Simple. Soothing. Multi-Purpose.
Those, my friend, are the words that perfectly describe today’s do-it-yourself recipe. Essentially, those are the words that describe just about every recipe on Live Simply.
Last week I shared a labor-of-love shaving cream recipe that was created after many months of testing, razor burn, clogged razors, whisking, dumping, and way too many dirty containers and bowls. I think the Live Simply motto should be, “I fail so you don’t have to.”
After many months of failures, a moisturizing shaving cream that didn’t clog my razor and didn’t cause razor burn was finally achieved. My legs are eternally grateful to know the testing days are over…ouch!
During my testing, I played around with a combination of aloe vera gel and shea butter, and then aloe vera gel and coconut oil. While neither one worked well as a shaving cream, I discovered through a happenstance situation that aloe vera and coconut oil make a fantastic after-shave “lotion.” The reason why makes complete sense. Let’s talk about that!
Aloe vera is a common ingredient used to treat sunburns due to its soothing and healing properties. When applied to my legs after shaving, aloe helps moisturize my skin, and it also reduces any potential inflammation that may result (although I don’t have this issue anymore with the homemade shaving cream thanks to the addition of baking soda). Aloe is pretty inexpensive considering that it’s basically a skin superfood that boasts antioxidants, minerals, and fatty acids. This short review on aloe vera and its benefits is very enlightening.
Coconut oil is basically the Windex of the “crunchy” world. Please tell me you’ve seen My Big Fat Greek Wedding. Do you remember the dad’s multi-purpose obsession with Windex? If you haven’t seen this hysterical movie, then I’ll catch you up to speed without ruining the plot. Basically, the dad thinks Windex is the cure-all for every ailment that plaques his family, so he’s constantly spraying Windex on his family members, around the house, etc. Coconut oil is like Windex in today’s natural world. If you have a problem, coconut oil is usually the quick-fix recommendation on Pinterest and blogs.
Side note: I would love to introduce the dad to my homemade Windex-alternative recipe!
This may come as a shock, but here goes…
I personally don’t believe coconut oil is a cure-all for everything under the sun. To be honest, I don’t actually use a ton of coconut oil in my home, but I do keep a large tub around for an occasional use, like frying plantains and homemade deodorant.
Coconut oil is a great moisturizer when you need something soothing and simple, although I don’t prefer it for a daily moisturizer since my face isn’t a big fan of this natural product. When coconut oil is paired with aloe vera gel, the final product is a simple “lotion” that’s soothing, refreshing, and moisturizing. Aloe vera gel and coconut oil are a wonderful natural combo that may be used after shaving, or after a long day in the sun (trust me, I’m a Florida gal ;)). If your skin loves coconut oil as a daily moisturizer, then today’s recipe may be a great daily product to include in your natural skincare routine.
To start the weekend, I’m assigning you three homework assignments (I was a first grade teacher before my mom and blogging days…it’s just in my nature):
- Make the switch to a homemade or “more natural” shaving cream, which means you’ll need to read last week’s post.
- Make this soothing moisturizer, and use it after shaving or enjoying time in the sun.
- Watch My Big Fat Greek Wedding. And enjoy these crock-pot tacos while you’re watching.
Soothing Aloe and Coconut Oil Moisturizer
- 1/8 cup aloe vera gel
- 1/8 cup coconut oil soft
Optional Add-In Ingredients:
- 1/2 tsp vitamin E oil
- 3 drops frankincense essential oil or lavender essential oil
- Whisk together the aloe vera gel and coconut oil.
- Add any "add-in ingredients" above and stir to combine. Store in an air-tight container for up to 2 weeks.
- After Shaving: I use this moisturizer after shaving my legs. I simply dry my skin with a towel, and then apply this moisturizer on my legs. The aloe and coconut oil mixture are incredibly soothing and moisturizing after a shave.
- After Sun: This moisturizer is also very soothing to use after spending time in the sun. As mentioned above, this moisturizer may also be used as part of a daily skincare routine.
- Daily Body Moisturizer: This may be used as a daily body moisturizer. Coconut oil can clog facial pores, so it's best to use a moisturizer without coconut oil (like this shea butter facial moisturizer).
Thank you for the recipe using coconut oil and slow vera. I need recipes that do not require so many ingredients (cucumber, tomato, lots of oils I do not have the money to buy), so your recipe is both user and cost friendly. Thank you so much.
Thanks, Patti. Enjoy!
I absolutely love this recipe. I don’t really like coconut oil and sometimes it makes my skin itchy, so I use a mixture of olive, sunflower and avocado. But I never would have figured out the mixture in equal parts with aloe. Thanks so much!
Just a thought , if you add lecithin ( emulsifier) and citric acid ( preservative) , the mixture should last a bit longer maybe couple a weeks , so can make larger batches. Now , proprtion-wise ?
Hey Carlos, Let me know if you try it.
I am very excited to try this! I use coconut oil as a moisturizer though I think the aloe will help my sensitive skin with razor burn. I will occasionally use fractionated coconut oil as a moisturizer if I don’t want to wait for the “greasiness” to absorb.
2 quick questions though: If you use the store bought Aloe Gel do you need to keep the lotion in the refrigerator? What is the shelf life of the lotion in/out of the refrigerator?
Hey Christina, If you use store-bought aloe gel, it probably contains some preservatives so you won’t need to store the moisturizer in the fridge. I make small batches of homemade recipes to keep things safe, so I would say about a month.
Thank you for responding. I didn’t in anyway want to seem up set about your recipe, I tried doing it in a small amount as you stated, and I just cant seem to get it to cream form. BUT, on the flip side, what I do now, is use the top part of the cream which is the aloe gel (purely organic gel 100%, from the health food store) on my face first, then I melt some of the coconut oil in the palm of my hand and put on my face last. I do LOVE IT !!! Thank you very much for your wonderful facial moisturizer recipe!!!!
I sent you an e-mail regarding mixing the coconut oil with the aloe vera gel. I stated that I tried everything I could think of to mix the ingredients so that they would make a cream as you stated, and have shown in your pictures (as a beautiful cream) on your website. You responded rudely and stated, (as if I didn’t know this and was stupid), that “oil and water don’t mix”. I know this, but why do you show in your pictures that they mix like a cream and look like I could do this?? I think you are very rude and should tell people that the pictures on your website do not represent what the product will look like in the end result!!!
Hey Shannon, I apologize for sounding rude in my email. That was never my intent, or how it sounded in my head. I received your thank you response, and had no idea I offended you. Thank you for letting me know.
The pictures in the post are an accurate depiction of what the moisturizer looks like when I make it. I should have said that water and oil will separate with time (just like with a salad dressing) unless an emulsifier is used. My wording in my initial reply could have been better. I shared this piece of information in the email not to dumb down the remark, or to say the recipe doesn’t work, but to simply state that when the recipe is mixed it should be creamy and just as pictured but overtime will separate (when stored long-term) which is why a small amount is made at a time. I shared this information based on the limited information I had about where you currently were at in the process of making and using the moisturizer. When answering a question I try to be as helpful and thorough as possible. That was my intent. I sincerely apologize if my remark was rude, hasty, or misleading.
I love helping readers, which is why I respond to emails and comments. It requires a lot of extra time, but I love helping and back the recipes I share because these are the products/foods I make and use at home. I don’t benefit from people not having success with the recipes on the blog, nor would I benefit from faking the photos on my site. I take all the photos on the blog (unless I’m in the photos, and then my hubby takes them) and all photos are taken as the recipes are made (after being tested many times). Everything on the blog is 100% authentic and real. I write this blog to help others and share my journey (with hopes of that journey helping others).
This is what the moisturizer looks like when the two ingredients are mixed and used. The pictures are 100% accurate–not fabricated, fake, or stock photos.
I would love to help if you’re having issues with the moisturizer. Can you share what kind of aloe you’re using? Is the aloe a gel, a liquid? Is your coconut oil at room temp or melted? Using room temp (solid) coconut oil should help produce the creamy look you see here.
Hi; I’ve been wanting to make and try this recipe for some time now, I got the ingredients and they just will not blend, even with my hand mixer. Do you have any hints on how to get them to mix well?
Hey Shannon, Water and oil won’t blend for the long-term without an emulsifier. That’s why I make small batches of this. The best way to make this happen is to whisk or shake (my preferred method) before use when separation occurs. Using room temperature or slightly melted (or fully melted) oil may also help with this.
I love the aloe and coconut combination. My aunt recommended that I use coconut oil as a makeup remover, but I’m not a fan of too-oily things on my face. So I took some fresh aloe from the garden and mixed the gel with some coconut oil and some water. My skin feels and looks so much better since I started using it.
That’s so great, Yvonne!
Is it just for the face ?can it be used on the whole body too?
Hey Maria, It can be used on the whole body!
Okay, thank you so much! This helped a lot! 🙂
Hi Kristin! Do I have to use aloe at all? What could I substitute it with?
Hey Gabby, I still use aloe in this recipe after shaving. You could try just coconut oil.
Could I use the green aloe vera gel, the stuff for sunburn?
Hey Gabby, You could, but it will probably contain a bunch of not-so-great ingredients as well as the aloe.
Thank you! Can I add lemon juice to the mix?
Hey Gabby, I personally wouldn’t for two reasons: 1. It will go bad very quickly since the lemon juice is a fresh ingredient with no shelf life. 2. You’d need to be very careful about going out in the sun. Lemon juice can cause the skin to be sensitive to the sun and even lighten the skin/hair.
If you wanted to add a small amount of lemon juice to the ingredients to use as a mask in the evening, I think that would work best.
GREAT!! Thank you☺
I have 1/2 of a fresh aloe leaf (i bought it to make my baby’s cream for his impetigo and only used half). So my question, Can i use fresh aloe with emulsified coconut oil, and keep it in the fridge???
Hey Azucena, It will probably keep for 4-5 days. You could try freezing the product in a small ice cube trays to extend the life.
I’m wondering if I could add zinc oxide to make this moisturizer spf?
Hey Carlota, Hmmm, I’m not sure how well the zinc will blend with the aloe and coconut oil. You could try.
I’ve been making this for almost a year now and it’s the perfect night cream. I only “wash” my face once a day (at night before bed) with extra virgin olive oil and honey. Then I use a liberal scoop of the coconut oil/aloe moisturiser and I’m ready for bed.
I’ve been altering the recipe as time goes on, and now I’ve settled on 1:1 ratio of coconut oil : aloe gel. I also add a touch of extra virgin olive oil and some essential oils then use my hand mixer to blend it into a smooth whipped cream.
Use this every day and your skin will be the softest it has ever been!
That’s so great, Dylan! I love that you’ve been tweaking the recipe to work for your skin, too!
I was a little skeptical due to how easy this was but this has become, by far, my favorite facial moisturiser to date!
Hey Megan, That’s so great to hear. I’m glad you’re enjoying this simple moisturizer :).
Hi! I’m trying to make a natural lotion/cream for my one year old. Can you mix Shea and aloe? She doesn’t tolerate coconut oil well.
Also, why can’t you use fresh aloe vs the store brand Real Aloe you mentioned? Does Real Aloe have a preservative?
Hey Pam, Shea butter doesn’t blend well with the aloe. I’ve tried to accomplish this many times without much success. For the warmer months, I’ve been using half nourishing oil and half aloe vera gel with good success. The ingredients need to be shaken with each use, but once they are shaken, they provide wonderful moisture! I’ve been using almond oil and aloe vera, but any nourishing oil should work. That may be a great alternative to the coconut oil.
Do you mean Shea Butter don’t mix well with Real Aloe or Aloe in general?
Yes, correct. They don’t mix.
Putting this here for future readers. Cold pressed Sunflower oil sucks for cooking but it is the best for sensitive skin including babies. It’s a soothing moisturizer, protects / maintains the skin barrier, and soaks in better than coconut. Coconut oil is one of the harsher oils so great for astringent type things like mouth rinses or for people with tough problem free skin but over time can leave delicate skin red with enlarged pores / acne. Olive oil should Never be used on the skin as it damages the skin barrier over time. You can google this for scientific research papers on the subject which have tested different oils. For skin I use Sunflower, fine hair is jojoba, mouth is coconut, rough feet…3/4 sunflower little coconut and little jojoba w/ drops of lemon oil and lavender. Oils are great but they are all so different. Luckily science is catching up to help us and research papers are published online and easy to find. I was shocked about olive oil!
I used baby oil for years but switched to your coconut oil moisturizer right out of the shower. I use a wide mouth plastic jar as it does harden a bit even after using the KitchenAid for 6 or 7 minutes and I would hate to drop a glass container in the shower. Now, if I could just reach the middle of my back…
That’s awesome, Terry! I’m so glad you’re enjoying the coconut oil moisturizer.
Thank you for this I had coconut with turmeric and had fresh alo l will make the cream
You may have said it above, but I didn’t catch it. Does it leave a “greasy” or “sticky” feel?
Hey Amy, The coconut oil does have a greasy feel when applied, then it will sink into the skin. A little bit goes a long way.
Thank you I appreciate your responding back.
If you suffer from acne or have oily face I wouldn’t recommended otherwise, yes and it leaves your skin very smooth.
Wow!! That is ridiculously easy! L-ov-e it!
So easy! 🙂
Hello ? Kristin….. can I apply this lotion on my face as well ?