How To Make Homemade Body Lotion From Scratch

There’s nothing quite like a homemade body lotion recipe with shea butter. It’s the way it glides across my skin, or perhaps the gorgeous aromas of essential oils.

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A few weeks ago I posted on how to make a homemade lotion bar, that’s a real winner every time. However, there’s nothing quite like a homemade body lotion recipe with shea butter. And the first recipe I’m making today takes it to the next level.

I keep a bottle of this magical formula topped up as often as I can. And you can too, with my fabulous DIY lotion recipe with shea butter!

DIY Lotion Recipes

Here’s How To Make Lotion – The Basics

The Water Content

The main thing that differentiates a lotion from other diy body creams is its high water content. This means a lotion should be relatively thin in consistency and will be absorbed by the skin very quickly. While lotion is good for pretty much any skin type, it’s especially good for normal or slightly dry skin.

Besides our wonderful method, today we’ll also be discussing the importance of a preservative for beauty products with high water content, as well as the importance of storing it correctly. We’ll also discuss great ways to gift this gorgeous DIY lotion.

Add around 16 drops of essential oil

Notes On Measurements

When measuring your ingredients, make sure you use a scale. Volume measurements, such as teaspoons, tablespoons, and cups are not suitable for such small quantities, and you’ll never know exactly how much you’re actually using.

For preservative measurements, always consult the instructions that come in the box or on the label.

Notes On Preservative

While using a preservative is quite important for this recipe, you can make do without it. When adding water to any kind of health and beauty product, bacteria is always going to be a problem. You’re giving it everything it needs to grow, which is where preservative comes in.

If you really, really don’t want to use one (and I strongly recommend you do), make sure you use it for a maximum of 1 week and religiously store it in the fridge. Using it beyond this date could result in your applying huge quantities of unwanted bacteria onto your skin and can cause a myriad of health problems. For this reason, you may want to make smaller quantities to avoid waste.

DIY Lotion Recipes

How To Make Body Lotion With Shea Butter

There’s nothing quite like this DIY body lotion recipe with shea butter. It’s the way it glides across the skin, or perhaps it’s the gorgeous aromas of essential oils that do it for me
5 from 6 votes
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Prep Time: 5 minutes
Active Time: 10 minutes
Cooling Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Difficulty Level: Easy
Yield: 100 Grams (Approx)
Author: Angela Wills
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  • Gather together all of the ingredients listed above
    supplies for my homemade lotion recipe
  • Boil your water and then pour it into a pyrex or heatproof beaker/jug. Add your vegetable glycerine and then put to one side. This is our ‘water part’. 
    Combine your oils with your wax, which includes your shea butter, sunflower oil and emulsifying wax in another separate heatproof or pyrex beaker/jug. This is the 'oil part'.
    73 g Distilled Water, 2 g Glycerine, 5 g Shea Butter, 14 g Sunflower Oil, 6 g Emulsifying Wax NF
    To begin making this diy lotion recipe use separate jugs to create your 'water part' and your ‘oil part’
  • Now place the 'water part' and the 'oil part' in a water bath or double boiler.
    You can set up a water bath by simply pouring a few inches of water into a pan and leaving it on the stove to warm. You don’t want it to boil, keep the heat very low.
    Now pop that in a water bath with your water and glycerine mix. You can set up a water bath by simply pouring a few inches of water into a pan and leaving it on the stove to warm. You don’t want it to boil, keep the heat very low
  • Let your oils and waxes melt together. Depending on the temperature you’ve set your stove, this can take about 20 mins. If it’s still not melting, turn the temperature up and keep a close eye on it.
    Once everything has melted, add your water part to your oils part. Try your best not to spill. It’s best to leave the combined mixture in the water bath for a few minutes once it’s been mixed, just to ensure everything is melted.
    Leave your mixture for about 10 minutes once you’ve whizzed it.
  • Remove your pyrex jug/beaker from the water bath and give it a quick stir. Next, we need to give it a good whizz with a milk frother.
    While you’re mixing, keep the beater as close to the base of the jug as possible as not to add too much air. You don’t want bubbles, you want thick lotion.
    gift it a quick stir. Next, we need to give it a good whizz with a milk frother.
  • Depending on the emulsifying wax used this could take a while, it may not fully thicken right away, so persevere with it.
    Leave your mixture for about 10 minutes once you’ve whizzed it. This will make sure it’s cool enough to add the next few ingredients.
    Leave your mixture for about 10 minutes once you’ve whizzed it.
  • Measure out your preservative following directions for your chosen preservative. A pipette really comes in handy here, as we’re using such small quantities.
    I find the best method for this is placing your jug onto a scale, set it to zero and then add your preservative a drop at a time until you have enough. This will make sure no preservative gets left in a cup or ramekin.
    Then stir thoroughly.
    Add preservative
  • Add around 16 drops of essential oil. Iv'e used 10 drops of Rosewood and 6 of Lavender essential oil but you can exchange this to suit your own taste. And stir thoroughly once more.
    10 drops Rosewood Essential Oil, 6 drops Lavender Essential Oil
    Add around 16 drops of essential oil
  • Decanter your mixture into your chosen storage container. If you’re using a jar with a wide lip you can use a spatula or spoon. If you’re using a bottle, you can make use of a funnel.
    Pump Bottle
    Decanter your mixture into your chosen storage container
  • Once that’s done, your DIY lotion is pretty much finished. Although it may seem unnecessary, always label your homemade health and beauty products, including the date in which you’ve made it. This will make sure you’re never going to use an out of date product.
    Once that’s done, you’re homemade body lotion is pretty much finished.
Category: DIY Bath & Body
Cuisine: N/A
Difficulty: Easy

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Simply Natural Lotion Recipe

Posed By Mid Stutsman (Goshen, IN, USA)


Easy home skincare using just a few all-natural ingredients.

Simply Natural Lotion

The creamy version has coconut oil, shea butter, and jojoba oil, plus a couple of drops of peppermint and lavender oil. I use it for an all-over hand and body lotion. And because of the healing properties of shea butter, I also use it to relieve sore joints.

The solid version has beeswax, cocoa butter, and coconut oil along with peppermint and lavender oils. It makes a great lip balm and cuticle softener, which also leaves my nails shiny. It has also been used, successfully, on eczema, cuts and scrapes, and mosquito bites by my grandchildren. Our seven-year-old granddaughter has eczema on her elbows and this clears it right up! Nothing else they have tried has worked as well.


For the creamy homemade lotion, whisk together equal parts of coconut butter and shea butter, and then add enough jojoba oil until it is the right consistency. I add a drop or two of lavender oil and peppermint oil. It absorbs quickly, and the fragrance is lovely.

For the solid lotion, melt together equal parts of pure beeswax, cocoa butter, and coconut oil, and add a few drops of lavender and peppermint oil. Have your *containers ready when it’s all melted, it will harden quite fast after it’s poured.

Making these lotions is foolproof. I don’t measure, so experiment and find the right amounts for how much you want to make at a time. I would say the shelf life could be up to 6 months, (mine don’t last that long) so it’s best to make small batches at a time. Also, try different essential oils to create your own unique fragrance. And Enjoy!

*I use little plastic containers found in the travel section of most major pharmacies and chain stores.

How to Store, Use and Gift a Homemade Lotion

Storing a DIY body lotion is pretty simple. If you’ve used a preservative, it sits happily at ambient temperature. Try to keep it out of direct sunlight if you’re using a fully transparent jar or bottle. You can store it in the fridge if you like, which will extend the lifespan of your lotion. If you’re not using a preservative, this is a requirement, not a suggestion.

To apply this, treat it like you would any lotion. Apply to large areas of the skin and rub it in using a circular motion.

This makes an absolutely fantastic gift, especially as it’s homemade. If you’re planning to gift, think about the different essential oils you can use to tailor it just for them. Maybe they like a specific fragrance, or have dry skin and could use something with an extra punch.

Take a look at our oils guide to get a better understanding of how to tailor your essential oils for a variety of different ailments.

Final Thoughts

So there we have it, how to make lotion.

So today we learned how to combine water and oils to produce a lotion, as well as how to make use of a preservative and store it well.

I hope you’ve enjoyed reading my DIY body lotion recipe. I can’t say this enough, a preservative is very important for this recipe. However, if you’re going to make do without then it’s absolutely vital that you store is properly and throw away after 2 weeks.

When you’re confident with your skills, you absolutely should consider gifting. This is a fabulous present to receive, and I myself have had nothing but beaming smile from my giftees when they open one of these homemade lotions.

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Angela Wills

Hi, I'm Angela, and I make most of the homemade things here at Savvy Homemade. I’m fearlessly dedicated to creating tried, tested recipes & products that will work for everyone. I'm an experienced soap maker, skincare formulator, author, busy Mom of 3, and recently a Grandma! Welcome to SavvyHomemade, it's my true passion.

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Discussion (2 Comments)

  1. I am a major fan of lotion, I but crazy amounts and I never ever thought I could make my own and use essential oils to make a scent I not only would love but that would add some benifits to my body! I dont know how I was happy with the store bought lotion now. Thank you so much!5 stars


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