Silky Smooth Homemade Lotion

A silky smooth and creamy homemade lotion! This lotion rivals the consistency and feel of store-bought lotion. And it's made without coconut oil!

You guys, today is a big day. A day many of you have been waiting for. It’s time for another lotion recipe.

First, a little background story…

This Silky Smooth Homemade Lotion is for those who want to make a smooth and 'pumpable' lotion at home. If that's you, this recipe is for you!

A few years ago, I started thinking about making the switch from a laundry-list-of-toxic-ingredients that I’d used to clean my home and care for the outside of body. My family had already been enjoying “real food” for a few years at that point.

A silky smooth and creamy homemade lotion! This lotion rivals the consistency and feel of store-bought lotion. And it's made without coconut oil!

Now, let me pause here, and go down a bit of a “rabbit trail.”

There’s an idea going around, which I first believed when making the cleaning and bodycare switch, that chemicals are bad. Friend, I would suggest just the opposite. When I talk about making the switch from toxic products to “more natural” products, I’m not talking about banning chemicals from our homes, because that’s impossible! Everything from baking soda to water has a chemical composition, and we certainly know those ingredients aren’t toxic.

When I talk about making the switch, I’m talking about choosing or making products that aren’t made with highly questionable/toxic ingredients. If you’re curious about some of the questionable/toxic ingredients used to make many of the beauty and cleaning products in the US, many of which are banned in Europe due to health concerns, I recommend checking out the Environmental Working Group’s Database. On the EWG site, you can check out overall safety ratings for products and brands, as well as individual ingredients.

Just remember, my natural living goal is to source or make safer products, not eliminate chemicals. Because that would mean having to eliminate my beloved baking soda, water, and vinegar, too.

Okay, back to the lotion story ;)…

A silky smooth and creamy homemade lotion! This lotion rivals the consistency and feel of store-bought lotion. And it's made without coconut oil!

My switch to more natural products started with bodycare items, particularly foundation powder and moisturizer.

I had read about coconut oil being a miracle product, so I switched out my store-bought moisturizer for coconut oil. Within a few months, it was clear that my skin didn’t think coconut oil was a miracle product. After much research, I determined that coconut oil just wasn’t something that I could use every day as a moisturizer.

Side note, I still use coconut oil for DIYs, so I’m not saying coconut oil is bad news. Rather, I’m just suggesting that everyone is different, and so the products we love and use will vary, too. My skin tolerates coconut oil in deodorant, and as an occasional post-shave moisturizer.

At that point, I decided to create a homemade lotion that would be shelf-table, and could be used in place of the coconut oil. After lots of trial and error, I developed a homemade lotion, which technically is a body butter, that’s thick and luxurious. My skin loved the change from 100% coconut oil to this new product. And here’s where my backstory meets today’s DIY lotion recipe…

I shared that lotion/body butter recipe two years ago on Live Simply. Since that time, I know many of you have tried that recipe, and love it! I also know, based on comments and emails, that many of you would like a creamier/less thick lotion that has more of a store-bought consistency.

A silky smooth and creamy homemade lotion! This lotion rivals the consistency and feel of store-bought lotion. And it's made without coconut oil!

Today, I’m excited to share with you a new lotion recipe that’s soft, creamy, and even “pumpable.” Before I share the recipe, let’s chat about a few things to keep in mind…

1. This recipe is “pumpable.” This means the lotion is smooth and liquid enough to be used in a pump bottle. My ultra-moisturizing lotion/body butter is very thick, which means you have to store it in a jar (it won’t pump). While you can store this lotion in a pump bottle, cleaning the “straw” (what is that little thing at the base of the pump called?) is tricky, because well, you’re dealing with lotion.

If you use a pump bottle, know that you may need to replace the pump and straw if you can’t thoroughly clean them out before making a new batch of lotion. Alternatively, this lotion could also be stored in a bottle or jar, and then poured on your hand, or spooned out.

2. This lotion does require a number of ingredients, and is a bit of process to make. So if you’re feeling overwhelmed by the idea of making one more thing, let me encourage you…

You don’t have to make lotion to use “cleaner” bodycare products. It’s perfectly okay to purchase pre-made lotion.

Yep, that probably sounds contradictory for a homemade lotion chat. Here’s the thing, simple living isn’t about “doing it all.” In fact, if you’re “doing it all” you’re probably not living simply. It’s okay to say, “You know what, I’m going to make a homemade dinner for my family, and purchase a ‘cleaner’ lotion from the store.” I personally don’t make lotion the majority of the time these days, because I have to prioritize other tasks and I know my health food store sells some decent lotion options.

If you’re going to purchase lotion, I highly recommend checking out the EWG. I personally like Every Day Shea brand.

With that being said, today’s recipe is for the folks who want to make a smooth and “pumpable” lotion at home.

A silky smooth and creamy homemade lotion! This lotion rivals the consistency and feel of store-bought lotion. And it's made without coconut oil!

Silky Smooth Homemade Lotion
5 from 7 votes
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Silky Smooth Homemade Lotion

Servings 16 ounces
Author Kristin Marr

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Make sure that your blender or immersion blender (you can use either one--I prefer an immersion blender because it's easier to clean), bowl and all utensils are very clean when you make this. If they’re not fully sanitized, then your lotion can grow bacteria or mold. Clean everything with hot soapy water, then swab with rubbing alcohol or vinegar, and let air dry.
  2. In a heat safe glass bowl, combine the sweet almond oil, mango butter, cocoa butter, and beeswax.
  3. Place the glass bowl on top of a saucepan partially filled with water, over medium heat. This creates a type of double boiler. Stir occasionally until everything is melted and combined.
  4. Allow the oil mixture to cool for a few minutes before pouring it into your blender (if using a table-top blender). Let this mixture cool until it’s room temperature. It should look creamy, thick and opaque, but don’t let it get solid. Optional: You can place the blender in the fridge for about 35 minutes to speed up the process.
  5. Add the vitamin E oil and essential oil to the cooled oil mixture. If you're using a table-top blender, blend the mixture with the lid on for a few seconds. If you're using an immersion blender, place the stick in the bottom of the mixture (in a high-rimmed bowl), and blend for a few seconds, pulsing up and down at the bottom a few times.
  6. If you're using a table-top blender, take the lid off of your blender, or just the top part of the lid if you have that option on your blender. With your distilled water or hydrosol in the glass measuring cup, slowly pour it into the oil mixture in a very thin drizzle while the blender is on medium/low. If you're using an immersion blender, with the blender on and at the bottom of the jar, slowly pour the distilled water or hydrosol into the oil, pulsing the immersion blender up and down at the bottom just a few times.
  7. If you're using a table-top blender, slowly increase the blender to medium speed and blend the lotion for 30 seconds more. If you're using an immersion blender, continue to blend, pulsing the immersion blender up and down, for about 30 seconds more.
  8. Immediately pour the lotion into a jar and store away from light and heat. I find this lotion is really greasy immediately after making it, so I prefer to let it rest for about 24 hours before using.
  9. I've found that the best way to clean the utensils and jars after making this lotion is to use my Sal Suds dish soap and hot water.

Recipe Notes

The “where to buy” links provide links to the actual products I use. As always, I recommend shopping around online and at local stores for the best prices and products you love.

 

Ingredient Notes

Using water, without a preservative, shortens the life-span of products, so it’s always best to use water-based products for short-term use. I haven’t personally tried reducing this recipe in half, but this may be a great option if you don’t need 16 ounces.  If you’re interested in adding a preservative to this lotion, this post from The Nerdy Farm Wife is excellent.

If you’re using cocoa butter wafers, you’ll need 12 butter wafers to equal the 14 grams/2 tablespoons.

Plant Therapy makes wonderful floral hydrosols. I used Plant Therapy’s rose hydrosol to photograph this recipe.

A silky smooth and creamy homemade lotion! This lotion rivals the consistency and feel of store-bought lotion. And it's made without coconut oil!

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If you make this recipe, be sure to snap a photo and hashtag it #LIVESIMPLYBLOG. I'd love to see what you make!



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78 Comments

  • Hi Kristin, Can’t wait to make this. I have Rosewater that I think would work nicely.
    I love your approach to things. You aren’t fanatical!!
    Thanks,
    Sue

  • Hi Kristin,
    I’ve done a lot of lotion creating, and I’m not sure it’s safe to use a water – oil emulsion without a preservative. Do you use a preservative?

    • Hey Rebecca, I much prefer the hydrosol options, but I haven’t had issues with using distilled water during the testing phases, when it’s used for the short-term. You could definitely add a preservative if you’re using the distilled water. The Leucidal Root preservative should do the job. Have you found a good preservative for your water-oil lotions/creations?

  • Hi Kristin,

    have you ever tried to make your own mango butter? I am so tempted… Need to research further!
    Thanks for another great recipe!!
    Have a great day,

    Mihela

  • In the pump lotion, if you wanted a less scented butter to use rather than cocoa butter, could I replace this cocoa butter with another kind? If so, what do you suggest?

    • Hey MaryAnn, The small amount of cocoa butter doesn’t leave behind a strong scent, particularly if you’re using a hydrosol. So it may work for you :). You could try shea butter, but I haven’t tested it in this recipe.

  • Hi Kristin,

    New follower here! I absolutely love everything I am finding here so far! You are amazing!

    With that said, I love your recipe here, however is it going to be more moisturizing or more hydrating? I made your ultra moisturizing body butter w/o coconut oil, which is awesome. However, I still feel dry. After some looking into, I realized I need to hydrate and then moisturize. Didn’t know there was a difference until after some research =). If its not really hydrating, can you tell me what I can do to make it so.

    Thanks a Bunch,
    Jesika

    • Hey Jesika,

      Welcome to Live Simply! It’s so great to “meet” you!

      Great question! I like to hydrate my body, particularly my face, by using the honey and aloe cleanser on the blog (honey is considered a humectant), and then from the inside by eating lots of hydrating foods (fresh veggies and fruits) and consuming lots of water. I’ve found if I do this, then I can just stick with using a moisturizer. This lotion is a moisturizer.

  • I am new to making lotions do I’m a bit green with troubleshooting. I made this but I’m having trouble with the oils and water separating. Maybe I didn’t put enough of an ingredient…any suggestions?

    • Hey Melissa, The separation may be occurring for two reasons 1/ The ingredients, or one ingredient, may be too cold or too hot. Bringing all the ingredients to room temperature before blending should help. 2/ Very slowly add the liquid hydrosol or distilled water. In order for the emulsion to occur, it’s important for this to be a slow process, gradually allowing the ingredients to blend together. Hope that helps! I wonder if blending the lotion again will help it right now.

  • This looks like a great recipe! I really like the idea of hydrosols, especially for rose and lavender. I saw your note about storage. How long would you say it does/should last? Thanks!

  • Hi, Kristen! I have an off the wall question. I have went completely homemade except for my shampoo, conditioner, and styling products (I have super coarse, super long, super curly hair). Well, all of that and one other thing. I have severe keratosis pilaris, and have been using Amlactin with great success for a long time. I’m really wanting to cut back even more on the stuff we buy from the store and can’t seem to find a recipe. Do you know of one? I’ve heard of the aspirin option, but have noticed most people don’t have a lot of success. Yes, that was a pretty long post asking a simple question, lol!

  • Thank you so much!! I think I’ll get the stuff and try that, but add some coconut oil. Coconut oil seems to be one of the major home remedies because of the all the acids in it. Thanks again!

  • Hi Kristin! This lotion looks amazing! Do you think it will work on my face? I have oily skin so I think maybe replacing cocoa butter with shea butter might make it less likely to clog pores…
    Thanks!!

  • Hi Kristin! I just made this lotion and it is fantastic. I have to confess, though I had to make some emergency substitutions. First, I didn’t have any cocoa butter, so I used avocado butter instead. I don’t even know why I have avocado butter (!) but since I have it I thought I may as well go ahead and try it. Then, as I was pouring out my sweet almond oil I found I only had 1/2 cup so I added 1/4 cup grape seed oil. Finally, to add to my frustration I only had 3 ounces left of my lavender hydrosol so the remainder was made up with distilled water. At any rate, I have to tell you the lotion is glorious. It is smooth, not greasy at all and is absorbed almost immediately into my skin. It was also very easy to make. Thank you so much for sharing a wonderful lotion recipe!

  • I’m also trying to make the switch to more natural at home but had one question. When making homemade lotions and other items like cleaners or candles, do you use all the same kitchen equipment you use when cooking? I don’t want to have to go out and buy a new immersion blender or food processor but didn’t know what was best! Any thoughts?

    • Hey Katie, Great question! I have two bowls, two spoons, and an old blender that I picked up from thrift stores specifically for making homemade products. I don’t think this is necessary, but beeswax and butters are difficult to clean (and always require lots of soap and scrubbing). This way I don’t have to worry about a bit of beeswax or butter left behind. I use the same immersion blender for food and DIY projects–it’s very easy to clean!

      For candle-making, I keep a completely separate bowl, just for making candles around the holidays. The wax is hard to remove without boiling water. You can also make candles in mason jars–just fill the jars with the wick and wax, and then melt. Remove from the heat, and the candles will harden. This is much easier and doesn’t require a separate bowl.

  • Hi Kristin,
    Thanks for all the lovely beauty recipes, I have tried a few with success.
    I would like to make this lotion but I do not use animal products. Could I omit the beeswax? Or will this impact the texture too much?
    Many thanks!

  • Hello 🙂 Your lotion sounds lovely. However, I really think you should expand on the
    dangers of what will happen if you don’t use a proper preservative. I would hate to
    see someone get sick. Bacteria starts growing way before the human eye can even
    see it. I hope you are not offended in any way. As a doctors wife, I see many blogs
    such as yours that show similar recipes + cringe to think what could happen if someone
    did get sick, especially a child. Something to think about. Also, most hydrosols are lightly
    preserved from the manufacturer due to them being so delicate, but still require refrigeration.
    Rose is the most stable. But still, further preservation is required to a lotion since water is added.
    Kindest regards:)

    • Hey Dee, The link in the recipe notes, going to the Nerdy Farm Wife’s blog, provides extensive information about using preservatives. Her post goes into lots of detail about how, when, and why to use preservatives.

    • Hey Amy, Is the water fully separating, or is there just a bit of water at the top? If it’s fully separating, then the oil mixture may not have been cool when you started the emulsifying stage, or maybe the water needed to be added at a slower rate. I’m glad you’re enjoying the lotion.

  • I am so excited to have found Live Simply! I have been creating more natural products for my skin and home for several years now. I will be making your lotion and powder TODAY! I would like to humbly add that in my research and experience and living with acne-prone skin), coconut oil on my face was not-such a great idea (coconut oil has a comedogenic rating of 4 (on a scale of 1-5). I also believe that the Vitamin E in the recipe is a sufficient preservative in this recipe and have every confidence keeping this on my bathroom counter for a few months without an issue. Thank you again for sharing your recipes.

  • Hello! I this recipe looks great! I was wondering, do you have any suggestions for making a tinted moisturizer? I have tried but when the natural pigments got wet it was far too dark for my extremely pale skin.

    • Hi Savannah, I don’t know if Kristin has personally tried this, but I’ve heard of others adding a bit of powdered foundation (here’s Kristin’s recipe: http://livesimply.me/2013/06/27/homemade-foundation-powder/) to create a tinted lotion. But I’ll make a note of your comment and have Kristin come back and answer you as well when she returns from vacation. ~Rachel, answering on behalf of Kristin while she’s traveling outside the country

  • Hi,
    I just joined your family and I’m super excited to make all these beauty products. I want to start with the moisturizer but wanted to ask if this is gentle enough to use on face or is for body only. My skin is very sensitive so just wanted to make sure.
    Thanks!

  • Hello there, the lotion looks really good. Just wondering if you could help me out? I have very dry and flaky skin and tried making your Ultra-Moisturizing Lotion (Without Coconut Oil) and that worked great. Do you know if this lotion would work just as well for dry skin? Thanks in advance for your help.

  • Hi Kristin, I’m from Puerto Rico and I will try to write correctly, but if I don’t sorry for that…

    I made your lotion and it’s wonderful. I used coconut oil (2 parts) and avocado oil (1 part), and 5 tbs of shea butter instead. For preservative I used opthipen and 1 tbs of glycerin.

    Consistency is perfect and oily like my friends like. But I noticed that have very tinny granules before 2 or 3 days…

    Can you tell me why? Is one of my ingredients?

    • Hey Michelle,

      I’m so glad you’re enjoying the consistency. I think the issue is with the shea butter. Shea butter, once it’s cooled, can produce the tiny granules you’re experiencing. I’ve found that quickly cooling shea butter is the key to making sure this doesn’t happen (such as putting the bowl in an another bowl with cool water and a few ice cubes) versus allowing the shea mixture to gradually cool.

      PS: We were just in San Juan in January! We absolutely loved Puerto Rico–so beautiful!!

  • Hey! Thanks so much for this recipe I look forward to creating it and getting my kitchen witch on! I was wondering if this recipe would still work if I used soy or carnauba wax instead of beeswax. Let me know ! And thank you again!

  • Hi Kristin, I can not find mango butter in my town (South America). Which one I can replace instead it?
    And how long do you think it lotion stay fine withouth adding preservative?

  • Kristen,
    I was so excited to find this recipe. I am allergic to coconut oil and virtually all the homemade lotion recipes I found had it as a main ingredient.

    I made the lotion, and I’ve let it settle for a few days before using. I didn’t have any mango butter (I’m allergic to mangos) so I used Shea Butter and Cocoa butter. I also added a few drops of Frankincense Essential Oil, but otherwise followed the directions very closely.

    The lotion came out oily. I have extremely dry skin with rosacea so I didn’t think it could be too much but the lotion just sits on my skin and won’t dry or absorb. I can’t imagine what I’ve done wrong! 🙁

    • Hey Erica, The lotion will be very oily compared to store-bought lotions. With the ingredients used, a little bit of lotion goes a very long way, so I’ve found that using just a pea-sized amount really helps–especially when it comes to shea butter and nourishing oils. Another option is to try adding arrowroot flour (just a small amount–a couple of teaspoons possibly) to cut down the oily feel. I’m not sure what else may help.

  • I just made this (April 7, 2017) and it turned out amazing. followed the recipe exactly accept I added preservative. I scented it with geranium rose EO and a couple drops of peppermint. It smells and feels so good on the skin and it’s not greasy. Thanks so much for the recipe

    • Awesome, Susan! I bet geranium and rose smell amazing in this lotion. Geranium is one of my favorite essential oils. May I ask which preservative you used–this question has come up before about this recipe, and I’d love to refer to your addition as an example of what someone has used. Thanks so much for sharing!

  • Hi Kristin, I used germall plus liquid preservative in this recipe. I’ve heard lots of good reviews about germall plus. I’m wanting to make this recipe again and try hydrosol. I did a bit of research on hydrosol and found it to be a flower water that is already scented with EO. If I use floral water, would I still need to add the 43 drops of EO? Again, this recipe is amazing, I so happy how it came out so creamy and it works great in my lotion pump bottles but best of all, it feels amazing on skin. Oh and I used 4 grams of germall plus in this recipe which is 1% and added it when my ingredients were 122F or lower, any higher and the germall plus will not work.

    • Thanks so much for sharing, Susan! I know that will be helpful for other makers in the future. Hydrosols are the by-products of making essential oils, so most are fragrant like essential oils (although they’re not concentrated like essential oils) but don’t carry the same dilution concerns. As long as its a pure hydrosol, the same amount of EO can be used.

  • what brand of hydrosol do you use? can you give the amazon link? . If I use shea butter to replace mango butter, how much do I need?
    thanks

      • I thought emulsifier is needed to combine water and oil, but I do not see emulsifier in this receipt. Does the butter act as emulsifier here? Thanks.

          • thanks. I just started to DIY and learnt a lot from you. I did not see any normal shampoo and conditioner receipt. Can not wait for your receipt for them.

          • Hey Marina, I don’t have a recipe for shampoo and conditioner, and probably won’t experiment any further with developing them. I’ve found that making a good homemade shampoo and conditioner, that doesn’t leave my hair feeling greasy or completely dry it out, hasn’t been possible. I love 100% Pure Shampoo, and I don’t use conditioner.

  • Hi Kristin. I notice that my lotion has now gone a bit grainy. I used your exact recipe, do you know what may have cause that. Thanks

    • Hey Susan, I’m not sure what may be causing the grainy texture. Usually the culprit is shea butter, but since you didn’t sub in shea butter that isn’t the issue. I know some preservatives need to be added at very specific times in lotion-making, when the liquid ingredients are at certain temperatures–I wonder if this may have happened? I honestly don’t have a solid answer as to what’s causing the grainy texture.

  • Hi Kristin:

    You mentioned that the product can not last long if water is added. Usually how fast I need to use it up?
    How about floral water? The product with it can not last long either?
    As a beginner, I have so many questions. Thanks for your kind sharing.

    • Hey Marina, I use water-based products within a few weeks, about 2-3 weeks. Some folks may feel this is too long, and some folks feel the product can go longer, but that’s my personal comfort zone. With hydrosols (the rose water), I generally go a bit longer–6-8 weeks. Again, this is my personal comfort zone. You can add a preservative to extend the shelf-life even longer, but you’ll need to make sure it’s incorporated according to the package (if a certain temperature liquid is required, etc.). You can also refrigerate the lotion to extend its life.

      For shelf life, my favorite is body butter, because it will last months (6 months +). It’s used just like lotion, it’s just not “pumpable.”

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