How to Make Lotion




Ever wondered which ingredient makes up the largest percentage in lotions? Water! If you look at the ingredients list on product labels, you will notice that water is almost always listed first, meaning it is the most predominant ingredient in the product. And, it is also 'free' and readily available. So what all are you paying for?

For less than a dollar and using common kitchen equipment, I want to show you how you can make a 12 oz batch of moisturizing lotion. That's even cheaper than your Wal-mart petroleum-based generic brand. Best of all, it is easy and fun!

Skin care lotion is nothing more than an emulsion of oil and water. As an introduction to this wonderful and useful craft, let's make a simple lotion with just olive oil, water, and emulsifying wax. Here's what you need to make approximately a 12 fl oz batch.

For more information on homemade skin care, check out our website blog at Wabi Sabi Baby.

Step 1: Tools and Ingredients

- 1-cup glass measuring cup
- 2-cup glass measuring cup
- saucepan just large enough to fit the 1-cup measurer

- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 1/4 cup water
- 1/4 cup emulsifying wax, available at some craft stores or online.

Step 2: Water Bath

Fill a small saucepan with water and set it on medium low to use as a water bath.

Step 3: Melt Oil and Wax

Combine the oil and e. wax into the heatproof 1-cup measurer and melt the mixture in the water bath.

Step 4: Heat Water

Fill the 2-cup measurer with water and heat it in the microwave on high for 2 minutes or until it boils. Alternatively, boil water on the stove and pour it into the measurer.

Step 5: Combine

When the oil/wax mixture has melted, pour it into the water. Your lotion should now have the consistency of skim milk.

Step 6: Cool Slightly and Pour/Package

Let it cool slightly, stir with a spoon or chopstick and pour the lotion into a bottle while it's still warm and pourable. Otherwise, it would be hard to get the lotion into its container and you might have to use a funnel. If you're using a wide mouth jar, then this is not an issue.

Step 7: Shake Well

Leave the cap off to let it cool completely, but occasionally cap the lotion and give it a quick shake to help blend the mixture.

Step 8: Ways to Customize

As is, this plain, scent-free lotion is great for babies and people with sensitive skin. But this recipe is very forgiving and you can easily vary it. Here are some suggestions:

- Substitute 1/4 to 1/2 cup of the water with glycerin to make a hydrating lotion.
- Substitute or combine the olive oil with other oils such as almond oil or coconut oil
- Add essential oils. Use 1 - 5 drops per fl oz of lotion



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    121 Discussions


    10 years ago on Step 8

    This will eventually go rancid as the oil oxydizes. The wax will probably extend the life some and adding essential oils may prolong the life too, but can you suggest any preservatives? For me, 12 oz. lasts a loooonnnnnngggggg time.

    9 replies

    Reply 3 years ago

    Olive oil is a preservative, as in it doesn't go bad...


    Reply 3 years ago

    It's not the oil you have to worry about. It is bacteria growing in the water and this can only be stopped with a perservative.


    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    Essential oils like tea tree oil can help, but you could also use vitamin E (the type you ingest preferably) if you really aren't interested in using essential oils.


    Reply 7 years ago on Step 8

    tincture of Benzoin is probably the best natural preservative I know of. I would use 3/4 teaspoon for a batch this size. It has a wonderful, light scent too but you might want to mix a drop with a drop of your essential oils (if you're using any) to see if the aromas clash. If you can't find the actual tincture (available at most herb suppliers) you can make your own very easily. Combine 1 tablespoon of powdered Benzoin with 1 cup 100 proof alcohol or higher. Shake vigorously then let stand 2-3 weeks shaking daily. Strain and it's ready to use. DO NOT INGEST! Sorry, had to put that in there. I'm more than sure you won't try to drink it, but I actually had someone try it.. so... LOL..anyhow.. hope this helps. Have a wonderful holiday. Enjoy! Lisa


    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    Grapefruit seed extrat is a wonderful preservative. I use it in all of the soaps that I make and they last a very long fact I have never had one go rancid.


    Reply 9 years ago on Step 8

    Don't soaps naturally last longer than lotions anyway?

    But good suggestion. I hadn't heard that about grapefruit seed extract, so I think I'll be looking into it more!


    3 years ago

    I am having a ball making my own spa products using I'm making all sorts of things for friends! It's great for learning how to make luxurious spa products at home immediately and it's easy :) I save a lot of money not going to the spa and the products are exactly the same, if not better. I have used my friends and family to try out the products I've made and they have been absolutely delighted! I'm thoroughly enjoying working my way through the recipes and then adjusting them to my own design. I really wish I had started this years ago.


    3 years ago

    i like this i will try it


    3 years ago

    Could I add something to this and make it a pomade???


    5 years ago

    You are creative and practical. Instead of spending $5 on an 8oz. bottle, you just make 8oz. for less than $2.5 total for about 16oz.

    1 reply

    7 years ago on Introduction

    Question! Can you use anything else other than emulsifying wax?