheap & worth it. There would also be 25% glycerin that wasn’t cancled but that isn’t too much.

    We can also use solid rain(the stuff from Mexico that collects water in soil for farming) to collect the glycerin each time we use a lotion or product with 60-70% glycerin. Without touching that much glycerin. This is useful for dry powders. I’m not sure if we could separate glycerin from lotion.

    If we could get something to work we could have our natural, effective, safe preservative:

  24. I made the hard consistency lotion today. I used your recipe for how many parts of each ingredient, but I used a different method as heating the oils and freezing repeatedly totally wrecks their effectiveness.
    I melted my beeswax and then as i waited for it to cool slightly i whipped everything else together with an electric whisk, then i poured the beeswax in whilst whipping. I left it on the counter and whipped it every 20-30 minutes for a couple of hours. Turned out great, i like the harder consistency of it.
    2 parts liquid oil – I used half neem oil & half calendula (as my skin is horrible)
    3 parts liquid – I used aloe vera gel
    1 part beeswax
    2 parts coconut oil – I changed this to shea butter to help reduce the greasiness.
    The lotion was still slightly oily, but it absorbed into my skin much quicker than other lotions i have made.

  25. Hi, I just have a quick question. I am wanting to make the hard consistency lotion, last week i made a lotion but it was way to oily. I think it was the coconut oils fault. I was wondering if it would change the consistency much if I used shea butter instead of coconut oil. And for the oil part could i use a mix of neem oil and calendula oils?

  26. Hello! I am wondering how long this lotion will conserve for..? I would like to make a large quantity, but I am worried that it will go bad if I make too much and cannot use it quickly. Thanks 🙂

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  28. It is so sweet of you to share your recipes. Even reading all the comments have given me a better understanding of this process. I am just learning about lotion making and yours is one of the articles that came up on google search. Just wanted to say thanks and blessings to you.

    • Thanks so much for commenting!

  29. I’ve been making lotion for years and can safely say your blends of oil, liquid and wax will not ever combine properly without an emulsifier. You have no anti-oxidant or preservative either. Instead of sneering at the unpronounceable ingredients in other products you might look up how they are created and why they are included in the formula. Also, the government regulates what is put on labels and the latin names of ingredients are a requirement therefore no one has ever heard those words in real life. Caprylic triglyceride is simply a derivative of coconut or palm oil. I personally would never put beeswax on my skin despite the fact it is “all natural”. It is a hard wax and I’m sure you have learned by experience that it can be melted but immediately turns hard upon cooling. Why would I want to clog my skin with it? You can find emulsifiers that are all natural waxes extracted from plants which will aid in your oils and liquids combining. I often tell people if you can make gravy you can make lotion. An emulsifier is the flour which combines milk and oil into gravy. I suppose cornstarch might have a similar effect in your lotions but I wouldn’t waste any expensive ingredients trying it. Cetearyl Alcohol (and) Ceteareth-20 is also derived from coconut and imparts a lovely feel to lotions. I don’t see any warnings about refrigerating these lotions and using them within a few days. I guarantee they will start going bad very quickly especially if you keep them in a jar and use your fingers to dip some out. Also, you are in danger of starting an oil fire melting those waxes and oils in an open pan on a stovetop burner. Use a double boiler or the microwave and watch carefully.

    • The beeswax does not clog your skin, but in fact helps to hold the moisture into your skin. I love a lotion that was developed by a surgeon, harder lotion containing beeswax to hold moisture in his skin, through hand washing all day. It is called Surgeon’s Secret. Do you think a surgeon would clog the skin on his hands? ….Oh and Ande thank you for the recipes, can’t wait to try them. I have very dry skin and love to make my own lotions, always looking for new recipes. And to Angel, beeswax is not a sticky feeling. Any lotion with good oils will take a minute or two to absorb.

    • Lisa, Ethanol is derived from corn but that doesn’t make it healthy. Just because something is derived from a natural source (like coconut) doesn’t make it safe for consumption either orally or through your pores. I mixed up a batch of the Soft recipe and it came together beautifully. I added eucalyptus and peppermint oils to ease my mom’s arthritis pain and she loves the lotion.

      The honey acts as a preservative and also has antibacterial properties. None of the ingredients require refrigeration (except if one chooses to use aloe juice as the liquid component) so the ingredients combined will be no more perishable than they are apart. If one is really concerned they can add vitamin E oil as a natural preservative.

      The cornstarch does in fact act as an emulsifier – just like it does in gravy to use your own analogy. Another option would be arrow root powder but it is more expensive than the corn starch.

      Beeswax used in small amounts will not clog your skin because the melting point of beeswax is lower than the human body temperature so it does not harden over your pores. It won’t prevent your skin from breathing any more than olive oil will provided you don’t slather in on in thick layers.

      Having spent my entire adult life working for the government, I have to say I wouldn’t recommend that anyone just take government regulatory guidelines at face value The unfortunate truth is that legislation (to include that which governs the USDA and FDA) is often impacted pretty heavily by lobbyists and big business. That is how we have gotten such guidelines as those that allowed ketchup to be considered the vegetable in kids’ school lunches back in the 70’s.

      At a minimum, one should do their own research and be sure they fully understand the ingredient list on anything they consume. My preference, though, is to make as much as I can myself from ingredients that I either produce or acquire from trusted sources.

      Thank you, Ande, for the recipe and all the work you did to share it. The pictures and step-by-step instructions are wonderful.

      • LOL at the ethanol comment. Ethanol is corn liquor (white lightning) that has been denatured (made unpalatable) by the addition of gasoline.

      • You are SO wrong. Honey is NOT a freaking preservative! It is nowhere near effective at preventing gram negative and gram positive bacteria OR fungus and mold. Do some research. Cornstarch is an emulsifier??! Are you KIDDING? Wow. NO it is not. Good grief.

    • First off, a little vitamin E is going to cover as an antioxidant, so if you’ve been making lotion for as long as you say you have, then I would imagine you’re already adding it, as I add it to any new recipe as a standard ingredient.
      And as an emulsifier, her cornstarch will work fine. I might substitute that with Arrowroot powder or Tapioca, but chemically her recipe is as sound as they come. Plus, a little research will show that the Beeswax is also an emulsifier that is incredibly good for your skin; this is a hydrating ingredient that increases moisture and helps relieve itching in sensitive skin.
      Now, as far as Ceteareth-20, it is considered a moderate to severe health hazard by cosmetics researchers (for the research article and research results on this ingredient, see http://thechalkboardmag.com/toxic-tuesday-ingredient-focus-ceteareth-20), worse yet, it opens your pores to allow for oil penetration, but in doing so, it also is directly entering your bloodstream, bypassing your entire immune system!
      In the end, it doesn’t matter what something is “derived from” after it’s been chemically altered. She is right to research and question those chemical ingredients. And you would be smart to do the same.
      Finally, if you’re using distilled water, adding Vit E, and using a spatula to dip your lotion out with, or something that keeps your fingers from touching the lotion, it’s going to be safe and last through an entire batch.
      Please do a little research before you try and dismantle something that someone has invested time and effort to share. After all, you’re free to destroy your own endocrine system, and enjoy liquid cancer, but I for one am grateful that there are other options.

    • hey lisa, i just made body butter which was too greasy for me even i put tapioca powder in it and im thinking about trying out some diy lotion (wanna make a thicker lotion but not body butter cuz of the greasiness) whats ur recipe for lotion?? id love to hear what you use for the base, preservative etc. thanks . my email is sar8.ning@gmail.com

    • This was my first time ever making lotion and used the recipe for the hard recipe verbatim. I had no problem at all combining the blend without an emulsifier, and the lotion was so nice I didn’t need to worry about a preservative.

      I will adapt the recipe next time to use a bit less beeswax, but I didn’t find the current amount clogging at all – just feel less beeswax and either more shea or some cocoa butter will be more moisturizing. def want some beeswax in to help seal in the moisture.

      There’s a reason there are so many products on the market, everyone wants/ needs something slightly different in a product. Thank you for sharing your knowledge and experience.

  30. 1. Does this lotion leave a sticky feeling from the wax?
    2. When you apply this lotion, is it a dry-soft feeling or is it a wet-soft like store bought?
    3. Does this lotion leave a noticable oily layer on skin?
    4. How long can the lotion last in room temp?

    Any help will be greatly appreciated!

  31. Hey, so I just made the easiest version of this body butter and I accidentally left out the olive oil :/ I’m wondering if it will be fine without the olive oil or if I should try to add the olive oil in by like heating it up or something…. if you could help me out with this that would be great. Thank you!

    • As far as facial lotions go, it’s best to use oils and other ingredients that won’t clog pores. Olive oil can clog pores. Jojoba is a better substitute. Fractionated coconut oil is also a good ingredient to use, especially in softer lotions, as it does not solidify and absorbs quickly, just like jojoba. I always use both in my recipes. Organic beeswax also does not clog pores, but it’s important to use it sparingly. If you’re worried about your lotion separating, than try omiting the water, and replace with organic Aloe Vera Gel. The gel has natural, safe preservatives–such as organic citric acid, and isn’t as thin as water. Using this as a substitute also makes the process quicker and easier. After melting the beeswax into your oils and mixing well, remove from heat and slowly hand whisk in the Aloe vera. I add essential oils at the very end, but since I purchase true essential oils, I use much less than is recommended here. Also, if you choose to use lemon essential oil, the lotion should not be used in the morning as lemon oil makes you more sensitive to UV rays. Also, if you choose to add vitamin E, be sure to use very sparringly, and check with your doctor if you’re currently taking any medications.

      • Amanda, Do you make a facial lotion that is not greasy? I am looking for a recipe that is not greasy. You have some good advice here, and I thought Id check if you know a good recipe1

  32. […] DIY Homemade Lotion (3 Textures) (Broke and Healthy) […]

  33. I just wanted to thank you for this recipe! I’d never made lotion before, but this came together great. A minute or two with the stick blender, and I had creamy, nicely-emulsified lotion. It’s cooled now to a nice, body-butter consistency. Thanks! I’ll definitely be making more lotion again in the future.

  34. Hello! I just started making my own lotions at home. I was wondering if you have any experience with adding tea extracts? I read a lot about the benefits and how you can add them to cosmetics. I purchased some hot water soluble green tea extract and tried to add it to my lotion using the same amount of water required for the recipe but it seems the water doesn’t absorb into the mixture very well. After an hour of sitting there’s a puddle on the top. Any suggestions?

  35. Hi, when do you add the starch? I couldn’t find that in the recipe. Thanks!

  36. Thank you, thank you, thank you for making this process easy for all of us. i appreciate the av ante garde approach to these beautiful ingredients. All of our lives should be so pure and simple.

  37. I have several comments about these recipes. I made my lotion last night for the first time. So I know I am going to have a lot of trial and error. All of my ingredients are top quality. Unrefined Shea butter, Unrefined Cocoa butter, Argan Oil, Sweet Almond Oil, Wheat Germ Oil (for the high Vit E content preservative) and essential oils. I knew it was going to be oily but it was extremely oily. So I looked online and saw this article that said add cornstarch or baking soda. i chose cornstarch to try to make it less oily. Baking Soda makes it more smooth and creamy. So what ended up happening is that it turned my medium consistency butter into a rock hard brick. When I read this article I was surprised that cornstarch was left out of the hard recipe and was quadrupled in the soft recipe. That’s backwards from what I experienced last night. Just like when you put cornstarch into a liquid to thicken it up to make into a gravy, same thing happens in the lotion. It thickened up my lotion into a rock hard brick. It did however, make it less oily! So, today I went and bought the Thayer unscented, alcohol free Witch Hazel and aloe vera gel to try to save my expensive product. I do not want to throw this in the trash and start from scratch. So I remelted the brick (double broiler method) and put a lot of the witch hazel and aloe vera juice to loosen it up. It worked somewhat. It’s not a hard brick anymore but still quite stiff. I will never use cornstarch in my lotion again. I will be substituting Kokum butter instead since this butter is a dry butter and quickly absorbs into the skin. Plus using the witch hazel help to make the butter less oily. I don’t want it too dry of course cause then it defeats the purpose of being a moisturizer.

    Another point is where the writer says to melt all ingredients and/or use a microwave. Heating anything, lotion, food, etc denatures the protein which means you are destroying everything that is beneficial about the ingredients. You are killing it. You are destroying the antioxidant properties on that ingredient. It needs to be “gently” warmed by using the double broiler method as to not destroy the beneficial properties. And you can even skip the heating part all together. If the butters are soft enough, just whipping it does the trick.

    And good lord you should never been using a microwave on your sensitive ingredients! You shouldn’t use a microwave for anything period (IMO). I tossed mine out years ago. But at least please do not put your very sensitive ingredients to be melted in a microwave. Talk about destroying the health of your lotion. WAY worse than regular heat.

    • And another point about water….last night after finding that the cornstarch turned my soft lotion into a rock hard brick, I DID try adding water (before I knew not to). Its simple chemistry. Oil and water do not mix. The water initially softened up the hard brick but then it seeped out cause hey! Oil and water don’t mix! 24 hours later, I looked at the lotion and the water had puddle in and around the butters and oils. I poured it out. And adding water decreases the shelf life and promotes rot in your product far quicker than without water. Use Aloe Vera juice/Gel or Alcohol free witch hazel instead.

      • “If you get going and see that the oil and water is separating, don’t panic. Put the lotion back in the microwave and melt it all together again. Blend it, scrape it, freeze it, blend it, scrape it, freeze it. Keep doing that until you see progress. If it separates again, nuke it, blend it, scrape it, freeze it”

        really? good lord chica! you are really killing your lotion. It will do nothing for your skin after you have processed it to that degree. What’s the point in making lotion? Its to help the skin be healthy right? You are destroying the beneficial properties of your lotion by nuking, freezing, scraping, nuking it freezing it. After your lotion is finished it won’t even moisturize the skin. You’re putting a cancer product on your skin now. Look up the ill effects of microwaves and denaturing of proteins.

        • I love your comments! i had the same thoughts!

    • … corn starch is an emulsifier. used to blend oil and water. it doesn’t work if you don’t actively blend the oil and water together, and heat helps. it doesn’t make a completely oil-based salve less oily. if you don’t want it to be oily, you’re going to have to add some amount of water (in the form of aloe gel or witch hazel which are mostly water, or what have you). and you’ll need an emulsifier. such as corn starch or perhaps emulsifying wax.

  38. Hi, how long does this cream last?

    • Bacteria will begin to grow within a couple of days MAX without a preservative. Not vitamin E. Not honey. A real preservative such a Liquid Germall Plus or Optiphen. And just so you know, that deadly bacteria begins to grown long before you can see or smell it. But if it gets into an open wound, even just a scrape, you could be in real trouble. People have ended up in very bad shape after developing a systemic infection from using “natural” products that have water or water based ingredients like aloe but have no effective preservative.

  39. Can I leave these on my bathroom counter and not have to refrigerate them?

  40. I make a lot of lotion/moisturizer that needs emulsifying. I use an electric hand mixer and it takes a few minutes, 10 at least, but add the water to oil a little bit at a time, both room temp while whip, whip, whiping it. I will come together.

  41. You’re right, some of the chemicals you can find in there products! I love finding natural alternatives like this and I really can’t wait to make this lotion!

  42. Hello,

    I followed the recipe for the medium consistency lotion and when I applied it, the more I rubbed it into my skin, then it would clump up like a peeling glue consistency. I am going to try to melt it again, blend and freeze, but I’m wondering what this could be from. The cornstarch?

    • Gosh, Ashleigh, I wish I had an answer for you. It’s hard to tell what’s going on without seeing it. It definitely shouldn’t have that consistency. Did you ever figure it out?

      • I think it’s the corn starch. Let it sit for a minute and it should be ok

      • i had the same issue. i made the medium lotion, turned out fantastic, however the more i, or anyone tries to rub it into their skin(after a couple rubs) its like its soughing the dead skin off. after you brush it away the skin is nice and smooth and moisturized

      • I had a similar problem with the soft consistency recipe. It feels and goes on great, but the more you rub it, the corn starch kicks in and it become grainy and starts sloughing off. Help! Is there any way to save it? I have made lotions before without corn starch and have not had this problem.

  43. Or coconut oil as the oil?

    • So you can definitely substitute vitamin e oil for any liquid oils I’ve mentioned, like olive oil. However, coconut oil has a very different consistency. It’s thick when it cools. But feel free to experiment!

  44. Hi,
    Do you think I could use vitamin E oil as the oil?
    Thanks.

  45. Can you use your FP for food after using it with non-food substances? I read about soap making and the artist said you shouldn’t use your equipment for food after its used for soap…

    • Yes, you can totally use it for non-food substances like this lotion. The reason you can’t it for soap is because soap has lye in it and until the lye bonds with the fat completely, which takes several weeks for it to be safe, it could be damaging to you. So oil, beeswax, and witch hazel are not toxic so you’re all good. I would probably run it through the dishwasher though!