How to Make Lotion at Home

Understanding the Basics of Lotion Making

Before you start making lotion, it’s important to understand the basic principles behind the process. Lotion is a combination of oil, water, and an emulsifying agent that helps bind the two together. Without an emulsifier, the oil and water will separate, resulting in a product that’s not very effective.

When creating a lotion, it’s important to choose the right emulsifier for the job. Some popular options include beeswax, lecithin, and borax. Each emulsifier has its own strengths and weaknesses, so it’s important to do your research before selecting one.

Another important factor to consider is the pH level of your lotion. The ideal pH range for skin is between 4.5 and 6.0, so it’s important to test the pH of your lotion before using it on your skin.

By understanding the basics of lotion making, you’ll be able to create a high-quality product that’s both effective and safe to use.

Gathering the Necessary Ingredients and Tools

Before you can start making lotion, you’ll need to gather all of the necessary ingredients and tools. Here’s a list of what you’ll need:


  • Carrier oils (such as almond, jojoba, or avocado oil)
  • Emulsifying wax (such as beeswax, lecithin, or borax)
  • Distilled water
  • Essential oils (optional, for fragrance)
  • Preservative (optional, to extend shelf life)


  • Mixing bowl
  • Double boiler or heatproof bowl and saucepan
  • Whisk or hand blender
  • Thermometer
  • Measuring cups and spoons
  • pH strips or a pH meter (optional)

When selecting your ingredients, be sure to choose high-quality, natural products. You should also check that the products you choose are suitable for your skin type.

Having all of your tools and ingredients ready before you start will help ensure that the lotion-making process goes smoothly.

Following a Lotion Recipe Step-by-Step

Once you have all of your ingredients and tools ready, it’s time to start making your lotion. Here’s a basic recipe to get you started:


  • 1/2 cup carrier oil
  • 1/4 cup emulsifying wax
  • 1 1/4 cups distilled water
  • 10-15 drops essential oil (optional)
  • 1/4 tsp preservative (optional)


  1. Combine the carrier oil and emulsifying wax in a double boiler or heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water.
  2. Heat the mixture until the wax has melted completely, stirring occasionally.
  3. Remove the mixture from the heat and allow it to cool to around 100°F (38°C).
  4. Heat the distilled water to the same temperature (100°F or 38°C).
  5. Slowly pour the water into the oil and wax mixture, whisking continuously.
  6. Keep whisking until the mixture has emulsified and started to thicken.
  7. Add any essential oils and preservatives, if using, and whisk until well combined.
  8. Test the pH of the lotion and adjust if necessary.
  9. Pour the lotion into a sterilized container and allow it to cool completely before using.

Remember to follow the recipe instructions carefully and take note of any specific tips or tricks that may be included. Once you’ve mastered the basic recipe, you can experiment with different carrier oils and essential oils to create your own custom lotion blends.

Adding Fragrance and Color to Your Lotion

While fragrance and color are optional additions to your lotion, they can add an extra touch of luxury and customization. Here are some options for adding fragrance and color:


  • Essential oils: These can add a natural scent to your lotion and also offer potential benefits for your skin.
  • Fragrance oils: These are synthetic scents that are specifically formulated for use in skincare products.
  • Herbal infusions: Infusing herbs like lavender or chamomile into your carrier oil before making the lotion can add a subtle fragrance.


  • Natural colorants: Mica powders, clay, or herbal powders can be added to your lotion to give it a natural color.
  • Food coloring: A drop or two of food coloring can also be added to your lotion to give it a fun and playful hue.
  • No color: Alternatively, you may choose to leave your lotion uncolored for a more natural look.

When adding fragrance or color to your lotion, it’s important to use only skin-safe products and to add them in small amounts to avoid irritation. Test your lotion on a small patch of skin before using it all over your body to ensure that you don’t have any adverse reactions.

Storing and Using Your Homemade Lotion

Proper storage and usage of your homemade lotion is important to ensure that it stays fresh and effective. Here are some tips to keep in mind:


  • Store your lotion in a clean, airtight container.
  • Keep it in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight.
  • Use a preservative to extend the shelf life, especially if you’re adding water-based ingredients like distilled water or aloe vera gel.


  • Apply your lotion to clean, dry skin.
  • Start with a small amount and add more as needed.
  • Use your lotion within 6 months to ensure freshness and effectiveness.
  • If you notice any changes in color or scent, or if the lotion starts to separate, discard it and make a fresh batch.

By following these storage and usage tips, you’ll be able to enjoy your homemade lotion for months to come. Plus, you’ll have the satisfaction of knowing exactly what’s in your skincare products and the peace of mind that comes with using all-natural ingredients.

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