Silky Smooth Homemade Lotion

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

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. I personally go with the jar (other than for photos here), since I store this in the fridge.

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 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 silky smooth 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
4.81 from 26 votes
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Silky Smooth Homemade Lotion

A silky smooth homemade lotion. 

Course DIY
Cuisine Body
Keyword Lotion
Prep Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
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. 

Recipe Notes

Water Note: Using water, without a preservative, shortens the life-span of products significantly, so it's always best to use water-based products for short-term use. This recipe provided makes a lot of lotion, so I cut the amounts provided here in half. I think the halved recipe is the perfect amount since I'm the only person using on a daily basis. I also store my lotion in the fridge since I don't add a preservative. The lotion isn't "pumpable" when it's stored in the fridge (I keep mine in a jar), but it's still just as lovely. Click here for my product-making safety tips.  

Preservative: If you'd like to add a preservative, Leucidal Complete is my recommendation (this is very affordable, if you're going to make lotion on a regular basis). You can read more about how to use it (amount needed) and how it works, here

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.

 

Extra Ingredient Notes

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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244 Comments

    • Just an FYI: when naturalists refer to “chemicals” it automatically means artificially created chemicals. It is not referring to naturally occurring chemical structures that make up naturally occurring substances, like vinegar and baking soda 🙂

      • Nice thought except white vinegar is often diluted acetic acid made made in a laboratory and baking soda is mostly made by passing carbon dioxide and ammonia through a concentrated solution of sodium chloride. Rarely is either naturally occurring any more. They are both artificially created chemicals if they are colorless or white respectively.

        Kristin, So forward to making this with my daughter.

      • Speaking of chemicals. I always find it interesting when so many want to be natural but put chemicals in their brain for a extended period. Dying their hair with tons of chemicals. Also make up chemicals. Nail polish with formaldehyde. I guess when it comes to being NATURAL vanity gets in the way somewhere. It needs to be taught we are beautiful the way God made us and we certinaly can’t do better than Him. We just mess ourselves up with unessary chemicals.

        • Hey Ex Hairdresser, The wonderful thing is there are non-toxic options available today for things like nail polish (no formaldehyde or other toxic ingredients). Thank you for sharing your thoughts on this.

    • Hi Kristin

      I made this lotion the oil and water separated. There is know emulsifier to pull the oil and water together.

      • Hey Charmine, The emulsifier used is the beeswax. I know we’ve been talking and troubleshooting via email, did you make it again and have the issue? Followed-up to your email, too, about water temperature just now :). Hope that helps!

  • 5 stars
    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 Maira,

          You can use shea if you like that better. But you do need one of those to make the lotion.

          Let us know if there’s any other questions.

          LS Team.

  • 5 stars
    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.

  • 5 stars
    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.

      • Hi Kristen
        I made this recipe a couple of weeks ago and when it was fresh it was great but now 2 weeks later I’ve noticed little hard lumps in the lotion that weren’t there before. Any idea why?
        Thanks Jo

  • 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!