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
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4.08 from 763 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

Materials

Instructions

  • 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.

Notes

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. WellnessMama.com 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.

Comments

1,329 responses to “Luxurious Homemade Lotion Recipe”

  1. Heather Avatar
    Heather

    I have been making this the last couple years – thank you for the great recipe! However, sometimes the final result is creamy and wonderful but sometimes it hardens too much. I’m sure it is something I’m doing on my end but do you have any tips? Is there any way to remelt the hardened lotion and get a different texture?

  2. Ashley Avatar
    Ashley

    I make the thicker yellow one, which recipe is for the whiter/emulsified one? Or is it elsewhere?

  3. Kylie Avatar

    I’m probly guna look stupid buy top recipe xo u need to whip it?

  4. Catherine Avatar
    Catherine

    Awesome recipe. I used the first recipe listed and substituted Avocado oil for the almond oil, left out the Shea butter and included Vit E and some drops of sweet orange essential oil. The Avocado oil has a greenish colour but I think it’s fun and know it won’t be noticeable. Thanks, Wellness Mama! I wonder if it will keep for several months in the fridge…?

    1. Anna Avatar

      Hello
      Just saw this..I find coconut oil to oily ..can I use something else?
      Thank you

  5. Jeanne Antantis Avatar
    Jeanne Antantis

    I need to add alpha lipoic acid (ALA) powder. I do not absorb pills or capsules. Which recipe do you think would be the best? I know they say it does not dissolve well in water. Thanks a bunch in advance.

  6. Mina Gad Avatar
    Mina Gad

    Dear Katie
    thanks for the very useful post and your other post, which helps me a lot
    kindly I have question for your recipe, what about if i used big volume like 1 ltr olive oil -1 ltr almond oil and 500 ML shea butter so what will be the the preservative and wax for previous oil amount, thanks in advance for your answer

  7. Niamh Avatar

    5 stars
    Thank you so much for this wonderful recipe. I have been trying different homemade lotion recipe, and none have worked. This one was not too oily, it was not grainy and it felt great on my skin. I just have one question, is it possible to color lotion and if so, what can i use? Thank you so much!

  8. Jan Avatar

    Hi Katie

    There are thick and thin aloe vera gels. As the link to Amazon for purchasing your recommendation is not currently doing deliveries to Australia can you use either type of gel or if not which is the correct type to use

    Many thanks – Jan

  9. Monika Avatar

    Hello,
    Thank you for the recipe!
    I was wondering if I can mix almond, jojoba, argan oils and shea, cocoa butters all together? And what proportions should I use?

  10. Maryam Avatar

    Can this recipe be adapted to include magnesium? Can I add magnesium oil instead of liquid oil or a combination of magnesium and liquid oil? How much should I include? Thank you!

  11. Stephanie Rohloff Avatar
    Stephanie Rohloff

    The beeswax pastilles you have linked are out of stock. Should I buy the yellow from the same company? Are they for something different, company says they are ‘food grade’.

  12. Elle Avatar

    Hi! I’ve made this lotion several times using all the ingredients except vit e oil, and I used olive oil as the liquid oil. I find the lotion irritates my skin! Do you have any insight? Am I doing something wrong or is it the combination I’m making or just my skin? Anyone else have this problem? Thank you!

    1. Teresa Liddell Shepherd Avatar
      Teresa Liddell Shepherd

      Elle – “I find the lotion irritates my skin”

      I read just last week that olive oil can cause dermatitis. I usually make my balm with almond oil but last time used olive as my daughter wanted some made up like ‘Egyptian Magic’. I’ve been using it for a few months and my skin was getting flakier and flakier, really coarse. By chance I read this about olive oil, never heard it before.

  13. Shelby Avatar

    I’m wondering if you could use a different oil rather than almond or jojoba oil. What about grapeseed oil or olive oil?

  14. Priya Avatar

    Hi!
    I just made this lotion for the first time and am new to creating my own stuff at home- I hope it turns out great, I’m excited! One question- I’ve learned coconut oil is comedogenic. I have oily skin and have a history of acne. Do we need coconut oil in this cream if we’re using it for our face? Thanks!

    1. Katie Wells Avatar

      It seems to really depend on the person and skin type. I personally find this one too thick for my face and use jojoba and olive oil based products on my face instead.

  15. Mindy Avatar

    Thank you for this awesome recipe! I absolutely love it, but it seems a little grainy, although it does melt as applied to warm skin. I’m wondering if it’s the beeswax or if the combination of beeswax, cocoa butter and shea butter might be the issue. I did use the recommended brands of beeswax and shea butter and the exact amount of beeswax recommended with the remainder being a combination of cocoa and shea butter (love the scent of cocoa butter with the peppermint oil). My bathroom stays about 65 degrees.

    I notice the same issue with the eye cream and face cream, so I really do wonder if it’s the beeswax or the temperature of my bathroom. Please let me know your thoughts and suggestions. I will be making all of the mentioned recipes again!

    1. Katie Wells Avatar

      It can be the beeswax but is often the shea butter or cocoa butter not cooling fast enough when the lotion is made. An easy fix is to put the lotion in the fridge right after making it until it cools.

  16. Nancy Vail Avatar
    Nancy Vail

    I just made the Lotion Bars for gifts. I love how they turned out! Just wondering, is it better to wrap the bars in wax paper or plastic wrap for these gifts? Please help.

  17. Kathy Avatar

    Just made the lotion again. Think my third time. I play with it every time. Love it! Last time I had too much beeswax. This time, I may need to add more. Put lots of wonderful essential oils in for scent. Thanks Wellness Mama!

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