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. Mike Ortiz Avatar
    Mike Ortiz

    The recipe really worked out well. I also tried it with Avocado oil.

  2. Coco Avatar

    I’ve researched a few homemade lotion recipes and quite a few recommend mineral water as an emulsifier. I made your recipe, and it seemed like it didn’t emulsify (I did not use water).  It just seemed a little oily and less lotion like (but strangely its a thicker oil because its not suitable for a pump as you said).  I’m wondering if I made it wrong?  Would you recommend using water in the lotion after the heating process using a wisk?  Thank so much!!

  3. Tansy Avatar


    I really want to make this new receipe! I have been making the previous one but also have had trouble with getting the water to blend in properly and often finds it separates when you rub it into your hands although it is the best cream I have ever had for my kids. This new one looks ideal.

    I need to order online the beeswax as I have run out and also some Shea butter. Can you roughly tell me the quantities in weight (grams) instead of cups?



    1. Wellness Mama Avatar
      Wellness Mama

      4 ounces of each should be plenty of each one… not sure what this is in grams though. Can’t remember the conversion off the top of my head 🙁

      1. MarileeC Avatar

        5 stars
        I was scrolling through to see comments about how hard it came out (new – no-water – recipe) when I saw your reply and wondered if I was measuring wrong. I bought the organic 100% beeswax in pastille form so just used a measuring cup for the 1/4 cup. With 1/4 cup coconut oil (was a little tricky and next time I might warm it a bit for a better measurement) and 1/2 cup sweet almond oil, I added 1 teaspoon Vit E oil and 2 TBLS African Skin Solutions Premium Grade A Unrefined Shea Butter. It set up more like a show wax consistency than what is in your picture. We love it (might research the Zinc option a bit though as we live in FL) but for the next batch should I weight the beeswax and go for 2 OZ, whip it all up before pouring from the mason jar, or what in order to have a softer consistency?

  4. Christine Hadley Avatar
    Christine Hadley

     You and others keep mentioning percentages, such as 0.5%, 1%…I don’t quite understand how to translate this into drops, teaspoons, tablespoons, gallons, and so on. Say I was using this exact recipe, not cutting it or doubling it, and wanted to use GSE as my anti-microbial; how much of the GSE would I use?

  5. Becca Avatar

    hi! I love the sound of this recipe and your lotion bars- so easy! I’m at the beginning of my journey of homemade products for my family. there seems to be some evidence out there that vit e oil can cause cancer so im a little wary of adding it a lotion.what is your understanding of this? what would the shelf life of this lotion be without vit e oil? is there an alternative natural preservative that I could use? thanks!

    1. Wellness Mama Avatar
      Wellness Mama

      Since there is no water or liquid in this recipe, you don’t need the Vitamin E oil at all, so you can just leave it out…

      1. Becca Avatar

        Great! Ok I’ll try that then.  I’ll let you know how it goes! Do you have any information on Vit E as a carcinogen? I have already bought a bottle but haven’t opened it and am wondering whether I should return it. I know it helps to improve the appearance of the skin, but not sure if it is worth the risk – if there is even a risk… Thanks!

        1. Wellness Mama Avatar
          Wellness Mama

          Externally, it should be fine. The cancer risk is mostly taken internally, especially in artificial form or not from food.

  6. Marissa Avatar

    I just made a batch and it is wonderful! I have made bars before with the same ingredients and love them.  Ive never thought to try less beeswax to make it softer! Love it! Thank you

  7. Chinya Avatar

    With baby #3 on the way this is a much-needed recipe.  Thank you so much for taking the time to share. When I think of the lotions I used on my first two children (out of ignorance) I cringe.  This should work well for the new bambino and my 5 1/2 year old who suffers from eczema. 

    1. Wellness Mama Avatar
      Wellness Mama

      Thanks 🙂 I’d definitely try it on the one with eczema. It has done wonders for several friends whose kids have had eczema!

  8. Lisa Avatar

    I doubled your recipe, using rose water and almond oil. It emulsified quite nicely but left quite a bit of water to be poured off. I’d say close to 3 tablespoons. Any ideas why this happened?

    1. Wellness Mama Avatar
      Wellness Mama

      A few people have had trouble with this. Mine worked great when I made it, but I’m trying to remake and see if I can figure out how to improve it so others don’t have this struggle. I’ll keep you posted…

  9. Sara S. Avatar
    Sara S.

    I just finished making this lotion and it turned out good.  A few tips:  I did not let the oil mixture  cool completely or it would have gotten hard (I think), but I did heat the aloe mixture up just slightly in the microwave for about 20 seconds so the two mixtures were about the same temp. Also, I used a hand minxer for the blending step. It is WAY easier to  clean the metal mixers that you can toss in the diswasher than sit and try to get all the grease out of your blender, that takes forever.  As far as the greasiness of this lotion, I find it to be just as greasy using grapeseed oil as it is using coconut oil.  I plan to use it up, as the aloe will be good for the summer sun-kissed skin. 

    1. Sara S. Avatar
      Sara S.

      Sorry, sorry, sorry.  This comment does not apply to this lotion recipe.  I had two tabs open and I accidently commented on the wrong tab, but i don’t know how to delete this comment.  I will say that I did make Katie’s lotion recipe above and I enjoyed it very much.

  10. Sinja Avatar

    What about using powdered aloe vera in the lotions and other recipes you have shared?  is there any issues that might come up using it in this form rather than the gel?

    1. Wellness Mama Avatar
      Wellness Mama

      I haven’t tried it so I don’t know if the same properties are maintained in the aloe or not. Mountain Rose Herbs also has a rosemary antioxidant that smells great and is a great preservative.

  11. Sahouze Avatar

    I received a jar of homemade lotion from a friend. Was not told how old it was or to refrigerate. I used it three or four times a day and started having some breathing problems. I had filled several smaller containers with the lotion and had them around the house to use easily. When I started having problems I noticed the jar container looked like it had bubbled up in the center and then started having black mold… I stopped using…what the of poisoning can this cause or any bacterial infections?

    1. Wellness Mama Avatar
      Wellness Mama

      Do you know what the ingredients were? I’d definitely throw it out if you’re seeing mold! When making homemade lotions it is important to make sure there are some preservatives, natural or otherwise. Have the symptoms gone away since you stopped using it?

      1. Celly Avatar

        5 stars
        Wellness mama, I would like to thank you for this awesome recipe. It really helps me to survive the harsh winter in Canada. My first try was successful. I used it up in two weeks. I have a problem with my second and third try though. I noticed white-small-sand-like things that are everywhere inside my lotion jar. It is covering all the empty space in my lotion jar. I found this is weird as it appeared the day or two after. I cleaned every equipment and even boiled it before. I am not sure where do I do wrong. Is it possible that the white spore like things in my jar means that my lotion is spoiled or is it just some residue of oil or something like that?

  12. Laura Delarosa French Avatar
    Laura Delarosa French

    My girls cant wait to make Christmas gifts with ya this year (lotions, chapsticks, etc)! There is something about home made gifts that just feel so wonderful and I love that it is affortable and you can make it as cute as you want to.

  13. Kathy Beck- Mullins Avatar
    Kathy Beck- Mullins

    Thanks for posting, this looks great! Ok, I have a big question. I’ve looked up many recipes for all natural homemade lotion. So the one thing I keep seeing over and over, that just doesn’t sit completely right with me is using distilled water. WHY? I know, I know, regular water has impurities… but so much that it wouldn’t be ok in lotion??? I have a GREAT well, not city water, I don’t feel like a few added minerals are going to hurt my lotion. Is there a reason I’m just not understanding as to why distilled water is so important? I really don’t like the idea of paying for WATER or a distiller to distill my own. I have great water! Thanks again for posting and I’m hoping you can shed some light for me on this baffling seeming obsession over distilled water (not just your post – all of the recipes I could find).  🙂  THANK YOU!!! 😀

    1. Wellness Mama Avatar
      Wellness Mama

      That is usually recommended just to make sure there aren’t any bacteria or fungus that could cause the lotion to go bad. YOu could accomplish the same thing by boiling the water first 🙂

  14. Sara S. Avatar
    Sara S.

    I just made this lotion today and I was wondering if there is anything I can add to it to thicken it up a bit and make it a little less greasy.  Although, I did find that the grease is absorbed pretty quickly by the skin.   If I can find some zinc oxide, I’d like to make this into a suncreen as well, but i was concerned that the oily effect would actually attract the sun and burn just as a tanning oil would do. What do you think?  Thanks so much for sharing all your all natural body and home care recipes.  I’m currently in the process of transitioning my family into all natural homemade body care and your blog has been very helpful.

  15. Emaline Avatar

    I just discovered this page today in search of a recipe for bug spray……so glad that I did.  I will be trying both the bug repellant and this lotion recipe. I have to say from my own experience that anything organic is better than the commercial alternative. Both of my sons have exzema and my husband suffers from psoriasis and most commercial laundry det., soaps and lotions usually break them out to a degree. Simply switching to the homemade laundry det. has made a HUGE difference in the kids. I have been using it for over a year. Oatmeal baths, diet changes and taking my older boy off all his prescriptions have made all the differnce in the world to him. Not only was the medicine not working; it was suppressing his appetite and making him have horrible mood swings because of the steriods. I obviously haven’t made the lotion yet, but I don’t think that any mold growth will be a concern for me. I can’t keep enough lotion in this house, and if you do find that the lotion does get moldy use it up faster, make a half of a batch or share it with someone to use it up before it goes bad. After witnessing first hand the skin reaction to the crap they put in products that are advertised for people with sensitive skin, I am far less concerned about the mold. Thank you for sharing your information.

  16. Gina Avatar

    Hi Wellness Mama – this is awesome!  How much zinc oxide would I add in order to make this a sun lotion?  I know you have the bar recipe but in those cases where I can’t keep the bar in a cooler and I don’t want it melt, would I need to use this recipe plus zinc oxide in order to make it correctly as a sun lotion?  Thanks so much in advance!

    1. Wellness Mama Avatar
      Wellness Mama

      You could add 1-2 tablespoons to this recipe depending on how much coverage you want

      1. Gina Avatar

         Thanks!  What does 1 TBSP & 2 TBSP equal for spf protection? 

  17. Rachael Avatar

    Oh, also… if you’re worried about mold and such, store in the fridge. I live in Southern California where it’s pretty dry so I’m pretty sure I’ll use it up before it goes bad.

  18. Rachael Avatar

    We just made some lotion with a recipe similar to yours (with beeswax). We used green tea as an antioxidant and tea tree oil to help preserve the lotion mixture (it is a natural antibacterial and antifungal oil and is really great on psoriasis and exema). We made up a bottle for a guy friend with those ingredients plus lavender and cedarwood oils for a nice soothing earthy scent. To me it smells like fresh soil when you’re gardening… love it. Instead of using a blender, we used my Kitchenaid mixer (yes, I will have to wash it a few dozen times before I make any cookies lol). It seemed to work pretty well. We used almond oil so it was a bit runny but it keeps your hands feeling soft for quite a while and it works just fine in a pump bottle. I think I know what we’ll be giving everyone for holiday presents this year.

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