It is not difficult to make lotion at home once you know what to do, which includes starting with the proper knowledge, ingredients and equipment. If you read a couple of the other top sites with DIY tutorials that show you how to make lotion, as I did, you may be confused as to the best way to make lotion, and most importantly, how not to screw it up.
A couple of the sites clearly spelled out the many problems you could encounter making lotions. They also had confusing information about the combinations of lotion ingredients. However, I had heard good things about homemade lotions, and I was determined to try it out and see if I could not master this one, and if I did, simplify the process for others. No one wants to spend the money and time procuring high quality ingredients only to have them go to waste. I was the guinea pig. I tried them all.
This article will tell you what I found, and tips I discovered. Once you have everything you need, you should be set to make homemade lotion all the time and never need to buy more. It does not take many ingredients to make lotion at home, and you can find them readily available online and in some craft and soap stores.
Why Would You Want to Make Homemade Lotion, Anyway?
First, because you choose the quality of ingredients which go in your lotion, which is hugely important. You will pay a lot of money for lotions made with the best ingredients, but you can get all the supplies you need to make this high quality lotion at home. Second, because when you make your own lotion, you get to customize it to your particular liking. You decide what aromatherapy oils and fragrances go in your lotion as well, you get to add the color of your choice or leave it natural, plus you can opt to add in fun ingredients like sparkly glitter. You can add extracts from plants, like rosemary or thyme, and even fresh ingredients like cucumber and mint.
These lotions will not have as long of a shelf life, and they will need to be refrigerated, but if you have not tried a fresh lotion like this, I highly encourage you to. I first purchased a facial lotion with cucumber and herbs from a very expensive specialty store. I was hooked.
When I discovered I could make the same thing at home for a fraction of the cost, I was thrilled. After I spent some time researching the best ways to make lotion, I also read that one of the benefits of making your own lotion is that you eliminate the risk of all kinds of unknown chemicals in your lotion. I was truly surprised when I found out what was in some of the lotions I was using at home. I encourage you to read the labels of yours and do some research there. You may no longer want to be putting the stuff you thought was safe on yourself or your children. I certainly do not.
Homemade lotion can help you save money and avoid toxic chemicals and additives you do not need. Homemade lotion is so much better than most all lotions you can buy in stores, more luxurious, cheaper, and safer. I tried seven different ways of homemade lotion, including this method that uses water, ones that used different base oils, and also one using aloe gel as a base. Most of them turned out OK, but this one turned out great.
I do not recommend the one using aloe gel. If someone finds a great recipe using this, let me know. I am happy to try most things twice. This was my favorite lotion recipe, and this article should show you how to make the basic version without fail. That being said, there is not a wrong way to go about making lotion, some methods are just trickier than others. This method gives you a good simple lotion base, and then I show you (almost) everything you can add to the basic version to customize your lotion.
Instructions to Make Lotion:
What you'll need for this homemade lotion recipe:
- 1/2 cup almond oil
- 1/2 cup (4 ounces) of coconut oil (grapeseed oil and jojoba oils work really well, too. I liked the texture of the coconut oil better)
- 2 Tablespoons beeswax (this comes in blocks, pastilles and in grated and shaved forms)
- essential oil of your choice (optional ingredient, but we show you how and when to add it)
Supplies You Need To Make Basic Lotion:
- an electric mixer or a whisk and some patience
- a double boiler or a glass container that can be heated (this will need to fit inside of a pot of water on the stove, and will need to be one you do not mind making lotion in. Mason jars work great for this, and they have lids, so you can later store your lotion in them!)
Instructions for Making Lotion:
Step 1: Gather your ingredients.
For basics, you need an oil base and beeswax. I liked the combination of almond oil and coconut oil for the oil base, but grapeseed oil jojoba oil also work well with almond oil. I do not recommend the method or recipes that use water, as these have a shorter shelf life, and the consistency of the final product is not as good. Same goes for recipes using aloe vera gel.
Step 2: Using a double boiler or saucepan with glass jar, add all ingredients
Using a double boiler, or by placing a glass container in a saucepan of water, add your almond oil, coconut oil and beeswax.
Step 3 (optional): Add 5 or more drops of your favorite essential oil(s) and/or fragrance
Step 4: Turn heat to low to melt all lotion ingredients.
Please be patient here and do this slowly. You do not want to scorch these ingredients, and if you heat slowly, there is little risk of that. This is why you do not want to heat the ingredients directly in a saucepan. The extra layer in a double boiler or the glass container you use will allow the ingredients an extra layer of protection from the heat, which keeps them from burning. (This is why you also heat chocolate this way, and delicate sauces like hollandaise.) You can even turn the heat off before it is entirely melted. This is not necessary, but you do not want to overheat. All you need is to melt everything together, then remove from heat.
Step 5: Remove from heat
Place the lotion mixture in a mixing bowl. Do not delay in doing this, or it will be difficult to transfer the lotion mixture. You can go ahead and add water to the pan the lotion was mixed in. It will easily clean later with soap and water.
Step 6: Whip with mixer or whisk
Whip up your lotion mixture with an electric mixer or whisk until your lotion becomes thick and creamy. It should have a buttery consistency.
Step 7: Let sit for 15-20 minutes
Your lotion needs time to cool so it will get thick. You do not need to cover it. Set it aside and come back within 15-20 minutes.
Step 8: Place in covered jar or container
Your lotion should now have congealed, and it is time to scoop it into the container you want to store it in. This basic lotion will not pump in a lotion container. Use a jar.
This is basic lotion. Enjoy!
Ready to Make Lotion?
You should be able to find these locally if you look around a lot, but I recommend buying it all online and having it shipped. **I had to go to three craft stores to find beeswax, and I never found the pastilles, except online. Pastilles are my top pick on beeswax.
This is the one I used in my recipe here:
But I also really like this one