This homemade ultra-moisturizing lotion is super easy to make and moisturizes skin perfectly without coconut oil! Plus a video on how to make this super simple lotion.

This recipe is used as a lotion, hence the name. The final product is technically a body butter– a thick moisturizing cream versus a pumpable lotion. Both body butters and lotions are used to moisturize the skin. I’ve written a complete guide to body butter (including what it is and options for customizing your own body butter, over here.) If you’re looking for a softer lotion you may want to try this silky smooth lotion. Also, I’ve recently updated some of the photos in this post, so if you’re coming over here from Pinterest, the images may look a bit different :).

When the weather drops into the fifties (that’s Fahrenheit) in Florida, you know winter has officially arrived. The boots are ready, coats are hung by the door, and the heater is hard at work. With the cold (freezing!) temperatures comes dry skin. Years ago I struggled with the winter season and my skin always feeling dry. I would slather store-bought lotions on my scaly, dry skin and stockpile chapstick, but nothing seemed to work. I desperately needed moisture!

After wasting way too much money on lotions and miracle products, I finally discovered the simple answer to my skin’s happiness: homemade products!

With a little vinegar, essential oils, cocoa powder, clay, shea butter, and nourishing skin oil I turned my skin around for the better. Moisture, happiness, and clarity were all achieved with the help of homemade remedies that in the end cost pennies (since most ingredients can be used multiple times for multiple products) compared to the speciality bottles and jars I once purchased.

This homemade ultra-moisturizing lotion is super easy to make and moisturizes skin perfectly without coconut oil! Plus a video on how to make this super simple lotion.

I’ve shared many of my favorite homemade products here at Live Simply and still have many more to share with you.

Last year I shared one of my favorite homemade DIYs: Homemade Ultra-Moisturizing Lotion without Coconut Oil. As I explained in the lotion post, I’m all for coconut oil. In fact, I love coconut oil, but after a good year of using a coconut oil moisturizer my skin desperately needed a change. With a little experimenting, a homemade lotion using nourishing oil and shea butter was born. I still use this lotion daily, but I love it the most in the winter when my skin cries out for extra moisture. I’ve heard from so many of you, and I’m happy to report that I’m not the only one who loves this super simple lotion.

This homemade ultra-moisturizing lotion is super easy to make and moisturizes skin perfectly without coconut oil! Plus a video on how to make this super simple lotion.

Today, I’m sharing a little bonus to my original lotion recipe, a video tutorial to help you as you make this amazing lotion. As you’ll see in the video, this lotion is super easy to make. This lotion recipe can be doubled and tripled (which is what I like to do). You can keep the surplus of lotion on hand for the winter (it will last about a year) or give the lotion away in small containers for an extra special Christmas gift. I like to make a basket for family members of homemade products for Christmas: homemade lotion (this recipe), bath salts, homemade vanilla extract, and lip balm.

After the video you’ll find the simple recipe for this (uh-amazing!) ultra-moisturizing lotion. Remember, this is the same recipe from the original post, but I’ve added it here so you don’t have to flip back and forth from the video post (found here) to the original post.

how to make homemade ultra-moisturizing lotion
5 from 4 votes

Homemade Ultra-Moisturizing Lotion without Coconut Oil

Last year I shared one of my favorite homemade DIYs: Homemade Ultra-Moisturizing Lotion without Coconut Oil. 
Kristin Marr
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time25 mins
Course DIY
Cuisine Beauty, Body
Servings 5 oz



  • In a double-broiler (a glass bowl over a pot filled 1/4 the way full with boiling water) over medium-low heat, melt the shea butter. Add in the nourishing skin oil. Turn off the heat.
  • Place the bowl in the fridge or freezer and allow to cool and return to a solid (not hard) form. This takes about 15-20 minutes, depending on location.
  • Once opaque and slightly firm, remove the bowl from the freezer. Add in the essential oils. Using the whisk attachment on your mixer, whip the mixture. You can also use a whisk or fork versus a mixer. This takes just just a few seconds. Don't over-whip. Scoop into a jar and store at room temp. Apply to both body and face as desired. 


*The essential oils listed are what I originally played around with and used. Feel free to use other skin-friendly essential oils--either just one or a combo--for a total of around 26 drops (or less). You can also make this lotion without using any essential oils. If you'd like to play around with other essential oils, you can read about more options in my body butter tutorial, here
Feeling Greasy? Some folks find that body butter is a bit too greasy to apply all over the body. The good news is that there’s a simple solution for this issue…arrowroot flour/starch. A small amount of arrowroot flour/starch may be added to the liquid oil before pouring the oil into the melted butter(s). If you're interested in adding arrowroot, I'd try adding 1 teaspoon to this recipe. You can see how to do this in my body butter tutorial, here
Tried this recipe?Let me know how it was!

Ingredient Notes

The whipping time will depend on your mixer, temperature, etc. Once the lotion appears “whipped” stop the mixer and scoop the lotion into a jar. The end result will be a thick lotion that’s absorbed by the skin.

This recipe is a wonderful base recipe. Use as is or substitute and add (experiment) according to your skin’s need.  As always, do your own research when making your own products and using essential oils. The essential oils suggested are my favorite combinations for my skin, but they may be left out. The amounts and oils suggested in my recipe may be adjusted according to your skin.

If you don’t want to make lotion/body butter, I enjoy the EveryDay Shea brand for lotion products, which are sold in most health food stores.

This homemade ultra-moisturizing lotion is super easy to make and moisturizes skin perfectly without coconut oil! Plus a video on how to make this super simple lotion.


  1. Hi Kristin, I know you mention that this recipe creates a ‘hard’ lotion. Mine turned out very hard, though softens as I rub it between my hands… I would really rather have a lotion that I don’t have to work so hard to get all over my body. What do you suggest to thin this to more of a lotion?

    1. Hey Kay, If your skin will tolerate a bit of coconut oil, you can try whipping the coconut oil into the existing lotion (you could also try adding a bit more oil–start with 1 teaspoon and go from there). Other than that, creating a soft lotion (more of a pump lotion) requires adding water usually, something I haven’t had success with when it comes to this particular recipe.

  2. I thought I would use lanolin for the nourishing oil, perhaps I used too mush because the cream is far too oily. Is there a way to save it and add something to it to make it less oily now or am I stuck with this batch?

    1. Hey Jan, Lanolin is a really heavy wax-like oil, so it needs to be used in very small amounts. You could try doubling the shea butter and adding the second addition to the current lotion. Other than that, another option is to keep the lotion for a foot or hand cream for the winter.

  3. Hi Kristin, I’m in my late 40’s, and I have sensitive/rosacea skin, and dry patches. I have used coconut oil, vitamin e, and frankincense essential oil on my face. I’m not sure if it’s the coconut oil that’s drying my face or the frankincense. Would you recommend me using your recipe for my face or should I eliminate some of the essential oil and add something different?? Your advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks

  4. Hi, I would like to try and make this lotion, but I’m little worried about using all of the essential oils. Could I just use the shea butter and jojoba oil to make a lotion? Or is it necessary to use the other oils for consistency? Thanks for your help

  5. 5 stars
    Hi Kristin,

    I had forgotten to write to you, I bought shea butter and made the cream for my sisters birthday. She LOVED it! She wears it practically every day. Thanks soooo much,
    It was a bit dense for her skin at first but I added a little bit more of an ingridient.

  6. Hi! I am excited to try making this. I did wonder . . . I would like to add zinc oxide to provide sun protection. Have you tried this yet? If so, I was wondering how it turned out and how much zinc oxide to add. Thanks!

  7. 5 stars
    Love ur recipes.
    I made a second batch for my mom as a gift. It’s hard in consistency bt really Moisturising n feels like m pampering myself with these homemade recipes. Xoxo

    1. Hey Isabel, Plain butter will leave the skin feeling greasy and will rot. Shea butter is shelf-stable and absorbs into the skin. Olive oil can be used as the nourishing oil along with the shea butter.

  8. The recipe says to whip for a minute or two, which I did and the lotion was very hard. So I ready all the posts, re-melted, re-hardened and whipped for 30 seconds. It was still hard but not quite as bad. I used sunflower oil for the nourishing oil which may be the problem. Also, when it says 1/2 cup of shea butter, that is after melted, right? It also seemed really greasy rather than lotiony. I would love to have this come out perfect, so I could give it away. Any advice is appreciated.

    1. Hey Jennifer, The lotion should be hard (at least when compared to store-bought lotions), but spreadable. I haven’t tried sunflower oil, so I’m not sure how it will effect the greasy feel of the lotion. The lotion should feel a bit greasy at first, but then easily absorb into the skin after a couple of minutes.

  9. Hi! I was wondering if the lavender can be substituted for something else? Or is it important to this blend? I have a sensitivity to lavender and I’ve grown to not really like the smell anymore (I know, I’m weird lol). Sorry if this seems like a silly question. I’ve never really used essential oils before. Thanks for your help!

  10. Hi,I made this wonderful lotion without the carrot seed oil. I added grape seed oil instead and It turned out extremely hard. I am wondering if I melt the lotion again and add maybe a TB spoon of olive oil or even coconut oil ,vitamin E oil or Emu oil? Then I prepare it the same way, by putting in freezer for 15 min and whipping for 2 min?
    Do you think whipping it for longer than you suggest make it harder by chance? I bet you answer these questions a dozen times,I am just not sure of myself yet? Thank you,Karen

    1. Hey Karen, Whipping the lotion for a longer period of time will result in a harder lotion. Generally, it takes about 30 seconds for my lotion to reach its “peak.” You can definitely try melting it again (over very low heat to avoid burning the oils) and whipping it.

  11. Help. I tried to make this but it came out kind of crumbly. It’s hard and definitely not creamy. What did I do wrong? Or is it just too cold? My house is 66° F.

    1. Hey Michelle, I’m not sure what happened. The temperature shouldn’t affect the texture.

      I’ll try to help troubleshoot what might have gone wrong: Did you fully melt the shea butter and oil? Which oil did you use? Did you freeze the melted shea and oil just until firm and solid? Did you use a mixer to whip the lotion? The answers will help me figure out what might have happened :).

  12. Mmmm looks nice! Does shea butter leave oily marks? I use coconut oil as a face moisturizer, but when I went to using it on my whole body (because, hey, why not?) I ruined a few items of clothing because the oil left streaks. Le sigh.

    1. Hey Jocellyn, I know what you mean about the coconut oil leaving oil streaks. I used to love a coconut oil based deodorant but found it stained my clothes (arm pit stains 🙁 ). I haven’t had any issue with shea butter. It actually absorbs in the skin very nicely and you only need a very small amount to get the “job” done.

  13. Hello,

    I am looking forward to making this lotion recipe. I’ve dabbled in he past, but am happy to use your recipe as a base. I’ve just one question, though, and that’s if I can substitute anything else in place of the carrot seed oil? If so, do you have any recommendations?


    1. Hey Gina, Wonderful, I hope you enjoy it. For the carrot seed, you could leave it out entirely or use something like frankincense (that’s what comes to mind), as it’s an amazing skin-care oil.

      1. Thank you, Kristin!

        Just made my first batch and I think it turned out well! Do you find that a super tiny amount is all that’s needed? I want to give it away for Christmas, but want to make sure that yes, it’s normal that all one really needs is a small amount at a time. Also: what do you find to be the easiest way to put it into jars and still have it ‘look nice’? I’ve struggled with putting it into jars; it’s hard to fill in the ‘holes’, if that makes sense?

      2. Hey Gina,

        You’re correct…a tiny bit goes a very long way. When I used store-bought lotion I would go through quite a bit just to feel moisturized, but this lotion gets the job done with just a small amount. Shea butter is amazing at providing moisture for the skin.

        I know exactly what you mean about the “holes” in the jars. I use a chopstick (or the handle of a spoon or fork) to take the air out of the little pockets or holes, filling them in by pushing the lotion down in the jar. I’ve found this really helps with compacting the lotion.

  14. THANK YOU!! I found your website looking for a soaking grain cookie recipe and then saw this… I can not wait to try it! It seems impossible to find something without coconut oil (which causes my face to blotch up!).

  15. Hi Kristin, when i looked at the carrot seed oil it states to keep away from children. Does that mean then that they can’t use it? Or is that a general precaution? Thanks!

  16. Hi,

    Please can you tell me how long this will keep? In plan to make some for myself, and also my daughters, but would like to tell them the shelf life.

    Kind Regards,

    Lynne Poulson

    1. 5 stars
      Thank you so much for making this blog post and video. Every time i looked up a video about DIY face masks they all had coconut oil in them and my face doesn’t care for it, but my body loves coconut oil.

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