Luxurious Homemade Lotion Recipe

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If you are still using store-bought lotion on yourself or your family, there are super easy natural alternatives that are fun to make! This homemade lotion recipe has three basic ingredients and takes only ten minutes to whip together.

The basic recipe is an ultra-moisturizing water-free version that lasts for years without preservatives.

NOTE: This is an improved recipe since many people were having trouble getting the temperatures exactly right to get the lotion to emulsify (as per the comments below). This recipe will not have any of those issues!

Making Custom Lotion Blends

Once you master the base recipe, have fun customizing your lotion to your skin type, skin conditions, and desired scent!

There are endless variations, but some of my favorites are:

  • Baby Lotion – Infuse the oil with calendula and chamomile before making the lotion.
  • Cooling Muscle Rub – Add peppermint, wintergreen, and ginger for sore muscles.
  • Anti-aging Face Lotion – Use argan oil and add lavender and patchouli essential oils.
  • Lavender and Vanilla Lotion – Add a few drops of lavender and a little natural vanilla extract.
homemade lotion
4.08 from 764 votes

Homemade Lotion Recipe

Make smooth, luxurious lotion at home with almond oil, coconut oil, beeswax, and optional essential oils.
Prep Time20 minutes
Yield: 1 cup
Author: Katie Wells



  • Combine the almond oil, coconut oil, beeswax, and shea or cocoa butter if using, in a double boiler or a glass bowl on top of a simmering pan of water.
  • Stir occasionally as the ingredients melt.
  • When all ingredients are completely melted, add the vitamin E oil if using and any essential oils or scents like vanilla.
  • Pour into a glass jar or tin for storage. Small mason jars work perfectly for this. Note: This will not pump well in a lotion pump!
  • Use as you would regular lotion. This lotion is ultra-moisturizing and more oily than water-based lotions so you won’t need to use as much. It also has a longer shelf life than some homemade lotion recipes since all ingredients are already shelf stable and no water is added. Use within 6 months for best moisturizing benefits.


A little goes a long way! This lotion is incredibly nourishing and is also great for diaper rash on baby, for eczema, and for preventing stretch marks.
See this recipe for a masculine-scented version (my hubby approves!)

Other Homemade Lotion Recipe Variations

There are lots of ways you can make your own lotion at home. Consider this easy men’s lotion with just a handful of ingredients, or see below for other ways to moisturize!

Lotion Bars

If you want an even easier solution, make these easy lotion bars! It only has three ingredients, takes less time to make, and lasts even longer.

Aloe-Based Homemade Lotion

If you’d prefer a lighter lotion recipe, this aloe-based version is much smoother and not as greasy. Unlike the version above, it does not have an indefinite shelf life and should be used within a month since it does not contain any preservatives.

This recipe is adapted from the recipe I’ve used for years from Frugally Sustainable.

Aloe Lotion Ingredients

Aloe Lotion Instructions

  1. Melt the beeswax, almond oil (or other liquid oil), and shea butter (if using) in a double boiler or glass bowl over a pan of water.
  2. Remove from heat and pour into a blender or mason jar (if using an immersion blender).
  3. Let cool to room temperature. You want it to be room temperature and just barely starting to harden around the edges. This will help make sure that the lotion emulsifies correctly.
  4. Add the vitamin E (if using) and any essential oils.
  5. Start blending on low using a blender or immersion blender. Very slowly, start adding the aloe vera gel until incorporated. Use a spatula to wipe down the sides and re-blend a few times until fully incorporated.
  6. Store in a glass jar in the fridge for up to six weeks.

Best Pre-Made Natural Lotions

If reading all that just convinced you that you’d rather just buy a natural lotion than go through the trouble of making one, there are also some great pre-made options. (And no judgment… that’s how I felt the first few times I tried making lotion and toothpaste too!).

These are lotions that I’ve personally used and love and that have safe ingredients and a good rating with the Environmental Working Group:

  1. Shea Moisture Raw Shea Butter Lotion – I’ve never found a product I didn’t like from this company
  2. Shea Moisture Head to Toe Ointment – Similar to the first recipe above- no liquid and very moisturizing
  3. Nourish Organic Body Lotion – Fragrance-free and very highly rated by EWG
  4. Shea Moisture Olive Oil and Marula – Smells amazing and works really well!
  5. Nature’s Baby Organic Unscented Lotion – Also very highly rated unscented lotion

Ever made your own lotion? How did it go? Let me know below!

Katie Wells Avatar

About Katie Wells

Katie Wells, CTNC, MCHC, Founder of Wellness Mama and Co-founder of Wellnesse, has a background in research, journalism, and nutrition. As a mom of six, she turned to research and took health into her own hands to find answers to her health problems. is the culmination of her thousands of hours of research and all posts are medically reviewed and verified by the Wellness Mama research team. Katie is also the author of the bestselling books The Wellness Mama Cookbook and The Wellness Mama 5-Step Lifestyle Detox.


1,335 responses to “Luxurious Homemade Lotion Recipe”

  1. Shareen Avatar

    Just want to add to important points being made here about preservation (because they can’t be stated often enough):  

    Vitamin E is NOT a preservative.  Grapefruit Seed Extract is NOT a preservative.   Vitamin E is an anti-oxidant that will help prevent oils from going rancid too soon, as well as being good for your skin – BUT –  it cannot prevent fungi or bacterial invasions in formulas.The only preservative in GSE  (Grapefruit Seed Extract), is what’s been added to it in order to preserve the GSE itself.  It, too, will NOT preserve or protect your products from invading gremlins, so please be careful and do some research on the subject.

    If in doubt, make your product using whatever you believe to be ‘natural preservatives’, then submit it to a lab for testing.  I know it’s a topic of hot debate, but it’s better to be safe, than sorry.

    As yet, there is no such beast as a ‘100% natural, organic preservative’, although chemists around the world are no doubt working on creating one, but until then, it’s a matter of researching each and every chemical used in various preservatives to determine which one is best suited to the product you desire to make, and which one doesn’t contain chemicals you prefer to avoid, or  might be allergic to.

    Happy crafting!

  2. Sarah Harris Avatar
    Sarah Harris

    My husband uses Gold Bond Medicated Lotion, as it is the only thing that helps his dry skin. We use my homemade castile bar soap for years and have been using plain coconut oil as a lotion for months now, but his skin still is itchy and dry. The ingredient that makes Gold Bond Medicated work for him is methol. Is this an okay ingredient to use? If so, how much would you start with? If it’s not okay, what would you suggest to add that would cool his skin? I was thinking some sort of mint EO, I have spearmint and peppermint on hand. Oh, and thanks for all the great recipes, your website is awesome! 

    1. Savanna Avatar

      Hiya! in my entire family, we all have really sensitive skin and scalps. We recently switched over to organic shampoos and conditioners that have Tea Tree oil and they are simply divine for dry skin and they leave soothing cool and clean feeling. I recommend going with a tea tree oil if you can find one.

  3. Naomi Jones Avatar
    Naomi Jones

    Has anyone used this to treat eczema?  I buy expensive lotion for my daughter to keep her eczema at bay.  Her body lacks natural oils the protect her skin.  I am looking for a cheaper way to keep her skin hydrated (other than $16 a bottle!).

    1. De Bosco Avatar
      De Bosco

      2 years later…

      Just wanted to let you know that my daughter has almost full body eczema and this lotion was amazing on her skin. I noticed a softening of the scales within 20 mins of application.

      For reference I steeped green tea and peppermint leaves in the oil and then added peppermint and lavender essential oils at the end of the recipe.

  4. LuAnn Oburn Avatar
    LuAnn Oburn

    I am trying as quickly as possible to remove all products in my home that contain harmful chemicals and your website has been an absolute dream!  One question I have for you is have you tried to make your homemade lotion for your face and add zinc oxide?  I don’t leave home without my sunscreen but want to get rid of what I am currently using because of the chemicals.  Thanks so much for everything you do!  I have sent your link to several like-minded friends.

  5. Art Avatar

    Hi Wellness Mama, I made this lotion and it is perfect for the dry parts of my body but for the not dry areas it is to much. What do you recommend I do to make it not so rich for my not so dry areas? Thanks so much! I did the rose and almond oil blend. Love it! Excited to make other blends.

  6. Anne Avatar

    Do you recommend refined or unrefined coconut oil for cosmetic purposes?

    1. Wellness Mama Avatar
      Wellness Mama

      Either one… Unrefined is better but either is fine 🙂

  7. Jaustin Avatar

    Thanks for the recipe, can 
    Liquid Lethicin be used a a preservative?

    1. Wellness Mama Avatar
      Wellness Mama

      I’ve never used it, but it probably could. Personally, I’d stick to vitamin E oil or rosemary essential oil to preserve..

  8. Cayci Avatar

    Question and comment:)

    Question is how do I make it easy to apply when refridgerated? Mine is waaaay too hard after staying in the fridge, even when I add more water to the mix.

    Comment, this lotion is wonderful. When you put it on a sunburn it soothes so well and really helps with the healing. Great recipe!!!

  9. Vanille Avatar

    Where do you find things like vitamin E and beeswax? Health food stores? I’d like to start making a lot of our own skincare products. At the moment we mostly use stuff from Lush or Burt’s Bees but I think I’d have a lot of fun making it myself.

    Is making one’s own products cost-effective? It seems that people willing to put in the effort to be healthier often have a lot of extra cost involved. Obviously health is more important, and I am also using very expensive products as it is, but have you found that making your own provides good value cost-wise?

    1. Wellness Mama Avatar
      Wellness Mama

      I buy all my ingredients in bulk online and since I use them all in multiple recipes I save a lot. When I completely switch and make our own lotion, face wash, shaving cream, hair gel, hair spray, lip balm, etc, it is a lot cheaper, but it is more expensive if i try to do it halfway and buy some of the organic products instead of making them. I’ll also be posting a lotion bar recipe soon and that is a good 2 in 1

  10. Eejo Avatar

    Love your recipe! Great lotions. I have a question…I use aloe Vera gel& colloidal oats in. Refrifgerated they hardened but melt quickly when warmed in hands, but they turned watery if left out unrefrigerated. I supposed it is water separating from the oil. I would love the consistency of stored bought lotion but I would have to add emulsifying wax I guess. Any suggestions?

  11. Weda Avatar

    Being allergic to nuts (and having a sensitivity to coconuts) can you recommend any other oil?  I was thinking jojoba or something – but would like whatever it is to help with the shelf-life, etc…  Thanks for your recipe!

    1. Wellness Mama Avatar
      Wellness Mama

      Jajoba would work, and with the vitamin E, would have a pretty long shelf life.

  12. Kristina Greene Avatar
    Kristina Greene

    I really want to try my own lotion.  I am using coconut oil that I whipped with vitamin E.  It has gotten harder, but still works and I love the smell.  But I would like something a little thinner.   I am hesitant to use my blender because of the beeswax – afraid I won’t be able to clean it all out.
    Does it clean out?  Or do you have a blender you use just for beauty products?

    1. Wellness Mama Avatar
      Wellness Mama

      I have a separate one now, but you can get it out as long as you do it quickly. As soon as the lotion is out, use paper towels to wipe as much of the blender out as you can before you ever get it wet. Then, wash quickly with really hot, soapy water and you should be able to get it out.

  13. Tracy Avatar

    My 7 year old daughter and I just made our first ever batch of lotion. FUN! Thank you so much for all your information that you share.

  14. Barbara Avatar

    I don’t have a food processor. Could I mix it in my Kitchen Aid stand mixer with the setting on high? Also do I need to use distilled water or can I use regular water that has been boiled? I’m trying not to buy things in plastic and distilled water usually comes in plastic.

    1. Wellness Mama Avatar
      Wellness Mama

      Boiled is fine. I haven’t tried a kitchen aid, but it would probably work….

      1. Peg obrien Avatar
        Peg obrien

         Am I losing my mind? I don’t see any water in this recipe other than the waterbath that the mason jar is set in. Several people have posted about ‘the water not emulsifying completely’ and for the life of me, I can’t fine water in the recipe at all.

        1. Wellness Mama Avatar
          Wellness Mama

          The recipe was actually updated because so many people were having trouble with the liquid containing version.

          1. erika Avatar

            I love this recipe! I made both this and your sunscreen recipe. One question, both are a little “clumpy” when applied. Any tips to make them more smooth?? Thank you!!!!#

      2. Gracie Avatar

        Hi, I am really trying to sort my skin out and thought to start with my face. I have uneven skintone and was wondering is there a natural way to get rid of it? Thanks

  15. Linda Avatar

    Ok. I admit it; I love the smell of Love Spell by Victoria’s Secret. It is cherry blossom and peach. I have never made lotion but would love to try. Does anyone know how I can make it smell similar to Love Spell? Thanks! Linda

    1. Katherine Young McCorkle Avatar
      Katherine Young McCorkle

      brambleberry (dot com) has a lovespell ‘type’ fragrance oil. But please note that fragrance oils are not all natural. 🙂

  16. Lawanda Johnson Avatar
    Lawanda Johnson

    I can’t wait to try out this lotion recipe and some of your food recipes as well.  I also like your food photography.  What has kick started me into living a more natural healthy life is the Paleo approach to nutrition (specifically the Paleo Recipe Book).  Based on what you shared on your ‘start here’ tap I know that you are very familiar with it the Paleo Diet….sounds like you live by it. 

    Your blog is great, and it is inspiring to me because I just started a blog  Eventually I want it to be a hub for people to share in the journey for eating and living well.    Check it out if you get a chance, would love any feed back you can offer.

    Thanks again,

  17. Sarah Avatar

    Hi Wellness Mama, I just have to say that I just found this site, and am absolutely in love… Im all about being as natural as possible, in everything I do, diet, cleaning, etc… anyways… so I really like this recipe, and I’ve been using just plain coconut oil, but then I found this, I was wondering if  there was something I could substitute for the beeswax, because for the life of me I can’t find it anywhere, and really don’t want to have to order it online and wait… any suggestions?

    1. Sarah Avatar

      Do you have a farmers’ market? If there’s a honey seller there they probably have beeswax. Or check and see if there’s a local apiary. They’d have it, too, I’d think.

  18. Laini Avatar

    Yes I make my own lotion my recipe is a different I also whip it once its back to solid state. I use ot for my hair and skin. Coconut, shea, cocoa, tamu tamu oils, vitamin e, aloe vera gel some other stuff I can’t remember at the moment.

      1. Melissa Avatar

        I’ve read things about grapefruit seed extract that has really put me off. Apparently grapefruit seed extract in itself has no preserving properties, but the process used to make the GSE involves many different synthetic chemicals, which are present in small amounts. It’s these traces of harsh chemicals that act as a preservative. So I stay clear! Rosemary extract is great though (although shouldn’t be used in conjunction with Vitamin E oil). Not sure why, so much more reading to do 🙂

  19. Hunny Avatar

    This is the first recipe for lotion that I’ve tried.  It leaves my hands a little more “greasy” than I’m used to with off the shelf lotions.   I went by the instructions but the water didn’t seem to incorporate as well as I thought, so i heated it up again this time with the water and whipped again in the food processor.  Seemed to hold together better.  Hope this is ok..  Any way to not have it so “greasy, oily” feeling?

  20. Kristine Strange Avatar
    Kristine Strange

    I just made this today and it feels so good. I made this in a processor and not all the water was emulsified with the oil. So I’m worried that the oil and water will seperate eventually. I’ll use it up quickly so I’ll try again soon. I’m wondering if you have better luck in a processor or blender?

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