hand & body lotion

When I decided to make hand lotion recipes, my first lotion was not so good. But I did use ingredients that I already had sitting around the house.  This first lotion consisted of 1. olive oil, 2. beeswax from a candle, 3. water, 4. and bowl and fork. The end result was a greasy, not nicely fragranced, too thick, lotion. But it was a good lesson.

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plain lotion, just needs a scent and maybe a tint of color



The first attempt to make hand lotion recipes showed me the following details:

  • olive oil by itself makes for a very shiny lotion
  • a matte finish oil is preferred, such as rose hip, grape seed, etc
  • beeswax is best as an emulsifyer
  • the beeswax left a heavy scent, & combined with the olive oil scent = not floral
  • was too thick perhaps, but I didn’t know then that lotion was 92% water!
  • this is really easy to make!

At the store, we would make a Rubbermaid bin size batch of lotion. From this large batch we would make so many dozen bottles of each scent. I’ve taken my store recipe and divided it by 20 down to an approximately 16 oz size – or 2 x 8oz bottles worth. Use your creativity and make hand lotion recipes from this base:

lotion base recipe: (directions below)

  • 16 oz water, warmed
  • 1 tsp glycerin
  • 2 tsp stearic acid wax – optional
  • 2 tsp beeswax or emulsifying wax (or 1 tsp of each)
  • 1 tsp jojoba oil
  • 1 1/2 tsp grapeseed oil
  • 1 tsp sweet almond oil
  • 1/2 tsp apricot kernel oil
  • 1/2 tsp hemp oil
  • 3/4 tsp Rosemary Oil Extract (ROE) or Grapefruit Seed Extract (GSE) – a preservative
  • OR 3/4 tsp of the chemical preservative Germall – we try to avoid stuff like this, but I should mention all the options.

Note: you can always not buy  different carrier oils and stick to just one or 2. Just make sure the total still come to 4 1/2 tsp of oil.

The following image is a great example of a simple and clean looking design. The lotions are pastel tinted, the labels would be easy to make on the computer, and on easy-to-obtain and inexpensive bottles.

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Lotion Directions:

  • warm up the oils on medium-low
  • add the waxes to melt
  • once melted and off the heat, you can start to add warm water
  • drizzle the water into the heated oils very slowly
  • keep stirring, very important, if the water is cooler than the oils and they sit, that will solidify
  • keep adding about 10-20 % of the water at a time, stir until fully mixed in
  • you can stop at 80% water addition and test your lotion
  • test it for shine and thickness, it will get a little thicker when it cools
  • not sure, add 10% more water, keep blending
  • add your glycerin and preservative
  • if you have added all the water and now it feels less rich, you can add a little more oil. This is where I would add a specialty oil like emu oil or carrot tissue oil
  • add your essential oils or fragrance oils
  • tint if applicable (I think it’s a good idea most of the time)
  • ready to bottle!

My first lotion was done in a bowl with a fork, but a hand mixer/stick blender would be way better. A whisk could make a decent lotion too, but a stick blender would ensure and evenly mixed and blended lotion.

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Below, another good example of a design you could do at home. These bottles are called ovals, have white or black lids and come in different sizes. Although Vista print does an excellent job of making labels for very cheap. I’ve used Vista Print myself.
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One of your oils could be cocoa butter, one of my favorites, and smells way better than olive oil, learn the benefits here.



When you do make hand lotion recipes, here’s info on apricot kernel oil, known for its hypo-allergenic and healing properties.




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