I made lotion this past winter just using oils from the kitchen. It worked great! In the winter. Before the coconut oil melted at 76 degrees. Now it’s liquid olive and coconut oils.
I have a problem rubbing liquid oil onto my body–it’s a texture thing.
So with a couple more ingredients, I’ve been experimenting making homemade lotions–beautiful, creamy white lotion.
If you look on the back of a lotion bottle, the manufacturer has already given you all (or most!) of the information you need to make your own.
All you need is water, glycerin, oils, fragrance (if you wish), a preservative (if you wish), and emulsifying wax.
Emulsifying wax is created when a wax material (either a vegetable wax of some kind or a petroleum-based wax) is treated with a detergent (typically sodium dodecyl sulfate or polysorbates) to cause it to make oil and water bind together into a smooth emulsion. You’ll find it on your ingredient list as a form or combination of cetearyl alcohol, polysorbate 60, PEG-150 stearate, and steareth-20. On the lotion above, it’s listed as glyceryl stearate, PEG-100 stearate, and cetearyl alcohol.
I found a basic lotion ratio recipe at Soaper’s Choice, my bulk oil supplier.
1 part Emulsifying Wax
6 parts Oil
2 Parts Glycerin
12 parts water
Fragrance or essential oil to your desired scent level
Now you just need to plug your favorite oils and fragrance into that ratio recipe and you’re left with a customized homemade lotion…for much less than you’d pay at your favorite store! I used Olive Oil with Victoria’s Secret Fresh & Clean Fragrance Oil.
Heat the emulsifying wax, oil, and glycerin until wax is barely melted. I just zapped it in the microwave for a minute.
Cool to 110-120 degrees.
Add distilled water and fragrance.
Blend with stick blender, mixer, or blender on low until texture is lotion-like. I used a stick blender with quick on and off spurts. You want to use a deep enough bowl so the blender is immersed and allows the lotion to “grow”. It comes together like homemade whipped cream.
It is the consistency of a pump-bottle lotion.
Pour into a container. I’m using recycled baby food jars. If you use the ratio as the recipe itself (1 ounce Emulsifying Wax, 6 ounces Oil, 2 ounces Glycerin, 12 ounces Water), you’ll end up with 24 ounces of lotion or 4 6-ounce baby food jars.
You could make separate fragrances with each of these if you leave the fragrance out when you’re mixing it together, divide the lotion into separate bowls, then mix in the fragrance of your choice.
The lotion will thicken as it cools. At room temperature, it’s a cream consistency.
Want to know how much 24 ounces of lotion cost me to make? With the oils I purchase from Soaper’s Choice and Victoria’s Secret Fresh & Clean Pink from Wellington Fragrance, the total cost was $2.78. For 24 ounces of a thick cream lotion! That’s roughly a $23 savings…just sayin’.
Here's the full recipe and printable!
Fresh & Clean Cream
- 24 ounces
- 1 oz Emulsifying Wax
- 6 oz Olive Oil
- 2 oz Glycerin
- 12 oz Distilled Water
- 1/2 oz Fragrance or Essential Oil
- Heat the emulsifying wax, oil, and glycerin until wax is barely melted and cool to 110-120 degrees.
- Add distilled water and fragrance or essential oil.
- Blend with stick blender, mixer, or blender on low until texture is lotion-like.
- Pour into container.