When it comes to buying products that go directly onto your body, it’s a tricky job making sure you aren’t loading up on a bunch of, well, junk. With the most popular (and oftentimes cheapest) drugstore products being the biggest offenders, we often can’t blame people for not knowing any better. That’s why I’m always on the hunt for the best handmade products and instructions for making things myself. In the past, I’ve covered making and buying handmade candles, laundry detergent, lip balm, deodorant and eye shadow. Now, let’s talk about lotion!
Lotion is extremely easy to make, because it only requires three basic ingredients and only takes about ten minutes to take. Like many DIY products, it’s easy to customize your lotion, so if you’ve got specific needs due to your skin type or you just want a specific scent, you can make it!
I’ve seen tons of variations on scents out there, but a few of my personal favorites are chamomile, peppermint, wintergreen and ginger for athletes (sore muscles!), coconut for your face, and rosewater and almond oil for normal, everyday use. Of course, there are other hugely popular scents like lavender, vanilla, tea tea, mint, etc.
BASIC LOTION RECIPE
Remember: You can customize your own lotion by adding your favorite essential oils or using shea or cocoa butter in place of the coconut oil (this will give you more of a body-butter thickness).
- 1/2 cup almond or olive oil (option to infuse with herbs)
- 1/4 cup coconut oil
- 1/4 cup beeswax
- Optional: 1 teaspoon vitamin E oil, 2 tablespoons shea or cocoa butter, essential oils, vanilla extract or other natural extracts
Steps to make it:
- Combine ingredients in a large jar.
- Fill a medium saucepan with a bit of water (an inch or so) over medium heat.
- Make sure you have a lid on the jar and then put it in the water. This way, the ingredients start to melt.
- Shake or stir occasionally to make sure everything stays even. Once everything is melted and looking good, you can convert it to whatever jar you’ll be keeping it in.
Viola! Use exactly as you would regular lotion, but don’t keep it longer than six months. If you’d prefer to try out bars, which are even less time consuming and often last longer, check out this easy Lotion Bar recipe! (I also like this recipe). Interested in learning more about making lotion with herbs? Check out this story. You can also hit up two other recipes which take a slight different direction – one from Instructables and one from Wiki How.
On the next page, check out five of my favorite natural, handmade lotions currently being sold online!
My absolute favorite! This bright, lemony-herb scent is reminiscent of freshly crushed lemon verbena leaves from the herb garden. A wonderful compliment to Lemon Verbena Soap or Gardener’s Scrub Soap, this nourishing shea butter cream replenishes moisture and leaves your skin soft and lightly scented. Keep a jar by the kitchen sink to help soften and heal hardworking hands. It is wonderfully thick, with a soft creamy consistency that spreads easily and absorbs quickly, leaving your skin silky soft and deeply moisturized, without ever feeling greasy. Contains no petroleum-based products, parabens, dyes, or synthetic fragrances. (Frog Goes to Market, $12)
Goat Milk & Aloe Hand and Body Lotion is an all natural, nutrient-packed, extra rich emulsion that packs a hydrating punch and delivers fast relief to dry skin. It absorbs quickly and leaves your skin satiny smooth, not a greasy mess. Grapefruit and Bergamot Essential Oils add a fresh scent that lifts spirits and aids in focus. Made with Shea Butter, Grape Seed and Apricot Kernel Oils and concentrated Goat Milk and Aloe Vera Extracts, the lotion is high in proteins, minerals and vitamins that comfort and soothe dry, irritated skin. (Sweet Stuff Natural, $14)
This body lotion is sexy, plain and simple. So naturally, the maker – a hardcore “Walking Dead” fan – named it “ESSENCE OF DARYL DIXON.” Ha! The scent is made up of a blend of Amber, Sandalwood, Vanilla, Cedarwood and the barest hint of black pepper. Seriously, this scent is delicious. Ingredients: Distilled Water, Sweet Almond Oil, Shea Butter, Avocado Oil, Preservative, Fragrance. (For Vera, $14)
This is my new favorite solid lotion bar. It is perfect for every day use all over and is extremely easy to apply. You can also control how much you put on by pressing down more or less. The scent is amazing! Tangy with a strong undertone, it is suitable fo both men and women. Great to use on your face or to cure any itchy or dry skin. Ingredients: cocoa butter, shea butter, beeswax, hemp oil, jojoba oil, sunflower oil, avocado oil, almond oil, essential oils (tangerine, tea tree), rosemary extract (preservative) and grapefruit seed extract (preservative). (Zoe’s Corner, $8)
This lotion base meets my high standards – and then some! Full of my favorite oils and butters: avocado oil for a a luxurious feel, shea butter to protect and soothe, jojoba and grapeseed oils for weightless emollience without that greasy feeling. Aloe vera hydrates and nourishes and silk amino acids provide a silky smooth afterfeel. Loaded with antioxidant vitamins, and no junk or fillers. Light and quickly absorbed but still super emollient and soothing, this lotion will leave your skin soft, silky and smooth. Perfection! (Firebird Bath Body, $9)