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 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



  • 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.


1,329 responses to “Luxurious Homemade Lotion Recipe”

  1. Joyce Avatar

    I made this today, using almond oil, grated beeswax, coconut oil, shea butter, vitamin E and essential oils, but it just came out as a bunch of liquid oils. I have it on the refrigerator now, seeing if I can get it to solidify at all.

    What did I do wrong?

    1. Jamie Larrison Avatar

      It should solidify once it cools if you added enough beeswax, coconut oil, and shea butter. If not you may have used too much almond oil. Did you use virgin coconut oil that’s solid at room temperature or fractionated liquid coconut oil?

  2. Liz Avatar

    4 stars
    Thank you for all the info! I just made it yesterday and followed your recipe except I used a combination of peppermint, lemongrass, tea tree and cedarwood essential oils but it feels greasy? What could I adjust to make it less greasy?

  3. Nicole Detty Avatar
    Nicole Detty

    5 stars
    I love love love this lotion. My man loves it more. It’s great for scars, dry skin, regular skin, chapped skin, feet, everything. It is not greasy, soaks in quickly, and is very nourishing. Best part is that I know exactly what is in it. Thank you for sharing this!

  4. Angela Avatar

    First, thank you very much for sharing this recipe (and all the other, truly wonderful ones)

    I peaked on over to the best pre-made natural medicines and came across comments about ingredients changing and SheaMoisture having been purchased. (A google search confirmed that Unilver bought Sundial Brands that owns Shea Moisture and Nubian Heritage.)

    Can you confirm whether these products are still on the best list?
    (I love having resources like this and just want to make sure they are still high quality.)

    Thank you for your time and all your work!
    Unilver bought Sundial Brands that owns Shea Moisture and Nubian Heritage


    1. Jamie Larrison Avatar

      The products and ingredients in the Shea Moisture linked products are still good, even though the owners have changed hands. However, some of them are the older formulations that aren’t as readily available.

  5. Paula Zink Avatar
    Paula Zink

    4 stars
    I tried the recipe and it was easy to make. I added some frankincense. however it hardened into a block and was not easy to remove like body butter. I will still use it as a body bar. I used the exact measurements in the recipe but maybe I needed to use more of the oils or shea butter. Also, I used the solid coconut oil as opposed to liquid since it did not specify. Was I supposed to use liquid coconut oil?

    1. Jamie Larrison Avatar

      The recipe calls for regular coconut oil, but it can get very hard at colder temperatures. If it’s that hard it might help to cut the beeswax in half, at least during the colder months.

  6. Claire Avatar


    What a lovely recipe. It is great on my skin!! But My moisturizer turned out quite a different color. Yours is nice and white and creamy whereas mine is yellowish, kind of a cloudy amber color. What did I do wrong? Many thanks!

    1. Jamie Larrison Avatar

      Hi Claire, it depends on the quality of ingredients used but slightly yellow should be fine. White beeswax and refined shea butter will yield more of an off white color, while yellow beeswax and less refined shea butter will make a yellower lotion – that’s totally fine!

  7. Ashley Avatar

    I love your recipe. I want to incorporate breastmilk for extra benefits. How would I go about doing that?

  8. John Isaacks Avatar
    John Isaacks

    5 stars
    I loved this lotion… I’ve never seen anything that can stop and itch like this stuff. Everyone I’ve given a jar to has loved this as well.

  9. Dani Avatar

    What is the shelf life for the Homeade Lotion Recipe? (made without vitamin E and vanilla)

    Thank you 🙂

    1. Jamie Larrison Avatar

      The shelf-life is up to 6 weeks in the fridge. The vitamin E slows the oxidation of the oils, but it won’t preserve the aloe vera which is what has the shortest shelf life out of the ingredients.

  10. Karen Avatar

    I just made this using the prescribed quantities almond oil, coconut oil, shea butter, and used soy wax instead of beeswax, but it just looks like a jar of yellow oil. I read that you can substitute soy for beeswax, but the end result doesn’t look quite right…

  11. Nae Avatar

    Instead of pump bottles, can I use squeezable lotion bottles for this recipe?

  12. Melanie Avatar

    5 stars
    Love this recipe! I add a tablespoon of arrowroot powder to help it absorbe more quickly into the skin.

  13. Gwen Avatar

    This question may have been answered among the many questions and comments,
    so I’m asking as a new person in starting to create my own products. what, Is it better to use fractionated oils? And do you have a method and recipe for making a lotion as well?

  14. Gina Avatar

    I haven’t made this yet, and I was wondering how to measure the beeswax? I bought a small block; should I shred it and measure it that way??? In the comments, it seems some people complained of the final product being too firm and I’m wondering if it has to do with using too much beeswax.

  15. Jessy Avatar

    Hello! I wanted to let you know that there is a website that lists 2 of your DIY recipes as things that “won’t work” and lists their reasons why. They also provide links to your recipe pages. I have not personally tried them yet, I just wanted to contact you somehow and let you know. If you would like, I can let you know the name of the site and provide you with a link. I wish you the best!

  16. Joanne Avatar

    Hi, I made this lotion according to your recipe. It unfortunately does not look like a whipped lotion that you have in your photo. It is quite hard so perhaps I used too much beeswax? I measured 57g of beeswax (your recipe says 1/4 cup and when I looked it up it said 57g was weight). Do you think I can add more of the other ingredient and melt it again? Also I was going to put some citrus essential oil in the lotion but I wasn’t sure if this was a good idea? Thanks so much.

  17. Karin Avatar

    Is there something I can use to sub for the coconut oil? It dries my skin out.

    I’m going to use mango instead of Shea or coca butter. Allergic to cocoa butter.

    Thanks for all you do!

  18. Betsy Avatar

    I loved the original recipe and have made many batches of it without a problem ever. I can’t find my printed copy of the recipe so came here to print again. However, I am only seeing the new recipe you posted. Can I get the original one? Thank you!

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