How To Make Lotion: Step by Step Instructions and Tutorial

By on January 22, 2014


How To Make Lotion

It is not difficult to make lotion at home once you know what to do, which includes starting with the proper knowledge, ingredients and equipment. If you read a couple of the other top sites with DIY tutorials that show you how to make lotion, as I did, you may be confused as to the best way to make lotion, and most importantly, how not to screw it up.  A couple of the sites clearly spelled out the many problems you could encounter making lotions. They also had confusing information about the combinations of lotion ingredients. However, I had heard good things about homemade lotions, and I was determined to try it out and see if I could not master this one, and if I did, simplify the process for others. No one wants to spend the money and time procuring high quality ingredients only to have them go to waste. I was the guinea pig. I tried them all. This article will tell you what I found, and tips I discovered. Once you have everything you need, you should be set to make homemade lotion all the time and never need to buy more. It does not take many ingredients to make lotion at home, and you can find them readily available online and in some craft and soap stores.

Why Would You Want to Make Homemade Lotion, Anyway?

First, because you choose the quality of ingredients which go in your lotion, which is hugely important. You will pay a lot of money for lotions made with the best ingredients, but you can get all the supplies you need to make this high quality lotion at home. Second, because when you make your own lotion, you get to customize it to your particular liking. You decide what aromatherapy oils and fragrances go in your  lotion as well, you get to add the color of your choice or leave it natural, plus you can opt to add in fun ingredients like sparkly glitter. You can add extracts from plants, like rosemary or thyme, and even fresh ingredients like cucumber and mint. These lotions will not have as long of a shelf life, and they will need to be refrigerated, but if you have not tried a fresh lotion like this, I highly encourage you to. I first purchased a facial lotion with cucumber and herbs from a very expensive specialty store. I was hooked. When I discovered I could make the same thing at home for a fraction of the cost, I was thrilled. After I spent some time researching the best ways to make lotion, I also read that one of the benefits of making your own lotion is that you eliminate the risk of all kinds of unknown chemicals in your lotion. I was truly surprised when I found out what was in some of the lotions I was using at home. I encourage you to read the labels of yours and do some research there. You may no longer want to be putting the stuff you thought was safe on yourself or your children. I certainly do not. Homemade lotion can help you save money and avoid toxic chemicals and additives you do not need. Homemade lotion is so much better than most all lotions you can buy in stores, more luxurious, cheaper, and safer. I tried seven different ways of homemade lotion, including this method that uses water, ones that used different base oils, and also one using aloe gel as a base. Most of them turned out ok, but this one turned out great. I do not recommend the one using aloe gel. If someone finds a great recipe using this, let me know. I am happy to try most things twice. This was my favorite lotion recipe, and this article should show you how to make the basic version without fail. That being said, there is not a wrong way to go about making lotion, some methods are just trickier than others. This method gives you a good simple lotion base, and then I show you (almost) everything you can add to the basic version to customize your lotion.

Instructions to Make Lotion:


How To Make Lotion At Home Without Fail: Follow Our Step by Step Instructions and DIY tutorial

Ingredients You Need To Make Basic Lotion:

  • 1/2 cup almond oil
  • 1/2 cup (4 ounces) of coconut oil (grapeseed oil and jojoba oils work really well, too. I liked the texture of the coconut oil better)
  • 2 Tablespoons beeswax (this comes in blocks, pastilles and in grated and shaved forms)
  • essential oil of your choice (optional ingredient, but we show you how and when to add it)

ingredients-for-lotionSupplies You Need To Make Basic Lotion:

  • an electric mixer or a whisk and some patience
  • a double boiler or a glass container that can be heated (this will need to fit inside of a pot of water on the stove, and will need to be one you do not mind making lotion in. Mason jars work great for this, and they have lids, so you can later store your lotion in them!)

Instructions for Making Lotion:

Step 1: Gather your ingredients.

For basics, you need an oil base and beeswax. I liked the combination of almond oil and coconut oil for the oil base, but grapeseed oil jojoba oil also work well with almond oil. I do not recommend the method or recipes that use water, as these have a shorter shelf life, and the consistency of the final product is not as good. Same goes for recipes using aloe vera gel.


Step 2: Using a double boiler or saucepan with glass jar, add all ingredients

Using a double boiler, or by placing a glass container in a saucepan of water, add your almond oil, coconut oil and beeswax.

make homemade lotion

Use A Double Boiler or Mason Jar to Make Lotion At Home:. Pictured, I am adding the coconut oil using a double boiler.


How To Make Lotion: Add the almond oil, coconut oil and beeswax to the pan and heat slowly over low heat to melt.

DIY Lotions

How to Make Lotion: Heat the ingredients slowly so they do not scorch or burn. Patience is key.

Step 3 (optional): Add 5 or more drops of your favorite essential oil(s) and/or fragrance


How to Make Lotion: Optionally, add 5 or more drops of the essential oil or oils of your choice. It is fine to combine several different essential oils and/or fragrances in this step.

Step 4: Turn heat to low to melt all lotion ingredients.

Please be patient here and do this slowly. You do not want to scorch these ingredients, and if you heat slowly, there is little risk of that. This is why you do not want to heat the ingredients directly in a saucepan. The extra layer in a double boiler or the glass container you use will allow the ingredients an extra layer of protection from the heat, which keeps them from burning. (This is why you also heat chocolate this way, and delicate sauces like hollandaise.) You can even turn the heat off before it is entirely melted. This is not necessary, but you do not want to overheat. All you need is to melt everything together, then remove from heat.


How to Make Lotion: This is what the ingredients should look like when they are melted. Does not look much like lotion yet. Be not afraid. This is correct.

Step 5: Remove from heat

Place the lotion mixture in a mixing bowl. Do not delay in doing this, or it will be difficult to transfer the lotion mixture. You can go ahead and add water to the pan the lotion was mixed in. It will easily clean later with soap and water.

Step 6: Whip with mixer or whisk

Whip up your lotion mixture with an electric mixer or whisk until your lotion becomes thick and creamy. It should have a buttery consistency.

Step 7: Let sit for 15-20 minutes

Your lotion needs time to cool so it will get thick. You do not need to cover it. Set it aside and come back within 15-20 minutes.

Step 8: Place in covered jar or container

Your lotion should now have congealed, and it is time to scoop it into the container you want to store it in. This basic lotion will not pump in a lotion container. Use a jar.

Homemade Lotion

How To Make Lotion At Home Without Fail: Follow Our Step by Step Instructions and DIY tutorial

 This is basic lotion. Enjoy!

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Ready to Make Lotion?

You should be able to find these locally if you look around a lot, but I recommend buying it all online and having it shipped. **I had to go to three craft stores to find beeswax, and I never found the pastilles, except online. Pastilles are my top pick on beeswax.

Beeswax Pastilles

Stakich 1 lb Pure Yellow BEESWAX Pellets – Cosmetic Grade, Top Quality –Check out How To Make Lotion: Step by Step Instructions and Tutorial at

buy-beeswax-pastillesCheck out How To Make Lotion: Step by Step Instructions and Tutorial at

Beeswax block

Stakich 2 lb Pure Yellow BEESWAX Blocks – Cosmetic Grade, Top Quality –Check out How To Make Lotion: Step by Step Instructions and Tutorial at

order-beeswax-onlineCheck out How To Make Lotion: Step by Step Instructions and Tutorial at

Almond Oil

NOW Foods Sweet Almond Oil, Moisturizing Oil, 16 ounce

Check out How To Make Lotion: Step by Step Instructions and Tutorial at Check out How To Make Lotion: Step by Step Instructions and Tutorial at out How To Make Lotion: Step by Step Instructions and Tutorial at

Coconut Oil

This is the one I used in my recipe here:

Coconut Oil – 1 Quart

Check out How To Make Lotion: Step by Step Instructions and Tutorial at Check out How To Make Lotion: Step by Step Instructions and Tutorial at out How To Make Lotion: Step by Step Instructions and Tutorial at

But I also really like this one

Nature’s Way Coconut Oil, 32-OunceCheck out How To Make Lotion: Step by Step Instructions and Tutorial at

Check out How To Make Lotion: Step by Step Instructions and Tutorial at out How To Make Lotion: Step by Step Instructions and Tutorial at

Good luck! We hope we have been of help teaching you how to make lotion.

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  • Kat

    How long of a shelf life does this lotion have??

    • Stephanie

      If you do not add water, which I am not recommending, at least 6 months, when stored in an airtight container.

  • Valerie

    I can hardly wait to try it! I am very fussy about my lotion. I like it simple and already use coconut oil in my homemade deodorant. I don’t know why I never thought to look I to making my lotion. Thank you so much!

  • Valerie


  • Laura

    I have been making my own soaps and lotions for years. I have pretty much gone from making lotion to making body butter, thicker and, like yours, longer shelf life. One thing you and your readers should know, many Essential oils and Fragrance oils have a low flashpoint, that is they evaporate quickly as low as 120 degrees F. I’d wait to add any fragrance, essential oils, or botanicals until you are whisking and the temp is below 120.

    The same basic recipe you have here would also make a good base for medicinal salves, Though you might want to add about 5% Shea Butter to your mixture to promote healing and prevent scaring.

    • Stephanie

      Awesome. Love getting more lotion tips. Keep them coming. I am learning so much!

  • Mercy Huss

    I have made many different personal care products over the years, taken a few classes and such. Your recipe is actually pretty equivalent to a basic lip balm recipe, or a lotion bar, including the beeswax and no water phase. Lotion technically is either a water in oil or an oil in water emulsion; I’ve never used beeswax in my lotion. The oils will melt really easily in the microwave in a glass bowl. If people want to make a more creamy, lotiony and less waxy product they should know they have that option, just a different formulation. There are formularies online put out by companies that sell the ingredients for soaps, lotions, toiletries…you can google them. Majestic Mountain Sage is a great supplier I like. My basic lotion base is made from cocoa and shea butter, and also includes any other fixed oils that I want to include as well as the fragrance, and glycerine in the water phase. It’s true you do have to include some sort of preservative scheme, as the water will encourage bacterial growth. Perfumer’s alcohol is a good natural, easy to obtain and use preservative. Once you get into the online formularies and start experimenting the sky’s the limit with the types of personal care products you can make for yourself – goats milk soap, lip balm, specialty creams/lotions, collagen or silk or other yummy stuff enriched, shampoos, conditioners, foot mousse, face masks, scrubs….tons of fun!!

    • Stephanie

      Wow. What great information. I am wanting to add more and more info like this to this post, as I continue to make more DIY lotion products. this is super helpful. Thank you

  • Miriam

    Tried your recipe this morning. All went well until I “whisked”. Used a wand electric mixer. I mixed for at least 15 minutes; until I could not hold the mixer any longer. It never did get thick. So I am letting it cool and will see how it is. Used jojoba oil as it is very similar to human body oil (sebum).

    • Stephanie

      Glad to hear you tried it. Would love to hear how it turned out, hope well. Mine changed a bit after it cooled, and I am hoping yours did to,

  • KGE2

    My wife and I stay in the sun a lot so we always use lotion. Couple years ago, I set out and made some in the kitchen. vitamin E, Petroleum jelly, baby lotion. It has lasted forever. Friends kidded me about not being a “manly” project but after trying it, They all constantly call and want some more,,,Thanks for a great recipe Cant wait to try yours.

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  • Monica

    I want to add manuka honey to the lotion. When in the process should I add it?

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    Jeez, thanks so much for posting this! It is gonna aid me when I research Coconut Oil at the store! Beautiful!

  • Emy

    I’m wondering if I can use coconut oil and grapeseed oil and omit the almond oil (according to what I have on hand). Or if I try a different combo of oils altogether, will it alter the outcome much? Thanks!

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  • giorgia calabrò

    Hello I am Italian and I do not speak English very well I have two questions first: I did not understand if you have to freeze it necessarily, the second: I can replace the almond oil with the olive thanks

    • Rynna Machate

      You don’t have to freeze it anymore, you just have to let it cool on its own. For the almond oil you can replace it with olive since they have almost the same benefits to your skin. Hope it helps!

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  • Tami Mckheen

    Is there a change I can make so this would work in a pump bottle. I am a massage therapist and would love to use this recipe as a base for my many projects. Thanks.